It’s an historical fact that abuse of power has already occurred multiple times within American history. While even libertarian and classical liberal ideals were voted for and elected into power, the lights of liberty have still failed. It is the very “founding fathers” who have served as the progenitors of all the abuses of the executive branch today. The mechanism that perpetuates this widespread abuse, is voting.
Voting is consent. Consent to be governed by the State. Not voting is individual secession. 46.6% of Americans did not vote in the recent presidential election of 2016, thereby formally withdrawing membership of this ridiculous process.
Voting is playing the game. You do not withdraw your consent if your candidate loses. People who engage in the political process are people playing the game, and you thereby must accept the outcome. So if you play the game and lose, you must accept the fact that your opponent won the game. Wouldn’t you look a fool if you were to say your opponent’s win is not legitimate because you didn’t win? Now, if you refuse to play the game, and someone declares they have beat you… it would be clear to understand that as false because you had never played the game to begin with.
This is why voting is losing. It means you have consented to the results of the game no matter what those results are. You’ve already approved the outcome. Even if you cannot condone the actions taken by another candidate and have voted for your chosen candidate, you have still elected a trigger man. And the guns are big.
The game is democracy. The game is rigged. Who wants to play a rigged game? Apparently, 46.6% of Americans do not.
We can understand the perspective of wanting to vote often in order to gain incremental victories through the political process. I will not insult your intelligence by assuming you haven’t done at least the most superficial of learning to insinuate you do not know that the game has been rigged in their favor since the beginning. The statist system is designed to expand government powers, not limit them. This plays into the agenda of both “sides”. So while you may feel (whichever side you’re on) that you win some and lose some, the game is in the long run going to go to your real opponent. The left and right succeed because their agenda is the same on a fundamental level: coercion and state expansion, both profit from the political process which is how the left have been able to make incremental victories at all.
We all know the electoral college distorts the system, so I’ll save space in my essay for other considerations. The skinny is that: your vote doesn’t really matter much, and if your state does manage to get to the point where it might, it still doesn’t.
If voting implies that you consent to the outcome of the game, it means that voting is aggression even if it’s indirect. It’s the insidious political system of democracy that removes the initiation of violence back a few steps and conceals it behind the system of voting. Consenting legitimizes this system. Even while many who have voted have done so out of guilt and a sense of obligation because they know deep down, they are supplying ammo to the trigger man.
So if you feel it’s “in your power” to vote against violence, shouldn’t one do so? Consider the funds used to finance the horrors of government: they are taken from us against our will. If a thief robs you, what he does with that money after that is not your responsibility. There is an illusion here that it is with our tax dollars. They want you to play their game. So even if you do vote in opposition to violence, and lose, you’re still consenting to it. Only the sovereign that withdrew consent from the statist system is the one who can walk with a clear conscience that they did not condone the violence of the state.
Let’s bring the curtain back: Voting is the appearance of consent. All the state is based on is the appearance of consent. It’s where the “legitimacy” and “authority” of the state is derived. If anything, voting is an action taken to solidify the perception of the legitimacy of the state and only strengthens their oppression. Not voting, you are profoundly proclaiming for the state to leave you the fuck alone. You are demanding that no one be elected and legislate nothing.
Free men and women do not beg with ballot boxes. Freedom is taken.
Voting is a manifested action taken that legitimizes a political process known to be used by the state to violate the rights of others. If you vote, you sanction this and more horrors. You have facilitated the imposition of unjust power upon unconsenting others, especially non-voters.
The state aggresses everyone. Whether you voted for it, against it, or not at all. All are assumed to have consented to the states authority. The 46.6% of Americans who did not vote: are they relieved from taxation? No. Are they pardoned from the governments schemes, impositions, and courts of law? No. Are they free to live sovereign and independent of the statist system? Not quite. Does this not prove how profoundly this electoral game is rigged against any possibility of escape? That non-voters are still “bound” by electoral results?! (That’s a little dramatic, but you understand my meaning.)
