Never Volunteer

Column by Paul Hein. 

Exclusive to STR 

In the spring of 2008, Senator Harry Reid gave an interview on television in which he stated that the income tax was voluntary. His remark caused quite a stir. Google “Harry Reid and voluntary income tax,” and see for yourself. His kindest critics thought him crazy, the less charitable used the word “idiot.” If the Senator was indeed crazy, and an idiot, it was because, uncharacteristically, he had told the truth.
Of course, the IRS itself has frequently referred to our tax system as based upon “voluntary compliance.” So if Reid was crazy, and an idiot, he was in good--or was it bad?--company. But let’s look into it a little further.
The Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” And we know from the Preamble of that document that “We, the people . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution.” So it’s “We the people” who delegate the power.
The Constitution of Missouri is similar: “That all political power is vested in and derived from the people; that all government of right originates from the people, is founded upon their will only, and is instituted solely for the good of the whole.” Your state’s Constitution probably contains similar language. Let’s assume that it means what it says, and is to be taken seriously.
I have not taken any oath of allegiance to either the federal or state Constitutions. However, my public servants--the rulers--have done exactly that. They have sworn, in other words, that whatever political power they have is derived from us, or delegated to them by us. It is crucial that they do this, if they are to maintain any claim to legitimacy.
Without exception, so far as I know, every government declares that it exists to provide for the people; specifically, to guarantee their rights. Our rulers are to protect our rights to life, liberty, and property. Indeed, the Missouri Constitution is specific: “. . . all persons have a natural right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry . . . that to give security to these things is the principal office of government, and when that government does not confer this security, it fails in its chief design.” So here’s the rub: How can a group of people who piously insist that they exist to secure your enjoyment of the gains of your own industry, (and are a failure should they fail to do so!), then claim a greater right to those “gains of your own industry” than your own? In other words, if the Revenue Department demands that you send it thousands of dollars as a tax, it matters not at all if you have a serious and urgent need for the money; their claim supercedes yours. You will have to do without; they come first.
But wait! If their political power is derived from “we, the people,” then we must have that power. You can’t derive power from people who don’t have it. You can’t delegate a power you lack. So we can organize some of our neighbors and demand that all of the people in our community give us money to fund the projects that will be so beneficial to all: vaccinations for cats and dogs, widening of sidewalks, better lighting, prohibition of certain drug use, etc., (and, of course, a suitable compensation to us, personally, for all our hard work). No doubt some would object, but we would organize a system of courts, and some of us would put on black robes and solemnly rule in our favor against the nay-sayers. They’d have to pay! It’s the “law,” because we say so.
Of course, you could look at it the other way. If we do not have the power to force others to finance our schemes, then we could not have delegated that power, nor could it be derived from us--the source of all political power. That means that the government does not have the power it claims to have received from us. Their demands are utterly without force or effect, just as ours would be if we circulated through the countryside demanding money and obedience from strangers.
But we all know that in the real world, the government routinely does things that we cannot do, even while claiming that we are the source of its power. So how can government demand money from us, while disregarding as preposterous the idea that we can demand money from each other? How can there be legitimate government when it violates the very rights that it claims to exist to protect?
Simple, in my opinion: it’s all voluntary! That, I think, is behind the consistent references by the IRS to “voluntary” compliance. They’re not violating the rights they claim to protect! Heavens, no! They’re asking you--quite menacingly, of course--to volunteer.
Yes, I know many people have been fined and/or imprisoned for violations of tax “laws.” How can this be, if the system is voluntary? There are several explanations. The first, and most obvious, is the corruption of the criminal “justice” system. People trying to defend themselves in court have been forbidden to do so, by not being allowed to enter the law in their defense. Judges have virtually ordered jurors to render guilty verdicts by their jury instructions, in which they are told they may not consider the law, only the “facts.” Did he pay, or not?  He didn’t--case closed! Guilty!
Of course, many people volunteer into the system by filling out the forms, and signing them under penalty of perjury. If the government should decide to “get” you, you’ve signed your own warrant. The tax laws are so convoluted and confusing that literally anyone, no matter how scrupulously he completed his 1040 form, could be accused of some violation. And if it could be shown that some of the numbers you provided were incorrect, (and of course it can!) you’re at the mercy of the government’s attorneys.
"An individual may be under no obligation to do a particular thing and his failure to act creates no liability, but if he voluntarily attempts to act and do the particular thing, he comes under an implied obligation in respect to the manner in which he does it.” Guardian T & D Co. v. Fisher, 26 S.Ct. 186.
I’m no Pollyanna. I know that our rulers are corrupt and contemptuous of the law. The proof of their hypocrisy, to my mind, is their insistence that our compliance is voluntary. It is the only way they can hope to justify their routinely doing what they have no power to do, and routinely prohibiting us from doing what we do have the power to do! Thus, I was saddened to see Senator Reid’s remark taken as a sign of stupidity. What is needed is ever increasing numbers of people telling the rulers, “If you can do it, we can do it; if we can’t do it, you can’t do it, either. And we’re not volunteering!”
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Paul Hein's picture
Columns on STR: 150


John T. Kennedy's picture

"And we know from the Preamble of that document that “We, the people . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution.” So it’s “We the people” who delegate the power."

