Archive for January, 2012

Why I refuse to vote

I used to vote black/white and I used to vote for third/small parties. Then I wisened up. I realized that no matter who one votes for, they end up voting for the system as a whole as well. Our choice between the few bad options we’re presented within a rigged game only serve to reinforce the lie that the government is simply following “the will of the people”.

To give a more extreme example to make the point: If some random people suddenly asked your society to vote on whether you’d prefer to become chattel slaves, work in a sweatshop, or become sex slave, it’s obvious that some choice might be better than the others for you. Some of those would be the “lesser evil”. However, as a whole, all those options are worse than many other alternatives which involves neither of these three. If you society nevertheless voted on one of these three and the majority decided that they’d prefer to become sweatshop workers, you have just granted legitimacy to those random people to decide the options by which you’d have to live. The healthy option would have been to wonder why these crazy people are asking you to vote on crazy options and ignore them while you continue with your lives.

Now imagine that those random people forcefully conquered your society anyway and made you all chattel slaves. After a while, when the people in your society have increased their power and outright military control is not enough, the conquerors get “enlightened”, declare a democracy and ask you to choose from one of the three options above. Only a fool would not notice that this is a desperate ploy to defuse the situation before a revolt. Only a fool would not notice that the choices given are not as good as what preceded the military conquest.

The difference between this theoretical example and the situation we are now is only that we’ve already been forced into one of the worst choices by historical precedence (i.e. the state violence that preceded and support capitalism) and instead of outright discarding all the bad choices and laughing at the crazy people who ask us to make them, we instead vote on the slightly better choice that will naturally retain the power of those random people. The difference is that we do not see the alternatives as clearly as would those theoretical people who started out free.The difference is that the conquerors left a few generations pass so that we now consider our situation normal and voting an improvement.

In short, voting serves to masquerade the violent acts which preceded it and make the bad choices we’re presented seem as better than they truly are. The reason we should not vote is because we need to expose the farce that is representative democracy and point out that we’re not bound by the options set by conquerors. The more people that do this, the shakier the propaganda the state has to legitimize itself. Once the percentage of people voting drops below 25%, then the government starts looking a lot less like “the will of the people” and much more than the usurpers of power and the gendarme of the ruling elite that they truly are. Once less than 25% percent of people vote, I can easily argue that a government that is ignored by 3/4ths of the population has no legitimacy to govern over me and agitate that any use of force by the police or the army is an act of aggression by an external party.

But I cannot argue this as easily when the majority of people around me continue to vote and continue to think that the government, while not exactly representing themselves, represents the collective will. And this is why it’s especially counter-productive for anarchists to vote. We’re the ones who should be setting the example for GOD’s sake. If even we can’t refrain from participating in the farce, how do we expect that non-anarchists would even consider that there’s anything horribly wrong about it? How does one then answer the question “If you think elections don’t work, then why do you participate?” by a non-anarchist? Do you tell them that they work a little instead? But if they “work a little” for an anarchist, certainly they would work a lot for a non-anarchist. If for someone who is aiming for a stateless society, elections can be useful at times, then for someone who still believes in the state, proper participation in electioneering campaigns and putting one’s efforts in that area, would be a worthwhile prospect

Leave a comment »

Department of Defense’s Operational Access: We Own the World « Blog

Leave a comment »