Marx on taxation in 1866

From: Jurriaan Bendien (andromeda246@HETNET.NL)
Date: Wed May 19 2004 - 16:59:43 EDT

Marx wrote ("Instructions for the delegates of the Provisional Council",
August 1866, published in Der Vorbote Nos. 10 and 11, October and November
1866 and The International Courier Nos. 6/7, February 20, and Nos. 8/10,
March 13, 1867) that: "(a) No modification of the form of taxation can
produce any important change in the relations of labour and capital.  (b)
Nevertheless, having to choose between two systems of taxation, we recommend
the total abolition of indirect taxes, and the general substitution of
direct taxes. Because indirect taxes increase the prices of commodities, the
tradesmen adding to those prices increase not only the amount of the
indirect taxes, but the interest and profit upon the capital advanced in
their payment. Because indirect taxes conceal from an individual what he is
paying to the state, whereas a direct tax is undisguised, unsophisticated,
and not to be misunderstood by the meanest capacity. Direct taxation prompts
therefore every individual to control the governing powers while indirect
taxation destroys all tendency to self -government.


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