Archive for April, 2008

ALL I need to know about taxes is what I learned on the street

Today, Tax Day, marked the first public action of the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left. Here are the flyers we posted today.

Flyer:
How Government Works (#1)
Flyer:
How Government Works (#2)
Flyer:
Taxes Pay For Torture (#1)
Flyer:
Taxes Pay For Torture (#2)
Flyer:
Taxes Pay For War (#1)
Flyer:
Taxes Pay For War (#2)
Flyer:
Your Money Or Your Life!
Flyer:
Your Tax Dollars At Work (#1)
Flyer:
Your Tax Dollars At Work (#2)

Here’s the communiqué I wrote to go along with the flyers, because I like that kind of goofy shit.

Communiqué #1

This is the first communiqué from the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left.

Today, April 15th, guerrilla educators affiliated with Southern Nevada ALL struck targets in the streets of southeastern Las Vegas and on the UNLV campus. Flyers—with slogans including Taxes Pay For Torture, Taxes Pay For War, and Your Money Or Your Life,—were raised to reach out to unwilling taxpayers and potential new ALLies, and to raise public consciousness about taxes.

On the filing deadline for 2007’s federal income tax—when countless honest working folks are sick of meddlesome government—when they are tired of being forced to fill out complex forms—and when they are forced to take (on average) 30% of the money that they worked to earn in the previous year and render it as tribute to the United States federal government—against their will, and whether or not they approve of what the government will do with the money—we have a perfect opportunity to spread our message about the violence of government taxation.

Taxes mean violence, both at the point of collection, and at the point of government spending. Collecting taxes is inherently violent because taxpayers are forced to pay the government whether or not they want to, under the threat of government violence. Those who refuse to turn over the money are subjected to government fines, confiscation of their homes and effects, or locked away in prison. It must never be forgotten that anything is funded by taxes could have been funded voluntarily, if enough people could have been convinced to donate the money willingly, or to give it freely in exchange for something that they get in return. In the last analysis, there is no reason to fund a project by taxation unless there is no honest and peaceful way to persuade people to support that project voluntarily. But if there is no honest and peaceful way to fund something, then it should not be funded. Taxation ought to be considered the last resort of the scoundrel and the thug. Morally, there is no difference between tax collection and highway robbery.

But the violence of taxation is even worse than the violence of highway robbery—for while the robber takes your money violently to satisfy his own greed, and then leaves you alone, the tiny handful of people who constitute the the ruling faction of the federal government take your money violently, and then they use that money to fund yet more violence — whether by locking nonviolent drug users away in government prisons, or in the form of police brutality, or in the use of torture by government intelligence agencies in the name of National Security, or in the form of government wars and occupations. The government’s ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost more than half a trillion dollars, and which cost millions of dollars more with every passing day, and the onlyem> reason that this government can afford to continue with their occupation and their bombings, long after the majority of people in the United States have concluded that the wars are hopeless and fundamentally wrong, is that tiny handful of people have the power to force the millions of us who are against these wars to fund them anyway, against our will and in violation of our own conscience. Taxes pay for police brutality. Taxes pay for torture. Taxes paid for Guantanamo. Taxes paid for Abu Ghraib. Taxes pay for war. And when taxes pay for something, what that really means is that unwilling victims, including you and me, are forced to pay for it even if they don’t think that it is worthwhile. Even when they think that it is abhorrent to their own beliefs.

We believe that there is another way. Southern Nevada ALL is working to raise public awareness, and to work towards a new, consensual society, in which no-one will be forced to pay for torture or war, and in which working folks will be able to keep what they have earned, rather than being forced to turn it over to be used at the whim of the violent minority faction known as the United States federal government. We are starting small, and we are starting here, because that is what we have, and this is where we live. We ask that everyone in Southern Nevada who believes in peace, voluntary co-operation, mutual aid, and individual liberty join us in our struggle.

—ALLy C.J., 15 April 2008.

The Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left can be reached through its website, sonv.libertarianleft.org, or through its e-mail list ALLSouthernNevada.

This is phase 1 (or maybe version 0.1) of organizing an ALL chapter in southern Nevada. Our next step is to meet any new ALLies we may find, start talking about plans, and prepare some more (hopefully eye-catching) flyers, handbills, and pamphlets to spread the word. (For example, distributing some copies of William Gillis’s excellent Market Anarchy zine series, and some other pamphlet-length articles similarly formatted, hopefully to get them circulating amongst local anarchists, libertarians, and peace people.) After that, to begin talking about local networking, informal gatherings, on-the-ground activism, and spinning off affinity groups and longer-term projects. I think that global popular revolution is scheduled for sometime after next March.

If you’re interested, and you’re in (or know people in, or are just interested in) the area of Las Vegas and southern Nevada, consider joining the e-mail list. If you enjoy the flyers, you’re free to take them, modify them as necessary, and re-use them as you see fit.

Onward.

Tax Day outreach and education action

Posted 15 April 2008 // by ALLy Rad Geek

Southern Nevada ALLies took their first public action for April 15th — Tax Day — by issuing their first communiqué and hanging up the following flyers in honor of the occasion:

Communiqué #1

This is the first communiqué from the Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left.

Today, April 15th, guerrilla educators affiliated with Southern Nevada ALL struck targets in the streets of southeastern Las Vegas and on the UNLV campus. Flyers—with slogans including Taxes Pay For Torture, Taxes Pay For War, and Your Money Or Your Life,—were raised to reach out to unwilling taxpayers and potential new ALLies, and to raise public consciousness about taxes.

On the filing deadline for 2007’s federal income tax—when countless honest working folks are sick of meddlesome government—when they are tired of being forced to fill out complex forms—and when they are forced to take (on average) 30% of the money that they worked to earn in the previous year and render it as tribute to the United States federal government—against their will, and whether or not they approve of what the government will do with the money—we have a perfect opportunity to spread our message about the violence of government taxation.

Taxes mean violence, both at the point of collection, and at the point of government spending. Collecting taxes is inherently violent because taxpayers are forced to pay the government whether or not they want to, under the threat of government violence. Those who refuse to turn over the money are subjected to government fines, confiscation of their homes and effects, or locked away in prison. It must never be forgotten that anything is funded by taxes could have been funded voluntarily, if enough people could have been convinced to donate the money willingly, or to give it freely in exchange for something that they get in return. In the last analysis, there is no reason to fund a project by taxation unless there is no honest and peaceful way to persuade people to support that project voluntarily. But if there is no honest and peaceful way to fund something, then it should not be funded. Taxation ought to be considered the last resort of the scoundrel and the thug. Morally, there is no difference between tax collection and highway robbery.

But the violence of taxation is even worse than the violence of highway robbery—for while the robber takes your money violently to satisfy his own greed, and then leaves you alone, the tiny handful of people who constitute the the ruling faction of the federal government take your money violently, and then they use that money to fund yet more violence — whether by locking nonviolent drug users away in government prisons, or in the form of police brutality, or in the use of torture by government intelligence agencies in the name of National Security, or in the form of government wars and occupations. The government’s ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have already cost more than half a trillion dollars, and which cost millions of dollars more with every passing day, and the only reason that this government can afford to continue with their occupation and their bombings, long after the majority of people in the United States have concluded that the wars are hopeless and fundamentally wrong, is that tiny handful of people have the power to force the millions of us who are against these wars to fund them anyway, against our will and in violation of our own conscience. Taxes pay for police brutality. Taxes pay for torture. Taxes paid for Guantanamo. Taxes paid for Abu Ghraib. Taxes pay for war. And when taxes pay for something, what that really means is that unwilling victims, including you and me, are forced to pay for it even if they don’t think that it is worthwhile. Even when they think that it is abhorrent to their own beliefs.

