Archive for February 2010
Not everyone has heard the news of the lone software engineer who, on Thursday morning, crashed a small airplane into the office building containing 190 IRS employees. Oddly, for an event that drastic, news has been scarce. In 90 minutes of listening to talk radio stations while driving yesterday, I did not catch even one reference to the story. So a lot of folks may not have heard about this yet.
Joe Stack III had been in the process of an extended ongoing feud with the IRS for a number of years, when this past week he suddenly snapped, set his house on fire (presumably to reduce the value of any property the IRS was going to seize) and took off in an airplane of unknown ownership from an airport in Texas. He plowed the plane, full throttle, into the IRS building in Austin, TX later that morning. It all happened in an amazingly-swift 30 minutes, from the time the fire broke out at his home to the time he martyred himself by crashing into the office building.
Stack left behind an interesting manifesto. It was inciteful and rings true for a lot of Americans. It is worth reading, so I’m reproducing it down below:
If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, "Why did this have to happen?" The simple truth is that it is complicated and has been coming for a long time. The writing process, started many months ago, was intended to be therapy in the face of the looming realization that there isn’t enough therapy in the world that can fix what is really broken. Needless to say, this rant could fill volumes with example after example if I would let it. I find the process of writing it frustrating, tedious, and probably pointless… especially given my gross inability to gracefully articulate my thoughts in light of the storm raging in my head. Exactly what is therapeutic about that I’m not sure, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
We are all taught as children that without laws there would be no society, only anarchy. Sadly, starting at early ages we in this country have been brainwashed to believe that, in return for our dedication and service, our government stands for justice for all. We are further brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was "no taxation without representation". I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a "crackpot", traitor and worse.
While very few working people would say they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainty that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.
Why is it that a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities (and in the case of the GM executives, for scores of years) and when it’s time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours? Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple, and this country’s leaders don’t see this as important as bailing out a few of their vile, rich cronies. Yet, the political "representatives" (thieves, liars, and self-serving scumbags is far more accurate) have endless time to sit around for year after year and debate the state of the "terrible health care problem". It’s clear they see no crisis as long as the dead people don’t get in the way of their corporate profits rolling in. And justice? You’ve got to be kidding!
How can any rational individual explain that white elephant conundrum in the middle of our tax system and, indeed, our entire legal system? Here we have a system that is, by far, too complicated for the brightest of the master scholars to understand. Yet, it mercilessly "holds accountable" its victims, claiming that they’re responsible for fully complying with laws not even the experts understand. The law "requires" a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not "duress" than what is. If this is not the measure of atotalitarian regime, nothing is.
How did I get here?
My introduction to the real American nightmare starts back in the early ’80s. Unfortunately after more than 16 years of school, somewhere along the line I picked up the absurd, pompous notion that I could read and understand plain English. Some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions. In particular, zeroed in on a section relating to the wonderful "exemptions" that make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy. We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the "best", high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the "big boys" were doing (except that we weren’t steeling from our congregation or lying to the government about our massive profits in the name of God). We took a great deal of care to make it all visible, following all of the rules, exactly the way the law said it was to be done.
The intent of this exercise and our efforts was to bring about a much-needed re-evaluation of the laws that allow the monsters of organized religion to make such a mockery of people who earn an honest living. However, this is where I learned that there are two "interpretations" for every law; one for the very rich, and one for the rest of us… Oh, and the monsters are the very ones making and enforcing the laws; the inquisition is still alive and well today in this country.
That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie. It also made me realize, not only how naive I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their "freedom"… and that they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.
Before even having to make a shaky recovery from the sting of the first lesson on what justice really means in this country (around 1984 after making my way through engineering school and still another five years of "paying my dues"), I felt I finally had to take a chance of launching my dream of becoming an independent engineer. On the subjects of engineers and dreams of independence, I should digress somewhat to say that I’m sure that I inherited the fascination for creative problem solving from my father. I realized this at a very young age.
The significance of independence, however, came much later during my early years of college; at the age of 18 or 19 when I was living on my own as student in an apartment in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. My neighbor was an elderly retired woman (80+ seemed ancient to me at that age) who was the widowed wife of a retired steel worker. Her husband had worked all his life in the steel mills of central Pennsylvania with promises from big business and the union that, for his 30 years of service, he would have a pension and medical care to look forward to in his retirement. Instead he was one of the thousands who got nothing because the incompetent mill management and corrupt union (not to mention the government) raided their pension funds and stole their retirement. All she had was social security to live on.