You shouldn't believe everything you read. The first three words of the Constitution are a lie, the document wasn't authored or signed by the people. You know very well you didn't sign it.

It's true that Reid is being more consistent than most of his detractors on this. While they scoff at the idea that taxes are voluntary most of them still say that this government exercises just powers derived from consent. But if that were true Reid would be right because in consenting to government you'd be consenting to those taxes - making them voluntary.

What the scoffing shows is that most people know in their gut that consent is absent, but thinking about that carefully would make them realize their government is not morally legitimate.

Suverans2's picture

“We the People” are not who we think they are.

“The popular leaders, who in all ages have called themselves “the people.” ~ Blackstone's Commentaries 438/Ballentines Dictionary

"...if that were true Reid would be right because in consenting to government you'd be consenting to those taxes - making them voluntary."

So, if you are not "consenting to government", why not formally rebut the presumption that you are, why not secede, i.e. formally withdraw from membership in the group (body politic/political corporation), and quit taking all member-only benefits?

Darkcrusade's picture

“The popular leaders, who in all ages have called themselves “the people.” ~ Blackstone's Commentaries 438/Ballentines Dictionary''

I like the quote,but cannot seem to track it down.


(a former slave)
said the following:

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.
Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact
amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these
will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with
both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom
they suppress." - Frederick Douglass

The whole BEAST SYSTEM is a fraud. Explore from any angle and it comes up slavery.
The Tax system!!! Is the chains. The monetary system is the lock. What is the definition of TAX?

Tax is a burden, a load, meant to hold down the people. And keep them expending massive amounts of energy under the burden.

The monetary system is the Government self granted monopoly to counterfit, ALL DONE ACCORDING TO LAW whereby Stealing productive human energy by inflation, interest, or dilution.( debasement)

If we stop volunteering to enslave ourselves, Stop doing business with the beast. Come out of Babylon!
And KEEP YE SEPERATE! The charade will come crashing down!

·The only power tyrants have is the power relinquished to them by their victims.

·The tyrant is often a weak little man. He has no special qualities that set him apart from anyone else - yet the gullible idolize him.

·The victims bring about their own subjection - they "win their enslavement."

·If without violence the tyrant is simply not obeyed, he becomes "naked and undone and as nothing."

·Once you resolve to serve no more, you are free.

·We are all born free and naturally free.

·Grown-up adults should adopt reason as their guide and never become slaves of anybody.

·People can be enslaved through either force or deception.

·When people lose their freedom through deceipt, it is because they mislead themselves.

·People born into slavery regard it as a natural condition.

·In general, people are shaped more by their environment than by their natural capacities - if they allow it.

·Habit and custom are powerful forces that keep people enslaved.

·There are always some people who cannot be tamed, subjected, or enslaved. Even if freedom were to be entirely extinguished, these people would re-invent it.

·Lovers of freedom tend to be ineffective because they are not known to one another.

·People who lose their freedom also lose their valor (strength of mind, bravery).

·Among free people there is competition to do good for humanity.

·People seem to be most gullible towards those who deliberately set out to fool them. It is as if people have a need to be deceived.

·Tyrants stupefy their victims with "pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes."

·Tyrants parade like "workers of magic."

·Tyrants can only give back part of what they first took from their victims.

·Tyrants attain their positions through: (a) Force; (b) Birth; or (c) Election.

·Tyrants create a power structure, consisting of a multi-layered hierarchy, staffed by a conspiracy of accomplices. Accomplices receive their positions as a favor from the tyrant.

·The worst dregs of society gather around the tyrant - they are people of weak character who trade servility for unearned wealth.

·Accomplices can profit greatly from their positions in the hierarchy.

·If people withdraw their support, the tyrant topples over from his own corrupted weight.

” tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him”

“Shall we say that those who serve him are cowardly and faint-hearted?”

“It is therefore the inhabitants themselves who permit, or, rather, bring about, their own subjection, since by ceasing to submit they would put an end to their servitude. A people enslaves itself, cuts its own throat, when, having a choice between being vassals and being free men, it deserts its liberties and takes on the yoke, gives consent to its own misery, or, rather, apparently welcomes it”

“the more one yields to them, and obeys them, by that much do they become mightier and more formidable, the readier to annihilate and destroy. But if not one thing is yielded to them, if, without any violence they are simply not obeyed, they become naked and undone and as nothing, just as, when the root receives no nourishment, the branch withers and dies.”

