Death and taxes: On the justice of conscientious war tax resistance Robert T. Pennock


Abstract
Resistance to paying war taxes that stems from a principled pacifism is not the same as tax-dodging and should be accommodated in the law by broadening the scope of Conscientious Objector (CO) status and by legislating a nonmilitary alternative fund so COs may redirect their tax money to peaceful uses. Using the religious example of the Society of Friends (Quakers) and various secular examples of pacifism I show that resisters’ conscientious opposition to paying for war is of a kind with their conscientious refusal to carry arms. Their refusal to cooperate with military taxation is not disdain of the rule of law, but is a respectful form of civil disobedience. It is in the interest of justice for a liberal democracy to provide an option for conscientious objectors so they may satisfy their moral scruples without having to break the law.
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