At the Daily Reckoning, Byron King has offered a three article history of the Whiskey Rebellion:
After the Revolutionary War, the United States suffered chronic problems of debt and lack of revenue. Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of the Treasury, created a tax imposed upon whiskey at its source. This greatly upset the distillers of Western Pennsylvania who began to abuse the tax collectors. As a result of this, President Washington mustered the army, which was in disarray, and so he supplemented it with the Virginia and New Jersey militias. The Western Pennsylvania militia, on their way to attack Pittsburgh was met by a delegation of Pittsburgh men with wagons full of beer, beef and other food. The Western Pennsylvania militia feasted and disbanded before Washington arrived with the US forces. Washington proclaimed amnesty and the Whiskey Rebellion became a footnote of history.
The United States established itself as a taxing entity that would use all violent force necessary to maintain its fiscal existence. It had a problem with some local forms of resistance from people who felt that they had replaced a King George with a President George who was worse. The United States avoided a massacre only because of the quick thinking Abigails of Pittsburgh.
George Washington himself once said:
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
Governments enforce taxation normally at the point of gun. It is not a voluntary association whereby members offer dues with love and respect, but as a result of threats of imprisonment, fines and liens. Fail to pay your taxes, and you risk being arrested in most countries. Resist arrest and you are likely to face deadly force. Or why else would the IRS be buying guns and ammo?
A commenter here said:
There is no history of genocide ever being committed under the guise of a flawed tax process, even under Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Milosevic, or Idi Amin. Using the Holocaust or slavery as a parallel I believe is beyond the pale.
However, history is replete with examples of the use of violent force to exact taxes and tribute. I offered the Jewish War against the Romans for succession as an example of actual genocide against rebellious subjects who refused to pay taxes. The Arch of Titus stands to this day in Rome commemorating the Flavians’ defeat of the Jews, which resulted in the death of millions and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem.
As far as I can see, those who have suggested that the Isaac Brock Society (me especially) has been guilty of extremism or hyperbole would have trouble showing where any of us has recommended anything but peaceful solutions to the Tax Jihad that the United States is waging against expats. No one has recommended violence or bloodshed (I would take it down–we may not break Canadian law). No one has even suggested using tar and feathers against US federal officials, a favorite response of the Western Pennsylvanians!
I am however worried that the attempt to exact extra-territorial taxation against alleged US persons abroad will result in unlawful detention of some at the border. But above all, I am upset that the US government has threatened expats with 383% FBAR fines that would reduce us to utter poverty; this is so that they can illegally obtain information about the wealth that we have in our private financial accounts–information to which the United States government has no right (Or does the Fourth Amendment mean anything?) If anyone is guilty of extremist measures or hyperbole, it’s been the United States government. But then, the United States has always used extreme violence and the threat thereof to collect taxes and it continues to do so today. If push comes to shove, we should expect nothing less in our cases.
Benjamin Franklin said, “We must hang together, gentlemen, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Why? Because tax protestors founded the United States, and the British government decided to wage war against them rather than to let them continue to oppose King George’s reasonable forms of taxation. There is nothing new under the sun. A few short years after defeating the oppressor, the United States had became the oppressor, threatening the Whiskey Rebellion with deadly force.