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Post 0

Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 6:01amSanction this postReply
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This question has so many ambiguous interpretations as to make an unambiguous response impossible.

For example, if I "refuse to support and defend a state," does that mean a state in its totality or just parts of it?

Does "defend a state" include a willing submission to a military draft?

If I refuse to vote for any candidate because I find all of them detestable, does that mean I have no right to bring issues to the attention of my "duly elected" representative?

If so, then if "my man" loses assuming I did vote, does that mean I have no right to appeal to the man who did win?

I hope the poster of this poll edits it for clarification or at least posts to this thread a clarifying statement.



Post 1

Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 7:08amSanction this postReply
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 Those who refuse to support and defend a state have no claim to protection by that state.



  • Only military veterans should be allowed to call the police or fire departments or send their kids to public schools, or use the streets, etc., etc., etc.
  • People who choose not to serve would pay no taxes, not be required to obey any laws, etc., etc., etc.
  • If your neighbor's dog digs up your rose bush, and you are a veteran, then you sue in a government court, but if you are not a veteran then you handle it some other way.
  •  Maybe you could go to the beach, set up a lounge under an umbrella and scan the horizon for pirates.  Would that count? Maybe you could go to a National Park and patrol it for errant raccoons.
Is there any other way to interpret this?  Perhaps...
  
Or perhaps we should have the question posed from another context:
  • "A government that violates the rights of the people has no right to exist."
  • "A government that refuses to protect the rights of the people has no right to exist."
  • "A government than cannot defend the rights of its citizens has ceased to exist."

..  support and defend ...  creates ambiguities in the "and" conjunction.  I mean, do you have to both support and defend?  So, just being a soldier or a veteran would not be enough.  You would have to pay taxes as well.  A wounded veteran with no taxable income might not be able to claim the defense of the state if set upon by bandits.

"Defend" how?  So far, I have made this about the military -- the bottom line for any government, by definition.  But what if you "defend" the state by arguing for it?  You could go to some Hyde Park, get on a soap box and speak on behalf of your state.

(this is getting to be fun...)
What is a "state"?  I mean, we have FIFTY states here.  Can you parse your defense of Indiana from your support for Oregon or the Federal government?  Would the county, township, or village be a "state"?  Thus if you served in the US Army and if the US Army were accepted as the agent of the federal government which has a social contract down to the village, that might work, but if you were, say, a police officer in the village, you might for yourself argue that this not to be construed as support and defense of Cass County, the State of Indiana or the USA in general?
(Riddle me that, Batman.)

(Edited by Michael E. Marotta on 4/18, 7:21am)




Post 2

Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 1:55pmSanction this postReply
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I'm not sure this question is appropriate (I agree with most of Luke's remarks), but I'll take a stab at it just because I'm bored.

If a man does not wish to pay taxes to the state, and he has a legitimate reason why, then his none support would not preclude him from any state protection. He would actually be doing the state a favor by not supporting it.

If a man joins the Army to fight in a war, I'm not sure he must be doing that to 'defend' the state. If his life is threatened then he is fighting to defend his life, not the state. He may like the government he has and appreciate it's role, however he would fight first to save himself.

Finally, if a man has legitimate reasons not to support or defend the state we can assume that the state is not functioning properly and therefore is not protecting him anyway. If the state does not protect, but rather it harms, then he can do nothing else but defend himself against the state.

The question is inappropriate.



Post 3

Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 2:08pmSanction this postReply
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As Luke points out, this proposition is loaded with ambiguities. But, I think the people who would be likely to seriously make this argument would generally be arguing for a Catch-22 situation -- that you are entitled to the protections in the Constitution only if you decline to exercise them. That is, if you exercise your First Amendment right to argue that the current bloated, unconstitutional government violates the minarchist state envisioned in the Constitution, the proponents of this argument would tend to want to strip you of all the protections afforded by the Constitution, including the legitimate minarchist ones.

And, even if you don't believe in that minarchist state, and argue for something else, such as anarcho-capitalism or a modern liberal welfare state, you're still entitled under the Constitution to the minarchist protections outlined there.



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Post 4

Saturday, April 18, 2009 - 4:34pmSanction this postReply
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The way I read this, was to imply that the state has some kind of power over the thoughts and actions of people. It doesn't have any such power, yet, at least in the U.S., the state is require to protect it's citizens regardless of how they may hate the state. 

