In this most recent example, I was at a libertarian supper club in Los Angeles. The night's theme was "How to Start Your Own Libertarian Country." It's the sort of "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" thought experiment that's popular among people who mistake Atlas Shrugged for reality.
As the attendees discussed and planned Libertarian Land, the issue of public revenue came up. How would taxes be collected?
"That's a deal breaker!" one libertarian shouted.
He then parroted the old "taxation is theft" mantra a few times, while repeating that any taxes whatsoever would be a "deal breaker" that would prevent him from supporting or moving to this hypothetical libertarian nation.
He lied. Not so much to us, as to himself.
In his fantasies, this Armchair Anarchist may imagine himself a sort of John Galt figure. As someone who refuses to compromise with the State. But it just ain't so.
This Armchair Anarchist -- who looked to be in his late 50s/early 60s -- lives in the United States. He's had plenty of time to emigrate to some tax-free nation. Perhaps even homestead onto some deserted island with his generator and survival skills. Or maybe disappear into the Alaskan wilderness and live off the grid, hunting and foraging off the land.
Yet Mr. Big Mouth Libertarian continues to live in the U.S. -- and presumably, pay his taxes.
For that matter, he lives in high-tax California, despite Nevada (which has no income tax) being less than 200 miles away.
Clearly, paying taxes is no "deal breaker" for him.
Sure, it's tough to move; to leave behind friends, family, business connections, etc. But if it were a "deal breaker," Mr. Armchair Anarchist would move despite the hardships. That's what "deal breaker" implies. That compromise is impossible.
Yet compromise with the State is possible. We do it every day. I do it every day.
Of course, I'm a minarchist and Constitutionalist -- I believe that government has legitimate authority to collect taxes for certain purposes -- though that does not include war and empire. So I'm no Anarchist, Armchair or otherwise.
Whatever your philosophy, if you're gonna Talk Big -- let's see some action. Yet for all this "principled" talk of taxes being a "deal breaker," he plugged his video camera into a wall socket, taking energy from a State sanctioned monopoly. And he continues to live in the U.S. -- and California -- because taxes are clearly no "deal breaker" for him. He merely enjoys the rush of shouting his principles, beating his chest, and perhaps earning the admiration of the handful of nearby libertarians.