The Criminal State by Gerard N. Casey… (” If it weren’t for the state’s enforcing contracts, protecting property rights, keeping the peace, printing currency, preventing monopolies, and so on, you or anyone else wouldn’t be able to go about your daily business. So, the argument goes…”)
States are criminal organizations. All states, not just the obviously totalitarian or repressive ones. The only possible exceptions to this sweeping claim are those mini-states that are, in effect, swollen bits of private property, such as the Vatican.
I intend this statement to be understood literally and not as some form of rhetorical exaggeration. The argument is simple. Theft, robbery, kidnapping and murder are all crimes.
Those who engage in such activities, whether on their own behalf or on behalf of others are, by definition, criminals. In taxing the people of a country, the state engages in an activity that is morally equivalent to theft or robbery; in putting some people in prison, especially those who are convicted of so-called ‘victimless crimes’ or when it drafts people into the armed services, the state is guilty of kidnapping or false imprisonment; in engaging in wars that are other than purely defensive or, even if defensive, when the means of defence employed are disproportionate and indiscriminate, the state is guilty of manslaughter or murder.
For many people, perhaps most, these contentions will seem both shocking and absurd. Some will immediately object that taxation is clearly not theft. They may say, as Craig Duncan does  , that since you don’t have legal title to all your pre-tax income the state commits no crime in appropriating that part of your income to which it is entitled. The problem with this objection is that it completely begs the question – is the state entitled to part of your income?
The libertarian contention that taxation is the moral equivalent of theft can be true, Duncan believes, only if people have a moral right ‘to keep and control all their earnings’  but this claim, he thinks, is beset with fatal problems. To illustrate this point, he rehearses the tragedy of Annie, the antiques dealer, who has to hand over 20 per cent of her earnings to the owner of the premises she rents to conduct her business.
If Annie were to claim that she had a right to all her earnings and shouldn’t be obliged to fork over the 20 per cent, the building owner will respond that without his premises, she wouldn’t have been able to make any sales in the first place.
‘Something similar,’ says Duncan, ‘is true of government taxes.’  If it weren’t for the state’s enforcing contracts, protecting property rights, keeping the peace, printing currency, preventing monopolies, and so on, you or anyone else wouldn’t be able to go about your daily business. So, the argument goes, by analogy the state has a moral entitlement to a portion of your earnings, presumably to at least an amount sufficient to cover the costs of these services.
This analogy is so weak it not only limps, as most analogies do, but it positively staggers around on one leg. First of all, Annie presumably has made an agreement with her landlord and did so freely. If she doesn’t want to hand over 20 per cent of her earnings to him, she can try to renegotiate the contract or take her business elsewhere. In stark contrast, the average citizen has made no agreement with the state. The state unilaterally determines the amount that citizens must ‘pay’. Citizens are not at liberty to take their ‘business’ elsewhere since the state forcibly excludes competitors who might be willing to supply more cheaply the services provided by the state. Duncan’s analogy, if it has any force at all, has it only if it runs in the opposite direction. On the libertarian way of thinking about it, taking commercial relations as the norm, Annie Citizen is forced to do her business in premises of her landlord’s (the state’s) choosing, paying whatever rent he (the state) determines he deserves, and her landlord (the state) can legitimately use violence to prevent someone else offering her a better deal.
Some will reject the charge of false imprisonment or kidnapping that I lay against the state. People are put in gaol, they will say, only if they are convicted of committing a crime; the fact that they’re in gaol means they’re criminals. The state is not only not doing anything wrong in putting them there, it’s doing something positively good by protecting us from these miscreants. This objection, of course, draws our attention firmly to the question of which courses of conduct actually constitute crime. While most people will agree that murder, robbery, kidnapping and assault are crimes, involving, as they do, gross interference with the lives, liberties and properties of others, it’s not entirely clear just what awful deed is being done by Tom, Dick and Harriet when, for example, they smoke pot in the privacy of their rooms and why it should require violent intervention by the state to prevent it.
Through taxation, the state aggresses against the property of the individual, and through the variety of compulsory monopolies it enjoys, the state aggresses against the free…………..