Professor and financial advisor Mark Skousen maintains that a civilized society is one in which persuasion, not force, is used to achieve order.
The late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “Taxation is the price we pay for civilization.” Skousen refutes this idea, saying:
"Chief Justice Holmes was a great man, but his statement on taxation–-which is inscribed on the IRS headquarters in Washington, D.C.-–is plainly wrong. Taxation is not the price we pay for civilization. Taxation is the price we pay for failing to build a civilized society, since taxation represents force. The higher the tax level, the greater the failure. A centrally planned totalitarian state represents a complete failure of the civilized world, while a totally voluntary society represents its ultimate success.
"Raising taxes to solve our problems indicates that our leaders don’t have the vision to seek voluntary solutions. Moreover, raising taxes reduces the funds private citizens and organizations have available to engage in charitable causes, thus worsening our social welfare crisis."