My family used to have a cat who enjoyed food a lot. For many cats, you can leave a full bowl of food out and the cat only eats when he actually needs it. That wasn’t the case with our cat. He used to suck down food so quickly that he literally wouldn’t even chew it (and then of course would throw it right back up). Once he started to get on the chunky side, the veterinarian recommended that we made sure to limit how much he ate.
This meant that he wanted to be fed a lot. And he had ways of letting us know.
He normally wasn’t exactly a lap cat, but one tactic he would use was this: he would act uncharacteristically affectionate and purr and rub his face against you. I remember the first time he did this to me. I was lying on the couch and put my hand out to him so he could kind of pet himself with my hand. This went on for a few seconds until out of nowhere he attacked my hand. I was pulling away, but he grabbed my hand and was pulling it towards him.
I was surprised, so I went upstairs and told some of my family what just happened. My brother said, “Oh, yeah, that just means that he wants to eat.”
My brother was apparently used to it, so it wasn’t a big deal to him. My expectations for how a cat was “supposed” to act was different, so it was a bit shocking to me. But that’s how our cat was, so it was better that I learned what to expect from the little piggy.
Where am I going with this? My cat was acting as the state does (thanks, Popper).
Isn’t this how the state acts when you don’t give it what it wants, i.e. taxes?
“Look at all of this great stuff that you get for your tax money! You get roads, schools, police, libraries, etc. We just want to show you how much we appreciate that you support us with your tax payments!”
But just go ahead and see what happens if you do not give the state what it wants. They will very quickly get violent. Men with guns will show up at your home to take you away and lock you in a cage. Does it make sense to resort to violence simply because someone doesn’t remit taxes? If you say yes, then you’d also have to agree with my cat that mauling my hand is a logical response to not getting fed right away.
But a cat is an animal and does not possess the ability to reason like a human. What excuse should we make for the state?