In retrospect, the situation was laughable because here I was living on peanut butter and bread (or Ritz crackers when I could afford to splurge) for months at a time. When I got to know this poor figure and heard her story I felt worse for her plight than for my own (I, after all, I thought I had everything to in front of me). I was genuinely appalled at one point, as we exchanged stories and commiserated with each other over our situations, when she in her grandmotherly fashion tried to convince me that I would be "healthier" eating cat food (like her) rather than trying to get all my substance from peanut butter and bread. I couldn’t quite go there, but the impression was made. I decided that I didn’t trust big business to take care of me, and that I would take responsibility for my own future and myself.
Return to the early ’80s, and here I was off to a terrifying start as a ‘wet-behind-the-ears’ contract software engineer… and two years later, thanks to the fine backroom, midnight effort by the sleazy executives of Arthur Andersen (the very same folks who later brought us Enron and other such calamities) and an equally sleazy New York Senator (Patrick Moynihan), we saw the passage of 1986 tax reform act with its section 1706.
For you who are unfamiliar, here is the core text of the IRS Section 1706, defining the treatment of workers (such as contract engineers) for tax purposes. Visit this link for a conference committee report (http://www.synergistech.com/1706.shtml#ConferenceCommitteeReport) regarding the intended interpretation of Section 1706 and the relevant parts of Section 530, as amended. For information on how these laws affect technical services workers and their clients, read our discussion here (http://www.synergistech.com/ic-taxlaw.shtml).
SEC. 1706. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN TECHNICAL PERSONNEL.
(a) IN GENERAL – Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978 is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:
(d) EXCEPTION. – This section shall not apply in the case of an individual who pursuant to an arrangement between the taxpayer and another person, provides services for such other person as an engineer, designer, drafter, computer programmer, systems analyst, or other similarly skilled worker engaged in a similar line of work.
(b) EFFECTIVE DATE. – The amendment made by this section shall apply to remuneration paid and services rendered after December 31, 1986.
· "another person" is the client in the traditional job-shop relationship. · "taxpayer" is the recruiter, broker, agency, or job shop.
· "individual", "employee", or "worker" is you.
Admittedly, you need to read the treatment to understand what it is saying but it’s not very complicated. The bottom line is that they may as well have put my name right in the text of section (d). Moreover, they could only have been more blunt if they would have came out and directly declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave. Twenty years later, I still can’t believe my eyes.
During 1987, I spent close to $5000 of my ‘pocket change’, and at least 1000 hours of my time writing, printing, and mailing to any senator, congressman, governor, or slug that might listen; none did, and they universally treated me as if I was wasting their time. I spent countless hours on the L.A. freeways driving to meetings and any and all of the disorganized professional groups who were attempting to mount a campaign against this atrocity. This, only to discover that our efforts were being easily derailed by a few moles from the brokers who were just beginning to enjoy the windfall from the new declaration of their "freedom". Oh, and don’t forget, for all of the time I was spending on this, I was loosing income that I couldn’t bill clients. After months of struggling it had clearly gotten to be a futile exercise. The best we could get for all of our trouble is a pronouncement from an IRS mouthpiece that they weren’t going to enforce that provision (read harass engineers and scientists). This immediately proved to be a lie, and the mere existence of the regulation began to have its impact on my bottom line; this, of course, was the intended effect. Again, rewind my retirement plans back to 0 and shift them into idle. If I had any sense, I clearly should have left abandoned engineering and never looked back. Instead I got busy working 100-hour workweeks. Then came the L.A. depression of the early 1990s. Our leaders decided that they didn’t need the all of those extra Air Force bases they had in Southern California, so they were closed; just like that. The result was economic devastation in the region that rivaled the widely publicized Texas S&L fiasco. However, because the government caused it, no one gave a shit about all of the young families who lost their homes or street after street of boarded up houses abandoned to the wealthy loan companies who received government funds to "shore up" their windfall. Again, I lost my retirement.
