Archive for the ‘Slavery’ Category
Filed under: Inflation, Price Controls, Roman Empire, Slavery, Socialism |
This is a very interesting article I’ve picked up from vizigot at the liberalism.ro forum
Taxation, inflation, price controls, then pure and unabashed slavery is what led to the near dissolution of a social system. But interestingly (not paradoxically), the end of the state was a great relief for the strangled populace.
In the end, there was no money left to pay the army, build forts or ships, or protect the frontier. The barbarian invasions, which were the final blow to the Roman state in the fifth century, were simply the culmination of three centuries of deterioration in the fiscal capacity of the state to defend itself. Indeed, many Romans welcomed the barbarians as saviors from the onerous tax burden.
Although the fall of Rome appears as a cataclysmic event in history, for the bulk of Roman citizens it had little impact on their way of life. As Henri Pirenne (1939: 33-62) has pointed out, once the invaders effectively had displaced the Roman government they settled into governing themselves. At this point, they no longer had any incentive to pillage, but rather sought to provide peace and stability in the areas they controlled. After all, the wealthier their subjects the greater their taxpaying capacity.
In conclusion, the fall of Rome was fundamentally due to economic deterioration resulting from excessive taxation, inflation, and over-regulation. Higher and higher taxes failed to raise additional revenues because wealthier taxpayers could evade such taxes while the middle class–and its taxpaying capacity–were exterminated. Although the final demise of the Roman Empire in the West (its Eastern half continued on as the Byzantine Empire) was an event of great historical importance, for most Romans it was a relief.
Feel free to check it out.
Filed under: Government, Hobbes, Locke, modern fictions, Politics, Slavery, Social Contract, Socialism |
From: (A T Furman)
Subject: Re: Social contract?
Date: 14 May 92 08:53:22 GMT
We’ve all heard of the “Social Contract” — the unwritten agreement between individuals and “society” (i.e. the government.) The following is an attempt to write down, once and for all, just what the contract is that we’ve all supposedly agreed to.
Between an individual and the United States Government
WHEREAS I wish to reside on the North American continent, and WHEREAS the United States Government controls the area of the continent on which I wish to reside, and WHEREAS tacit or implied contracts are vague and therefore unenforceable,
I agree to the following terms:
SECTION 1: I will surrender a percentage of my property to the Government. The actual percentage will be determined by the Government and will be subject to change at any time. The amount to be surrendered may be based on my income, the value of my property, the value of my purchases or any other criteria the Government chooses. To aid the Government in determining the percentage, I will apply for a Government identification number that I will use in all my major financial transactions.
SECTION 2: Should the Government demand it, I will surrender my liberty for a period of time determined by the government and typically no shorter than two years. During that time, I will serve the Government in any way it chooses, including military service in which I may be called upon to sacrifice my life.
SECTION 3: I will limit my behavior as demanded by the government. I will consume only those drugs permitted by the Government. I will limit my sexual activities to those permitted by the Government. I will forsake religious beliefs that conflict with the Government’s determination of propriety. More limits may be imposed at any time.
SECTION 4: In consideration for the above, the Government will permit me to find employment, subject to limits that will be determined by the Government. These limits may restrict my choice of career or the wages I may accept.
SECTION 5: The Government will permit me to reside in the area of North America which it controls. Also, the Government will permit me to speak freely, subject to limits determined by the Government’s Congress and Supreme Court.
SECTION 6: The Government will attempt to protect my life and my claim to the property it has allowed me to keep. I agree not to hold the Government liable if it fails to protect me or my property.
SECTION 7: The Government will offer various services to me. The nature and extent of these services will be determined by the Government and are subject to change at any time.
SECTION 8: The Government will determine whether I may vote for certain Government officials. The influence of my vote will vary inversely with the number of voters, and I understand that it typically will be minuscule. I agree not to hold any elected Government officials liable for acting against my best interests or for breaking promises, even if those promises motivated me to vote for them.
SECTION 9: I agree that the Government may hold me fully liable if I fail to abide by the above terms. In that event, the Government may confiscate any property that I have not previously surrendered to it, and may imprison me for a period of time to be determined by the Government. I also agree that the Government may alter the terms of this contract at any time.
Copyright 1989 by Robert E. Alexander.
May be distributed freely.
(taken from here, also posted here )