We believe that there is another way. Southern Nevada ALL is working to raise public awareness, and to work towards a new, consensual society, in which no-one will be forced to pay for torture or war, and in which working folks will be able to keep what they have earned, rather than being forced to turn it over to be used at the whim of the violent minority faction known as the United States federal government. We are starting small, and we are starting here, because that is what we have, and this is where we live. We ask that everyone in Southern Nevada who believes in peace, voluntary co-operation, mutual aid, and individual liberty join us in our struggle.

—ALLy C.J., 15 April 2008.

The Southern Nevada Alliance of the Libertarian Left can be reached through its website, sonv.libertarianleft.org, or through its e-mail list ALLSouthernNevada.

Re-use

Fonts you’ll need

Editable flyers


ALLy outreach in Vegas: help me out here

Dear LazyWeb,

I am interested in establishing an Alliance of the Libertarian Left chapter in Las Vegas.

My idea is largely to meet a small working group which would be partly about meeting and hanging out with like-minded anarchist types in the neighborhood (potlucks, movie nights, blah blah blah), partly about distributing left libertarian agitprop (for example, William Gillis’s excellent Market Anarchy zine series), and partly a source of contacts and a springboard for affinity groups and new local projects. At least, that’s how I see it; of course I’m just one dude, and I’m also interested to hear more about what other people in the area might be interested in getting set up.

If you’re in the area and you’re interested, feel free to get in touch and I’d be glad to talk some shop via e-mail or over coffee. I live near the UNLV campus, so there are lots of convenient meeting places.

My immediate question, though, is a bit off to one side. One of the things that I hope to do to help make contacts is print up some sheets of business cards that can be clipped in to dropped literature, tacked on bulletin boards, slipped into books, etc. The idea would be to have a card that gives a quick overview of what the Vegas ALL is about, which would be attractive to left-libertarian and black flag types, and then to provide a link they can use to get more information and get in touch with the group. What I’m picturing is a two-sided card, with a logo, Vegas Alliance of the Libertarian Left (or whatever less-boring name we might adopt), and contact information on one side, with a short tagline or paragraph on the other side of the card. My question to you, gentle reader, is what that tagline or paragraph should be.

The ALL website offers the following self-description:

The Alliance of the Libertarian Left is a multi-tendency coalition of mutualists, agorists, voluntaryists, geolibertarians, left-Rothbardians, green libertarians, dialectical anarchists, radical minarchists, and others on the libertarian left, united by an opposition to statism and militarism, to cultural intolerance (including sexism, racism, and homophobia), and to the prevailing corporatist capitalism falsely called a free market; as well as by an emphasis on education, direct action, and building alternative institutions, rather than on electoral politics, as our chief strategy for achieving liberation.

Which is true enough, as far as it goes, but ridiculously long to put on a business card and not much of a hook for getting an interested new contact involved.

After thinking about it for a while, I shortened and spiced it up a bit into something that I’d be glad to use on the local working group’s website, or on a printed flyer, but which is still too long for the back of a business card. (I can, at least, physically fit this on one side, but only with a hard-to-read font and at the cost of making that side of the card look very busy.)

We are individualists, agorists, market anarchists, mutualists, voluntary socialists, and others on the libertarian left. We oppose statism, militarism, sexism, racism, and the prevailing state capitalism fraudulently labeled the free market. We are for peace, individual freedom, truly freed markets, solidarity, voluntary cooperation, and mutual aid. We fight for liberation in Las Vegas through education, nonviolent direct action, and cooperative counter-institutions—not petitions, symbolic protests or electoral politics. We are working to build a new society within the shell of the old.

Given a group that could be accurately described using long descriptions like these, what do you think would make a good fractional, one, two, or (possibly) three sentence slogan, tagline, or introduction for Vegas ALL, to be printed on the back of a business card, with the aim of directing interested sympathizers (who are likely to be heretofore isolated anarchists, or possibly anti-statists currently embedded in other local activist groups) to our website and/or local contact person?