An interdisciplinary exploration of utopian political philosophy from the neglected perspective of taxation.
Taxation in Utopia explores utopian political philosophy from the neglected perspective of taxation. At its core, taxation is an ethical question. It requires people to sacrifice for the benefit of others, whether or not they also benefit themselves. Donald Morris refers to this broader, nonmonetary context as constructive taxation, which includes restrictions on privacy and access to information, constraints on marriage and child-rearing, and conventions restricting the proprietorship of land. Morris examines this in the context of various utopian writings, such as More’s Utopia, as well as literary treatments of these issues, such as Bellamy’s Looking Backward. This interdisciplinary exploration of utopian taxation provides a novel approach to examining relations between a state’s view of the general welfare and the sacrifices this view requires of its citizens.