My piece was simply a summary of moral arguments in defense of principles,
not "youll feel better about yourself if you simply refrain from participating
in this fraudulent scheme" as he says in his piece. This is not about feeling better;
this is about standing up for what you believe in. I have been a libertarian for 25 years
and a registered Libertarian for four years.
Rich is still at the voting stage that I was in about three years ago, but Ive
done lots of reading and research since then. I credit LewRockwell.com for opening my
eyes, in addition to the essays of the writers listed in my original piece.
The fact of the matter is that people mature at different rates on different topics.
Rich is still locked into the Statist position that voting is tenable in America, despite
overwhelming evidence to the contrary. After years of participating in what Karen De
Coster refers to as the "buttons and balloons" arena of politics, some people
eventually become disillusioned, see the light, and then move to the next level-ideas-vice
slogans, bands, posters, and kissing babies.
The mistake is to assume that the battle can only be fought on one front. The truth is
that the battle can be fought on multiple fronts simultaneously. Voting is one front, not
voting is another, as long as you understand the import (and limitations) of each, plus
the rationale for doing one over the other. Obviously, these positions can be mutually
exclusive in the tactical arena on an individual basis, but in the strategic arena they
make very good sense, once you understand that the individuals involved are usually
dedicated to only one front at a time.
The progression goes something like this: cant wait to turn 18 to register to
vote, cant wait to vote, active voting, semi-active voting, sporadic voting,
disillusionment, non-voting. My piece only attempted to summarize several arguments made
by others regarding logical, moral, and strategic reasons not to vote. Thats not the
same as saying that all voting must cease immediately, for that will obviously never
happen. Too many people are immune to the message because it is totally foreign to their
experience. They much prefer to stick with the traditional reasons for voting, despite
their own admissions that the system doesnt work as designed or advertised. The
recent debacle in Florida is a good example.
Rich writes, "Bottom-line, government is so invasive in our lives today that
nothing we do short of dropping out of society and taking up residence as hermits
going to spare us from granting legitimacy to the government. That being the case, you
might as well keep voting
(You should also read my recent piece about hermits in society that coincidentally appeared
the same day as Richs piece.)
Rich is saying that there is nothing that you can do, the
situation is hopeless, but he is wrong. You can stop being part of the problem and
start being part of the solution.
His position is that there is no solution to the legitimacy issue, so just keep voting.
That is giving up, that is defeatism, yet in his closing paragraph he says, "And
finally, never ever in any way, shape or form allow yourself to embrace through thought,
word or deed this thing called defeatism. Because defeatism is the ultimate mechanism by
which you confer legitimacy on that which is illegitimate."
I couldnt agree more with Richs statement, but he falls on his sword by
failing to recognize that continuing to vote only perpetuates the problem, after
I teach my students many things. One of my favorites is "if you always do what
youve always done, youll always get what youve always gotten."
Thats not a bad thing if you are happy with the results, but it is much like
sticking needles in your eyes if it never works. Try something else!
Thats not to say that deciding not to vote should be taken lightly or for the
wrong reasons. I would like to think that those who choose not to vote are doing so for
good reasons, well-developed over time; reasons that make sense to them and that they can
live with on a daily basis, for the rest of their lives, or at least until the current
illegitimate State is replaced. Obviously, some people arent quite there yet and
Rich is one of them, but people change over time and I am confident that several years
from now Rich may also be ready to join the idea front. I will welcome him with open arms.
I dont need to address the rest of Richs arguments because they fall flat
once he admits defeat, only to then profess that his solution is even more
voting. Im sorry, but you cant get there from here.
Some of you are probably wondering, "How can choosing not to vote be viewed as a
strategic solution?" As Ludwig von Mises explains in his magnum opus Human Action,
individuals make all decisions in the marketplace. You are an individual. Only you
can make the moral decision to stand up for what you believe in by choosing not to vote.
You can chip away at the problem one person at a time, in any marketplace, including the
marketplace of ideas.
Imagine a movement that starts out small, but builds over time. One comprised of people
who used to vote, but who have become disillusioned. They are not happy with the status
quo. They are searching for an option, an alternative to a non-functional system that
supports an illegitimate State of which they do not approve and would rather not support.
Not voting suddenly becomes attractive. They may not quit cold turkey, but over time they
come to realize that the system that they supported for so long is nothing but a sham.
They eventually come to the point where they no longer believe their own arguments for
voting. They are ready for a change. They are ready to abandon "buttons and
balloons" and graduate to the next level-ideas.
Imagine what would happen if every year for the next five years another large block of
voters saw the light and chose not to vote. If the numbers were large enough the
illegitimate State would finally be seen for what it truly is. It then would become
crystal clear that the people speak the loudest when they withdraw their support.
Its all about power. In government that comes in two flavors: votes and taxes.
Once you take away the votes, the taxes will follow. When nobody votes who among
you will volunteer to fork over exorbitant income taxes to an admittedly illegitimate
State? This is a no-brainer of the first order.
Without a shot being fired the State comes crashing down, anarchy prevails. Do not be
alarmed, anarchy is not a bad thing, it merely describes a condition of no government.
This happens routinely around the world. Something will take its place, hopefully liberty,
freedom, and individual sovereignty. Start planning now.
Of course, this will necessitate giving up the Nanny State, welfare, handouts, crop
subsidies, Empire, multiple "wars", etc. As it should be. Either you support the
illegitimate State or you dont. Only you can make the call. Only you can justify
voting. Only you must face yourself in the mirror on a daily basis. You cant save
the world, but you can make a positive impact on it, one person at a time. This nation
used to understand that.
"Published originally at EtherZone.com :
republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact."