Vaccination Day

I do not believe in the income tax, because I believe taxing income is a direct violation of the principle of self-ownership that lies at the heart of property rights, which in turn is the cornerstone of modern practical liberty.

I would never advocate the continuation of the income tax, nor would I ever make excuses for any government that sought to raise income tax rates. Furthermore, in any normal context in which the topic is directly raised as a political question in my presence, I announce my objection openly, as I am doing right here: I believe the income tax represents so essential a rejection of the concept that a man’s life belongs to himself that this form of taxation is utterly incompatible with a limited republic based on the rule of law and born of the principle of self-government. In short, I believe a society which institutes a system of taxing private income has already crossed the line separating political freedom from political unfreedom.

But I have paid my income taxes on time every year of my working life. I do so only by force of law, and therefore without my true and full consent. But I do so nonetheless. For although my alternative — imprisonment accompanied by an even more violently coercive confiscation of my property — would certainly make a statement about my disapproval of the income tax law, it would accomplish nothing that I can see as truly beneficial to me in the long run, since my public reputation has no genuine spiritual value to me, while it would cause considerable unnecessary hardship and pain to the people closest to me, whose well-being does have spiritual value to me.

Today is my scheduled Covid-19 vaccination day. I have several serious reservations about this mandatory or all-but-mandatory global vaccination rollout, many of which I have stated publicly numerous times, in various contexts.

To restate a few of those reservations here:

I believe the severity and public danger of this pandemic have been exaggerated by means of numerical gamesmanship, selective information designed to exploit public ignorance of context and history, and propagandistic media efforts aimed at marginalizing or discrediting all dissenting opinion or legitimate political and scientific disagreement.

I believe the harm caused by long-term lockdowns and social distancing regulations has been far more extreme and essentially damaging to the fabric of civil society than this coronavirus has ever threatened to be — not least because, to my understanding, these measures themselves have substantially prolonged and deepened the pandemic, while achieving no measurable success on their own terms, based as they were on the progressive moral absurdity that the proper goal in dealing with a virus outbreak should or could be the complete eradication of the virus and the avoidance of all deaths. (No one ever thought these to be reasonable goals with regard to the seasonal flu, which kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world each and every normal year.)

I believe the vaccines themselves were rushed through production and onto the world market without sufficient testing or observation time to determine their long-term effects (or effectiveness). While the precipitous haste to achieve universal vaccination on such terms might seem more reasonable were this pandemic killing large numbers of healthy people of all ages, and thus threatening to cause a major breakdown of social life at all levels, along the lines of bubonic plague, it seems downright irresponsible to be imposing universal vaccination on entire populations in this case, when we all know very well that this virus brings an extremely small risk of serious illness for most age groups, and is seriously risky mainly to seniors, i.e., people already generally weakened by age and long-term health problems. Hence, strongly urging the elderly to try these under-tested and imperfect vaccines might seem reasonable; imposing them, through direct mandates or social exclusion, on the healthy younger generations who might reasonably prefer to take their chances with the virus than to risk the unknowns of a powerful new vaccine that cannot even promise the full result people hope for from vaccines, is morally outrageous, at least on the moral terms of a free society that purports to value individual self-determination and to respect the natural impetus to self-preservation.

I could go on, but it’s time to head out to pay my income taxes, as it were. More on this later, if I live to tell.

You may also like...