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Monday, February 13, 2006

To Obadiah Shoher

Category: Mind Change
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  • Hi

    I will reply on Obadiah’s behalf.
    The article author’s arguments are perfectly sensible. Every freedom-loving person sympathizes with anarchism. The issue is that of degree.
    Like it or not, citizens generally love their states. Sure, that love is unreasonable, a positive feeling for oppressor, but it is there. Citizens support their states - if not so willingly with taxes, then willingly with voting and acquescing to conscription.
    Obadiah writes not about ideals. In ideal world, people will refuse the yoke of governments, just as prophet Shmuel told Israelites. But in the real world, which Obadiah amply describes, people are mostly one with their governments, and might suffer together.

    Posted by Danny Simkin  on  02/13  at  06:52 PM
  • Many people believe that if their government did not force them to pay taxes, the government itself would not receive enough funding in to do its job of maintaining order.  They believe that the result of such a policy of non-violence would be anarchy.

    This is simply not true.

    There are thousands of examples of small groups of people who do not force each other to help pay for the enforcement of laws.  Larger group examples are harder to find because governments tend to step in and incubate oppression in the name of “avoiding anarchy” wherever humans might be productive enough to ignore the growing oppression.

    As far as people loving their state, supporting it one way or another, I have done some research for you.  You may wish to argue that NOT voting expresses more support than voting.  The case can be made either way, but the fact remains that voting does not generate any resources for the state.  It actually depletes them.  Whether or not you want to claim that voting is indicative of voluntary support, here are some statistics that weaken that particular justification for doing violence in the name of your fellow citizens:

    Elections Canada data shows voter participation has declined each decade since the 1960s, when average federal election participation was 77 percent. In the 1970s that rate declined to 74 percent, in the ‘80s 73 percent, and in the ‘90s 66 percent.

    The US Department of Defense shows that 55% of Uniformed Absentee Voters actually voted in 2000, and 46% of them voted in 2002.  Of the U.S Voting population, the numbers are 51% in 2000 and 37% in 2002.

    International IDEA reports that turnout across the globe rose steadily between 1945 and 1990 - increasing from 61% in the 1940s to 68% in the 1980s. But post-1990 the average has dipped back to 64%.  Israel, since 1945, has had a voter turnout of over 80%!  Congratulations.

    Before you stand by your claim that paying taxes and acquiescing to conscription is the same as voluntary support, you may want to review the laws that delineate the punishments for dodging the draft and evading taxes.

    You have hardened my position.  Thanks for making me back it up with some research.

    Int’l IDEA: http://www.idea.int/vt/findings.cfm
    and, for Israel, pg 9 of: http://www.idea.int/publications/vt/upload/Voter turnout.pdf
    DoD report: http://www.dodig.osd.mil/audit/reports/fy04/04-065.pdf
    Elections Canada: http://www.georgiabulletin.org/world/2004/05/24/WORLD-1/

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  02/13  at  08:16 PM
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