When Juanita Nelson went to jail in her bathrobe in after being arrested for her war tax resistance, a sympathetic visitor told her: “You know, you look like a female Gandhi in that robe.”
Gandhi in turn compared his own tax resistance campaigns to those of British nonconformists and women’s suffrage activists that came before him, and he published his own translations of Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience and his interpretations of Tolstoy’s non-resistance theories.
The suffragist Women’s Tax Resistance League carried into battle a banner bearing the portrait of tax resister John Hampden, and Tolstoy took inspiration from Americans like Thoreau and William Lloyd Garrison. Thoreau and Garrison in turn drew on tales of the American Revolution and the stubborn pacifism of American Quakers.
This family tree of tax resistance shows a family as diverse as any. There’s a lot of ideological space between the tax resisters Karl Marx and Karl Hess. Tax resisters have been armed revolutionaries like John Adams and pacifist non-resistants like John Woolman; communists like Marx and capitalists like Vivien Kellems; solitary consciences like Ammon Hennacy and leaders of resistance movements like Mahatma Gandhi.
Some refused to pay a tax because they could not support with their money what their consciences condemned. Others refused to pay taxes that were being unfairly or illegally assessed. Others resisted as part of a campaign to overthrow the government.
We Won’t Pay: A Tax Resistance Reader tells their stories, in their words, and will provide inspiration and education for the generations of tax resisters to come.
Here’s an overview of what you’ll find in the pages of We Won’t Pay!:
- The Time of Jesus
- John Hampden
- The American Quakers
- Other Christian Pacifists
- The Regulators
- The American Revolution
- Paul Cuffe
- The Whiskey Rebellion
- The French Revolution
- The Breton Association
- Reform Bill Agitation
- The Bezuidenhout Affair
- Henry David Thoreau
- Tolstoy’s Christian Anarchism
- Karl Marx
- The Irish Land League
- Benjamin Ricketson Tucker
- The Church Rates
- British Nonconformists
- The Vyborg Manifesto
- World War Ⅰ in the United States
- Women’s Suffrage
- Julia and Abby Smith
- Mahatma Gandhi
- The Amish and Social Security
- Ammon Hennacy
- Libertarians, Objectivists, and Voluntaryists
- American Constitutionalists and the Peace Tax
- Karl Hess
- The Cold War and the Arms Race
- 21st Century Tax Resistance