by Revilo P. Oliver
FEMINISTS like to talk about heroines. So do Americans sometimes, when they are in a sentimental mood and have nothing else to do. But I have never heard them mention the lady to whom I devote this brief note, and I wonder whether any reader will recognize her name, although it was fairly well known in “conservative” circles forty years ago.
Miss Vivien Kellems (pictured) was the descendant of an Englishman, Richard Kellam, who came to North America in 1636, and of the Randolphs of Virginia, whose ancestor came in the early 1670s. Eleven of her ancestors fought to make the colonies independent of the mother country, hoping that they would remain free. They could not foresee what would happen in less than a century later.
When I met her briefly, she was past sixty, but she retained the kind of feminine pulchritude that, according to experts, comes from a well-formed bony structure. It amply confirmed the photographs that show a younger woman with the exquisite Nordic beauty that Richard McCulloch celebrates in his Destiny of Angels — a beauty that by contrast shows how tawdry and meretricious are the tarted-up features and figure that the Kikes of Hollywood like to display in their cinemas.
She was a sagacious woman. Realizing the value of what seemed a minor invention, she went to Connecticut and there built a factory and a prosperous business. Evidently believing, as did many at the time, that the war of 1942-1945 was in the American interest, she did not object to the already outrageous exactions of Infernal Revenue, but when she saw that the purpose of the government under Sheeny Truman was to invent pretexts for even greater fleecing of the taxpayers, she became concerned, and when the flagrantly tyrannical Withholding Tax was enacted by the slightly disguised dictatorship, she was the American who had the courage to challenge the obviously illegal imposition.
Everyone knows, of course, the reasoning of the predators who imposed that device: “The Americans are such stupid creatures that if we make their employers deduct our loot from the cash or cheque they receive, they will never know the difference, even if they are told what we have taken; but if they actually have the money in their hands before they pay us, even such dumb brutes might see what we are doing and might get ideas.”
Miss Kellems accordingly paid her employees their full wages, but saw to it that they themselves paid the sums exacted by the owners of the United States. The pickpockets of Infernal Revenue were immediately alarmed. They sent their bully boys to overawe her and tell her, in effect, “You American swine, you think you have rights when bureaucrats have their scaly claws about your neck?”
When they failed to overawe her and could not answer her reasonable insistence that employers were not tax-collectors, the thugs raided her bank and stole a sum equivalent to the taxes her employees had already paid, plus, of course, penalties for having disobeyed her owners.
She was not allowed to challenge the Constitutionality of the White Slave Amendment or the tyrannical legislation by which it was enforced, but she sued the Federal government and, thanks to a jury of Americans, recovered the amount that had been stolen. Debarred from a full legal remedy, she finally consented to a small penalty of $837.50 — plus, of course, the enormous expense of fighting Organized Crime in its own courts.
Her experience taught other tax-paying animals how expensive and futile it would be for slaves to dispute the commands of their masters.
Miss Kellems was a lady but also a feminist, for in those days it was possible for reactionary women to be both. She believed that women are more intelligent than men, and, as her own experience had shown, more courageous. She accordingly hoped that she could arouse the women of the United States to try to recover some of the liberty stupid or cowardly males had forfeited. She was mistaken, of course, but while thus hopeful she wrote Toil, Taxes, and Trouble.
The book is now out-of-print, and I do not know where a copy can be obtained, but you should read it, if you can find one. The part of the book that will be valuable so long as there are intelligent men and women to read it is the large part of the little volume in which Miss Kellems illuminates the terrible paradox, that men who revolted from the mother country because they refused to pay taxes imposed by the British Parliament — taxes that were trivial and trifling by modern standards — left descendants who voluntarily rushed into servitude and enslaved themselves.
A statistician has calculated that out of every eight-hour day, an American works five hours to pay what is exacted from him by Federal, State, and local governments, plus all the little nests of bureaucratic parasites — school boards, park boards, sewer boards, and the many similar blood-suckers — that have the power to tax. The remaining three hours the American slave is still allowed to work for himself and his family and the usurers to which he will probably be indebted all his life. Roman slaves were allowed to save from their allowances and accumulate a peculium, with which they, if industrious and sober, could eventually buy their freedom. (1) American slaves, needless to say, cannot hope ever to purchase emancipation from their ruthless and inhuman owners.
(1. To show you what was possible, I translate a success story recorded on a tomb at Assisi in the First Century (Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum, Vol. XI, No. 5400). I will translate to make the meaning clear without notes, and use the sign $ to replace the Roman symbol for sesterius, which resembles H and S in ligature and may have been the source of the modern monetary symbol.
