: I would ask you which is more destructive - overt coercion or covert coercion? I'm not talking about the overt coercion of prisons and torture - I'm talking about what you're talking about - paying taxes for projects you personally don't support.
Thats fairly overt really, I mean - dont pay taxes on items you can avoid it on and wait to see what happens. Chances are you be facing the prisons mentioned. Its 'delayed overt' or the threat of overt immediate coercion.
: Covert coercion thrives on deception.
I think were wandering on to fraudulent and intentional misrepresentation of the truth - I would consider that to be a coercion. However I think most advertising etc does not qualify as fraud, its open ended it does (or rather should) reinforces an ethic of "buyer beware" but I think thats about seeking whats best for you not about mistrust.
I also think 'consumerism' in the west has moved away from 'buyer beware' to the nanny state mentality of blaming the hammer manufacturer when you hit your thumb - thats a terribly condescending regulative framework in which to work, assumed guilty until proved innocent.
: Your use of the term "slavery" is hyperbole. As above - I object to paying one penny to the military - but I would hardly call it "slavery".
What else is it then? You are working in part to support a project you disagree with. If it isnt slavery then explain what it is?
"Slavery is the obligation to labor for the benefit of
the master, without the contract of consent of the servant." (websters, 1828)
Did you give consent?
: You might consider the possibility that guarantees of housing, education, healthcare, etc. is a general enhancement of 'freedom' for a society as a whole. This perspective can be found in Amartya Sen's book - Development As Freedom.
Regardless of the potential benefits of the above - it is only useful when people are happy to contribute to them, and they are run with the intent of generating opportunities, not just as vehicles for political careers and ever more plunder.
: You also might want to glance at a book by Douglas Rushkoff - simply titled: "Coercion".
Its a reasonable book. The thrust of it seems to be to approach life with the healthy skeptism of a thinking mind, not the dulled credulity of the unthinking one.
Disagree with what he terms coercion though, seems to think persuasion is coercion, he also describes it all as some conspiracy and makes 'the masses' out to be stupid fools too often to be taken seriously.