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Published:May 5th, 2013 14:49 EST
Essay Contest - Explaining to People That Taxation Is Theft

Essay Contest - Explaining to People That Taxation Is Theft

By SOP newswire

Carl Watner addresses the free people of the world:

If you are interested in educating others about Voluntaryism, if you are interested in delegitimizing the State, if you are interested in helping people understand why they must withdraw their cooperation and consent from the State, this is the contest for you!

Those of you who have followed my writings in THE VOLUNTARYIST know that taxation is an anathema to me. Why it should be so is perhaps mostly a matter of logic. As Lysander Spooner pointed out, government is dependent on money and men. With money, it can hire soldiers and police; with soldiers and police it can enforce its edicts and collect more money to support itself. Murray Rothbard in his classic definition of the State refers both to its coercive monopolization of a certain geographic area and its forcible collection of revenues, known as taxation. Without the ability to collect taxes we would begin to see the demise of the State.

As much as I have written in opposition to taxation, I still feel much like the voice crying in the wilderness. For whatever reason, few have joined in my crusade to persuade people that the stealing commandment applies to both individuals and governments and the people working on their behalf.

It was recently pointed out to me by our webmaster, Dave Scotese, that practically all people agree that stealing is wrong, but that most of them do not see taxation as theft. This was a new way of addressing the problem. Dave suggested I adjust my focus by finding the best methods and/or best arguments for convincing non-voluntaryists that taxation is stealing.

That is the crux of our contest:  


Here are the rules.

  1. Contest closes December 31, 2013.
  2. All entrants give The Voluntaryist permission to post their entries on the worldwide web and to publish in The Voluntaryist newsletter and in any book edited by Carl Watner. Authors` names will be used unless a request for anonymity is made.
  3. Please submit all entries via email to . If your entry is sent as an attachment, please send as an rtf (rich text format) file. Entries may be of any length. You may submit as many entries as you wish.
  4. All suitable entries will be considered for the Grand Prize Award, though there is no guarantee that a Grand Prize Winner will be selected. Entries will be screened and be deemed acceptable by a panel selected by Carl Watner. Acceptable entries will be eligible for the Grand Prize. All acceptable entries will receive a complimentary 4 issue subscription to The Voluntaryist newsletter. Entrants please include your snail mail address if you wish to take advantage of this offer.
  5. If chosen, a Grand Prize Winner will be announced during the month of January 2014. Carl Watner will make the final selection, although he may consult with members of his panel. The Grand Prize Winner will receive five ounces of silver, .999, fine and 1 bitcoin.
  6. Those supporting this contest are encouraged to "sweeten the pot" for the Grand Prize Winner. Additional prizes may be monetary awards, books, or any other object(s) of value to voluntaryists. If additional prize offers are forthcoming they will be announced on a monthly basis.
  7. Please sign up for additional notifications regarding this contest by emailing with "contest notification" in the subject line.
  8. For answer to any questions regarding this contest, please contact Carl Watner, Box 275, Gramling SC 29348 or email editor(at)voluntaryist(dot)com.


The Voluntaryist, which began publication in late 1982, is one of the longest-lived libertarian publications in the world. Edited and published by Carl Watner since 1986, the most significant articles from the first 100 issues were anthologized in book-length form and published as I MUST SPEAK OUT: The Best of THE VOLUNTARYIST 1982-1999 (Carl Watner, ed., San Francisco: Fox & Wilkes, 1999).  The book can be found at

Statement of Purpose: Voluntaryists are advocates of non-political, non-violent strategies to achieve a free society. We reject electoral politics, in theory and in practice, as incompatible with libertarian principles. Governments must cloak their actions in an aura of moral legitimacy in order to sustain their power, and political methods invariably strengthen that legitimacy. Voluntaryists seek instead to delegitimize the State through education, and we advocate withdrawal of the cooperation and tacit consent on which State power ultimately depends.

Visit to learn more.