Sunday, February 13, 2011

Voting: my latest thoughts

A thread on the Facebook "The Libertarian Enterprise" page has brought up the differing opinions on voting once again. As my own views have evolved though the years I thought I'd lay out my current views on the matter.

Voting doesn't make me happy. It gives me no sense of accomplishment or satisfaction. Yes, I realize that is probably because I value liberty and "the majority" of voters do not. And election results have always reflected that truth whether I was voting or not.

I refuse to ask The State for permission to have liberty. If I debase myself enough to ask for it, I don't deserve it. Every person will probably always have some jerk in his or her life who will try to control them. Yes, that will still be the case even if you vote away The State and eat every politician and bureaucrat at a world-wide barbecue. Some people are just authoritarian thugs and nothing will ever change that. You might as well deal with them the best you can and live as free as you can in spite of them. Now!

I suppose if voting makes you happy, and keeps you thinking about, and hungry for, liberty, it might be useful for you. Just as using "drugs" makes some people happy, so it is with voting. As long as you only vote to eliminate or reduce government power, and never vote for "the lesser (or greater) of two evils", then I suppose your voting is fairly harmless.

If a person has to go through the "voting stage" before they are ready to go deeper into advocating liberty, then that might be a good thing too. Once they reach that stage, if they still get joy out of casting a vote, as in the example above, then that is their choice.

But, you should recognize that the "system" is rigged. Totally and completely. You can't "vote yourself (or the country) free". It can't happen. As they say, if voting could change anything, it would be illegal. Voting lends an undeserved air of legitimacy to an illegitimate system, and gives the illusion of consent.

I suppose if for some reason the thought of voting made me happy again someday, I'd probably do it again (within the bounds I laid out above). I won't say it couldn't happen, but I think it's unlikely. But that is why I don't get too critical of those who want to vote, as long as they don't get too critical of my choice.

I still think it better to run for office to siphon off some voters from the bad guys, than to actually vote.

Added: What about "voting in self-defense"?