In one of my Cato books that has been chilling on the shelf, in the car, on the floor, etc. so long it is now appropriately classified as history of technology, Bill Frezza insightfully articulated an old idea brilliantly:

The fact that the value of money rests not on the power to compel but on the ability to produce remains a mystery not only to the public but to many economists. History also tells us that sovereignty in economic affairs has never been based on a web of consensual agreements. Instead, it invariably rests on the power to confiscate, imprison, and coerce. If there is any doubt on this point, even as applied to the world’s most civilized democracies, imagine how long the IRS would stay in business if it lost this power.