A LEADING LIGHT
The future is created by the people who build it, not the people who predict it will not exist. You can meet lots of important builders by reading The Daily Bell.
A MUST-READ FOR EVERYONE
The Daily Bell is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the effects of the state on our economic future.
I really enjoy reading The Daily Bell for the excellent research and content provided on a wide variety of issues vital to the Freedom Movement.
For alternative views on contemporary politics, culture and science, from a libertarian point of view, check out The Daily Bell.
The Daily Bell is one of the most innovative and in-depth websites on the Internet. The breadth of the content is awe inspiring and the amount of knowledge imparted is almost impossible to quantify. For me, as a liberty minded seeker of knowledge, it is a must read.
The Daily Bell has a great libertarian point of view, and excellent economic analysis. Add it to your daily reading.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SITES
The Daily Bell is one of five sites that I review every day because I find there a clear, common-sense interpretation of everyday events.
CUTTING EDGE ANALYSIS
At a time when growing majorities worldwide are tuning out mainstream news, people are seeking the cutting edge, insightful and thought provoking analysis that The Daily Bell consistently provides.
Get outside the box with The Daily Bell and experience independent views.
INSIGHT YOU CANNOT IGNORE
The Daily Bell provides unique insights on contemporary political, economic and social problems that can be found in such a concentrated form nowhere else. Whether one agrees or disagrees with it, one cannot afford to ignore it.
The Daily Bell is a fantastic source of challenging thought from a wide range of freedom loving people.
PREMIER FREE-MARKET ANALYSIS
The Daily Bell rings out for liberty every day. It is the premier online source for insightful and hard-hitting free-market analysis and interpretation of economic, political and business events.
SOURCES YOU CAN TRUST
The Daily Bell should be on everyone's shortlist of news sources you can trust. It's on mine, and we often refer to it in our own weekly news service at The Reality Zone.
AHEAD OF THE CURVE
The Daily Bell has come out of nowhere to introduce to the Internet community some of the most intriguing and proactive interviews there are out there. Let's hear it for creativity and being ahead of the curve.
TRUTH AT WORK
There are very few publications out there that have the smarts and guts to tell the truth about the dictatorial forces at work destroying our civilization. Thankfully The Daily Bell is one of them, and it appears in the mailbox every day.
SEPARATES WHEAT FROM CHAFF
The Daily Bell is a true beacon to lead in helping the reader to separate the wheat from the chaff.
The Daily Bell affords an excellent alternative perspective on some of the noise and nonsense of mainstream media. In particular, I enjoy reading Anthony Wile's 'free-market analysis' on current subjects and articles. Very insightful.
OUT OF THE DARK
The Daily Bell leads us out of the dark tunnel of manipulated press into the light of free press.
There is no other publication in print or on the Internet like The Daily Bell. They have the courage to report the truth and analyze current foreign policy, politics and economic events in the context of a formerly hidden history of financial elites.
I consider The Daily Bell essential reading for anyone desirous of understanding the way the world really works.
INFORMATIVE SOURCE OF INFORMATION
The Daily Bell is an informative source of information and commentary from leading figures in the liberty movement. It's a pleasure to be interviewed alongside far more notable individuals.
Sit down to read from The Daily Bell and experience a jolt of intellectual energy.
The Daily Bell is an indispensable source of news and information for those seeking to curtail the power of the welfare-warfare state.
The Daily Bell features consistently solid analysis of and thoughtful challenges to contemporary statism. I am proud to be on the team.
PROFOUND AND PROVOCATIVE
Every day, I rely on the Daily Bell for a different perspective you'll never find in the regular media. It's an analysis and timely insight that is profound and provocative.
GREAT JOB, DAILY BELL
I can say that, unlike the mainstream press, The Daily Bell knows the questions to ask and has the chutzpah to ask them. They realize that socialism and Keynesianism are wrecking the world and they are helping to save what is left of liberty and free markets.
GREAT INVESTMENT INFORMATION
I love reading The Daily Bell! Interesting investment information, a political and social viewpoint that lets me know I'm not alone in the world and "annotated" with analysis. I highly recommend it to all interested readers.
THE DAILY BELL IS A MUST-READ
Because the world is changing so rapidly, it is difficult to keep up, which means The Daily Bell is a must read. I consider the information critically important reading.
READ IT EVERY DAY
A defender of free markets, The Daily Bell takes a libertarian approach to expose and unravel global misinformation. Read The Daily Bell – every day!
The Daily Bell does a remarkable job of exposing how money power uses central banking to crush people into submission via global government with economic and political slavery being the desired end result.
I read The Daily Bell every day and I find it very informative.
GREAT THINKERS YOU CAN'T GET ANYWHERE ELSE
The Daily Bell has revived that great old institution of the personal interview, extracting information from today's great thinkers you can't get anywhere else. Outstanding!
THOUGHTFUL NEWS, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS
I always read the Bell. The news items are thoughtfully selected, and the interviews are unavailable elsewhere.
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE
I love the Daily Bell. Every issue is principled and informative.
Liberty is under assault by Big Government. The Daily Bell is an essential tool for information for those who want to fight for freedom.
PART OF MY DAILY NEWS DIET
I read it every day!
GUTS, OBJECTIVITY, WISDOM
Rarely does a publication have the guts and objectivity to tell it like it is, yet the eloquence and wisdom to listen carefully to the ‘other side.’ This is The Daily Bell accomplishing its daily mission.
