Compendium: Taxation and the Work-Standard (Pt. I of III)

It is only appropriate to describe the Work-Standard’s relationship with taxation policies from the standpoint of Hamiltonian Federal Socialism. Most Americans genuinely do not appreciate taxation policies. They are willing to tolerate when convinced they are necessary for the Totality, the American Union itself. However, a recurring problem throughout American history has been posited by Alexander Hamilton and the Federalist Party: Where will America find the Geld needed by the Federal government to sustain the Totality? How will the Federal government receive this Geld and what methods are going to be taken?

These questions informed Hamilton’s decision-making while writing his portion of The Federalist Papers. He spent six Federalist Papers, from No. 30 to No. 36, on the very issue of taxation. While much of what was written therein are sound, some of them will need to be discarded due to two considerations. The most obvious was that Hamilton needed to present a quick rebuttal in order to justify the US Constitution’s stances on taxation policies, including why Congress should the power to levy taxes. The other is to discuss the issue of taxation in the United States from the purview of the Work-Standard, which will in turn support the veracity of Hamilton’s arguments in other Federalist Papers. Since most Americans and non-Americans alike may not be aware of the historical origins behind the American aversion to Taxes, an overview of Federalist Papers Nos. 30 to 36 is needed.

In Federalist Paper No. 30, Hamilton wrote that the Federal government needs to command the power to tax in order to sustain itself, maintain a national armed forces, and support the US economy. With the Work-Standard in mind, the second paragraph of that Federalist Paper becomes a justification for its existence in the American Way of Life:

Money [Geld] is, with propriety, considered as the vital principle of the body politic; as that which sustains its life and motion, and enables it to perform its most essential functions. A complete power, therefore, to procure a regular and adequate supply of it, as far as the resources of the community will permit, may be regarded as an indispensable ingredient in every constitution. From a deficiency in this particular, one of two evils must ensue; either the people must be subjected to continual plunder, as a substitute for a more eligible mode of supplying the public wants, or the government must sink into a fatal atrophy, and, in a short course of time, perish.     

The significance of perceiving the concept of Currency as Geld instead of Kapital puts the rest of Hamilton’s arguments into perspective. He pointed out how the Federal government will allow the States within the Union to issue their own Taxes as “Internal Taxes” and Taxes on foreign trade called “External Taxes.” Even today, the States which form the US levy their own state-level taxes just as local counties and metropolitan areas levy theirs. From a Federal Socialist perspective, these Internal Taxes can only be accepted by Hamilton for wartime conditions, but one must ask if Hamilton also made those arrangements as a compromise. For the conditions of Total Mobilization will eventually require implementing more standardized taxation policies.

Regardless, it is in a later passage that Hamilton went on to write:


This statement is an important one for the Work-Standard in context of the Total Economic Potential. For the American Union, the US Dollar must always be backed by the Arbeit of the American people. The Arbeit of the American people coexists in lockstep with their Geld, the same Geld which Hamilton focused on in the next five Federalist Papers.

Federalist Paper No. 31 is favorable to the Work-Standard’s advocacy of its Vocational Civil Service (VCS) Economy model more than the currently existing Liberal Capitalist Market Economy. Hamilton maintained that the Federal government needs the means required in achieving specific goals. In the case of the Work-Standard, Hamilton is advocating for the Federal government to be able to sustain and maintain its command over the economy. However, Hamilton saw Taxes as one of the requirements for sustaining the national economy. Again, this too can be discarded because there are specific ways the Work-Standard can help a national government finance itself. It can be done without resorting to the Keynesian methods of sustaining higher taxation rates and government spending which America experienced in the 1950s and 1960s. 

The real challenge, as far as Hamiltonian Federal Socialism is concerned, involves finding the mindset suitable for the conditions of Total Mobilization. Even though Hamilton technically contributed to Total Mobilization through the fostering of industrial manufacturing, the American people as a Totality have yet to find the right mindset. That mindset was described by Ernst Jünger once in Der Arbeiter as this:

The more Prussian, or the more Bolshevist one’s life can be lived, by the way, the better off life will be. 

In essence, the mindset alluded here is one defined by national civil service, fiscal discipline, selfless devotion, the determination to take on higher Duties and Obligations under the US Constitution. This cannot be imposed by laws or by so-called “Incentives.” It is defined by how somebody chooses to live their life. Even in contemporary America, that mentality can still be found in the US armed forces, among Federal and State civil servants, among priests and religious (such as those who are Roman Catholics and the Eastern Rite Catholics, Lutherans and the Eastern Orthodox), scholars and artists genuinely committed to their works of art as opposed to Kapital.

The next four Federalist Papers, Nos. 32, 33, 34 and 35, focus on the economic, social and political aspects of an American VCS Economy operating in sync with the Work-Standard. Beyond Hamilton’s continued rhetoric about justifications behind Federal taxation policies is the necessity for Council Democracy, the Federal government wielding the Intents of Command and Obedience, and why there are limits to levying taxes.

