If you don’t vote for the Crips, that just gives the Bloods more power. So you must vote for the Crips.
If you’re part of a gang, other gangs are your enemy. If you’re a Crip, the Bloods are the enemy. And vice versa. You can’t understand that all gangs are the enemies of peaceful people.
If you’re part of a crime family, the competing crime families are your enemy. You don’t understand that all criminals are the real enemy of decent people.
If you’re emotionally committed to being a Republican, you see Democrats as the enemy. For Democrats, it’s the other way around. You might see faults in the politicians on your side — mostly because they don’t agree with you about everything — but you believe they’re infinitely better than the politicians on the other side.
So if you’re on either side of that political divide — hating Team Red or hating Team Blue — you can’t understand that the entire political system, which is based on deciding which politicians get to control organized violence in order to rule everyone — is the enemy of all people who wish to be free.
And if you participate in that — in a system that enslaves me and those I care about — you make yourself my political enemy. Every time you give support to that system by voting or teaching others to do the same, you are strengthening a system which is evil.
Some people make the mistake of believing the political system is evil only because of what it does and because of the evil people who end up in charge. They believe that “good people” can change things by taking control. But that misses the moral point.
The problem isn’t which policies politicians pursue — as distasteful as those can be — but rather the problem is that any group of politicians has the power to decide anything about your life.
It doesn’t matter how you justify what you want to do to me.
You might claim you support freedom because you simply want to “return to the Constitution.” I’ve argued before that the U.S. Constitution is a dead document with no meaning other than what nine politicians in robes claim it has. But this isn’t a recent development. From very early on, insightful thinkers such as Lysander Spooner realized that the Constitution had failed.
“But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain — that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist,” Spooner wrote in 1867 in “No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority.”
The same is true today. Even if you once believed in the fantasy of “limited government” — which is an oxymoron sort of like “limited rape” — what we have today is a leviathan that has absolutely no limits to its authority when politicians decide to invent new reasons to extend their power.
Did the Constitution authorize what we have today? Or was it merely powerless to prevent it? Either way, what good does it do to depend on the piece of paper that has produced the monster which has been growing around us for a couple of centuries?
Many of those who honestly want to make the world a better place — those who truly want fairness, morality and justice — believe they can do so by having politicians pass regulations to bring about what they want. But they miss the point that by creating and supporting a government with the power to enforce their views on others, they have made the world they want impossible.
You cannot legislate your way to a world of fairness, morality and justice. The best you can do is to be fair, moral and just in your own life — and teach others to voluntarily choose the same values and choices. A world in which you forcibly impose your standards on otherwise-peaceful people is inherently unfair, immoral and unjust.
There are a few people today who say they’re not part of the dominant system and simply want to take over government to make it smaller. (I have the Libertarian Party in mind, of course.) Even when they admit they have no chance of winning elections, they say they want to “educate” people. But what message are they sending?
Libertarians in the political system are not educating people to seek freedom. They’re telling those who have realized they are unfree that they can become free if they’ll simply vote for the right new ruler.
Do they believe coercive government is acceptable as long as it’s not as bad as what Democrats and Republicans have given them? Do they believe they would be free if their preferred candidates were elected?
So to everyone who believes that his political hero would bring freedom to Americans — whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian or even a Green — I have some questions for you.
What happens if I disobey your “enlightened” politician?
What happens when I decline to give him my money?
What happens when I refuse to obey the rules he gives me about how I’m allowed to interact with others?
What happens when I refuse to recognize that he has any authority over me?
If I can ignore your chosen politician and his rules — if I can decide how I want to voluntarily interact with others as we please — then I don’t mind if you have elections and wave your political signs. But if your political hero claims the right to force me to obey him, he is my enemy.
If you help to give him power — if you vote or encourage people to vote, which props up the system that gives him power — you become my political enemy. I will still love you and I will still like many of you. You’ll still be my personal friends.
But if you are doing that, what you are doing is immoral. You are the problem, because you are helping to perpetuate an evil system which can never be moral, fair or just — a system which can never bring about the world free people deserve.
I am an abolitionist. If you vote, you are simply trying to loosen or tighten the chains a bit — and you’re legitimizing the right of the overseer to control all of us.
My not voting isn’t going to fix anything right now. Your not voting also isn’t going to fix anything right now. If you believe in individual freedom, the only thing that will fix things is teaching people that the system has no legitimacy, no matter who wins. Until enough people reject the legitimacy of their chains to reach a critical mass of the public, nothing will change.
If you vote, you are giving legitimacy to your chains.