Years later, after weathering a divorce and the constant struggle trying to build some momentum with my business, I find myself once again beginning to finally pick up some speed. Then came the .COM bust and the 911 nightmare. Our leaders decided that all aircraft were grounded for what seemed like an eternity; and long after that, ‘special’ facilities like San Francisco were on security alert for months. This made access to my customers prohibitively expensive. Ironically, after what they had done the Government came to the aid of the airlines with billions of our tax dollars … as usual they left me to rot and die while they bailed out their rich, incompetent cronies WITH MY MONEY! After these events, there went my business but not quite yet all of my retirement and savings.
By this time, I’m thinking that it might be good for a change. Bye to California, I’ll try Austin for a while. So I moved, only to find out that this is a place with a highly inflated sense of self-importance and where damn little real engineering work is done. I’ve never experienced such a hard time finding work. The rates are 1/3 of what I was earning before the crash, because pay rates here are fixed by the three or four large companies in the area who are in collusion to drive down prices and wages… and this happens because the justice department is all on the take and doesn’t give a fuck about serving anyone or anything but themselves and their rich buddies.
To survive, I was forced to cannibalize my savings and retirement, the last of which was a small IRA. This came in a year with mammoth expenses and not a single dollar of income. I filed no return that year thinking that because I didn’t have any income there was no need. The sleazy government decided that they disagreed. But they didn’t notify me in time for me to launch a legal objection so when I attempted to get a protest filed with the court I was told I was no longer entitled to due process because the time to file ran out. Bend over for another $10,000 helping of justice.
So now we come to the present. After my experience with the CPA world, following the business crash I swore that I’d never enter another accountant’s office again. But here I am with a new marriage and a boatload of undocumented income, not to mention an expensive new business asset, a piano, which I had no idea how to handle. After considerable thought I decided that it would be irresponsible NOT to get professional help; a very big mistake.
When we received the forms back I was very optimistic that they were in order. I had taken all of the years information to Bill Ross, and he came back with results very similar to what I was expecting. Except that he had neglected to include the contents of Sheryl’s unreported income; $12,700 worth of it. To make matters worse, Ross knew all along this was missing and I didn’t have a clue until he pointed it out in the middle of the audit. By that time it had become brutally evident that he was representing himself and not me.
This left me stuck in the middle of this disaster trying to defend transactions that have no relationship to anything tax-related (at least the tax-related transactions were poorly documented). Things I never knew anything about and things my wife had no clue would ever matter to anyone. The end result is… well, just look around. I remember reading about the stock market crash before the "great" depression and how there were wealthy bankers and businessmen jumping out of windows when they realized they screwed up and lost everything. Isn’t it ironic how far we’ve come in 60 years in this country that they now know how to fix that little economic problem; they just steal from the middle class (who doesn’t have any say in it, elections are a joke) to cover their asses and it’s "business-as-usual". Now when the wealthy fuck up, the poor get to die for the mistakes… isn’t that a clever, tidy solution.
As government agencies go, the FAA is often justifiably referred to as a tombstone agency, though they are hardly alone. The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government. Nothing changes unless there is a body count (unless it is in the interest of the wealthy sows at the government trough). In a government full of hypocrites from top to bottom, life is as cheap as their lies and their self-serving laws.
I know I’m hardly the first one to decide I have had all I can stand. It has always been a myth that people have stopped dying for their freedom in this country, and it isn’t limited to the blacks, and poor immigrants. I know there have been countless before me and there are sure to be as many after. But I also know that by not adding my body to the count, I insure nothing will change. I choose to not keep looking over my shoulder at "big brother" while he strips my carcass, I choose not to ignore what is going on all around me, I choose not to pretend that business as usual won’t continue; I have just had enough.
I can only hope that the numbers quickly get too big to be white washed and ignored that the American zombies wake up and revolt; it will take nothing less. I would only hope that by striking a nerve that stimulates the inevitable double standard, knee-jerk government reaction that results in more stupid draconian restrictions people wake up and begin to see the pompous political thugs and their mindless minions for what they are. Sadly, though I spent my entire life trying to believe it wasn’t so, but violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer. The cruel joke is that the really big chunks of shit at the top have known this all along and have been laughing, at and using this awareness against, fools like me all along.
