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A Musing

So long as the industrialist remains in the saddle there must be a money crop to pay him taxes, but let it occupy second place. Any man who grows his own food, kills his own meat, takes wool from his lambs and cotton from his stalks and makes them into clothes, plants corn and hay for his stock, shoes them at the crossroads blacksmith shop, draws milk and butter from his cows, eggs from his pullets, water from the ground, and fuel from the woodlot, can live in an industrial world without a great deal of cash. Let him diversify, but diversify so that he may live rather than that he may grow rich[my emphasis]. In this way he will escape by far the heaviest form of taxation, and if the direct levies grow too exorbitant, refuse to pay them. Make those who rule the country bear the burdens of government.

--Andrew Nelson Lytle, "The Hind Tit"

The heaviest form of taxation that Lytle is talking about (he's writing in the 1930s about Southern farmers) is all the "progress" that only became more oppressive after WWII. Machinery, petrochemical fertilizers, highways for transport, etc. To paraphrase Leo Tolstoy--how much does a man (or woman) need?

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