“Liberty is the only joy upon which men do not seem to insist; for surely if they really wanted it they would claim it. Apparently they refuse this wonderful privilege because it is so easily acquired.”

“You let yourselves be deprived before your own eyes of the best part of your revenues; your fields are plundered, your homes robbed, your family heirlooms taken away. You live in such a way that you cannot claim a single thing as your own; and it would seem that you consider yourselves lucky to be loaned your property, your families, and your very lives.”

“He who thus domineers over you has only two eyes, only two hands, only one body, no more than is possessed by the least man among the infinite numbers dwelling in your cities; he has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you.”

“Resolve to serve no more, and you are at once freed. I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.”

“we should be intuitively obedient to our parents; later we should adopt reason as our guide and become slaves to nobody”

“we are all naturally free”

“Since freedom is our natural state, we are not only in possession of it but have the urge to defend it.”

” what evil chance has so denatured man that he, the only creature really born to be free, lacks the memory of his original condition and the desire to return to it?”

“Certainly all men, as long as they remain men, before letting themselves become enslaved must either be driven by force or led into it by deception”

“When they lose their liberty through deceit they are not so often betrayed by others as misled by themselves.”

“men born under the yoke and then nourished and reared in slavery are content, without further effort, to live in their native circumstance, unaware of any other state or right, and considering as quite natural the condition into which they were born.”

“we learn to swallow, and not to find bitter, the venom of servitude.”

“It is truly the nature of man to be free and to wish to be so, yet his character is such that he instinctively follows the tendencies that his training gives him.”

“custom becomes the first reason for voluntary servitude.”

“Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised.”

“men of strong zeal and devotion, who in spite of the passing of time have preserved their love of freedom, still remain ineffective because, however numerous they may be, they are not known to one another”

“The essential reason why men take orders willingly is that they are born serfs and are reared as such.”

“liberty once lost, valor [strength of mind, bravery] also perishes.”

“Among free men there is competition as to who will do most, each for the common good, each by himself, all expecting to share in the misfortunes of defeat, or in the benefits of victory;”

“stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes,”

“The fools did not realize that they were merely recovering a portion of their own property, and that their ruler could not have given them what they were receiving without having first taken it from them.”

“It is pitiful to review the list of devices that despots have used to establish their tyranny; to discover how many little tricks they employed, always finding the populace conveniently gullible, readily caught in the net as soon as it was spread.”

“It has always happened that tyrants, in order to strengthen their power, have made every effort to train their people not only in obedience and servility toward themselves, but also in adoration.”

“four or five who maintain the dictator,”

“The six have six hundred who profit under them,”

“The six hundred maintain under them six thousand,”

“not the six thousand but a hundred thousand, and even millions, cling to the tyrant by this cord to which they are tied.”

“through big favors or little ones, that large profits or small are obtained under a tyrant,”

“Whenever a ruler makes himself a dictator, all the wicked dregs who are corrupted by burning ambition or extraordinary avarice, these gather around him and support him in order to have a share in the booty and to constitute themselves petty chiefs under the big tyrant.”

“men accept servility in order to acquire wealth”

“how great is the number of those who, having by shameful means won the ear of tyrants - who either profit from their villainies or take advantage of their naivete - were in the end reduced to nothing by these very tyrants;”

“the majority of the dictators of former days were commonly slain by their closest favorites”

“the tyrant is never truly loved, nor does he love.”

“Let us therefore learn while there is yet time, let us learn to claim our liberty. Let us open our eyes to our natural freedom for the sake of our honor, for the very love of virtue. As for me, I truly believe I am right, since there is nothing so contrary to reason as self-imposed tyranny. I believe the time will come when support will be withdrawn from tyrants and their accomplices. Then let us watch them all fall from their own corrupted weight.”

~ Étienne de La Boétie

Suverans2's picture

G'day Darkcrusade,

Here on page one is where I found the quote. It is on the foundation of this quote, by the way, that causes the author, IMO, to misconstrue the verbiage of Chisolm v Georgia.

Here is an online version of William Blackstone's Commentaries but I have yet to locate the quote, because the search engine for this version of the Commentaries leaves much to be desired. I am in the process of trying to contact LB Bork to ask for his assistance in this matter.

    G'day LB Bork,

    In your treatise Sovereigns without Subjects your quote, on the first page, I have been unable to verify. I have an online version of William Blackstone's Commentaries but the search engine for it isn't the best. If you could tell me which Book and Chapter it can be found in, it would be most helpful.

    Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

Darkcrusade's picture

Greetings Suverans2, We are in agreement concerning the misconscrewing of the author,Bork.IMHO. If that quote can be verified,one could not blame him for being off?

