If you don\’t pay your taxes, men with guns will go all Charles Bronson on your oppressed ass! O, cruel fate, why must you mock etc. and so on and so forth.
I mean, even the crankiest right-wingers accept that there are just some things that the state is better at providing. If I recall correctly, even Hayek – being a man of reason as opposed to a meths-drinking, compulsive public masturbator – thought some state activity, such as basic medical care, was at least acceptable.
Once you admit that the state should provide some services, you accept that it must levy a mandatory tax on those capable of paying for it. If that\’s the case, then the idea that taxation backed by coersion represents some frightful, totalitarian affont to liberty is worse than a bad argument.
Ah, but, you see, that isn\’t the argument at all. Here it actually is, in all its glory.
Taxation is indeed backed, in the end, by the agents of the State getting all Charles Bronson on your ass. Taxation is also entirely necessary for some tasks. Those things which must be done, can only be done by the State and perhaps, if we\’re to extend ourselves a little bit, are best done by the State.
But what this little thought experiment about Bronsonian violence is all about is that we need to consider what must be done, can only be done by the State and possibly what can be better done by the State in the light of that Bronsonian violence.
Would we, in isolation, say that this particular task, this action over here, justifies Chuck capping you? If you refuse to hand over the dosh that is?
National defence from the Gallic Hordes just ready to infuse our stout Yeoman food with garlic? Yup, pull the trigger Chucky!
Outreach diversity advisors not so much.
We are trying to define a limit to what the State can righteously use violence against us to fund, not claiming that all such violence to fund all such things is unjust.