Corporations have a long history of drawing lines around democracy, so they can escape the effects of the popular mandate. One of the most egregious examples of this was the creation of a town near East Saint Louis [present day Sauget] which was created by just one vote (the night watchman of the factory) in order to prevent the town of East Saint Louis from annexing and then taxing that same factory. The factory was thus enclosed by a boundary around democracy. That particular example is behind us, and I rather doubt that would happen today. It just wouldn’t fly.
That past event sheds light on a pattern of behavior, and it’s important to reverse that trend, to prevent future enclosures that steal from the larger society, without giving back. Today, there are plenty of ways that corporations use the internet to enclose their company, and seal it off from democratic institutions which might tax them. Of course, the anti-democratic reality of this enclosure is obscured by the language of freedom that is used to make the case for a “tax free” internet.
But there is one simple question that we can ask the libertarians that exposes the bankruptcy and anti-freedom agenda of the tax free world that they are trying to create. It is a question that libertarians cannot acknowledge, let alone answer.
The question is this: What democratically constituted assembly should have the authority to tax internet businesses?
Don’t think libertarians are incapable of answering this question?
Just look here.
The question, in fact, is a straight-forward corollary of the famous quote from the American Revolution : “No taxation with Representation.”
For if taxation is only legitimate if it originates from representative bodies, then representative bodies are the only bodies that have the power to exact a legitimate tax. The problem, of course, is that the libertarians want to deny society the power to legitimately tax, exposing their anti-freedom and anti-social philosophy for what it is: self-contradictory and denying any value to society other than economic.
And here’s the record of the exchange, as it is clear that the TLF is engaged in it’s own Orwellian modification of history, in their attempt to expunge my comments, so I’ll keep them here: