Some links that have bobbed up in my browser in recent days:
- How does what was once seen as morally insignificant come to be seen as monstrous, and how does what was once seen as morally repulsive come to be just one of those things? Cass R. Sunstein has a theory. The spectrum of what behavior we observe becomes the “normal” against which we contrast outliers. As we become exposed to more aberrant behavior, that behavior shifts into the normal; as more conduct shifts into an unacceptable category, other things nearby to that category can get sucked into the objectionable void. This has implications for “outrage culture” and how we share on social media.
- The gilets jaunes movement in France has turned out to be more of a threat to the established order than anyone anticipated.
It started as a protest against fuel tax increases, but when its increasingly threatening demonstrations finally forced the government to delay, then drop those increases, rather than stopping, they continued, more emboldened than before.
I don’t have much to add to what is now being decently covered in the English-language press, but here are a few links I found interesting:
- A sample English-language news article from as things were heating up, but when the government was still insisting the taxes would go through as planned.
- A photo of some gilets jaunes bricking up the entrance to a regional government building.
- Wikipedia articles about similar protests that took place in Sicily in and in the United Kingdom in , , and .
- Amnesty International issued a statement against police brutality towards gilets jaunes demonstrators, including “rubber bullets, sting-ball grenades and tear gas against largely peaceful protesters who did not threaten public order and… numerous instances of excessive use of force by police.”
- One of the ways to reduce voluntary tax compliance in a subject population is to increase resentment by pointing out how much the ruling class is cheating on their taxes. So the increasingly well-documented tax cheating of Donald Trump and his family ought not to go unmentioned.
- Of course there are those liberals who see the tax cheating of the ruling class as a good reason to feel sorry for the poor underfunded IRS instead.
- Consciousness of the cruelty and tyranny of the House of Saud is finally starting to enter the conversation in the United States. Who is paying for the barbaric war on Yemen? U.S. taxpayers are.
- In Luján, Argentina, a local tax on farmers went up 1200%. So an assembly of farmers voted to stop paying. The National Network of Independent Producers backed the tax strike. They are asking for a reduction in the rate and a guarantee that the proceeds will be used for rural road improvements.
- 335 Spanish war tax resisters documented their resistance for Antimilitarist Alternative / Conscientious Objectors’ Movement this year. Collectively they refused and redirected €35,882.34 (a little over €100 each, on average). The report lists dozens of organizations that received the redirected funds.