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Inflation, Taxes And The State

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some more lessons from history

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Now, we may wish to find some lessons in this tale of [the] monetary policies of the late Roman Empire. The first lesson, I think, must be that if war is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne said, it is poison to a stable and sound money. The Roman monetary crisis therefore was closely connected with the Roman military problem. Another lesson is that the problems become solvable when a ruler decides that something can be done and must be done. Diocletian and Constantine clearly were willing to act to protect their own ruling-class interest, the military and the civil service. Monetary reforms were necessary to win the support of the troops and the bureaucrats that composed the only real constituency of the Roman state, and the two-tier system was designed to this end. It brought about a stable monetary standard for the ruling group who did not hesitate to secure it at the expense of the mass of the population.

The Roman state survived. The liberty of the Roman people did not. When freedom became possible in the west in the 5th century, with the barbarian invasions, people took advantage of the possibility of change. The tax burden remained burdensome even after the gold standard was re-established. The peasantry had become totally alienated from the Roman state because it was no longer free. The business community likewise was no longer free, and the middle class of the urban cities was no longer free.

The economy of the west was perhaps more fatally weakened than that of the east, and when we read in the writings of the early 5th century Christian priest Salvian of Marseille his account of why the Roman state was collapsing in the west – he was writing from France, Gaul – Salvian says that the Roman state is collapsing because it deserved collapse; because it had denied the first premise of good government which was justice to the people. And by justice he meant a just system of taxation. Salvian tells us, and I don't think he's exaggerating, that one of the reasons why the Roman state collapsed in the 5th century was that the Roman people, the mass of the population, had but one wish after being captured by the barbarians: that they would never again fall under the rule of the Roman bureaucracy. In other words, the Roman state was the enemy, the barbarians were the liberators. And this undoubtedly was due to the inflation of the 3rd century. While the state had solved the monetary problem for its own constituents, it had failed to solve that monetary problem for the masses and continued to use an oppressive system of taxation in order to fill the coffers of the ruling bureaucrats and military.

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The state is the enemy? :blink:

Can you please point out to me where in history there have been peaceful stateless..."states" where people lived out their lives in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. :rolleyes:

Edited by roman holiday

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The state is the enemy? :blink:

Can you please point out to me where in history there have been peaceful stateless..."states" where people lived out their lives in the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. :rolleyes:

The less state, the happier and more prospoerous the people.

Show me somewhere this isn't true.

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The less state, the happier and more prospoerous the people.

Show me somewhere this isn't true.

Apart from tiny island communities, it's going to be very difficult to find minimal-state places.

However, some of the 'biggest state' places have some of the best happiness/properity indices, e.g. Switzerland and most of the Nordic countries.

Some people prefer to live in more 'ordered' societies (see the various 'avoid Chavs' threads that abide on this site).

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Apart from tiny island communities, it's going to be very difficult to find minimal-state places.

Oh no need. Just find ultra state places anc compare them with lower state places or the same place wuith a different size of state.

Name a place where they were happier with a larger state than a small one.

However, some of the 'biggest state' places have some of the best happiness/properity indices, e.g. Switzerland and most of the Nordic countries.

You mean the suicide capitals of the world?

It's all down to the lack of sunlight, honest.

Some people prefer to live in more 'ordered' societies (see the various 'avoid Chavs' threads that abide on this site).

Yes which is why the idea that a state (arbitary rules that can ****** your world in overnight and you are powerless before it) doesn't seem to make much sense.

Edited by Injin

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The less state, the happier and more prospoerous the people.

Show me somewhere this isn't true.

Do you really believe this twoddle you write?

Every South American and African country has far smaller states than the developed world. Like it or not, where the state is smaller, the power elites flourish even more and grab more and more of the resources for themselves.

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Do you really believe this twoddle you write?

I don't have much choice, it's a fact.

Every South American and African country has far smaller states than the developed world. Like it or not, where the state is smaller, the power elites flourish even more and grab more and more of the resources for themselves.

Power elite is a state.

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Oh god. Dont bother.

Injin knows he is wrong so just changes the definition.

How else do you think he has 21000 posts - 95% of them are denying something exists!

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Do you really believe this twoddle you write?

Every South American and African country has far smaller states than the developed world. Like it or not, where the state is smaller, the power elites flourish even more and grab more and more of the resources for themselves.

+1 And because of this abject failure to cooperate and no authority to regulate and avoid the over-exploitation of resource, the tragedy of the commons effect can lead to a community effectively commiting 'ecocide' as fisheries or forests no longer support indigenous people.

Whater the rights and wrongs of the Chinese one-child policy, it was introduced to avoid mass starvation from a demographic timebomb. You couldn't do this without an overarching state (but address the principle/aim here not the specific infanticidal side effects of the policy !)

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:rolleyes:

So can you point me to anywhere with a smaller state that is happier/better off, including no power elites?

Nope. :)

But that's not the question is it?

If the smaller the state, the happier people are, then getting rid of the state (power elites) means happiest of all.

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Nope. :)

But that's not the question is it?

If the smaller the state, the happier people are, then getting rid of the state (power elites) means happiest of all.

You have to look to history. You get rid of one elite and another one forms. It might not be an official state, but a band of oligarchs or warlords or whatever will jump in to grab what they can.

This is why I refute your claim that getting rid of a state would produce happiness. It would simply produce another state, by your own definition.

The key to happiness is inside yourself, not anywhere else.

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You have to look to history. You get rid of one elite and another one forms. It might not be an official state, but a band of oligarchs or warlords or whatever will jump in to grab what they can.

This is why I refute your claim that getting rid of a state would produce happiness. It would simply produce another state, by your own definition.

Why would you make a state if you knew you would be less happy, free, economically prosperous etc etc?

It's not in the warlords interests to become warlords.

The key to happiness is inside yourself, not anywhere else.

Cheers bhuddha.

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Why would you make a state if you knew you would be less happy, free, economically prosperous etc etc?

It's not in the warlords interests to become warlords.

But the reality is that they DO become warlords.

And as we know, the reality is always above the theory.

Therefore you are wrong about states (and right - about reality! :lol: )

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It's not in the warlords interests to become warlords.

A reluctant warlord - that's a new one. Always just happens to be the aggressive local psychopath though, the muscle always there beneath the surface waiting for an opportunity of a power vacuum to grab some of the action. The evidence is all around you in virtually every society.

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