I sincerely apologize if I misrepresented your viewpoint, it was unintentional. Please correct me if I did.
Not misrepresenting, just disagreeing. Which is way-cool with me.
I think I understand where you are coming from. The place we seem to differ is that you see citizenship as a carefully calculated purchase where everybody gets their moneys worth (which is what it would be in an ideal society). However, I see citizenship the way it seems to play out in the real world: An all or nothing deal that forces us to put up within unfair taxes and regulations in exchange for the privilege of being a US citizen. Within the system that is currently in place I don't think taxation is theft.
The question is, did I accept the taxation system, or did I simply accept that unfair taxation was not worth the trouble of tearing up all my roots and moving and dealing with immigration and settling down in a new country with my limited financial resources?
If I get ripped off by an online retailer (*cough* or my community college *cough*) for a few (*cough* hundred *cough*)dollars, it is still theft even if I just say: "Meh, whatever. Life goes on."
Green Tea wrote:
(1) The liberalism apparently shared by all parties. It is not the case that the "autonomous individual" is the sole or even fundamental locus of ethical consideration.
I may be misunderstanding you, I am low on sleep this weekend.
But isn't the freedom of action a very important consideration in ethics? To paraphrase one of the few things I agree with from Ayn Rand: "Morality Ends where a gun begins." If I am forced into taking an immoral action, I am less culpable than if I had done it of my unrestricted free will, (to be clear, I am certainly not absolved from it.) And the reverse is also true, if a man shows up at my door step with a gun and says: Donate your couch to the Salvation Army. Or I will shoot you. I have done something less morally praiseworthy than if I had went and given the couch myself.
Alternatively I could be completely misunderstanding you.