[The tomb of] P. Decimius Eros Merula, formerly a slave of P. Decumius; a clinical physician [i.e., one who made house calls] and ophthalmological surgeon, member of the six-man municipal board. He paid for his freedom $50,000. On election to the six-man board, he gave $2,000 to the municipal treasury. He contributed $30,000 for the statues placed in the Temple of Hercules. He donated to the public treasury $37,000 for the paving of the highways. The day before he died he left [by will] an estate of $800,000.)
Miss Kellems gives us a succinct history of the way in which the Marxist Amendment was put over on the American dolts. An income tax had been levied in 1864 to pay for the invasion and devastation of the Southern states when they sought to exert the right that the British colonies had asserted in 1776, but this “emergency” imposition contained a saving provision for its own termination. She summarized the process by which Communist slavery was imposed on the fatuous Americans in 1909-1913. Some details may astonish you. Some of the most zealous promoters of the amendment, including Cordell Hull, expected that the tax would be uniformly imposed on all incomes. They might have been less zealous, had they foreseen that the tax would be made progressive, ostensibly “to soak the rich.”
Although most members of the House and Senate were too stupid to understand, or too corrupt to care, (2) intelligent men, both proponents and opponents of the income tax, knew and admitted that its real purpose was not to obtain revenue, but to “redistribute the wealth,” i.e., to carry out the Communist Revolution.
(2. There appears to be no way of determining or even estimating how much was distributed in bribes to suborn treason. No doubt many bribe-takers did not foresee the consequences of the slavery for which they voted, and it may be doubted whether any member of Congress knew the detail that the nation was being prepared for the First World War and the insanity that was induced in 1917.)
Curse the Congressmen and the legislators in states that ratified Marxism, if you wish, but do not forget that in 1909-1913 the American people still possessed some power of affecting the government under which they lived. For almost a decade before 1913 they had an opportunity to think about the agitation for income taxes, if they were interested in the future of their nation and of their own offspring; but nevertheless they walked voluntarily into the trap. I am afraid that an impartial historian will have to admit that they deserved what their posterity got.
“Soaking the rich” was, of course, a slogan calculated to appeal to the malice and greed of the proletariat, but not to be taken seriously. And, by the way, we must admit that much of the ostentatious wealth in evidence in 1909 was of the kind created by the War against the South and was acquired by various forms of theft, many of them legalized in violation of Common Law. (3) Perhaps some animus against such wealth was justified, but the boobs did not see that the purpose of “soaking the rich” was to create more of the wealth that is obtained by spoilation and political larceny. The results, of course, may be seen today in the scabrous vampires who do not hesitate to pay a thousand dollars for a night in an hotel or a million dollars for an evening’s party.
(3. I am always reminded of the short story by Edith Wharton in which the widow of a financier asks his principal subordinate about a certain transaction of which she has heard. “No,” the man replied, “it certainly wasn’t honest, but then it wasn’t illegal, either. It was — well, it was just business.”)
The purpose of the Marxist Amendment was to eliminate wealth that was honestly acquired and could be transmitted to heirs. A man who has a secure income is largely independent and has the power to behave honorably. In the “Liberal’s” ideal state, individuals must be serfs, as entirely dependent on the tyranny that really owns them as the cows in a barn are dependent on the farmer who owns them — and as unable to have self-respect, personal honor, or a real family. No one today has the personal independence and freedom that every American had in 1860 or even in 1910. Men who are accounted very wealthy today depend for their income on some industry or other business, and exist only at the mercy of their masters. If they seriously annoyed the Judaeo-Communist rulers, they could and would be ruined, if not overnight, at least in three or four years.
Miss Kellems is, to my mind, a true heroine. Although a woman, she showed the courage of a Roland and confronted, though vainly, the vast machine of oppression beneath which the spineless and degenerate Americans of today cower in slavish submission.
I do not expect Miss Kellems to be honored by the general public. For one thing, she was a lady and ladies are detestable to our contemporaries, whose ideal of femininity is represented by the mass of sluts and mongrels. For another, the comprehension of the world given by modern education is exemplified by the girl, white and apparently Anglo-Saxon, who was recently graduated from a junior high school with an average of “A-.” On her examination in English she wrote: “A heroine is a drug that makes us feel good.”
* * *
Source: Liberty Bell magazine, October 1989