"Once abolish God and the government becomes the God." -G.K. Chesterton

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Facebook Shuts Down Page Dedicated to "Philosophy of Joe Stack"

Apparently that manifesto resonated with quite a few people. How else do you explain this group formed on Facebook one day after Stack flew his plane into a building housing offices for the IRS?

The group said they didn't support Stack's actions, just his philosophy. To which I can only ask, philosophy? What philosophy? The manifesto started out as a reasonable history of his tax problems before turning into a bitter rant against every institution in America. Politicians. Check. Health Care. Check. Tax Code. Check. Capitalism. Check. Accountants. Check. Corporate Greed. Check. Religion. Check.

Who exactly did Stack leave out? It's hard to tell what side of the aisle he's on, or whether his philosophy leans towards smaller government or bigger government. That's why the fact that some on the Left have tried to use this incident to paint him as a "teabagger" or supporter of the tea party movement is so egregious and dishonest. He never belonged to any such group. Stack seems to be maddest at the IRS, and let's face it, they have the most power of any federal agency. They are the only group I know of that puts the burden of proof on the accused and says prove you're not guilty, instead of the other way around. But in Stack's case, the attack was a personal vendetta stemming from his own tax troubles, not a broad attack on government. The IRS office he attacked wasn't even the biggest IRS office in Austin.

It's also clear that Stack is no fan of free enterprise. He seems to despise anyone who made more money than him and/or received tax credits that he didn't qualify for, from organized religion to corporations. In fact, he finishes his manifesto with the following phrases:
"The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed."
I can't say the man was a Communist, but he seemed to favor Marxism to our current system. And like many Marxists, he turned to violence, failing to see a morality beyond his own judgments. For the Communist, Life is less precious than the grand ideal of a utopian world where the workers "own" everything and private property doesn't exist. Yet something seems backwards about an independent contractor who owned a house and a plane bashing the system that allowed him to gain such wealth.

Facebook was right to shut this group down. Though there might be kernels of truth that many can relate to in Stack's ramblings, the overall philosophy seemed to be nothing more than "I am right. Everyone else is wrong." In other words, the delusions of a mad man.


  1. http://unitedstatesofscamerica.blogspot.com/2010/02/united-states-tax-code.html

  2. Rusty,

    Thanks for the link. I whole-heartedly support a Fair Tax (or national sales tax), and of course the tax code is ridiculous and confusing, but that's hardly the point of Stack's rant or his "attack." He doesn't mention abolishing the IRS in favor of a simpler, fairer tax system anywhere in his manifesto, and I'm not going to ascribe motives where he listed none. What he does mention is violence as a solution, and a way to "free" himself from the burden of his tax problems.

    Unfortunately, he left those problems to his family, who he also left homeless with no means of financial support. He killed another individual, Vernon Hunter, who had nothing to do with writing the tax code. The IRS may have had a negative effect on Joe Stack's life, hell, it has that effect on all of us, but he's anything but a hero. His final act was senseless and selfish.