“The claim that I am not allowed to drive this car due to metaphysical constraints is a claim that belongs to the category of claims that I will punish according to a legal code that is written beneath the char[5] ‘theft’ “

Incidentally, initializing a fixed-buffer non-w charstring is treason.

(Also there is a real difference between “I am taking this from you because somebody else needs it” and “I am taking this from you, as you have agreed to, so don’t welsh on that agreement.” In tumblr parlance, one of these is gaslighting.)

Ohhh so "taxation”, a thing defined by the legal code, is “theft”, another thing defined by the legal code in a manner entirely disjoint from taxation.


I mean, in the end, it is all implemented in squishy human behavior and becomes something like “I expect that car to be where I put it, and I pre-commit to some degree of violence if my expectations are not met,” with the state monopoly on violence standing in for your pre-commitment.

What I guess you’re taking issue with is that “property,” “theft” and “taxation” are all legal terms, so the people who define taxation and property also get to define whether taxation is or is not theft which, yes.

One of the reasons “Taxation is theft” still rings true to many is that “property” and “theft” are, for lack of proper jargon, moral primitives – that is, they’re understood without involving any legal code – some non-human animals have understanding of both of those concepts, while “taxation” is not a moral primitive – and if you try to understand it in primitives, “theft” is the closest one.

(Personally: I intuit that property is theft, I intuit that taxation is theft and I am fine with both kinds of theft when done for consequentialist reasons)

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