“What essentially sets a nation-state apart,” declared candidate Barack Obama, is that it has a “monopoly on violence.” Clearly Obama was referring to aggressive, not defensive, force, for the use of defensive force is never limited to government. We all retain that right by nature. Only government routinely uses aggressive force or the threat of force. The threat of violence compels the payment of every tax, and ultimately, whatever behavior it desires of the people.
Bill & Joe
Under most circumstances, everyone agrees it would be wrong for Joe to take money from his neighbor Bill. Joe would not dream of stealing Bill’s money; he knows it is wrong, and he also knows he could get punished for stealing.
Would it make any difference if Joe can convince 20 other neighbors to gang up and take the money from Bill and give it to Joe? No? What if hundreds or thousands get together and demand the money? What if they call themselves a government? What if they make a law to take Bill’s money?
Obviously, if the government takes Bill’s money, it doesn’t call it theft—it calls it taxation. Continue reading