Glossary of special meanings

Word Description
acquiesce to acknowledge the claims of tax-collectors of a right to collect taxes in a specific territory.
action instinctive, conditioned or deliberate movement, expenditure, work or attack.
autarky the operation of a territory relying only on its own raw materials, workers and customers.  As an individual, this is equivalent to subsistence farming or crofting; at a state level, autarky means no economic relations with other territories.  It is the opposite of a division of labour.
avoidance action that does not result in tax-collector demands.
behaviour a set of actions, repeated individually or as a group over a prolonged period of time.
belief personal opinion defined by the thought or statement “I believe ……”.
bridge a tax barrier set up over a river or other restriction to travel on or across the water.  Constructions to take traffic across a river that do not impose a tax are improvements.  Charges for crossing under or over a bridge that are based on the value of commodities carried are taxes; charges based on potential damage or wear-and-tear are fees.  Bridges (and tunnels, motorways etc) that charge exorbitant fees may still be a tax if the builder or operator is granted a monopoly by the tax-collector.
capability for violence a tax-collector’s practical ability to wield his capacity for violence, which is usually delegated to members of the hierarchy or to foreign mercenaries who may not share the same objectives
capacity for violence a theoretical capability for violence consisting of the agents used to enforce taxes through superior numbers, discipline, co-operation, physical strength, moral courage or weapons and tactics.
cash any non-perishable store of wealth that can find a market for exchange.  Perishability depends on context; fruit and vegetables are cash for a short period before and after harvest.
circumcision a form of social engineering that helps large numbers of strangers to co-operate with low levels of violence.
city a tax-collector’s base of operations, usually consisting of a tax barrier or other source of revenue, a store for cash, members of the hierarchy, others profiting from trade with the tax-collector and the hierarchy, and those profiting in other ways from the tax-payers.
civilisation usually refers to the physical constructions, organisational institutes and cultural accomplishments, but here means the formal process for tax demands, collection and distribution in the unique culture and language of the territory.
complex society territory where multiple tax-collectors and tax farmers operate, perhaps under a figurehead tax-collector, with a multi-layered hierarchy, and many mechanisms for members of the hierarchy to profit from the revenues.  Tax-payers and subordinate tax-collectors can be members of one or several groups each of which has its own hierarchy.
contribution money or goods.  In exceptional circumstances, such as on the death of the possessor or his conviction, could be fixed property.
cult a group whose membership requirement is the statement of belief in a common object.
customs usually a tax imposed on activties that have traditionally been taxed, and for which there is some reasonable explanation if the tax itself is reasonable.  Harbour taxes of 1 or 2% are typical customs.
demographic growth the ultimate objective of the Tax Man.  Growth can be absolute, relative to other Tax men or other species, or geographic.
division of labour the breaking down of complex processes into constituent parts, with each part carried out by one or more specialised workers.  Businesses operating a division of labour are more efficient than artisans who carry out all tasks themselves, as long as the transaction cost of transporting the goods between different workers, paying taxes and the commercial markup are less than the gains in efficiency.  Usually, transactions need to be tax free for an industry to grow.  Division of labour is only possible in societies that support co-operation.
dualism a belief in the existence of good and evil as qualities of actions and perhaps as qualities of people.  Greek philosophers debunked duality thousands of years ago, but it is still used as the basis of law, religion, and ethical discussions.  In this work, duality exists only relation to demography.  Good actions are known as improvement while the only bad actions (and they are always bad) are murder, mutilation and imprisonment.
evasion action that would result in tax-collector demand for homage, service or contribution if he knew about it
excise usually a new tax imposed without popular support and which must be enforced with the threat or actual use of violence.  There is no justification attempted by the tax-collector.
fine a tax, usually a financial contribution, to replace a service obligation.  Later, fines were used to permit actions generally limited by prohibitions, such as marriages.  The proliferation of obligations and prohibitions has vastly increased the range of actions for which fines are demanded, and the hierarchy that administers the legal system.
first leaver Homo sapiens who migrated before evolving the tax gene mutation.  First leavers cannot pay homage, and do not understand the obligation to fight or pay taxes.
foreigner Any Tax Man who is a stranger.  In the role of tax-collector, tax farmer, agent for revenue collection, a foreigner can be more aggressive, set higher rates and provide fewer services as justifcation than a local.
freedom the state of paying no taxes to foreign tax-collectors, or to any oppressive tax-collector; the only taxes paid are local taxes, all of which are spent on local improvement, locally-made luxuries, and on local defence.
goods movable, transportable, exchangable objects which attract taxes and which have experienced the addition of value through the work of farmers, miners, engineers or other workers, as opposed to property.
