I am writing this preliminary statement of my reasons for not paying taxes ahead of time, as I was recently informed by your office that I would be imprisoned for my constant refusal to pay taxes. Upon my arrest I will give you the correct report of my earnings to date in 1948.
My belief in the iniquity of government, which exists primarily to wage war, has been stated this last six years in my statement to your department when I refused to pay any tax, and also in articles in the CATHOLIC WORKER. To briefly sum them up again for your possible edification:
1. As a Christian anarchist I refuse to support any government, for, first, as a Christian, all government denies the Sermon on the Mount by a return of evil for evil in legislatures, courts, prisons and war. As an anarchist I agree with Jefferson that "that government is best which governs least. Government is founded to perpetuate the exploitation of one class by another. In it is the exploitation of the poor by a parasitic owning class living on tariffs, subsidies, rent, interest and profit, and held in power by crooked politicians, subservient clergy, blinded educators and scientists, and a prostituted press, movie industry and radio.
2. Jesus said "forgive seventy times seven." We make retroactive laws and hang our defeated enemies. Jesus told his disciples not to call down fire from heaven to destroy those who would not listen to His gospel. We have no concern with any gospel but the dollar and with our own atom bomb bring fire, not only to supposed enemies, but to whomever is in the way. Jesus said "Put up thy sword for he that taketh the sword shall perish by the sword." In peace time we draft our boys and prepare for more terrible wars.
3. World War III, run by the same Big Brass, will destroy rather than save us. Every country which has depended upon conscription has drawn defeat to itself; a country prospers by justice and not by robbery and force.
4. Warmongers tell us that Russia will invade us. We invaded the Indians, Mexicans, Central and South America with our dollar diplomacy, Europe with blockbusters, Japan with the atom bomb. We should talk! Russia wants security. We need not fear Communism for it will fall by its own weight of Bureaucracy and Tyranny of Power.
5. In our own Civil War no country openly helped either side. In the Spanish Civil War we refused to help the cause of Freedom, but today in China, Greece, and wherever the common people seek freedom, we take the side of the Fascists---and do so with hypocritical mutterings of being a "peace-loving nation."
6. Capitalism is doomed. It cannot work. With man producing tenfold more at the machine than formerly when free land was available, it is now increasingly impossible for the worker to buy back from what he receives in wages more than a portion of the goods produced. Hence depression or the selling of goods on foreign markets ensues. But there are no markets, so we have a Marshall give-away Plan to get rid of the surplus. Capitalism is doomed despite erratic efforts of that demagogic Santa Claus in the White House with his bankers and generals bribing votes with subsidies, pensions and false promises. And, as in the days of Wallace, we destroy crops.
7. The Remedy is clear, but the trend today is deeper and deeper in the mire of government paternalism and war, and the distraction of the public by radio give-away programs, bingo, witch hunts, and the escapist Youth for Christ (movement), World Government, and such delusions. Decentralization of society, with each family unit or cooperative group living simply on the land! Self-government and individual responsibility! Mutual credit and free exchange! Freedom, instead of government! A realization that you cannot make people good by law and that the Sermon on the Mount surpasses all codes and dogmas!
Ammon A. Hennacy