I saw it written once that the definition of insanity is repeating the same process over and over and expecting the outcome to suddenly be different. I am finally ready to stop this insanity. Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Joe Stack (1956-2010)
Mind-boggling. A few readers might have vivid memories of being in similar situations. This writer certainly has. Although fortunately, my situation was not as dire. For Joe to have taken the drastic action that he did, he must have reached the conviction that he had nothing left to lose. It is not clear whether that was the case, but perhaps the IRS was about to foreclose on his house, his wife about to divorce him to escape the misery of his tax problems, and perhaps he was being investigated by the CID (Criminal Investigation Division) of the IRS. I suppose if he realized he would soon be incarcerated and homeless, that this action might have seemed like the best option. He was getting a message out, and at the same time raising the price of state-sponsored terrorism.
Now the problem remains for the rest of us. Small aircraft pilots will undoubtedly face new, draconian safety and security regulations. IRS agents will be more heavily armed. The agency will harden its facilities, perhaps placing all IRS offices in underground bunkers. This action by Mr. Stack may have gained nothing, given the way the mass media is spinning the story. Some are calling him a "Teabagger", implying that tea party ralliers are terrorists in the making. The flip side of this is that it’s serving as a wakeup call to patriotic Americans. There’s a surprising amount of support for Joe Stack. I looked at survey results on the New York Times and one other online paper. Over 30% of poll participants voted that Mr. Stack was justified in his actions. That’s a lot more than the 1-2% one might expect. 30% is hardly the "lunatic fringe" of society. It signifies that many people have grown that frustrated with the Federal Reserve system and the taxes we pay in America.
The only real hope is that we, as Americans, come away from this with some constructive results. That we strive to remove from office all incumbents who’ve had a hand in creating or expanding entitlement programs and immoral laws that invade privacy or interfere with private property ownership. Maybe this time we’ll do a more thorough house-cleaning at election time. Maybe more people will read the above and realize the truth that is embedded between the lines. Perhaps the next generation might have some small measure of hope for restoring America to its former glory.
Feudal Land Title: A Commonlaw Fraud
When you bought your home for a king’s randsom (basically your life’s savings plus all future earnings), you never imagined that you were only buying the permission to rent the use of that parcel of property, did you? You thought you actually owned that property and that no one could take it away from you, so long as you didn’t forefeit your right to exist as a free person by commiting a heinous crime.
When I was much younger, and getting into my first home, I never dreamed that anyone could take a home away. I viewed homeownership as the cure for worries about coming up with the rent payments every month. But I found myself in for a surprise. The first bite came from city sewers coming in to my block, four years after purchasing a small starter home. The sewer assessment and tie in fees were non-negotiable and there was no legal way to opt out, despite letters written to town officials on the matter. I was mad because the septic was new and working fine, yet the town condemned it. We had to accept the chemical-infested city water, too. At that point, I had to rent a water cooler and import bottled water, as the town’s water was unsuitable for human consumption. To make a long story short, the sewer assessment bankrupted us. The house went into foreclosure and we found ourselves without a place to live. A mad apartment hunt ensued. After two weeks of searching, we’d found a dumpy attic apartment above a post office, with no fire exit and one main exit that was at the bottom of a steep flight of stairs. It was only the luck of inheritance money that we were able to buy a small parcel of land on a swamp in the middle of nowhere. Well, nowhere, forty-four years ago. And that’s when I started building my own home, pioneer-style, with my bare hands. The process turned me into a bear, as I was living and working among wild bears with nothing by a .38 S&W by my side, just in case. The house is not great, but today I am paying the full purchase price of my property in taxes every single year. Last year, the taxes exceeded my annual gross income. Trouble ahead!
Back to the main topic of this article now. Most of us are aware of the powers of Eminent Domain and probably know at least one family or friend who’s been a victim of this agregious violation of property rights. So we have property taxes, Eminent Domain and, oh yes, building codes and zoning laws–the government’s way of hinting that you don’t have any rights to do with your property as you please (even if you do so responsibly at your own expense without endangering your neighbors). So what is the underlying legal structure which makes all these violations of your rights acceptable under what should be a government that is rights-respecting of free people? It comes down to something called "feudal title". In essense, your property is still owned by the King, or by heirs of the King, which are more commonly known as collective society. That’s right: under US commonlaw, your home is owned by all the people, not you, who actually paid for it. Ironic, isn’t it? This is why the Fifth Amendment has a clause enumerating the compensation of landholders when land is taken under Eminent Domain.