Federalist Papers No. 32 and No. 34 has Hamilton justifying the Constitutional basis behind the Federal government’s power to levy taxes throughout the entire American Union. In particular, he insisted that the power of taxation belongs to the US Congress, which is perfectly understandable if Congress was still a Council Democracy. The contemporary Congress, including its failures and feebleness, is a Parliamentary Democracy. Most Americans have little to no faith in the competence of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Hannah Arendt and Russell Kirk arrived at similar conclusions within their own respective works between the 1950s and 1970s, and it became the subject of concern about the future of the Union. Where Arendt and Kirk can be understood as sharing similar ideas is their belief that the Union needs to return to the Councilor governance that Hamilton and the Federalist Party intended to establish. Only in a Council Democracy can Congress be able to act decisively to serve the Totality vis-à-vis an America VCS Economy.

Federalist Papers No. 33 and 35 involved Hamilton providing the grounds for Total Mobilization among several topics: the Intent behind the “Necessary and Proper Clause” and the “Supremacy Clause”; why taxation is best suited for the national emergencies of Carl Schmitt’s “State of Exception”; and why any new taxation policy needs to be scrutinized within the framework of Council Democracy. There is a lot of information to discuss and all of them has already been discussed in one form or another across other SMP Compendium entries. For the sake of understanding the Work-Standard, a review of relevant topics is in order.

The Necessary and Proper Clause and the Supremacy Clause within the US Constitution has always been targeted by Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans, the Liberal Capitalists, for centuries. Most Americans and perhaps some non-Americans will encounter people claiming that the Constitution grants “too much power” to the Federal government, that there needs to be some form of “limited government” or “small government.” These principles are as Jeffersonian as they are also the byproduct of the Great Divergence within the Federalist Party, when Jefferson’s protégé James Madison betrayed Hamilton and the Federalists. The historical purpose of those Clauses is to essentially assert the political legitimacy of the Federal government wielding the Intents of Command and Obedience, including the legal jurisprudence required for the existences of Constitutional Intents and Obligations and a Legal Code of Duties and Rights.

The Federal government serves the American people, who in fact are Sovereign under Total Mobilization. This will always be the case until the occurrence of a State of Exception, which should be reserved for any rare life-or-death moments in America’s future. Outside of a State of Exception, the pressures of Total Mobilization will continue to force everyday Americans to advocate for reforming the US Congress. It is already discernible within the concerned raised over various practices characteristic of Parliamentary Democracy. From combating the subversive influences of Kapital by lobbyists and special interest groups and the end of Gerrymandering to the end of the Senatorial Filibuster and reforming the Electoral College.    

As stated earlier, taxation should be reserved as a last resort under the Work-Standard. It deserves to be limited only to where and when it becomes necessary for the Totality. And in a Council Democracy, the American people will be able to voice their grievances against Congressional approval of unnecessary taxation policies and recall those who fail to serve the Totality through a vote of confidence at the State level. That is not possible under a Parliamentary Democracy.

Furthermore, Hamilton warned about the dangers of any Tax whose existence cannot be justified because there will always be the potential for economic self-sabotage. A notable example cited in Federalist Paper No. 36 was a Poll Tax on the population of the American Union. Poll Taxes are to be rightfully rejected due to being indiscriminate toward whether those affected who lack the means required to afford it. It is due to this consideration that Hamilton advocated the need for an organizational body of tax collectors who must know their jurisdiction and the people who reside within it. Those tax collectors will be the ones with the Duty to set the valuation of tax rates on behalf of the State and Federal governments. Contemporary America generally understands this particular organizational body as the “Internal Revenue Service” (IRS).

Given the Work-Standard’s minimization of Taxes, it is possible to reinterpret Federalist Paper No. 36 as delving into Mission-Type Economic Planning. That will entail economic planners and a retinue of accountants recording the contributions of Arbeit from various jurisdictions at the local, regional and national levels. Hamilton’s warnings about excessive taxation can now be reinterpreted as a warning of the need to avoid excessive Attrition by ensuring realistic expectations are pursued among economic enterprises are by pursued. Beware that excessive Attrition is potentially fatal and may lead to the needless injuries and deaths in the workspace.

In retrospect, there are three important implications posed by the Work-Standard about taxation policies. The most obvious of them is that Taxes are most ineffective if their Intent is to “redistribute wealth.” Such policies have no place in the conditions of Total Mobilization insofar as they belong in the epoch of 19th century Liberal Capitalist economics. Another implication is the Work-Standard’s ability to contribute more Geld from a larger diversity of sources of Arbeit, which has never been possible with Kapital. It is now feasible to for governments as large as the US government to sustain a large portion of its costs without resorting to Keynesian-like methods.      

This leaves the existence of taxation policies under the Work-Standard to accommodate the more obscure policies proposed by Hamilton. These include the usual ones which further economic growth and protect national industries from foreign economic powers. The rest are those intended for promoting economic activities more favorable to the Totality and others that try to dissuade the proliferation of less honorable ones. All of those and more will be discussed in the next two parts of this SMP Compendium entry.

Categories: Compendium, Philosophy, Politics

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  1. Neither Utopia nor Dystopia: “Never Forget” – The Fourth Estate

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