Guest Post from Samson Corwell

"The Remissness of our People in Paying Taxes is highly blameable; the Unwillingness to pay them is still more so. I see, in some Resolutions of Town Meetings, a Remonstrance against giving Congress a Power to take, as they call it, the People's Money out of their Pockets, tho' only to pay the Interest and Principal of Debts duly contracted. They seem to mistake the Point. Money, justly due from the People, is their Creditors' Money, and no longer the Money of the People, who, if they withold it, should be compell'd to pay by some Law.

"All Property, indeed, except the Savage's temporary Cabin, his Bow, his Matchcoat, and other little Acquisitions, absolutely necessary for his Subsistence, seems to me to be the Creature of public Convention. Hence the Public has the Right of Regulating Descents, and all other Conveyances of Property, and even of limiting the Quantity and the Uses of it. All the Property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other Laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it." — Benjamin Franklin, 25 December 1783 (Source)

"It is a moot question whether the origin of any kind of property is derived from nature at all… It is agreed by those who have seriously considered the subject that no individual has, of natural right, a separate property in an acre of land, for instance. By an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and in common is the property for the moment of him who occupies it; but when he relinquishes the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable ownership is the gift of social law, and is given late in the progress of society." — Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson, 1813 (Source)

Note from GC: Jefferson seems to have been reading Rousseau.


  1. another one from Benjamin Franklin:

    "the accumulation therefore of Property in such a Society, and its Security to Individuals in every Society, must be an Effect of the Protection afforded to it by the joint Strength of the Society, in the Execution of its Laws. Private Property therefore is a Creature of Society, and is subject to the Calls of that Society, whenever its Necessities shall require it, even to its last Farthing; its Contributions therefore to the public Exigencies are not to be considered as conferring a Benefit on the Publick, entitling the Contributors to the Distinctions of Honour and Power, but as the Return of an Obligation previously received, or the Payment of a just Debt. The Combinations of Civil Society are not like those of a Set of Merchants, who club their Property in different Proportions for Building and Freighting a Ship, and may therefore have some Right to vote in the Disposition of the Voyage in a greater or less Degree according to their respective Contributions; but the important ends of Civil Society, and the personal Securities of Life and Liberty, these remain the same in every Member of the society; and the poorest continues to have an equal Claim to them with the most opulent, whatever Difference Time, Chance, or Industry may occasion in their Circumstances."

  2. Note from GC: Jefferson seems to have been reading Rousseau.

    One of my fellow Hannity forumites commented that TJ and Robespierre were almost like two characters out of a Shakespearean play. Jefferson was very much a person who romanticized "the people" like Rousseau did.

  3. Someone made mention of your previous post here. Two quotes from the page that stood out:
    •"Private property came well before 'civil order.'"
    •"More anti-nature claptrap. 'Civic order' is non-existent in the natural world of other, non-human, animals, but ownership of both physical property and territory is universal. When two creatures of other species contend for a particular piece of property, the original 'owner' wins more often than not, all without any 'civil order' stepping in."

    Where do they get these bizarre ideas from? What, did some pristine period of purely private property exist and then "the state" came in on top of it? These institutions didn't evolve? My God, this is like the Marxists who fawn over primitive communism that they believe to have become corrupted.

  4. Gene,

    you argue that taxation is just if the government is just. But what if some of what the government does is just, and some of it isn't? Say the government protects property and funds education on the one hand, and wages unjustified wars abroad on the other. Is it still right to support taxation in that case? How should you act in that situation?

    1. Mr, I'm sorry but I don't remember making this argument, and this post isn't even mine. I can't defend arguments I don't recall making unattached to the post where I supposedly said them. Not trying to be difficult, but succeeding anyway I am sure.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Fiat Currency

Central Planning Works!