The state can't read the minds of people, and isn't even supposed to. The state doesn't have a "right" to anything from the people.

If no one showed up to vote, is the state still required to protect the rights of the people?

Absolutely.





Post 5

Sunday, April 19, 2009 - 12:33amSanction this postReply
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Re this: "The way I read this, was to imply that the state has some kind of power over the thoughts and actions of people. It doesn't have any such power, yet"

The state has been assuming such power, in particular with hate crime legislation, where someone can be imprisoned for an additional period of time for the thoughts allegedly in their head while committing a different crime.

The only thing holding the state back from prosecuting crimethink is the current technological barriers to knowing what thoughts are going on in people's heads. Should that fall, Orwell's 1984 could become reality.



Post 6

Sunday, April 19, 2009 - 6:19amSanction this postReply
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Voting Yes implies that the state has a right to the respect of the people, when they don't  have any rights at all!




Post 7

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 5:05amSanction this postReply
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It is fascinating to read the projections that others throw upon the question.  Not only does it reveal their theories of government, it suggests at least the outlines of how they perceive and think.

Suppose you are living in a monarcho-militarist dictatorship like Austria circa 1900 or Italy circa 1930.  No one has any rights.  The state is all.  You refuse to serve in the army.  You refuse to pay taxes.  So far, you have evaded some of the larger encroachments of the state on your personhood.  You come home to find your house burgled -- and you assume the state did not do it.  You go to the police.

TSI would say that they have an absolute duty to protect you from your plundering neighbor.   I doubt that.  The question is not who "disagrees with government policies" but who refuses to support and defend the state. 

It is true, as Luke and TSI indicate, that it is not your purpose to support and defend the state, but the state's purpose to defend (though not support) you.

Steve in Post 2 begs the question with his insistence that your refusal be "legitimate."  I take that to mean that in your refusal you must offer "Objectivist" reasons, not others.  In other words, for example, it would be illegitimate to withdraw your support of the state for not signing the Kyoto Accords, but warranted on the basis of the government's having a national park system or building an international space station. 

This touches on the problem of "the Objectivist sales tax" that I raised in Dissent.  The purpose of the government is to protect your rights.  That would include the sanctity of contract as protection against force and fraud.  But if you do not pay the special -- and I assure you, "voluntary" -- Contract Insurance Fee, then you are not entitled to process in a court of law.  Presumably, you would be entitled to a court trial if arrested by the police whether or not you paid any voluntary service fees in advance.

Having bumped into it on YouTube, I went out and rented Starship Troopers (1).  Not a bad adaptation of the book, the movie could not be as eloquent as Heinlein's passages, but the point was made early on.  Why do only veterans have the right to vote?  Because voting is how you call upon the full coercive power of the state to do your bidding.  No one should wield that power who does not understand it.  Therefore, only veterans are citizens.  Others are civilians.  Heinlein parses that a bit finer.  Civilians have other rights, of course, just not the right to vote. 




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Post 8

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 8:28amSanction this postReply
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broken poll.
Comments regarding the the implications of a "yes" answer are pretty spot on, and have been discussed at length.
However, Citizens have no expectation of receiving a value from the state if they provide nothing in return. I believe that is called "mooching". I'm speaking here in the context of values that are actually legitimate for the gov't to provide, which is defense. Note that there are many different ways to "support". To say that you can't provide funds to a state because its totally corrupt, but that you support any legitimate aspects that still remain. I would also say that depending on the nature of the state, its totally possible for that state to provide "protection" that is really mislabeled. A dictator that "protects" you while oppressing you is really just protecting his own herd, his own slave pool. That certainly isn't protection, and a citizen has every right not to pay for it on any level.



Post 9

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 8:39amSanction this postReply
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there is another aspect to this - namely the notion of 'owing', as in 'giving back to the community' mindset... as if, in the business of you running your life and being non-coercive with anyone, there is a 'taking' which needs be replace - except this is false, as associating with others is in no way a taking and inhabiting in a 'zero-sum' world - indeed, quite the opposite... thus, to not pay taxes is not, actually, to be engaging in a 'free rider', as many suppose...



