Monday, September 08, 2008

On Taxes: Why the Republicans Are Wrong

No, this will not call for a tax increase. It's a bit more fundamental than that.

...Why does Conservatism seek to lessen the tax burden imposed by the modern state? One can understand why this is so in considering the basic principles of Conservatism.

These principles are subsidiarity and localism. This is to say that for Conservatism, prepolitical or natural communities, such as families, villages, and churches, should bear the primary responsibility for the care of society. These prepolitical institutions are understood by Conservatives to be the basic social matrix of our lives.

Perennial taxation should be greatly lessened, in the Conservative view, as a practical means of strengthening the cohesion of these prepolitical communities. The perennial taxation favored by the modern state ends up taking away the political and economic freedom and power of these natural communities.

As a reminder, until 1916, "perennial taxation" (more accurately, 'perennial INCOME-taxation') was simply not done nationally in the USA.

Why the Left's concept of taxation is a problem:

Most modern political thought on the left views taxation as a good because it is thought that by means of it a levelling of natural communities is achieved that brings society under the control of a bureaucratic class well-trained in the art of calculative reason.

This is considered good because calculative reason is thought to be able to control the contingent forces of nature and human freedom. The presumed end result is to establish a peaceful social ordering in which a dominant middle class, kept safe by calculative reason, can live out its life in tranquil harmony.

(That 'calculative reason' also happens to be one of the supports for legitimizing birth-control, abortion, and other aberrancies, by the way.)

What was the result of the Left's thought?

...the twentieth century unmasked this goal as a delusion and a terrible denigration of human freedom. It was seen that natural social life is irreplaceable. Bodies by the tens-of-millions piled up throughout the world as the Socialist desire to level prepolitical communities had its bloody requital.

Both Hitler (a National Socialist) and Stalin (an International Socialist) were inspired by this dream of modern political sovereignty: where human social existence is lived out entirely on the level of the fabricated political order.

And, to a lesser extent, so was FDR.

But that experience didn't deter the modern Right from buying in.

Perennial taxation, as the Distributists (who were Conservatives in the counter-revolutionary tradition) realized, is a modern invention of the money power and the primary means by which wealth is coercively redistributed and the fabricated political order consolidated.


Of course, no modern political party thinks outside of the modern box on the issue of taxation. In our own country, Republicans are not through-and-through Conservatives.

If we were to reestablish the role and importance of prepolitical societies, it would require not only abandoning the Socialist delusion but the Lockean and Smithean economic materialism and atomism that the modern Republican Party in the United States embraces

If you don't quite see the logic, go back to 3 grafs above: "...a modern invention of the money power..."

The question is not "Who gets taxed?" It is, rather, "Who does the taxing, and for what purpose?"

HT: CosmosLiturgySex


Anonymous said...

Very thought provoking -

Do you feel, as I do, that the tipping point in this debate, that point at which those who have been misled to believe they "receive" from government are greater in number than those who believe that on balance they "contribute funds" to government to be redistributed, has been reached? (Boy, do I hate that sentence)

If that is so, the problem as I see it is that any politician willing to rethink the basic premise you so eloquently put forth would have virtually no chance at election.

I have recently discovered your blog and find your willingness to step off the narrow path of political talking points more refreshing than you can know.

It also probably indicates that you have no future it talk radio.

Dad29 said...

The eloquence belongs to the guy who wrote the original blog. I cut and paste eloquence. It's easier than actually thinking before writing...but thanks!

I think it is possible that McCain and Palin could conduct a three-to-five-year crusade on deficit spending and actually win that war; I do NOT think that the "takers" feel good about ill-gotten gains.

It remains to be seen whether they have the savvy and ....ahhh...guts.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and it would be nice if people realized that a tax cut without a balanced budget is NOT a tax cut, it is a tax defered for our children to pay instead of us.