It’s election day in Alabama, but I won’t be voting. Most people have been brainwashed to think that a “good citizen” must vote. They believe it’s a moral issue. They’re right that it’s a moral issue, but they’re on the wrong side of the question.
Those who have been brainwashed into believing they must vote are fond of saying, “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain,” but that’s illogical. A truthful way to phrase it would be, “If you consent to the legitimacy of the system by participating, you have no right to complain when someone else gets his way — and you’re agreeing to obey.”
If you vote and participate, you are agreeing to the legitimacy of the system. You are agreeing to be bound by the results. You’re agreeing that it’s morally legitimate for some group of voters to select people to give you whatever orders they please. You are agreeing to be their slave.
But most people are so locked into the battle between the two sides of the political mainstream that they can’t even consider this point of view. It’s pretty much impossible to explain the philosophical reasons for not voting to people who are only interested in winning elections.
A friend of mine posted an interesting thought experiment today. Steve Smith asked, “Would you rather have the Crips or the Bloods running your neighborhood? Two rules: 1. Not having one gang or the other run things is not a choice. 2. If you decline to state a preference, you can’t complain about anything that either gang does to you, ever.”
This is what voting is. You’re not allowed to question whether you want to be ruled. You’re only allowed to choose which of the two (very similar) groups you want to control you.
Those who agree to be controlled and who agree that it’s moral to force other people to obey call us utopians, but we’re not. We’re the realists. They’re the utopians. An anarchist who I casually know on Facebook had a great line about this a couple of years ago. Brad Spangler said, “Anarchists are the hard-nosed realists. People who have this fixation on some ideal government, which isn’t fundamentally just a criminal gang with flags, are the starry-eyed dreamers without a firm grasp on reality.”
Electoral politics is a great game. Seriously. It’s fun. It’s hard and tough and competitive. There are few things like the exhilaration of winning on election night. As long as you can ignore that you’re selecting people to rule over others, it’s a great game.
I’ll be checking the election results tonight. I have a couple of friends who I’ll be hoping to see win. I know other people who I’ll simply be hoping will lose. In other words, I’ll be looking at it with the same rooting interest as someone who’s watching football or baseball scores come in. It’s a game.
I refuse to give my consent to anyone who wants to claim the right to rule over me. Those people can use force and the threat of force and I’ll obey, but I’m obeying because of the potential consequences. I refuse to participate in their sham and pretend that they’re giving me a real choice. I refuse to pretend that what they’re doing is moral.
I don’t agree to be ruled. That’s what my non-voting says. If you understand what voting means, you’ll find that not voting is the only moral choice.
Note: You can get t-shirts and other products with the great “slave’s suggestion box” graphic by Dan McCall at this link. It’s a great conversation starter.