**”Taxation is Not Theft” is part of the ongoing fictional series The Cockroach Revolution. You can read previous entries in the series by following the links below:
A MESSAGE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE EQUAL STATES OF AMERICA
The following is a transcript from Clan A.232’s 4th Month Meeting. The speaker has chosen to remain anonymous. When asked to explain this decision, he stated, “The words I spoke were not words I created, nor was the sentence structured by my own device. Every ideal I have, every tool I utilize is simply borrowed from the collective efforts and sacrifices of us all. Every person in the E.S.A. has an equal claim to the property of my spoken word, as I’ve to theirs.” A true and equal citizen. Please read aloud at your next Clan Meeting.
TRANSCRIPT: CLAN A.232’S 4th MONTH MEETING
TOPIC: Taxation is not theft!
Hello everyone. Thanks for coming tonight. Please let your local director know which of your neighbors chose not to attend this mandatory meeting. These reports are of course anonymous, and you will do well to remember that those that choose not to report tardiness will be subject to the same punishments as the offender in question.
Today I’d like to speak about money. Specifically, the greed that it inspires. Even more specifically, the inherit selfishness of the human spirit and how, collectively, we can overcome ourselves. One cannot simply improve upon themselves without the assistance of another. A sword cannot sharpen itself.
I object to the rebellious notion that taxation is theft. It is not theft for a government to demand what is rightfully theirs in the first place! But even more so, tonight I’ll challenge the very aspect of the notion of earning. After all, don’t we all belong to each other? Isn’t the accomplishment of one the accomplishment of all?
Let me start from the beginning: why do we need money?
Of course our government, that is to say ourselves collectively, needs money for the various benefits it provides, like healthcare, so we don’t need to choose between death or debt. We’re given a complete education. No longer can we be found guilty of ignorance. Basic food is provided, and really, my friends, why would you need more than what’s necessary to survive? I’ve seen some of you in this very room spend ridiculous sums for grandiose cuts of steak, and all such sorts of dolled-up confections. How is that serving the People? You’re provided daily rations. Pure gluttony. Control your salivating tongues.
I apologize for the diversion. It’s just that the selfishness of some of you, it shocks me to the point of revulsion.
Thus far, I’ve covered that your health, wallet, and stomach are completely provided for by the People. So I ask you: why do you need money?
I hear those unpatriotic grumbles. Please keep in mind that these proceedings are being recorded. For archival purposes.
So why do you need money, when all your needs are provided for? Are you stuffing it under your mattress? Sticking it in a bank? Perhaps you selfishly think it’ll provide a safety net—do you not trust the People to provide? Some might save for retirement. Retirement! You can’t retire from your social duties. What will you do with your retirement? Sit around and leech off the People? You might say, “Well, I’ve earned it! I’ve worked hard, saved every penny. Why shouldn’t I get to relax?”
I’ll tell you why. Each dollar hidden away is another American family unfed. I personally donate my entire income to the Equal States of America, and I’m proud of it! I’ll work ‘til the day I die, and the only award I require is the success of each and every one of us, of the Collective!
Acknowledge your selfish spirit. We’re all guilty of being human. But now that I have unveiled your vanity, you can move forward free of guilt and work toward a resolution! I call on each and every person present to go home and collect all of your hidden treasures and hand it over to the People, who know better the good it could accomplish!
Let me be clear, if I haven’t been already. In my view, any person who selfishly builds their wealth is an enemy of the People. They should be scolded by the Collective and, again in my humble opinion, actively surveyed by the Equal States of America. They’re no better than the rebels we’ve heard so much of lately. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that they’re funding those cockroaches!
I submit this meeting’s transcript as a plea to our betters to withhold all of our incomes, and to use it for the betterment of the Collective. Until that time, I ask my fellow man not to think of themselves, but of each other. Reflect on the good our government has accomplished. With those warm thoughts in mind go forth and in the name of the E.S.A. make those that practice the sin of self-preservation feel the Collective guilt.
**This speech was read at the 5th month meeting of every Clan in the E.S.A., a demand from the Collective that preceded the main events that took place during the Cockroach Revolution, and very likely swelled the rebel’s ranks. It was widely regarded not to have been written by any local Clansman, but rather by one of the many speech writers under the Collective’s employ. Shortly after this speech’s distribution, the E.S.A. began to withhold the entirety of most its citizen’s incomes. The Collective cited the popularity of this speech when passing the legislation, stating it was the “Undeniable Will of the People.”