A Den of Thieves


Column by Paul Hein.

Exclusive to STR

Income tax day usually falls around Easter, but while many people do not celebrate Easter, nearly all venerate the Internal Revenue Code on April 15. It is a cause for wonderment, since the income tax, being robbery (or theft) ought to rouse massive civil disobedience, rather than slavish adherence.

Of course, in saying that, I run the risk of being placed in the category of the lunatic fringe who question the right of The Rulers to rob us. Very well. But Judge Andrew Napolitano is certainly not of the aforementioned fringe, and he published an essay on LewRockwell.com on April 18, 2013 under the title “Taxation Is Theft.” The esteemed Murray Rothbard, in an article he wrote for The Libertarian magazine on April 15, 1969, declared “Taxation Is Robbery.”

How about evidence from the horse’s mouth, so to speak? Chapter 570 of Missouri Revised Statutes is headed “Stealing and Related Offenses.” At 570.030 we read, “A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof, either without his or her consent or by means of deceit or coercion.”

And, finally, there is simple common sense. If someone uses force, or the threat of it, to compel you to turn over to him your property, you will say, “I’ve been robbed,” not “I’ve been taxed.” Yet on April 15, the reverse is true: As you yield your property, you will say, “I’ve been taxed,” not “I’ve been robbed.”

If you are a man, and not the proverbial mouse, do you allow yourself to be robbed without so much as a word of dissent? And especially, if head of a household, do you not feel obligated to protect your family from thieves?

There have been many, over the years, who fought against the injustice. They did not fare well. Earliest protests took the form of a claim of Fifth Amendment immunity from providing potentially self-incriminating evidence. That didn’t work. Far more sophisticated arguments arose from careful examination of the Internal Revenue Code itself (which, interestingly, does not define “income,” while claiming the right to tax it) and discovering little support for the claim that it imposes a tax upon most of us, or that the “income” which is taxed is what most of us derive from our domestic labors or investments. Some of the most prominent supporters of these arguments found themselves in prison, after trials before what could only be called a kangaroo court.

The problem with making legal arguments is that the parties making the laws also administer, enforce, and adjudicate them, so that the defendant finds himself with two strikes against him before he picks up his bat, and the umpire is the pitcher’s brother.

Experience teaches. A new strategy is not to make legal arguments—or arguments of any kind at all. This is a policy advocated by Marc Stevens, who uses the Socratic method of arriving at the truth by asking questions. The fundamental question being: “What evidence can you produce proving that your code applies to me?” This question bemuses, confuses, and frequently enrages the functionaries to whom it is directed. They may try to dismiss it as a frivolous argument, but it is obviously not an argument at all. They may insist they have no need of evidence, but certainly, if they are prepared to accuse you of a crime (failure to file, failure to pay, evasion, etc.), they must have evidence to support the charge. If there is evidence, produce it. If not, drop any charges or claims.

If you have ever received a letter from the IRS, the salutation was probably “Dear Taxpayer.” Did you just gloss over that word “taxpayer”? According to the IRS’s own code, that term means anyone “subject to any internal revenue tax” (26 USC 7701-14). Thus, to be subject to the code means being subject to those administering, enforcing, adjudicating, it. The phrase “subject to,” according to a law dictionary, means “subordinate, subservient, inferior, obedient to.” The IRS refers to you as a “taxpayer,” or someone subservient, inferior, and obedient--to them. So Mr. Stevens’ question is utterly pertinent and reasonable. How does one become subservient, inferior, and obedient to the IRS? What evidence proves you have that status? I once had an opportunity to question a tax authority about that word “taxpayer.” If I am a taxpayer simply because you refer to me as such, I asked, could you not refer to me as “your majesty” and make me a king? He declined to answer, and seemed to resent my asking.

A common response to Marc’s question is, “The law applies to you because you are in our jurisdiction.” In simpler terms: You must obey us because we say so. If the matter has progressed to the point of litigation, you will find yourself designated “defendant” or “respondent,” while the tax authorities will refer to themselves as the “plaintiff.” Very confusing. Why? Because if you are subject to the state of XX because you live in that state, then you are living within the plaintiff, which has an absurd and/or unpleasant connotation. But if the plaintiff is simply a geographic area, how can it make any demands? Can you be subordinate to an area of earth, vegetation, etc.? Why isn’t the plaintiff, if a geographic area, not in court? But if the plaintiff is actually a group of people, why aren’t they identified? How can you confront your accusers if they are anonymous? How can you be living in them?

There is, in the final analysis, one all-important fact. The Rulers want your money. If they want it badly enough, they will get it. They own the courts, the weapons, and the soldiers/police. By all means, ask for any evidence that you have become, somehow, subject to them. They may judge you not worth any more of their time and trouble, and put you on a back burner, to simmer more or less forever. But if they seem determined to put their hand in your pocket, give them what they want. Remember: you are dealing with a den of thieves, a gang of robbers. Reason, justice, and morality carry little weight with them!

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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


Alex R. Knight III's picture

Very nicely done, Paul.  Worthy of sharing widely.  :-)

emartin's picture

Every time a member of the "den of thieves, a gang of robbers" murders, cheats or steals from me or a member of my family they are damaging my genes. I'm pretty much convinced that their genes are fair game. It seems that it's the only thing that will wake up their worthless asses.

