Wednesday, November 01, 2006

To Vote Or Not To Vote, That Is The Question.

Our comrade in liberty, Wally Conger has reposted his 1992 "Anti-Electorate Manifesto" over at out of step and I must say that it's a thought provoking piece for me. One week out from the elections and I honestly don't see any over riding reason to get out and vote. Victory for the Libertarian Party is unlikely and I would never even consider casting a vote for a member of the Boot On Your Neck Party. The most likely Libertarian "victory" in Indiana isn't even in my region and the Secretary of State race is the only vote that would matter to me. Heading to the polls and casting a single vote in order that the Libertarian Party in Indiana can continue to play the political game seems almost fruitless at times given the present climate.

We, the Anti-Electorate, do not believe there is a need for "strong leadership" in government.

We are not drawn to "intellectual" authorities and political "heroes."

We are not impressed with titles, ranks, and pecking orders politicians, celebrities, and gurus.

We do not struggle for control of organizations, social circles, and government.

We do not lobby the State for favors or permission to control those with whom we disagree.

Rather, we advocate freedom.

By its very nature, the State does not.

Exercise your right to say "No" to the warfare-welfare system.

Refuse to vote. Then tell your friends why.

There's a great deal of wisdom in this Manifesto, especially in these times, when there is no difference between the "two" parties. When I hear Libertarian candidates speaking out about siding with the Socialists on the Right or even joining them I find it difficult to justify voting for anyone.

Perhaps, Robert LeFevre was correct and we should abstain from beans.
Political voting is the legal method we have adopted and extolled for obtaining monopolies of power. Political voting is nothing more than the assumption that might makes right. There is a presumption that any decision wanted by the majority of those expressing a preference must be desirable, and the inference even goes so far as to presume that anyone who differs from a majority view is wrong or possibly immoral.
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But implicit in all political voting is the necessity to coerce some so that all are controlled. The direction taken by the control is academic. Control as a monopoly in the hands of the state is basic.

In times such as these, it is incumbent upon free men to reexamine their most cherished, long-established beliefs. There is only one truly moral position for an honest person to take. He must refrain from coercing his fellows. This means that he should refuse to participate in the process by means of which some men obtain power over others. If you value your right to life, liberty, and property, then clearly there is every reason to refrain from participating in a process that is calculated to remove the life, liberty, or property from any other person. Voting is the method for obtaining legal power to coerce others.

With one week remaining Wally has posted the one thing that makes me sit back and do some serious rethinking. What will I be doing on election day? I don't know yet. I may well be wrestling with my addiction and abstaining from beans for the first time in a long time. What will you be doing?

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2 comments:

LP Mike Sylvester said...

I highly encourage you to vote...

I see a lot of reason to vote this season.

I have the chance to vote for three Libertarians; one of which is Mike Kole...

Mike has ran a strong campaign and needs support from all over Indiana...

Mike Sylvester
Fort Wayne Libertarian

Jeremy said...

I sympathize greatly with you. I too have found myself in a similar dilemna. I'm in Virginia and Allen is such a giant prick that I've considered holding my nose. Yet I keep reminding myself that this particular popularity contest is based on violence.

I'm not certain if you're an anarchist like I am, but I've read something that completely convinced me not to vote:

http://www.voluntaryist.com/nbnb/party_dialogue.php

The reason why those of us who oppose statist politics get sucked in is that we want to feel that we're doing something. The point Smith makes is that by participating in the election we legitimize the use of force - not just against ourselves, but also against our neighbors (not to mention people around the world). There are other, non-statist ways to effect change; we are not limited to voting. If we were, it would indeed be a bleak picture.

"...political power represents legitimized aggression. Libertarians may not be able to stop all aggression - this would indeed be an unrealistic goal - but they can go far in stripping political aggression of its moral sanctity. This requires all the tools of persuasion that we can muster, and it also underscores the illegitimacy of political action. To run for or support candidates for political office is to grant legitimacy to the very thing we are attempting to strip of legitimacy. One cannot consistently denounce the State as a band of criminals while attempting to swell the ranks of this criminal class with one's own cronies. The hypocrisy is there for all to see. So either you have to reject political action, or you have to water down or abandon your basic principles in order to conceal the glaring inconsistency. Some people call this latter alternative, being practical. I call it being dishonest and hypocritical."