In the chapter on Statism: Our Condition of the 1983 version of the New Libertarian Manifesto by Samuel Edward Konkin III the following can be found,

In the 20th Century alone, war has murdered more than all previous deaths; taxes and inflation have stolen more than all wealth previously produced; and the political lies, propaganda, and above all, "Education" have twisted more minds than all the superstition prior; yet through all the deliberate confusion and obfuscation, the thread of reason has developed fibers of resistance to be woven into the rope of execution for the State: Libertarianism.

Being in the first 10 sentence in the seminal work on Agorism such a claim is kind of concerning. I don't see how it could be true.

Especially interesting is that he wrote this in 1983, the 20th century wasn't even over yet.

  • 2
    Considering the exponential growth of the economy, taxing 1% of the present economy might draft all wealth produced before 1900. That being said, the statement is certainly highly misleading.
    – gerrit
    Jan 21, 2014 at 14:11
  • 2
    Note: "stolen" is an emotive word in the quote. It is clear that neither tax nor inflation count as theft under any major legal system. I used 'consume' in the title to avoid it.
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 23, 2014 at 6:34
  • @oddthinking Libertarians regard all taxation as theft-by-force. Jul 23, 2014 at 14:55
  • Have I understood the claim correctly? That if you take the total GWP pre-1901, you'll find it is smaller that the sum of the global tax revenue for 1901-2000 AND the sum of each year's global wealth multiplied by the inflation rate for the year (weighted by country).
    – Oddthinking
    Jul 23, 2014 at 15:04
  • 3
    What does “consuming” (or “stealing”) wealth even mean?
    – Relaxed
    Jul 28, 2014 at 11:56


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