group within a tax territory, and sometimes astride several, an agreement among like-minded individuals to manage their affairs and taxation together, usually in pursuit of a common object.  Religious, trade, social, geographic and sometimes combinations bind the groups.  Groups operate a hierarchy.  Members of only one group ignore members of other groups and refuse to pay homage leading to difficult and sometimes violent confrontations, such as between groups of Rangers and Celtic supporters.
hierarchy tax-payers who work closely with the tax-collector, often operating tax farms; successful members who collect more than they pay rise up the hierarchy.
homage acquiescence to tax-collector’s claim of authority to collect tax.  Homage is paid as a tax.  Failure to pay homage results in violence.  Homage enshrines the tax-payer’s right to procreate and improve, albeit under the control of the tax-collector.  Homage is usually followed by demands for service and contribution.
Homo sapiens The human race.  Popularly considered to be a unique species, it is likely that the surviving humans are one or more subspecies of a Homo species that includes the extinct Neanderthal.   Tax Man and First Leaver are proposed as two subspecies.
imprisonment a state of reduced ability to procreate and raise children due to physical separation.
improvement investment that lowers transaction costs, especially of transport and communications, leads to mass production of agricultural or industrial products, and results in demographic growth.
liquidity the ability of an economy to support expenditure through easily-exchangeable goods such as money, tokens, scrip or trust.
luxury expenditure on consumables, construction, cultural and physical objects that does not directly result in reduced transaction costs, or industrial or agricultural mass production.  Products such as strawberries and cherries may be consumed for subsistence, and even mangoes and pineapples could be included, up to a certain point.  That point is probably about 10% of total productivity.  Below 10%, this is subsistence; between 10 and 20%, this is good living.  Above 20%, this is luxuriating.
mass production the deliberate creation of a division of labour, use of specialised tools and infrastructure to produce more than can be consumed by the group.
member Tax Man who joins a group, paying homage to the group, leader or common object, and usually offering service and contribution.
money goods which incur no taxes in transactions and which can be used for exchange or accounting.
monopoly a tax farm bought by a member of the hierarchy.  A subsidy issued to an individual or a selected number or group is a form of monopoly which operates at the expense of the tax-payer for the benefit of the possessor.
monopoly of violence an ideal situation where only a single tax-collector has the capability to wield a capacity for violence.
murder the permanent removal of a human being from the gene pool.
muscular young man the infantry of tax empires.  They sacrifice themselves in order to win mating rights, and in so doing they help to increase the size of the territory, or to defend it against others trying to get in.  Success in territorial expansion is entirely dependent on the relative number of muscular young men, so birth rate, child mortality and sex selection are critical factors.
mutilation the reduction of a human’s chances in the marriage market and in his ability to have and raise children through temporary or permanent physical or psychological damage.
procreate see demographic growth.
property fixed objects such as land, buildings and machines which attract taxes.
protection ephemeral service as justification offered by tax-collectors for taxes paid.  Protection does not include protection against other tax-collectors, nor against retribution should the tax-payer contribute to raiding tax-collectors, but usually precludes the tax-collector damaging any improvements made or making further demands for taxes beyond the customary or agreed ones.
religion a cult whose leaders enforce taxation on its members in addition to the membership belief.
scrip paper-based money issued without the approval or protection of the supreme or figurehead tax-collector.
serf in a complex society with layered hierarchy, a tax-payer who owes tax obligations only to his immediate superior and not to the supreme tax-collector.  Usually owes only homage and service, service which is usually one or two days a week or a month.  Unlike a slave, he is not property, but is usually restricted to remain within the bounds of his superior’s territory.
service tax consisting of work or labour, usually a certain number of days a week or month.  Often called corvée, service exists to provide a workforce for communal construction such as houses, roads, bridges, but can also include military service.  It is usually paid to a member of the hierarchy.  Traditional societies maintain service obligations which are rarely onerous and more like social events, equivalent to barn-raising.  Tax-collectors are often happy to accept a replacement or to replace service obligations with a fine.
services as justification tax-payers negotiate services in return for their homage, contributions and service.  Tax-collectors offer services as justification for enforcing taxation.  They include ephemeral promises such as protection, roads and bridges, and social services which are bribes to tax-payers.
slave in a complex tax society with layered hierarchy, a tax-payer who owes obligations only to his immediate superior and not to the supreme tax-collector.  Usually owes only homage and service.  Different to a serf, he usually contributes 90-100% of his labour and can be bought and sold as property.  Tax-collector tax the slave owner for this property.
