We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Dick Turpin was hanged for helping himself to people’s money – [Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs] wants it to be legal

Mike Warburton

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on TumblrShare on RedditShare on Google+Share on VKEmail this to someone

11 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • MarkE

    I was amused to heat the adjacent item to this on the BBC radio news this morning was about a woman being compensated after being issued with an ASBO (Anti Social Behaviour Order) as a result of a malicious complaint that the issuing authority failed to investigate properly.

    So we have evidence of penalties being imposed without a proper investigation, and then a draconian power being requested by HMRC.

    This is supposed to be in the consultation period, but I can’t find where to express my opposition in their website. As soon as I work out how to complain I shall; there is no guarantee they will take any notice, but if I say nothing I cannot be heard.

  • Heck, all HMRC are asking for is what the U.S. Internal Revenue Service has had for decades. If the IRS has this kind of power in the land of the free, it must be OK then, Right?

    Right?

    Hello?

  • smote again.

    Guys, You do pay your smiting faerie overtime?

    It should at least get parity with the server squirrels over at Reason.com .

  • Brian

    There is one way to deal with these disgusting scum.

    When you are being harassed by public sector filth, find out their home address. This shouldn’t be difficult (‘If you’ve nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear’).

    Then (anonymously) report to the SS (Social Services) that you have heard children crying in the vicinity of their house.

    Nasty?

    Yes.

    Justified?

    Entirely.

    I believe that’s the art of Judo – making your enemy’s strength work against him.

  • Paul Marks

    There was a little thing in 1215 saying (amongst other things) that the Crown could not just declare people guilty of a crime without the judgement of a court – and, therefore, could not take money (declared due to the Crown but supposedly not paid) without the judgement of a court.

    However, no doubt, the powers-that-be will simply declare that the confiscation of money is a “civil penality” (or use some other dodge).

    The lesson is clear:

    Just as a person should never “register” a firearm (because “registration” can be used as a basis for confiscation – as it was in Australia). So a person should never tell the govenment how much money he has or where it is (and never put the money in an institution which is either willing or can be forced to tell the government), as if a person does allow the government to know about his money the government may well find a “legal” way to steal it – whether it is “due in taxes” or not.

  • The only way to never put the money in an institution which is either willing or can be forced to tell the government is to keep it as cash. The US government presumes large quantities of cash to be criminal money and seizes them on that basis.

  • Paul Marks

    Of course the American govenment does this.

    Nor is such government criminality recent.

    As long ago as 1933 the Federal government decided to rip up the Constitution and steal privately owned gold when it could find it (and the Supreme Court unpheld this stealing and unconstitutional action – by simply declaring the blatently unconstutional, constitutional).

    If the government find your money of course they may well steal it, and looking to the courts for protection is often to look in vain.

    An honest person must do his or her best to hide their money from the state.

    “But I have always obeyed all the regulations [although as some of them are contradictory, I do not see how that is possible] and paid all the taxes” will not save you. The idea that it would was refuted back in 1933.

  • nick g.

    Pietr,
    I presume that you favour gold, and gold coinage. I also think it would be better for us all if we had gold money, or if paper needed to always have gold backing, or some metallic basis. How do we re-introduce this in today’s world? Perhaps libertarians who know and trust each other can use gold values and trade amongst themselves, a form of civil disobedience? If enough people catch on and trade this way, we could significantly de-tax society. They’ll probably get around to passing laws against it, but why should that stop us?

  • Paul Marks

    nick g:

    First a technical point:

    We must avoid talk of “gold backing” (or the “gold standard” or other such). If gold is money then gold must be the money (ditto silver or anything else).

    This is because, if we do not avoid such language, we can get into the mess that led to the Great Depression (and to the fall of the Republic in 1933). This is where there is a “gold standard” – i.e. where a vast credit-money bubble is in existance (because the banks and other such, with a government green light from the Federal Reserve System or before this from the National Banking Act of 1861) and booms lead to busts.

    Of course a bust need not lead to a Great Depression – for example the 1921 bust did not (because the oft attacked President Harding did not do anything apart from cut government spending) – but the chance for a government wrong reaction (the reaction of Herbert Hoover – efforts to prop up wages and so on) is always there.

    In any case booms and busts are what is used to discredit free enterprise.

    I have often attacked Murry Rothbard (on various matters), but he is right on this.

    Right back in his book “The Panic of 1819” Rothbard understood the basic truth (understood by some, but by no means all, economists before him) that lending must be entirely from real savings.

    It must not be “based on” real savings and borrowing must not be from “savings” (i.e. book keeping tricks).

    If a person wants to borrow 100 Dollars someone else (or several people) must have chosen not to spend 100 Dollars of their income – but to instead have made this money available to be lent out.

    If the borrowing is not from real savings we are in credit bubble land.

    Tax and legal tender:

    The government enforced the de facto fiat money (I say de facto as the government still pretended there was gold link right till 1971) by stealing privately owned gold and voiding the gold clauses of private contracts.

    “No State shall…. make any thing but gold or silver coin a tender in payment of debts” or “pass ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts” (Article One, Section Eight).

    “Oh well the States can not do these things but the Feds can” – where does the Constitution give them this power?

    The closest is Article One , Section Eight.

    The Congress has the power to “To coin money, regulate the value thereof and of foreign coin, and fix the standards of weights and measures”.

    There is not even a power to print money – and this is not an accident (the Founders did not want a repeat of the “not worth a Continental” experience).

    Any other claim to power runs into the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, but the powers-that-be do not care.

    It is difficult to get over to people just how wicked the New Deal regime was. Yet it could not have lasted if the people had not supported it – F.D.R. was relected by some 60% of the vote in 1936.

    If most people support government action (no matter how evil it is) then libertarian civil disobedience will not work.

    If government demands Dollars in taxes then Dollars will be used as the main currency (due to taxes being so large today).

    And if the government is even prepared to rip up contracts between private parties (which is what “void the gold clauses” actually means) and to steal gold (or some other material) by the threat or use of armed violence (remember it was stealing from people who had PAID ALL THEIR TAXES) then there are no rules.

    I do not believe that the mind set of most people in the 1930’s can be explained just by the Great Depression (terrible though it was) or F.D.R.’s control of the radio (young administrators like L.B.J. made sure that licences went to pro F.D.R. people).

    There was a long process of “education” at work here.

    What is the state of mind of most people now?

    I am not an American, I do not know how most people think.

    In an economic crises would they go along with statism or would it dawn on them that the government might be “the problem not the solution”.

    This is not a theorectical question.

    Let us say that Mrs Clinton wins the 2008 elections (which seems possible) with the Democrats in a majority in both Senate and House (also possible). The lady (and the rest of the powers that be) will move to eliminate what opposition media exists (News International will submit – a threat of “anti trust” or other such will make them, and the independent “Talk Radio” people will be dealt with by the “fairness doctrine” or some other means). With a de facto pro statism media monopoly (a bit of resistance on the internet will not matter – besides the left are well organized on the internet these days) the move to turn civil society into a collective organism can proceed.

    “Too extreme” – is it? What if there is an economic crises and government must “do something”? The ignorance of most people seem to know no limits – for example people even get away with blaming high fuel prices on wicked oil prices. I can see a situation where there are general price controls (after all President Nixon went along with that – in peace time) and a general “we must all work together to get the country moving again” plan.

    Even back in the early 1990’s the Democrats were still not under the control of the 1960’s college generation.

    In 2009 they will be.

  • nick g.

    Sorry, Paul, you’ll need to explain in greater detail if you want us to understand you. Still, from your brief scribblings, you seem to be onto something!