The following is excerpted from Chapter 3 of Anything that’s Peaceful, by Leonard E. Read
It is easy to demonstrate that all state socialism, of which TVA is but an instance, is founded on violence. Take the government’s program of paying farmers not to grow tobacco, for example. Let us say that your share of the burden of this socialistic hocus-pocus is $50. Should you absolutely refuse to pay it, assuming you had $50 in assets, you would be killed-legally, of course-here in the U.S.A. in the year of Our Lord, 1964! If that isn’t resting the subsidy program on violence, then, pray tell, what is violence?
Here’s how to get yourself killed: When you get your bill from the Internal Revenue Service, remit the amount minus $50 with these words of explanation:
“I do not believe that citizens should be compelled to pay farmers for not growing tobacco. I do not believe in the farm subsidy program. My share of the cost of the whole program is $50, which I have deducted. Do not try to collect for I ABSOLUTELY refuse to pay for same.”
The IRS will quickly inform you that this is a matter in which freedom of choice does not exist and will demand that you remit the $50’
You respond by merely referring the IRS to your original letter, calling attention to your use of the word “absolutely.”
When the IRS becomes convinced that you mean business, your case will be referred to another branch of the government, the judicial apparatus. It being the function of the judiciary only to interpret the law, the law making it plain that a government claim has first lien on one’s assets, a decision will be rendered against you and in favor of the IRS. If you have no assets but your home, the Court will order it put on the auction block and will instruct you to vacate.
At this point you will apprise the Court of your letter to the IRS and your use of the word “absolutely.”
When the Court becomes convinced that you mean business, your case will be referred to still another branch of the government, the constabulary. In due course, a couple of officers carrying arms will attempt to carry out the Court’s instructions. They will confront you in person.
But to accede to their “invitation” to vacate would be to pay. With your “absolutely” in mind, you refuse. At this point the officers in their attempt to carry out the Court’s orders will try to carry you off your property, as peaceably as possible, of course. But to let them carry you off would be to acquiesce and to pay. You might as well have acquiesced in the first place. At this stage of the proceedings, in order not to pay, you have no recourse but to resist physical force with physical force. It is reasonable to assume that from this point on you will be mentioned only in the past tense or as “the late Mr. You.” The records will show that your demise was “for resisting an officer,” but the real reason was that you absolutely refused to pay farmers for not growing tobacco or whatever.
Rarely will any citizen go this far. Most of us, regardless of our beliefs, acquiesce immediately on receipt of the bill from the IRS. But the reason we do so is our recognition of the fact that this is an area in which freedom of choice no longer exists. I, for instance, would never give a cent of my income to farmers not to grow tobacco were I allowed freedom of choice in the matter. But, realizing that the farm subsidy program rests on violence, it takes no more than the threat of violence to make me turn part of my income over to farmers for not growing tobacco.