The Ethics of Taxation and the Insufficiency of Voluntaryism

Edit: 3.9.2017 I’ve been getting a surprising amount of responses from Reddit and Tom Woods fans, and I concede many points, and am thusly revising. Thanks if you’re being civil. I will link to the original article here, but in the meantime, will be formatting a new viewpoint on this page.

“All taxation is theft!” is a frequent motto of Libertarians inspired by the quasi-anarchic ideal of Voluntaryism. For the uninitiated, Voluntaryism can be summed up quite simply as: “The only ethical exchange is voluntary exchange.”

Quite uncontroversial, no? Its face-value appeal no doubt contributes to its popularity as an ethical criticism of all taxes and government, and it is crucial to a variety of Libertarian ethical concepts from the Non-Aggression Principle to the total denial of Positive Rights.