Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Free Tax Project

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Internal announcement

Dear P2P Research List Members,
I want to invite you to check the first version of
If you are native English speaker and want to help the project, please correct the text.
I want to
  • speak about the Project with you all, on this list,
  • embed your suggestions on the list into the wiki (if you won't do it yourselves:),
  • later on, invite other organizations to the discussion, and
  • officially initiate the Project by the parallel announcement on the blogs of the initiating organizations.
My main questions to you are:
1. Do you like the Vision of the Project, i.e., its
2. Are the subprojects necessary and together sufficient modules for the Project?
3. On what conditions should the P2PFoundation (as a distinct entity) join the Project publicly (on the blog) as its initiator
4. Later on, who could help us with his/her connections to some representatives of this set of organizations
Thank you:


  • Work in progress: please feel free to edit
  • Please help to correct the grammar in this wiki page: thank you:)


Join here with your project ideas, initiations or pledges,
and/or publish a status update, link, quote or blog post here (and please do not forget to tag them with 'Tax')!

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[When we officially launch the project, we will change the link in the description field to .]

We need a Project logo which expresses our Core Ideology: could you help us?




  • [initiators]

Potential Members

Core Ideology: Values

A small set of timeless guiding principles, core values require no external justification; they have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the organization. [...]
People involved in articulating the core values need to answer several questions:
* What core values do you personally bring to your work? (These should be so fundamental that you would hold them regardless of whether or not they were rewarded.)
* What would you tell your children are the core values that you hold at work and that you hope they will hold when they become working adults?
* If you awoke tomorrow morning with enough money to retire for the rest of your life, would you continue to live those core values?
* Can you envision them being as valid for you 100 years from now as they are today?
* Would you want to hold those core values, even if at some point one or more of them became a competitive disadvantage?
* If you were to start a new organization tomorrow in a different line of work, what core values would you build into the new organization regardless of its industry?
The last three questions are particularly important because they make the crucial distinction between enduring core values that should not change and practices and strategies that should be changing all the time." [Collins-Porras,1996]
Values are in preference order (i.e., first come, first served:).

Value I: Responsibility

We should make sure of ourselves that the free tax concept and project work seamlessly.
We should not force them: if we are not able to prove
1. their practical feasibility and
2. their theoretical
  • consistence and
  • coherence and
  • rightness (morality) and
3. whether it worth the risk to modify the world order:) based on them, judged by their consequences,
then we should give up our efforts to disseminate them.
Of course we should improve the free tax concept and project and the modified world order in order to work together seamlessly, as long as they do not prove to be intrinsically flawed.
Of course we should not abandon our project if it is not flawed but it hurts vested interests (of states).

Value II: Freedom

We think that our present world order is based on partitions and equivalence: partition and equivalence
  • of humans (human bodies),
  • of states (state territories), (cf. this outline) and
  • of tangible goods (i.e., properties).
We think that partitions and equivalence are the robust base for the present world order, and we are responsible for the (for an) order.
At the same time, we think that
As first approach (before the provable ethical conception of sustainable creativity in case of intangibles), and as a default concept, free tax
  • means libre tax and, at the same time, optionally gratis tax (cf. Wikipedia: Gratis versus Libre, The Free Software Definition and The Open Source Definition),
    • but does not mean that it should be gratis and should exclude the opportunity to express the responsibility towards the political units their citizens feel allegiance to.
  • means free choice of the destination of the tax of intangible goods, depending on political allegiance of producers of these goods (by the option of setting the default tax destinations) and/or of customers of these goods (by the option changing the default destinations),
    • but does not mean that you can not pay tax of intangible goods to a territorial state (e.g. if a producer and/or a consumer feel political allegiance primarily to it).
  • means free from monopolization (e.g. by the states), i.e. the tax market of intangibles should be contestable, i.e. free for competition
    • and does not mean either that this tax market should be freely monopolizable (e.g. by the states),
    • or that some hypothetical (e.g. a super-state) authority should enforce tax competition, i.e that this tax market should be competitive,
  • means independent tax (e.g. free from dependence of states),
    • but does not mean that taxation of intangibles should not practice public cooperation e.g. with states in order to maintain free choice.

Value III: Respect

Respect means, first of all, respect for partitions and equivalence, cf. above:

Value III.I: Respect for individuals

Value III.II: Respect for states

Value III.III: Respect for properties

Value IV: Commonality

The Project is defined as the Greatest Common Divisor among
specifically, the initiating organizations as an informed reference group, within
Constraint: the predetermination of the desirable scope of the state is certainly not included in the Greatest Common Divisor. The contestable tax market of intangibles (i.e., the consequence of the desirable scope of the taxation by the state) should shape the environment for the states and they will proactively/reactively adapt themselves to this environment.

Value V: [...]

[Do we need any other values? This needs to be cleared by the Members of the Project.]

