Toine Manders: More Information

Note: I will, as Director of the Libertarian Alliance, write to the Dutch Embassy this evening. Ninety days in isolation is a tactic used by authoritarian governments to break a suspect. It isn’t something to be expected of a “civilised” European government. SIG

The former chairman of the Dutch Libertarian Party, Toine Manders has been kidnapped in Cyprus by the FIOD (the Dutch IRS) and is currently locked away in the Netherlands in complete isolation (aside from his lawyer), in an undisclosed location. He is being held for an extended 90-day period, the charges for which are unknown.

Toine Manders began his career by giving legal advice, through his company HJC, to young Dutch men who wanted to avoid military conscription. He helped roughly 6,000 men avoid being trained as hit-men for the government. The mainstream media jumped on this, calling them ‘refusal yuppies’, who used legal loopholes to evade their duty to the country.

After military conscription was suspended in 1996, Toine’s company moved on to help businesses avoid taxes through strictly legal methods. In the Netherlands, the combined pressures of income tax, VAT, inheritance tax, inflation, and other forms of taxation add up to an astounding 80%, according to calculations by Amsterdam professor Roel Beetsma.

Legal tactics of avoiding taxes are widely used by large corporations like Starbucks, Apple and Ikea, however, Toine Manders had attracted special attention from the government by running controversial ads that stated “Taxation is theft”. The ads went on to say that it was people’s moral duty to pay as little in taxes as possible, as the government is a criminal enterprise. Unable to hire teams of accountants to do it for them, Toine also tried to help smaller business make use of legal tax avoidance methods.

The first signs of government backlash appeared in 2008 when his radio commercial ‘taxation is theft’ was banned by the Reclame Code Commissie (Commercial Ethics Commission) on the basis of being ‘in violation of decency’, along with a defense of the social contract. For fear of losing their licenses or imprisonment, the radio stations were quick to take down the ad.

The next form of government backlash came in 2010 when his company was declared bankrupt on a claim from the tax office. The government ignored limited liability law, piercing the corporate veil, to hold Toine Manders personally responsible for the company’s obligations.
In 2010 the state bestowed further powers upon itself: requiring all trust offices to have a government license to operate, in the name of protecting the people of course. It is suspected that this law is what is now being used to charge Toine, in that he was running a trust office without their license, though the main office was located in Cyprus and not in the Netherlands.

Toine Manders has been the Chair of the Dutch Libertarian party since its founding in 1993 and was the party leader in the 1994 and 2012 elections. He may not have won a seat in parliament, but he has utilized his campaigns to make strong statements, such as that of using lasers to project of the word ‘bankrupt’ on the Dutch National Bank and throwing fake 14 Euro bills from a helicopter above the Vondelpark in Amsterdam, both of which received a lot of media attention.The Netherlands has become a country where violent criminals can be free to go the next day, while others are locked away in a psychiatric ward for a year (after having already endured a year in jail) for throwing a tealight holder in frustration at the Queen enroute to a presentation about how taxes were going to be wasted the following year. It has become a country in which Toine Manders, who advocates the non-aggression principle, is at risk of missing the first birthday of his son because he is held in a cage by a monopoly of violence that saw their revenue stream threatened.

Toine Manders should not be confused with the EU parliamentarian with the same name, who has been living off of taxes his whole life.

4 responses to “Toine Manders: More Information

  1. This sounds very bad indeed. As the Welfare States (such as the Netherlands) head towards de facto bankruptcy, they are becoming desperate (and irrational). Lashing out against “enemies”.

  2. Somewhat mystified as to why all this should be a surprise to anyone.

  3. This is indeed very troubling.

    Further to what Paul says, it seems that in this late stage of State Capitalism, the states are discarding even any pretence of fairness. The narratives here in the UK about “tax justice” and so on are further examples.

  4. There is no such as “state capitalism” – although Ian may well be doing a tongue-in-cheek thing.

    The problems of the Netherlands are similar to the problems of many Western nations. A credit bubble financial system (based on fiat money), and the effort to “provide nice things for the people” (this was actually the phrase used in the1960s) government basically promises all the basics (education, health care, income support, old age provision….) to most people(although the means of delivery may be church based in the Netherlands the bills are now [they did not used to be] paid by the government – and that just can not work in the long term).

    This is what Mark Steyn calls a situation where people just “work for toys” (nice cars and so on) – with all the necessities of life provided by the state.

    To put it in Classical terms……

    In reality most Roman citizens did not get free stuff from the state – only people physically living in Rome (and a few other large cities) did. The vast majority of the population (living in rural areas and small towns).

    Now – imagine if, instead of this, the Roman state had tried to give everything (all basic things) to most people.

    And, on top of this, let us assume that the Roman state had not only engaged in the debasement of the coinage but had gone in for credit bubble banking. Lending something that had been “deposited” was illegal under Roman law (see De Soto’s “Money, Bank Credit and Economic Cycles”), there had to be formal agreement to lend out money on the behalf of someone else, and this money was NOT counted as still being in the possession of the saver – money lent out was NOT counted as “deposited”. Classical philosophy (and Classical law) did not except that the same money could be in two different places at the same time (if it was lent out – it could not also, at the same time, be in the possession of the saver) so what we call “credit expansion” (“broad money”) was impossible in the Classical period – it just did not exist.

    Would the decline of Roman civilisation have taken centuries if the Romans had behaved in this way? If they had tried to give everything to everyone – and finance it all with credit bubbles.

    No It would not – it would have been over much faster.

    And so it will prove with us.

    Of course (a cultural point) there is also now a lack of cultural unity in the Netherlands.

    There was always a tension between Protestants, Catholics, and “Free Thinkers” (essentially the non religious). But the growth of the Islamic population is something new.

    It is a an article of faith (no pun intended – well perhaps….) among the “liberal” elite that the growing “Islamic community” can be integrated into society.

    They are wrong (simply flat wrong) – as wrong as the Roman optimists who thought that the Goths (and other “communities”) could be integrated into Roman society after the defeat of 378 AD.

    In Britain the first camp of the Germanic tribes near Canterbury is quite regular and “Roman looking” (straight lines in a square) outside the walls of the town – they were clearly invited in (just as the old stories say).

    However, a few years later Roman Canterbury was burned to the ground (there is a layer of ash) and the postholes of the huts of the Germanic people are found in the ruins of the Romano-British buildings (pitched in no particular order – no more straight lines)..

    That is what the “cultural transformation of late antiquity” was actually like.