Tuesday, May 31, 2011


It is encouraging to see some original thinking about the state of things, and how we should respond, setting our own agenda on the blogosphere rather than relying on the MSM or the politicians to tell us what to think. We need neither when we have our own fora.

Into the fray comes Old Holborn who advocates voluntarily reducing "money based economic activity". He is trying it and, as a consequence, reduces the amount of tax the state is legally able to extract from him, starving the beast and thereby reducing the power and reach of the state.

He tells us that he has belatedly reached the conclusion that planting a carrot is one of the most subversive things a citizen can do. And his return to the quasi Good Life had not made him poorer in any practical sense. Rather he is spending more time with his family and his food quality has greatly improved.

Interestingly, I was today discussing this concept, before reading the OH post, noting a former BBC programme-maker who had done exactly the same thing. It is an option adopted by the EUReferendum household as well, where downsizing has precisely the effect of – quite legally – cheating the taxman. As a political statement, it has much to commend it.

However, stepping off the treadmill is not entirely the answer, as long as there are three major imposts – energy bills, water and council tax. These are not income-related, and through them the state can reach out to extract increasing amounts. Then there is the increasing burden of VAT and, as others are driven by state taxation to increase their charges, we have inflationary pressure on a wide range of goods and services.
Retreating from the state, therefore, it not the whole answer – nor even a safe answer in the longer term. The old aphorism applies: either you take an interest in politics or it takes an interest in you. You cannot just apply passive resistance to the monster. We have to reach out and chain it down. Unless Old Holborn has a better idea, he also needs to look at Referism.