Core Ideology: Purpose

Free Tax Project - Choose Your Tax on Bits
[Free Tax Project - Free Your Tax from States ???]
[Free Tax Project - To Caesar the Things that are Caesar's / To Yourselves the Bits that are Yours ???]
[E.g. like "Nokia - Connecting People"; this needs to be cleared by the Members of the Project.]

Envisioned Future: Big Hairy Audacious Goal

The Free Tax Project is a project with a beginning and an end. What is the end = SMART BHAGoal of the Project?
1% of world GDP collected as free tax. [???]
[This needs to be cleared by the Members of the Project.]

Envisioned Future: Vivid descriptions

Based on Built to Last.
How will the world look like after the BHAG has been reached?
[This needs to be cleared by the Members of the Project.]


The Strategy is
  • the way
  • of the Members of all time
  • from here and now
  • deliberately
  • to the Envisioned future (BHAG and Vivid descriptions)
  • based on the Core ideology (Purpose and Values) as
    • guiding principles and
    • constraints.
Here and now:
The pulls of conflicting loyalties are not new. Country, church, corporation and family have always competed with one another, coexisting easily at times and uneasily at others. The issue, however, is not the conflict between overlapping loyalties in general, but between overlapping political loyalties. [...] The problems with self-determination, the rise of supranational authorities and modern, often electronically based, transnational relations all loosen the ties to geography and again increase the probability of multiple and conflicting political loyalties. [Kobrin,1998:20]
Currently the word ‘neo-medievalism’ is generally used in two ways. Focusing on how states have lost control over their domestic affairs, one details the rise of non-states actors, transnational networks, and international institutions. However, increasing interdependence and reduction in domestic capacities does not necessarily reduce sovereignty in the absence of new organising principles competing with the state. The European Union (EU) may represent an alternative view of neo-medievalism. [...] While the EU is already more than the sum of its states, states are not disappearing. While sovereignty may be diminished, authority structures are not in open competition, as would be the case if authority were truly overlapping. Because of this strong institutionalisation, the EU is far from the chaos and competition implied by neo-medievalism. Furthermore, neither of these models generates real issues of multiple loyalty. [Deets,2006:19]
Our strategy is based on the Values, but not independent from the following presumption:
The anticipated growth of new communications technologies, including the Internet and other digital networks, will make it increasingly difficult for states to tax global commerce effectively. Greater harmonization and coordination of national tax policies will likely be required in the coming years in order to address this problem. Given that the history of the state is inseparable from the history of taxation, this ‘‘globalization of taxation’’ could have far-reaching political implications. The modern state itself emerged out of a fiscal crisis of medieval European feudalism, which by the 14th and 15th centuries was increasingly incapable of raising sufficient revenues to support the mounting expenses of warfare. If new developments in the technology of commerce are now undermining the efficiency of the state as an autonomous taxing entity, fiscal pressures may produce a similar shift in de facto political authority away from the state and toward whatever international mechanisms are created to expedite the taxation of these new forms of commerce. [Paris,2003: 153]




The subprojects should be defined as the necessary and together sufficient open system modules for the project. [Are the Subprojects below necessary and together sufficient for our Project?]

Sustainable Creativity

An ethical basis for free tax in the form of a firm conception of sustainable creativity in case of intangibles.


Independent Communication and Participation

Infrastructure for secure communication and political participation (e.g. in spending our taxes) independent of states (through a process which is not necessarily democratic, but necessarily based on a constitution).


Independent Money and Tax

The option to exchange bits and pay our tax on bits to the political units to which we owe our political allegiance (i.e., independent of, but not excluding, the states), cf.
  • default rate > 0
  • option out (i.e., e-cash)
The extreme 0% tax rate still does not mean gratis transaction: the costs of transaction and tax rates are not the same concepts.



  • Defending the option of producers and consumers of intangibles to avoid double taxation by states.
    • default: no double taxation
    • option out (i.e., pay taxes on bits to states as well)
  • Ensuring that our tax is free from cartels, cf. Barnett,2006:
1. Focus prosecutors on “hard core” cartel activity
2. Treat cartels as serious crimes, and cartel members as criminals
3. Provide amnesty and amnesty plus
4. Vigorously prosecute obstruction of justice
5. Charge cartels in conjunction with other offenses
6. Provide transparency
7. Publicize enforcement efforts


Customary Law

Laws revealed by our customs of our communities on the internet.
Customary law does not mean that we should avoid prescriptive laws or constitutions: it just means that we should review and appreciate the experiences we acquired through our cooperation of different kinds on the internet.


Citizen Experience

To offer average users a kind of user experience as Apple provides, and to advanced users as open as Linux provides and as formal as machine readable ontologies; for all above.


Public Transparency

Deliver push and pull information to the public on
  • the strategy and tactics of the tax cartel of the states and our evaluation,
  • the project.


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