Have you tried these? I've about exhausted my resources so i came back here.

p.s. i always read your postings and like what you have to say,along with a couple of other popular posters,i am learning bunches.

Are you familiar with Verl K. Speer,you seem to be somewhat on the same page.

Suverans2's picture

G'day Darkcrusade,

Thanks to you, I was able to verify it, here. Much appreciated. And, thank you for the kind words.

I will look into the book by Verl K. Speer, however, I must admit, the title alone (Common Law Jurisdiction) leads me to believe that Verl chose the wrong jurisdiction. I believe that Murray N. Rothbard was correct in stating that there are, basically, three jurisdictions; "In fact, the legal principles of any society can be established in three alternate ways: slavish conformity to custom [common law], by arbitrary whim [statute law], or by use of man’s reason [natural law]". He further stated, "...the very existence of a natural law discoverable by reason is a potentially powerful threat to the status quo and a standing reproach to the reign of blindly traditional custom [common law] or the arbitrary will of the State apparatus [statute law]."

William Blackstone, himself, states " a state of nature we are all equal...", which doesn't mean, as some irrational individuals claim, that we are all physically and mentally equal, it means we have equal rights, but only in the natural law jurisdiction. All other jurisdictions requires a "superior" man, or group of men, to be the lawmaker.

Suverans2's picture

G'day again Darkcrusader,

"These laws cannot be written by man; it is mankind's conscience."

It would appear from this that Verl is actually writing about the law of nature, the "natural law of the human world", but renaming it Common Law. If so, I may enjoy it very much. Thanks.

Suverans2's picture

Has anyone else clicked on the Verl K. Speer link? BEWARE: I believe that there may be a virus attached to it.

John T. Kennedy's picture

I do not consent to government. As a sovereign my word is the rebuttal.

What is it precisely you would have me do? And can you clarify what you mean by member-only benefits? Could mean a lot of things.

Suverans2's picture

G'day John,

I hope to answer, here, three different questions you asked of me in two different places.

Elsewhere you asked: "I think even committed statists would do well to evict the state from their marriages. What do you have in mind with individual secession?"

It is one's "marriage" to the State that is the real "root" of the problem. As long as it can be presumed that one remains a consenting member of a man-made government, it has control over what that individual may legally do. Secession is defined in Black's 6th, at page 1351, as, "The act of withdrawing from membership in a group." Pretty succinct. So, like the members of the United States, in their collective capacity, did to King George, the individual manifestly rebuts the so-called "presumption in law", that (s)he is a citizen/subject, by formally "withdrawing from membership in [the] group".

    "I would suggest using the Declaration of Independence as a good place to start....just update the text with modern phrasing [and personalize it] and insert appropriate examples of tyrannical abuses. Whether or not an armed conflict would result, would depend on the players involved." ~ Tuppence

He suggests this because for the agents of the UNITED STATES to even claim that it "legally" exists, they have to "legally recognize" their own so-called Declaration of Independence, which was a manifest notice of secession. You can view my version of it, if you like, by scrolling down the comments here. Keep in mind, as you read it, that notice to the agent is notice to the principal, and notice to the principal is notice to the agent.

On this thread, you asked these two questions: "What is it precisely you would have me do? And can you clarify what you mean by member-only benefits?"

First, the "you" was only figurative, since I don't presume to tell any one what (s)he should do.

You wrote: "I do not consent to government. As a sovereign my word is the rebuttal."

That is far as it goes. However, "actions speak louder than words", as you no doubt know. If you are still acting like a citizen/subject by asking permission from the government in the form of licenses and permits, etcetera, and by soliciting and/or accepting member-only benefits, then what you do speaks so loud they can't hear what you say, as Ralph Waldo Emerson is reputed to have 'said'.

    Que sentit commodum, sentire debet et onus. He who derives a benefit from a thing, ought to feel the disadvantages attending it. 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1433.

Care to guess what one of the main "disadvantages" is? Allegiance! And, allegiance is defined as, "Obligation of fidelity and obedience to government in consideration for protection [the primary benefit] that government gives."

What are "member-only benefits"? These are the benefits and/or privileges, some of which are known as political/civil rights, that PERSONS are eligible for as members of the body politic, the political corporation. Generally, if not always, obtaining any of these will require the use of a membership card (a "legally recognized" ID, such as a Taxpayer Identification Number, a driver's license, STATE identification card, etc.) Just having one of these, by the way, is a benefit/privilege of membership. If you don't believe that, try not using any of them, ever again, and see what it's like to really be "sovereign".

Suverans2's picture

"...all experience hath shown, that men are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by [withdrawing, i.e. seceding from the governments] to which they are accustomed." ~ Adapted from the American declaration of independence