VOICE OF REASON
I have thoroughly enjoyed the analysis and interviews at The Daily Bell, which has so often been a voice of reason during these perilous times
A VIRTUAL WHO'S WHO
The good and the bad, the big dogs and the small, the thinkers and the doers among libertarians and on the "Right" – you can encounter them all in The Daily Bell's exclusive weekly interviews. Indispensable.
I enjoy reading The Daily Bell because it often has refreshing and novel ways of looking at things.
MESSAGES OF TRUTH
The Daily Bell website is one of the authentic voices cutting through the clouds of vapid opinion, the morass of mediocre media and the confusion of Orwellian doublespeak. The Bell website lives up to its name, ringing unheard messages of truth in our ears.
Are Societies Owned?
December 12, 2011
Editorial By Tibor Machan
Libertarians tend to view taxation as unjustified. It is something associated with statism, a kind of coercive institution that expropriates resources from members of society rather than securing the resources voluntarily. Statists, however, criticize the libertarian view, claiming that in a way taxation is voluntary, only apparently not so. Such defenders of statism as Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, in their book The Myth of Ownership, have made this case and they have done so along lines worth some attention here.
Assume you wish to sell antiques, so you rent space in a building owned by someone and agree that whenever you make a sale, some of what you fetch goes to the owner. Craig Duncan claims this is analogous to the nature of taxation. The country is like the building. "The building's owner ... charges vendors a percentage of their sales intake—say, 20 percent—as payment for the opportunity to sell from one of the building's stalls.... The owner is not stealing [the vendor's] money when he demands this sum from [the vendor]." According to Duncan it is by comparison to this kind of situation that taxation ought to be understood, not, as I and other libertarians argue, as extortion by some members of society (the government) of the rest who live and work there or, as Nozick claimed, as something on par with forced labor.
But the analogy is a bad one. No one owns a free society. No one who lives in a free society is provided with the opportunity to strike up a deal with some owner of that society or to choose, from among different owners of societies, in which he or she might live and work.
Instead, people would be born into a free society where others, including their parents, relatives, or guardians, own homes, places of work and so on. Other people—the government—would not have the authority to coerce them into paying them "taxes" and to put them in jail if they refuse to pay up, with no chance of bargaining about the percentage, of whether to pay a flat fee (whether they win or lose in their various commercial endeavors), a percentage of some possible take and so forth.
All of these latter options are, however, possible when an antique seller rents a stall from someone who owns a building where customers may seek out vendors. But free societies, unlike the place where an antique vendor may or may not rent a stall, are not anyone's property.
Professor Duncan does, however, correctly describe societies that are not free. In a feudal system, for example, the king or tsar or other monarch owns the society. In a dictatorship the dictator is the owner. In fascist societies the leader in effect owns the society. And in democracies that aren't governed by a constitution that protects individual rights the majority owns the society. These owners then charge a rent from those they permit to live and work on their property.
That kind of system is, indeed, the natural home of the institution of taxation. Such societies are also the natural home of serfdom, where others than those who own it live and work only when permitted to do so. They have no rights other than those granted at the discretion of the owners. Both serfdom and taxation arise naturally in societies that are owned by someone.
In free societies, however, no one owns the society. Individual citizens may or may not own all kinds of things in such free societies—land, apartments, family homes, farms, factories, and innumerable other items that may be found before human beings have expropriated them from the wilds or what has been produced by or traded back and forth among the free citizenry.
Of course, in complex, developed free societies the citizenry will most likely have instituted a legal order or government, based on the principles of freedom—individual rights to life, liberty and property, for example. And they will probably have instituted some means by which those administering such a system will be paid for their work—user fees, shares of wealth owned, a flat sum, or something more novel and unheard of (e.g., contract fees). Citizens can come together, roughly along lines of how the original American colonists came together, and establish a legal order or government that will be empowered, without violating anyone's rights, to provide for a clear definition, elaboration, and defense of everyone's rights. Then, once such a group of citizens has come together and instituted a government with just powers—powers that do not violate but protect individual rights—the proper funding of the work of such a government can be spelled out.
What is crucial here is that such funding must occur voluntarily, namely, as the kind of funding that does not violate anyone's rights. Unlike the case Professor Duncan gives us, where someone has prior ownership over the various items in society that can be owned, in a free society ownership is achieved through various types of free action. This includes coming upon something unowned and appropriating it—land, trees, lakes, whatever—or being given in trade various things by others or, again, being born into the world with various assets or attributes that may well be used to create wealth through production, use or exchange.
A truly free society, then, does not belong to anyone but is a region wherein individuals are free to come to own things. It is one within which those who live there are free to embark on actions that involve, among other things, the acquisition of property. That is part of being free, not being coerced by others to give up what one has peacefully acquired, not be prohibited by others from embarking on various actions, including peaceful acquisition (including production and trade).
In short, a free society is based on principles of individual rights, not on having gained permission from prior owners of the society on analogy with how a renter of a stall in an antique mall comes into possession of that stall. In free societies ownership is a right everyone has by his or her nature as a human being and it isn't granted as a privilege by a prior owner, ad infinitum.
 Liam Murphy and Thomas Nagel, The Myth of Ownership (London: Oxford University Press, 2002).
 Craig Duncan & Tibor R. Machan, Libertarianism, For and Against (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005), p. 46.
 Robert Nozick, Anarchy, State, and Utopia (New York: Basic Books, 1974).