There are two basic types of property ownership in so-called "commonlaw" nations: Allodial Title, which is also known as the "King’s Title"–absolute, irrevocable ownership of the property that no person or government entity can claim jurisdiction over or take action to remove from your ownership. The other type of title is known as "Fee Simple" title. It’s a form of permission to occupy and use the King’s land for a specific period of time, with you, the buyer, becoming a "land holder" or basically a custodian of the land. You do not own it. As such, land held under fee simple title is subject to a wide range of government actions, including taxation, eminent domain, zoning and police powers. Think of it as the government owning a house and you renting a room in that house, with the government having full power to inspect your room and observe what you’re doing at any time, for any reason, while collecting "rent" in the form of taxes. And you thought "owning" a home gave you security of not having to worry about the rent payments and eviction notices. Nope. Herein lies the fraud foisted upon every American citizen who has ever dreamed of owning a home.
HISTORY OF "EQUITABLE TITLE"
As late as the Tudor period, in order to avoid estate taxes, a legal loophole was exploited where land was willed to a trustee for the use of the beneficiary. However, trustees often abused this privilege, and heirs found that the courts of common law would refuse to recognize the "use" clause, and would instead grant title in law to the trustee. However, the courts of equity, which were developed by the sovereign to deal with obvious injustices in the common law courts, ruled that the heirs were entitled to the use of the property, and gave them title in equity. As rulings of equity courts ranked above those of common law courts, this gave heirs the use of the land, but not title to it in the common law.
In the United States, "To say that land is owned ‘allodially’ is a fiction. All land under United States government jurisdiction is subject to expropriation by way of eminent domain."
Before 1774, all land in the American colonies could also be traced to royal grants, usually one grant creating each colony. The original grantee (recipient of the land) then sold or granted parcels of land within his/her grant to private citizens and other legal entities. However, when the colonies won the Revolutionary War, they did not want to retain a feudal system of land ownership. The Treaty of Paris (1783), which ended formal hostilities and recognized American independence, also had the effect of ending any residual rights held by the original grantees or the Crown. Essentially, this merely recognized that no person holding land in the new United States owed any allegiance or duty to the Crown or any English noble. There is no specific reference to allodial title in the text of the treaty. Some states created a form of allodial title while others retained the tenurial system with the state as the new ultimate landholder.
Few, if any, real estate agents understand what’s going on here. Even fewer know what Allodial land title is or where it originates. Most think of taxes as the "cost for living in civilized society" and are acceptant of such. If you bought a home and think that you own it, you’ve been hoodwinked. You should be beyond angry that the biggest financial decision of your life has been to allow yourself to be defrauded by misleading language ("own your own home", etc.) used in the real estate industry and in American culture, a/k/a "the American dream" of owning a home. Well, there is no American dream. You’re no better off than in other countries. In many ways worse off, as America has the most powerful and destructive government of any nation on earth and when directed upon a single citizen, can wreak utter and total destruction. Taxation puts all of the political power in the hands of government–you can’t say no to the government (well you can, but then be prepared for some unpleasant living conditions for an extended period) when the tax gun is held to your head. We mistakenly believe that we have political power through the vote, but in reality, the candidates that are ‘groomed’ for office by organizations with agendas that are not individualism-friendly, are not "in your corner"–they are already bought and paid for by special interests and won’t hesitate to steamroller over your rights if they get the chance.
So what can we do about this gross fraud and miscarriage of justice? Education is one area. Inform your realtor about this, point him or her to resources and research on Allodial Title and explain the differences. LTEs are another way to raise public awareness. Do your own research and blog about it. Talk it up on Facebook and Twitter. Even contact the news media with well thought-out discussion on the issue. The key is to raise public awareness. People need to understand that they’ve been bilked out of their life savings and that the whole land ownership dream in America is a gigantic fraud.
IF IT CAN BE TAXED, THEN YOU DON’T OWN IT
“When you consider socialism, do not fool yourself about its nature. Remember that there is no such dichotomy as ‘human rights’ versus ‘property rights.’ No human rights can exist without property rights.” –Ayn Rand
It is annoyingly lacking, the degree of public outrage to this most basic and pervasive farce in America, as well as the blatant violation of individual rights that the taxation of primary domiciles thus commits.
Is it the payroll tax pre-deduction principal that, because the majority of “homeowners” are paying a mortgage in which the local taxes are included, transparently, in the payments, that people don’t really see how much of their lives are being stolen from them?
