The very concepts of individual liberty, religious liberty and enjoyment of property are facing a daily onslaught.
This thus the first of many short epistles to inspire people to act with regards to their most visible relationship with government: taxation.
What measure can a concerned citizen take today that, within the context of law and sensibility, starts to push back Leviathan – the grotesquely overreaching state? The answer is simple: starve it.
Writing in the mid-17th century, amid over one hundred years of upheaval based on King Henry VIII’s break with Rome in 1532 and the growing emergence of the nation state as the supreme political entity in Europe, Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan. It advocated for a social contract by which a supreme leader or autocrat would rule the masses. Its name derived from the Biblical sea creature Leviathan – the devourer of the souls of the damned – and was also the name he gave his perception of government.
Hobbes saw in human nature no inalienable striving for a greater good, but rather the opposite, in which a society left ungoverned would descend into violence. As evidenced by his famous quote, “without government, life would be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,” his view of the future was far from what Sir Winston Churchill would call the “broad sunlight uplands.”
The quintessential elements of Hobbes’s dystopian state, which he characterized as a Commonwealth, was a contract by which, in return for public safety, the ruled would give up any pretense of individual liberty. The sovereign, whether an individual or assembly, had the power to make and enforce the law as they applied to society and property, could levy taxation ostensibly to provide for a rudimentary social safety net, had supremacy over religious belief and liberty and had wide censorship powers. Coming from Hobbes, none of this was a surprise given that his living memory would have included stories of great religious persecutions and executions under Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, Elizabeth I, and an English Civil War that had seen King Charles I lose his head to Cromwell’s Parliamentary forces in 1849.
We in what we collectively call The West now see the tentacles of Leviathan ever expanding, not just consuming the souls of the damned, but also the righteous. The majoritarian justification for the ever-expanding state has been discarded for other political doctrines, such as Marxism and identity politics. The very concepts of individual liberty, religious liberty and enjoyment of property are facing a daily onslaught. Social media, in which some may have an opinion, regardless of any foundation in truth or academic process, has only amplified this inexorable regression to the nadir.
Leviathan can and must be stopped. The alternative is not an absence of government but a return to a traditional balance – what we once called liberalism – where the need for security is balanced against the inalienable reality of human liberty. How do we succeed in what many believe to be a Sisyphean exercise, but what in fact is merely Herculean,?
The answer is indeed broad, but also clear. As individuals we must reassert control where the state has willingly and wrongfully intruded. As parents we must forcefully assert that the family has been and always shall be the basic social unit. As citizens we must understand that with rights come obligations. An obligation to understand, not decry our history, our traditions, and our basic political system. It is our obligation to restore society to what Edmund Burke described:
“Society is a partnership in all science, a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtue and in all perfection. As the ends of such a partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born.”
What measure can a concerned citizen take today that, within the context of law and sensibility, starts to push back Leviathan? The answer is simple; starve it.
It is the purpose of this short epistle, and those to follow, to inspire people to act with regards to their most visible relationship with government, namely taxation. At present, taxation, both of individuals and their endeavours, is oppressive, taking too much under the chimera of fairness while confronting taxpayers with a byzantine system where seeking redress would do a disservice to the term “uphill battle.”
In the future I will write about substantive and strategic ways in which taxation can be delayed, deferred, and reduced, all within the parameters of an individual’s specific financial landscape and always with an eye towards risk and avoiding undue complexity. It is always with an eye towards gravitas, which is a solemnity of manner, that solutions should be considered and implemented. Whilst political and societal discussion need not be the focus of every edition, our common purpose to restore a sense and reality of balance and respect will always be foundational.
I look forward to standing beside you all, certainly leading from the front, but all part of the same phalanx, with our shields and spears united in the same glorious purpose.
 In Greek mythology, Hades punished Sisyphus by forcing him for eternity to roll a gargantuan boulder up a hill, only for it to roll down to the bottom each time. Hence an impossible task.
 Requiring, well, Herculean strength.
 Yes, there are footnotes.