In “The Right to Ignore the State”(1851), the classical liberal Herbert Spencer commented, “So, curiously enough, it seems that he [a voter] gave his consent in whatever way he acted – whether he said yes, whether he said no, or whether he remained neuter! A rather awkward doctrine, this. Here stands an unfortunate citizen who is asked if he will pay money for a certain proffered advantage; and whether he employs the only means of expressing his refusal or does not employ it, we are told that he practically agrees, if only the number of others who agree is greater than the number of those who dissent. And thus we are introduced to the novel principle that A’s consent to a thing is not determined by what A says, but by what B may happen to say!”
Impossible to say “no”. This political farce serves the state, not the voters. The entire process is the state legitimatizing itself by being “established” by “the will of the people”. As voting “for” or “against” does not diminish your role in sanctioning the result, it’s non-voting that can actually weaken the state.
My personal objections to voting:
– Moral. I cannot vote one way or another while the risk of sanctioning someone’s unjust quest for power and use of force against innocent third parties remains. It’s not that the wrong hand is at the helm, but that the helm is there at all. To me, as a prolific individualist, it is morally wrong to assist anyone into an unjust position of power over the rights and wealth of others. I have that much respect for you, dear reader.
– Psychological. To me, not voting is an act of self-respect. In the words of Henry David Thoreau in “On Civil Disobedience”: “How does it become a man to behave toward this American government to-day? I answer that he cannot without disgrace be associated with it. … What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
– Political. Fixing things through the government is a fools errand. Laws repealed today are reinstated tomorrow. What is banned by the FDA today was once approved by the FDA in the past. The states power doesn’t reside in laws, agencies, geographic area, or even it’s size. Power rests in social conditions, it resides in how many people respect the State’s authority. The State can lose it’s legitimacy, and we would then resist taxes and forfeit blind obedience. I cannot legitimize the farce of the political process by voting for it.
– Logical. I don’t know what one will do once one enters office. They get there with false promises, banking on the hopes of the masses. If there’s two things I hate in the world, it’s dirty liars and double-crossers. I don’t believe in campaign promises. The only logical and sure way to achieve political freedom is to eliminate and delegitimatize the positions of power being sought.
– Practical. I refuse to vote out of self-protection. Voting violates privacy with unpredictable and unfortunate consequences. Being called in for jury duty is normalized and seen as an inconvenience. I see it as being trapped in a state database and my free will being taken from me, where my time is now being demanded and corralled against my will… like a slave. I own myself. I resist.
– Financial. Taxation is made compulsory on all, whether they vote or not, putting into government hands a sword which will be used against him/her, to extort more money, further robbery, enslavement, and keep them in subjection to its arbitrary will, not even mentioning all the other usurpations and tyrannies and violences of the government. I fucking hate that.
Here’s an idea:
In his essay “If We Quit Voting” (1945), Frank Chodorov put his finger on one of the main problems with casting a ballot: “when we oust the rascals, do we not, as a matter of course, invite a new crowd?” Non-voting reversed that problem. “All this would change if we quit voting. Such abstinence would be tantamount to this notice to politicians: since we as individuals have decided to look after our affairs, your services are no longer needed…. Would chaos result? No, there would be order, without law to disturb it.”
“To effectuate the suggested revolution all that is necessary is to stay away from the polls. Unlike other revolutions, it calls for no organization, no violence, no war fund, no leader to sell it out. In the quiet of his conscience each citizen pledges himself, to himself, not to give moral support to an unmoral institution, and on election day he remains at home. That’s all.”
I vote with my lifestyle engaging in direct democracy (DOING things instead of electing representatives to do them), fiscal activism, honoring the edicts of my will and ambitions, loving fiercely, creating new art every single day, and pledging with great respect to always protect and defend free will and breath-taking life on Earth.
I specifically waited until after the election to post this. Why? Because I wanted you to have a fresh reaction. The way you feel after having voted, or not, and reading this essay is important. It’s going to help shape what you do in the future. Perhaps this essay reaffirms your belief in the system, or drives you further from it, or gives a clear language to a feeling in the pit of your stomach you have about voting but could not define. Or maybe this is pure entertainment. Whatever the effect, you should pat yourself on the back for thoroughly exploring a different perspective and considering an independent idea. You’re creating a better quality of life by having done so.