stranger anyone or anything other than close kin with whom a Tax Man grew up.  Strangers are usually same-sex members of the same species, but can be animals or plants.
superior denoting a position in the hierarchy closer to the supreme or figurehead tax-collector.  This does not reflect any moral, physical or financial superiority.  An inferior member of the hierarchy owes homage to a superior.
tax homage, service or contribution paid to a tax-collector by a tax-payer.  The payment is an obligation and in itself provides no rights.  The tax is calculated by the wealth that the tax-payer carries, owns, inherits, marries, makes regardless of the environmental, political, economic and social conditions at the time.
tax barrier a physical or virtual location where tax payments are enforced.  Often located at or near frontiers, the entrances to market towns, ports, along rivers especially at narrows or where islands force passage near to the shores, mountain passes, and desert oases.
tax empire geographic region over which a system of taxation operates that incorporates several foreign tax territories.
tax farm rights to collect taxes sold to members of the hierarch.
tax free see freedom.
tax gene a genetic mutation present in certain human males to inhibit violence against strange males.  It forms part of a suite of genes associated with domestication and possessed by the Tax Man, but not by other humans such as the First Leaver.
Tax Man a subspecies of humans whose defining characteristic is the tax gene that inhibits violence shown towards strangers and replaces it with the three-stage taxation.  The gene principally affects males, although the exact relation to sex is not yet clear, hence the name.
Tax Woman Work in progress; it appears initially as if women have suffered under successful tax regimes, although they recuperate some of their social and political power when an tax empire declines.  While Tax Man’s gene is clearly focused on adult male stranger interactions, it is not clear to the author if women’s behaviour in similar circumstances is caused by the same genes, and if it is affected by the tax gene.
taxation the general system of taxes implemented under the aegis of a defined tax-collector by a hierarchy over a territory.
tax-collector a Tax Man who demands homage from strangers and, if they acquiesce, then follows up with demands for service and/or a contribution (which can be goods or money).  Failure to acquiesce is met with violence.  Tax-collectors can be supreme tax-collectors, who wield violence themselves and/or have a capability to wield a capacity for violence, or just figurehead tax-collectors, whose capacity for violence is controlled by a complex society.  Tax-collectors as members of the hierarchy are simultaneously tax-payers.  Tax-collectors that collect more than they pay will rise in the hierarchy.
tax-payer a stranger who acquiesces to demands for homage by a tax-collector, usually when entering or operating in his claimed territory.   The stranger then supplies service and/or a contribution while remaining within the claimed territory.  Tax-payers pay, avoid and evade.  Tax-payers’ obligations relate to his body, work and property and he can be taxed while crossing tax boundaries, carrying out his work, during rites of passage and on inheritance and death.  Domesticated animals and plants are strangers that have acquiesced; wild animals and weeds refuse to pay homage.
territory the geographic region (which does not have to be contiguous) in which a specific taxation system or tax-collector operates.
token coin-based money issued without the approval or protection of the supreme or figurehead tax-collector.
town a community which has bought a tax farm to operate a market or other improvements
transaction an interaction between two humans
transaction cost the transport, commercial and taxes incurred by operating a division of labour instead of autarky.
transgression the invasion of territory claimed by a tax-collector.
tribute bribe or subsidy paid to another tax-collector, perhaps initially to render them amenable but eventually to encourage or discourage their attack, raid, or participation in war
useless products Adam Smith’s concept refers to goods that are consumed without producing anything else of value, in his examples, whiskey and tobacco.  In this work, their consumption beyond a certain value would be classed as luxuries, although most of their consumers would claim that they are necessary for subsistence.
village a community which owns no tax farm.
violence any close physical or psychological approach, designed to encourage, discourage or punish specific actions.  Examples of such actions include incursion into a territory, payment of tax, evasion. A necessary tool for a tax-collector to enforce taxes.
war any action initiated or encouraged by a tax-collector except procreation with the objective to maintain or increase the population of tax-payers or the geographic range over which taxation is imposed; this includes action to resist internal unrest among the hierarchy for a change of tax-collector.  War includes foreign raids, conquests, attacks on rebellious native tax-payers and the bribing of potentially rebellious native tax-payers through unemployment benefit and other social welfare programs.
wealth the total value of cash and work invested in property, raw materials, work-in-progress, finished goods, tools, non-perishable foods; luxury items and weapons can be included, not at their cost but at the resale value of their components.
weapon any object that gives a tax-collector a significant advantage over an artisan or farmer in a fight.
work the labour of tax-payers, serfs and slaves excluding luxury and war but including improvements made for the tax-collector.