Perhaps it’s the Altruistic nature of the religious majority, who are too mentally lazy to design a society whereby the “easy” way out, via taxation, is taken to funding all the nefarious government “services” and activities. The common complaint, you see, is “who would educated the children and build the roads?”
There is not an honest answer in these people’s minds, an answer that does not involved armed robbery, extortion, stealing and looting from the working class. They simply lack the ability to understand a system by which people would be free to choose the services they wish to buy, and the market would ensure the availability of services that people really need.
You see, if people really wanted what the government offered, they would voluntarily pay for such services. People voluntarily hire painters, plumbers and stock brokers, because these people provide real, valuable services that produce or protect wealth and property. What does the government offer? The strangulation of our children’s minds, inane nanny state rules on human behavior, aggregious violations of property use rights, violations of our own bodies and how we dispose of same, and the list goes on. No wonder they have to point a gun at our heads and demand we buy their “services”!
Look at public shools: once past the early elementary stages, school systems start to infuse political ideology into children. For many rational parents, this is a disservice that will cost them countless hours to reeducate their children that these ideas taught them in schools are invalid and destructive to human existance. Thus, the taxpayer is forced to fund ideology that runs contrary to his own, via public school taxes. The biggest problem lies with Americans being able to admit that there is such a thing as philosophical bias that can be introduced when you teach children. Speaking of the response from your average Democrat/Socialist Liberal, to like-minded persons, all seems quite well and proper with the current education system as it stands.
The other problem is that most people fail to reject unsound philosophical premises because of an innate bias tied to their education since childhood. Moreover, the vast majority of functional adults do not bother learning the intricate details of higher-level philosophy, and rather act upon what they assimilated in the earlier years of their education.
Property rights are inviolable moral principles, protecting each individual’s sovereign right to keep the material values he earns and use them to support his life. This principle is violated when when property rights are infringed for the very first time.
If legal professionals systematically avoid telling people they have a moral right to their property, there will be less messy resistance when those rights are taken away by government fiat. Under this concept, property rights can be selectively violated (or eradicated) by majority vote—rendering them in fact (but not in name) “bundles of permissions.”
Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.
The recognition of individual rights entails the banishment of physical force from human relationships: basically, rights can be violated only by means of force. In a capitalist society, no man or group may initiate the use of physical force against others. The only function of government, in such a society, is the task of protecting man’s rights, i.e., the task of protecting him from physical force; the government acts as the agent of man’s right of self-defense, and may use force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use; thus the government is the means of placing the retaliatory use of force under objective control.
— Ayn Rand, “What is Capitalism” Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, p. 19.
Objectivism holds that because the opportunity to use reason without the initiation of force is necessary to achieve moral values, each individual has an inalienable moral right to act as his own judgement directs and to keep the product of his effort. The fundamental right is the right to life, with other rights following from it, including rights to “liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.”
“A ‘right’ is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context.”
These rights are specifically understood to be rights to action, not to specific results or objects, and the obligations created by rights are negative in nature: each individual must refrain from violating the rights of others.
Objectivists reject alternative notions of rights, such as positive rights or rights belonging to anything other than an individual human being, such as collective rights or animal rights.
It is possible to live independently only if one is allowed to do so. One’s choices must be voluntary if they are to be freely made. Fundamentally, only the threat of deadly force can undermine one’s ability to reason and choose.
The power of government is the power of the gun. It has the power to enforce a set of rules in the territory it controls, a power that is often turned against freedom. Objectivism therefore advocates a strictly limited form of government: a republican system that has only those powers and takes only those actions required to secure our rights to freedom from force.
There must be a military force for defense against external enemies.
There must be a system of legislation and law courts to establish the law and to adjudicate disputes in which force might be used.
And there must be a system of enforcement of the law such as the police, to make sure the law is a social rule, not empty words.
Until the majority of individual citizens in America recognizes the fundamental and sacred right to property that is rightfully earned and acquired, no person can enjoy the benefits of the Fourth Amendment. No person can be safe from exposure to the elements, psychological depression from the denial of the psychological security and stability that property ownership brings, and no person can be free. As long as people willfully accept that working a second job to pay property taxes is not slavery, then America cannot truly be the America that our forefathers fought and died on this continent for.