Monthly Archives: December 2011
“Co-operation”, “collaboration” and “collusion”; they are similar expressions meaning slightly different but overlapping things.
Buyers may co-operate — they may assist each other to get the best price perhaps, or the best service; co-operation is seen as good, wholesome, beneficial. We co-operate with each other to our mutual advantage.
And sometimes people collaborate — they may co-operatively and collaboratively work together to gain a benefit for themselves, their customers their friends or family. To collaborate is to gain a benefit for oneself, each-other, one’s customers, members.
And then we may sometimes collude. That is to say, we may choose to co-operate and collaborate with friends or partners in a project, and we may choose to exclude someone we don’t like or trust. We may exclude someone from this venture, not coercively, not with any threat, but just because we choose to. We want to do without this party, and we exercise our freedom to collude to this end.
But while co-operation and collaboration are seen as OK, collusion is seen as not OK.
If force, fraud and coercion are absent, what is the problem? And how do you define “collusion” (which is supposed to be nasty, hence the scare-quotes) and co-operation and collaboration (which are supposed to be nice)? Read the rest of this entry
This is chapter 18 of the first series of Frederic Bastiat’s Economic Sophisms, trans. Arthur Goddard (New York: Foundation for Economic Education, 1996), pp. 96-98.
We cannot but be astonished at the ease with which men resign themselves to ignorance about what it is most important for them to know; and we may be certain that they are determined to remain invincibly ignorant if they once come to consider it as axiomatic that there are no absolute principles. Read the rest of this entry
Summary: “Taxes are never, at no level of taxation, consistent with individual freedom and property rights. Taxes are theft. The thieves — the state and its agents and allies — try their very best to conceal this fact, of course, but there is simply no way around it. Obviously, taxes are not normal, voluntary payments for goods and services, because you are not allowed to stop such payments if you are not satisfied with the product.”
Prof Hans-Hermann Hoppe is Property and Freedom Society founder and president, Ludwig von Mises Institute legend and author of such works as Democracy — The God That Failed.
Introduction by Hoppe
A few months ago, a French journalist, Mr. Nicolas Cori, approached me with the request for an interview on the subject of taxation, to be published in the French monthly Philosophie Magazine, in the context of current “tax reform” debates in France.
I agreed to the interview, it was conducted by email in English, Mr. Cori produced a French translation, my friend Dr. Nikolay Gertchev checked and corrected his translation, and I then sent the authorized translation to Mr. Cori. Since then, more than a month ago, and despite repeated promptings, I have not heard from Mr. Cori. I can only speculate as for the reasons of his silence. Most likely, he did not get permission from his superiors to publish the interview, and he does not possess the courtesy and courage to tell me.
In any case, here is the original interview. The authorized French version is available on the translations-page of my website (www.hanshoppe.com).
NC: Are taxes consistent with individual freedom and property rights? Is there a level of taxation where it is no more consistent?
Hoppe: Read the rest of this entry