Individual Virtue Is The Most Powerful Weapon (Against A Corrupt State)

   EVER WONDER WHAT LIES BEHIND the studious institutional enmity toward moral consciousness we see all around us in America (and elsewhere) today?  It is an institutional recognition that the greatest stumbling-block to the core ambition of the unbridled state (the unhindered exercise of power on behalf of its clients) is the stature of individual morality as a popular value.  This is because while all the mundane costs of compliance with the state can be manipulated in the state’s favor, the moral cost of compliance with illegitimate state behavior cannot be.  The only tool the state has in that regard is the undermining of morality in general.

   I will offer taxation as a convenient model:  It is easy to see that merely by manipulating the rate of any given tax, the state can make the cost of resistance -- either resistance as a matter of political opposition, or even as legal resistance to the misapplication of the tax -- greater than the cost of compliance, if the only considerations are out-of-pocket expenses and expenditures of effort.  

   If these were the only considerations, and everything else about it remained the same, would anyone invest much in opposition to, for example, an actual aggregated net “income” tax burden of, say, 5%?  Or 10%?  Even when the tax was being misapplied in defiance of the law, resistance wouldn’t be worth it.  Ind ...

Want to read more?

Subscribe today!

Share this article with others now