Let me answer my own question: Why is tax serfdom a normal state of affairs in America and almost the entire world?
I believe the cause lies in the former popularity of socialism. The social elites — by which I mean the genuine articles, the truly intelligent and good men — saw with horror the socialist mass movements. The common men turned into fanatics and eagerly embraced doctrines that were bound to and in fact would disintegrate social cooperation. Socialist delusions penetrated into legislatures, councils, and all manner of popular assemblies.
As a result, the elites, realizing that global doom was at hand, declared bitterly the masses of common people to be incompetent. The masses could no longer be trusted with self-government, if their efforts were going to destroy society.
While the rest of the world regressed into a slave-owning socialism, in America things did not roll back to quite the same extent but rather merely to feudal serfdom.
The cause was realization by the social elites that the masses could no longer be allowed to govern themselves, lest they actually would create socialism — and end the world as we knew it. The new feudalism came about as a result of a deliberate effort to take power away from the people and vest it into an elite that could at least preserve some vestiges of the market economy. It was a drastic and unjustified decision, but there it is.
Moreover, the elites themselves were far from perfect. The newfound power went into their heads and corrupted them. It is for that reason, I submit, that we had William Buckley favoring “the extensive and productive tax laws that are needed to support a vigorous anti-Communist foreign policy,” and arguing that “we have got to accept Big Government for the duration — for neither an offensive nor a defensive war can be waged… except through the instrumentality of a totalitarian bureaucracy within our shores.”
Totalitarian bureaucracy that has now morphed into an abusive and shocking nanny state.