Corey Robin, author, blogger & professor of political science at Brooklyn College, is not a fan of libertarians. At all. However, his exposure to them leans overwhelmingly toward the U.S. mainstream understanding of the term as depicted by the Cato Institute, so in a way I understand.
Recently on Twitter, Corey ended up encountering some people that according to his assumptions & experience shouldn’t exist: left-libertarians. The conversation came to focus on the idea of responsibility for crimes of the State, with Corey arguing (since he believes the Government Is Us myth) that not evading taxes is morally equivalent to endorsing what is done with them, in this case war. That the decision is clearly separated from who gets the bill for it doesn’t even come into play for him. Smelling a contradiction being baked, I jumped in with the following:
So you wouldn’t complain & call it selfish if every anti-war citizen took up tax evasion?
As a standard issue “progressive”, Corey Robin’s attitude towards taxes from what I can tell up to this point is agreement that they’re the price we pay for civilization, rather than being the price for the clash of such as dL would describe it, or a form of institutional fraud (due to the implied promises made of the alleged representative state to citizens) as I’d call it. Yet, here was his reply:
I think it would be great if a movement of citizens refused to pay taxes to support war machine.
Think this through: he starts off from an assumption that what government does is our call, then by implying that anti-war tax resisters would be in the right versus the government basically admits the opposite. Otherwise, what is there to oppose?
Such a stance as what I offered doesn’t just emerge out of nowhere, there is a principle behind it. “If I don’t do this, I’ll be hunted down and shot” is not consent, as it appears even Corey has acknowledged. Question is what that means to the rest of his political philosophy, because that particular chunk doesn’t fit.
If I had to guess, it’ll mean nothing, & he’ll forget having said it. Well, not if I can help it… *reaches for “publish” button*