Guest post by R. S. Jaggard. Originally published in The Voluntaryist, June 1988.
My Peace is more than just the absence of war. My Peace is that positive attitude in which I recognize that you are an individual person. I respect you, I respect your right to live in Peace, and, I want to work to help you to have a happy and productive life, working as best you can to achieve your own peaceful goals.
My Peace includes the recognition that you have the right to make your own peaceful choices, to work and to create in your own peaceful way, and to peacefully deal with others in willing exchange for mutual benefit.
I do not want to force you to support those programs that I think are “noble and good.” If I recommend that you support a specific program, and you do not support that program in the manner that I think you should, you can be reassured that I will not seize your property, and use violence against your person. Instead, I will recognize that I have failed to properly inform you of the advantages for you and the reasons why you should support that program.
Please be aware that this message is very, very different from the usual message of “Peace” that you hear. Many people who call for “Peace” are calling for a condition in which all other persons bow down to them. Many who call for “Peace” have no hesitation in calling for whatever force is necessary to seize your property and/or your service to support programs which they have decided are “noble and good.” Their program might be food for the hungry, decent housing, medical care for the sick, or financial aid for those in economic distress. However, the end is predetermined by the means. If ignoble means are used, the result will also be ignoble.
Please be aware that there are some people who claim that they are calling for Peace, when in actual fact they are calling for more tax support (or tax exemption). A person who absolutely refuses to pay the taxes to support any political tax-paid program will be killed. Government is the agency that insists on a monopoly on the use of force within a specified geographic area. Government insists that you pay your taxes, either in cash, by surrender of property, or by surrender of your person (by going to jail). If you should absolutely refuse to pay the tax, and you refuse to allow seizure of your property, and you refuse to go to jail, you will be shot.
Some government programs actually do some good for some people. Hitler and Statlin and Mao did some good for some people. They also did a lot of harm to a large number of people. Government programs that do help some people can do so only by hurting a lot of other people, by forcibly seizing the property of honest workers so that benefits can be given to politically-selected persons. Elimination of these programs of force and violence (taxation) will allow people to join together in independent voluntary associations to feed the hungry, provide decent housing, care for the sick, and give financial assistance to the truly needy and deserving people. Voluntary associations can provide genuine help in the manner chosen by the worker who contributes, while at the same time eliminating forced seizure of property and the massive waste of “administrative costs” found in government programs.
Peace – Genuine Peace – through Voluntary Cooperation – is the answer. As an individual, I want to work to avoid using the power of government (taxation) to compel you to support me and /or my programs. I want to work to allow you to make your own peaceful choices.