‘No Taxation Without Representation’ (JUSTIN STAPLEY, DEC 16, 2023, Freemen News-Letter)
When we think of tyranny, we think of the systems of absolute despotism concocted by the likes of Hitler, Stalin, Un, and Mao. But the definition of tyranny held by the early patriots was any arbitrary government act. The power to tax, in their view, was the power to destroy, and thus taxation must derive from a representative body. Were it to derive from any other place, it would demonstrate a threat to their fundamental rights to life, liberty, and property. The question of tyranny, for them, extended beyond specific acts of tyranny and encompassed a consideration of the legitimacy of government power and how it could be used if the people were subjected to arbitrary authority.