James Clayton's picture

An excerpt from ‘Language and Genetic Self-Interest’:
“those who advocate for free market capitalism do so because free market capitalism serves their genetic interests. They intuitively know that they will outperform most others in this system. They will then justify this intuition of genetic self-interest using language, decrying wealth transfers as ‘violations of the NAP’ or violations of religions tenets against theft, etc. Those who intuit that they will not be as competitive in a free market capitalist system will create arguments which defend wealth transfers or outright theft.”

Mark Davis's picture

I wonder if one could get away with identifying as a non-taxpayer? If a man can legally identify himself as a woman based on his own cognition, then anyone should be able to use the same legal grounds to identify as a non-taxpayer.

Alex R. Knight III's picture

I realize your question is rhetorical, Mark, but for the benefit of the uninitiated (if there are any such here), one means precisely zero to the political class, the other is part of their vampire lifeblood.

Jim Davies's picture

An accurate summary of the sad situation. "The problem with making legal arguments is that the parties making the laws also administer, enforce, and adjudicate them..." nails it.
Marc Stevens does excellent work. Has he taken his innocent and penetrating questions into court opposing the Infernal Robbery Syndicate?

James Clayton's picture

“The Rulers” (a term they would appreciate) will certainly try to take money from you, but it’s not really “your” money.
As you know, state-sanctioned monetary and taxation systems are both designed to rob you.

Samarami's picture

Robbing the conquered is the prime axiom in the science of rulership. That is much more easily accomplished when the masses -- especially the ever-growing "libertarian" masses -- use language of serfdom. "The-Rulers" falls into that category. "Our Betters", or "our leaders" (even in jest) much more so. "Our Representatives" written by "libertarians" causes me nausea.

"Taxpayer" is the first requiem in the composition of state. The masses must be propagandized to think of themselves as "taxpayers". By the psychopaths who hide under the obfuscation called "government", that is an absolutely essential ingredient.

I was once labeled by those lunatics as "Illegal Tax Protestor". Due to classical "legal" folderol, they've changed that designation to "tax resistor".

So, Mark -- call yourself what you like. I, for instance, am a "non-robber", a "non-murderer", etc etc. You could also call me a "state denier" if you like. It won't change what I am -- a free, sovereign state.

And, for Mr. Davies' sake, it won't change the fact that my door could be broken down by crazy, dangerously armed bastards in state costumes at any moment. And, of course, that could also be done by private entrepreneurs engaging in the business of robbery.

"Jurisdiction", for the practicing anarchist, exists only with force of arms. There is no other authority in existence, other than that of the loving parent for her child. Sam

Mark Davis's picture

Hi Sam, Alex was correct in the rhetorical nature of my comment. A kind assessment of my poor attempt at IRS humor. I pay the robber pointing a gun at me whether they claim officialdom or not, to save my life. Although using their own word games against them can be a source of amusement at times, I have no illusions as to the nature of the "psychopaths... in 'government'" you refer to so eloquently.

James Clayton's picture

It’s absolutely vital that you understand that the primary means terrocrats use to subjugate, control, and dominate their victims is words. Actually, there are three kinds of "things" terrocrats use to control their victims. The first is violence. The second is money. And the third is words.
- from ‘The Anatomy of Slavespeak’ by Frederick Mann
The map is not the territory.
- Alfred Korzybski
Using slavespeak and the language of serfdom may indeed lead to a situation where a person tends to think, feel, speak and act like something that could be called a slave or serf, but (to split a few hairs) it does not necessarily mean that a person “is” a slave or serf.
Avoiding slavespeak and the language of serfdom (and not accepting the label of slave, serf, taxpayer, etc. or identifying oneself as such) would certainly seem to be a good strategy to avoid thinking and behaving like a slave, serf, taxpayer, etc., but (unfortunately) it won’t necessarily prevent some other people from referring to you as a taxpayer and attempting to treat you like a slave, serf, etc.
The words we use might influence the way we think and act, but words (names, titles, labels, designations, etc.) do not – and cannot – show what “I am”; and actions probably speak louder than words.
Perhaps an opportunity exists to clarify thinking and to decrease the possibility of some misunderstanding or conflict in some situations by reducing the use of “am/are/is” statements and by expressing what one thinks, feels, says and does; by showing or declaring one’s actions instead of stating what one “is”.

Samarami's picture

One more comment to Mr. Paul Hein (before my time runs out on the government ["public" ha ha] library compooter):

This is one of your better articles, Paul. It shows that you are not frustrated over the fact that those lunatics who hide under the mantle of that brainless abstraction called "state" are stupid at best, asinine on down the scale; yet powerless to extract much in the absence of "voluntary compliance".

I don't think Marc Stevens has ever claimed much in the way of "success" at quelling the robbery that is "Internal Revenue Service". He has helped execute their tendency to be "...hoist by their own petard..." a few times. But being associated with that outfit means one need never be embarrassed by being exposed to her own stupidity. Their stock in trade is in the eternal hope by the ignorant masses that someday, some way, government -- the state, "Our Great Nation", "our Beloved Country" -- will make sense.

The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam

Jim Davies's picture

Welcome back, Sam!  Where have you been?