The birth of the State and its tax system

in #politicslast year (edited)

Ulises Flores

Dear Reader

This historiographic analysis seeks to describe some elements of the State as a systemic and organic organ, as well as the creation of the tax system. In the meantime, I will try to keep the sequence in a certain chronological order; in this way, any reader carries the discursive illusion without the risk of conceptual loss. It is a short post in which I have substantially summarized the main ideas resulting from an academic essay. Therefore, the content is subjective and of course original.

The State: Good or Necessary Evil?

The State in its broad and overprotective structure is one of the most debated components in human history. An extensive literature whose documentary records can be traced in classical Greece during the dawn of the organizational political scaffolding that constitutes the appearance of the first city states; experiences from which the Roman civilization would drink, who took these organizational components to adapt them to its expansive monarchic and imperial model.

Attribution: lalitaperuviana - (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) image hosted in Flickr

Modern Athens urban territory. More than 3000 years ago, it was constituted as a city-state and represented an economic, social and military emporium of advanced organization for the time. Its naval power, political maturity and generation of great philosophers would make it grow considerably. Some attribute this growth to the help of the Olympic Gods.

The muscular tissue (elements) of the State took shape to the extent that its main actors sowed in society the need for the existence of a guide and protector who would serve as an arbiter at the same time, who has to ensure compliance with the rules (norms) of the game that were created for purposes of domination under the insidious protective disguise.

Birth of the State

It is with this political, ideological, philosophical and human nectar that the State is born. An organ that leaves its intrauterine life with the fundamental principles and components proposed by Nicolas Machiavelli (1469-1527) in a systematic set of political ideas impregnated with practical sense and a realistic vision of government. Antagonistically, he is branded as evil, mad and a perverse being. For others, he was a thinker who documented a set of structural elements, components and functions on how to organize and govern a society under the conception of the State. Contents that can be consulted in his synthetic work known as The Prince.

Nicolas Machiavellian
Attribution: Santi di Tito - Public Domain image hosted in
In any case, it is here where for the first time there is a denomination of modern State, not like now, but it did represent a considerable advance for the time; so much so that diverse authors consider him the father of the political sciences.

For Machiavelli, people in general (society) were unjust, mean, selfish who only cared for their own benefit; reasons that lead him to ask himself about man: Then, we must kill them? and he answers himself: No! We must discipline them, subject them to regimes that force him to obey and be good men.

This is one of the premises and social and political arguments that Machiavelli used to dedicate the State design that he proposed to Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici, better known as Lorenzo II de Médici.

Consequently, the need arises to create a State to maintain the social order and make it function as a mega social and political organizing system that must coexist in society. However, for the operation and maintenance of this organ requires considerable economic resources, which must come from somewhere; since society needs a mentor and protector, it will be it that pays for the services. In this sense, after the disuse of bloody invasions, lootings, wars and other strategic variables to obtain resources and sustain the expenses of the State, the duties and tributary obligations are born, known with the elegant denomination of tributary system...

I hope you have appreciated the fundamental idea of the creation of States and why the creation of a tax system. Until the next post.

  1. The origins and evolution of States link
  2. A Theory of the Origin of the State link
  3. History of Taxation link
  4. The History of Taxes in the U.S. link

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