Reply To: Public works, art, and classical liberal Austrian economists


Although I agree that taxation is theft and I appreciate the relevant quote from Bastiat, I’m not so certain we can apply those principles universally. Do you believe it is practical for us to live in a society with 0% taxes?
It is in my mind possible that some public works such as aqueducts or city walls may not have been constructed if not for some measure of forced cooperation. In many ways my skepticism might be applied more universally. If people did not unite under a single banner and lived entirely alone with small families are we certain they would be willing to invest their resources in large scale project, or if they would unite to resist an external threat? How well would they fare against a trained standing army? If the USA today had zero taxes, zero standing military, etc… Wouldn’t it just be conquered by a more powerful united superpower? I have to wonder to what extent we are willing to recognize the practicality of our ideology.
If I could change the government I would certainly downsize, reduce spending, and thereby reduce taxes.
Essentially, I find myself guilty of considering some parts of the state “a necessary evil” (that doesn’t necessarily have to be evil).
I absolutely hate to call libertarianism a utopian philosophy, but perhaps some of the ideals are a bit too idealistic for our generation. It just seems that what we should be able to do and what we have to do are completely disparate.