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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 39

Three Political, Axioms

Three Political, Axioms.

It is an axiom in America: "No taxation without representation." The propriety of the converse seems equally clear: "No representation without taxation." But there is a third, which strikes me as being more axiomatic in a free State than either of the others—namely, "No adult without property."

If this could be effected, if all could thus be placed upon an equal footing, then the most proper and convenient of all taxes would be a poll-tax. A poll-tax as a variable tax would be the best of all guarantees of the public economy, and it would in a manner compel everyone of common ambition to acquire a knowledge of State affairs such as every citizen should possess. Public business would be dragged into the daylight. Indirect taxation has not these advantages, and yet it may press quite as burden somely on the poor, or more so, besides which it contravenes the principle of Free Trade, and complicates business.

Mr. Greg has proposed to levy a poll-tax on proletaires. The proposal is no less ludicrous than wicked. It is squeezing the dry sponge or else leasing the atmosphere. People who read the Liberator sometimes supposed that Garrison was a negro. No one, from reading Mr. Greg, would take him for a proletaire.

The proprietary classes are always justly called the Conservative and order-loving classes. I shall submit for the reader's consideration whether that supernumerary inhabitant of a State, that pariah, that proletaire, or that one who, for whatever reason, loves not order and finds no interest therein, be not one man too many in that State.?