The War Tax Resistance Movement in Spain

An article from Insumissia on the war tax resistance movement in Spain (translation mine):

One about tax resistance

Concerning the debate over the campaign of resistance to military spending

War tax resistance has developed in Spain for more than two decades.

Although the aim of becoming a civil disobedience campaign that calls into question the very foundations of military spending and that generates a debate about its abolition has not generated the same dynamic as the rebellion, certainly some thousand people continue to exercise this form of protest.

El País has excerpted in an article published on , some of the contradictions from a theoretical point of view when you enter philosophical and legal debates on this subject, and, in general terms, adequately summarized the state of thinking with respect to these areas.

Viewed from the perspective of the aspirations and possibilities of spreading a campaign of disobedience related to military spending, to the point of decisively affecting it or of mandating political changes, we understand that tax resistance, as it has been put forward, has not been as successful as had been hoped.

The worst that could happen is for tax resistance to be considered on the same level as the tax protest of Esperanza Aguirre [a tax-cutting Spanish politician who provocatively (but merely so) called for a tax rebellion against a VAT hike] or other such initiatives. Neither would the answer be lobbying for the authorities to agree to authorize a right of conscientious exclusion or objection (which continues military spending but my direct taxes remain excluded from their financing, so that a) military spending continues, and b) furthermore I pay it with the rest of my taxes and with the authorization of some general state budgets whose purpose we don’t depict at all), or that they permit us a certain right of determination (the way [a taxpayer may designate] a share of the personal income tax for other social purposes or to support the Catholic church).

Without entering into the important personal testimony and the political commitment of tax resisters who continue persisting, certainly we should agree to a deeper discussion about the reasons why there has been no growth in the number of resisters or in the effectiveness of the campaign — both what effects the current conditions of transmission in very unfavorable conditions of messages and proposals in our society, in order to achieve a greater number of resisters, such that they can affect the methods employed and the limits that may exist, and the need to think of other (greater or different) methods and so forth — we believe, could serve as an incentive to make criticism of military spending a pillar of the antimilitarist struggle and for the abolition of armies.

In any case, this is another example that one can struggle against militarism in many ways and that we are not alone in this struggle, that they gather, in some approaches or others, an important number of people willing to do direct and conscientious action as a tool of social change.

 — Colectivo Utopía Contagiosa