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Post 10

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 10:34amSanction this postReply
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I would certainly say that a person doesn't "owe" anything just by the act of existing. However, The military and police do provide a SERVICE. I realize that this is moot in our current system, because contribution is not a choice, but in a system more in keeping with moral values, people would be free to contribute or not to the upkeep of that service. I believe that contribution could be very small indeed if the defense structure was run intelligently, but the need would be there. I'm suprised by how many people who otherwise believe in compensation for value given engage in mental gymnastics to avoid the issue when discussing defense. Citizens receive the service, they should pay for it. Not via compulsion though. If a citizen doesn't desire to pay for services rendered (in a system where they are allowed that choice as they should, the only moral choice I can think of is for the person to refrain from utilizing the services, from daily policing to wartime defense.



Post 11

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 2:59pmSanction this postReply
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In a free and just nation, the only claim the state can make on a citizen is : Do you uphold and respect the Law ? and, Do you pay your taxes?

There can be no favouritism applied to those who are perceived to be more 'patriotic', or more 'serving' to that nation.
And no penalties for those who choose to withold such support.
Who would be the judge, qualitively and quantitively, of this anyway?
Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what you can do for yourself. [sorry JFK]




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Post 12

Monday, April 20, 2009 - 6:11pmSanction this postReply
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Are you implying that it is somehow a "penalty" to withhold services that an individual refuses to pay for? If so, by what standard do you determine that the soldier should be the slave of the citizen? In a free and just nation, a person is asked to pay for services rendered (justice) or forgo said services. When the service rendered is security of a specified territory, the person is free to leave. The judge is the same judge that presides over any other kind of thievery or fraud. Defense is no different than any other service.



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Post 13

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 1:21amSanction this postReply
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Without a doubt a citizen must pay his own way.

I make the assumption that his or her taxes cover the cost of national Defence - with a professional standing army - and of internal Justice and policing.
My quibble is with any service or 'duty' mentality that so insidiously becomes the norm and the expectation.
But I am sure my perspective on this is influenced by living in statist South Africa. In this country we pay Income tax, general Sales tax and local municipal tax. With a generally ineffective police force and our high crime level, it is essential to pay for a private security company to protect home and business.
"Putting back into the community" has become the buzz phrase here. Newly qualified doctors are pressured to work for the State in rural areas. Businessmen are tolerated only for their ability to pay huge taxes and job 'creation' - and with enforced affirmative action ,all employment is based upon racial quota systems.
Excuse my rant!   All this is to show my distaste for any climate of entitlement on my money or my service.
Voluntarism rules. { Or should }.




Post 14

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 3:29amSanction this postReply
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Are you implying that it is somehow a "penalty" to withhold services that an individual refuses to pay for?

I'm wondering why or how service providers (for lack of a better word) should have to know who has or has not supported any service provided?  Their job is to defend citizens, not judge who supports them or not, or why.  I can't see how providers who undertake such a task as discovering "who's with us, or against us" as leading to anything resembling justice.

That said, I am sympathetic to Ryan's idea that you have to pay for what you get. 





Post 15

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 4:52amSanction this postReply
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I completely agree that the "give back to the community" herd mindset is completely wrongheaded. Thats why I'm only discussing this in concrete terms, actual material support. In a free society a person should certainly be willing to dissent or withhold moral support, as these things have no real import within the value given. I don't like going to the dentist, nor do I like the procedures done, but I do have to pay him. I honestly don't think this would be a huge problem in a properly informed society with a properly directed military and police force. The amount owed per citizen would likely be miniscule as well. Regarding Teresa's comment. I absolutely am against the military and to a lesser extent the police force from wielding sole responsibility in this matter. This would definetly be a matter for the courts, including juries. I'm not 100% yet, but I am considering a flat sales or property tax as possible practical solutions to the theoretical problem, on the basis that defense is required for the protection of the involved rights. Not sure on that yet, as I have a visceral hatred of taxes in any form. I'm sure people could come up with innovative methods for raising funds that would minimize any such burden, and I KNOW the military could be run much more efficiently. Its an interesting problem to explore even though I doubt the US gov't will be reforming any time soon.



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Post 16

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 5:04amSanction this postReply
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Speaking of protection, this came in on Google today - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124027127337237011.html#mod=whats_news_free?mod=igoogle_wsj_gadgv1



Post 17

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 - 3:19pmSanction this postReply
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 I'm not 100% yet, but I am considering a flat sales or property tax as possible practical solutions to the theoretical problem, on the basis that defense is required for the protection of the involved rights.

Reading my mind, Ryan.




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