Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Thoughts About Voting

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman
The anarchist view of voting is that it signals consent to governmental hierarchy and confers legitimacy on it. By voting you are giving your consent to someone you usually do not know to represent your person and your interests in the realm of state government. 

Voting is the main pillar in the fallacy of political representation, where a group of people you have nothing to do with are said to represent the common will - la volonté générale as Rousseau put it - through their election victory and therefore have carte blanche to do as they please, claiming to be acting on behalf of the 'people'. 

This belief is insane. Why would politicians act in favour of the public interest when they have been given the power by voters to line their own pockets at the expense of the public? An election is essentially choosing one master over another and will never threaten, quite the opposite, the status quo of the social hierarchy - it is still true to say as did the left of the nineteenth century that Government represents the interests and instrument of the ruling class. If voting was a threat to the established order then, of course, they would make it illegal very quickly. 

"If you don't vote, you have every reason to complain." - George Carlin

Contrary to the platitude that if you don't vote you can't complain it is much more true to say as did the comic George Carlin that if you don't vote you have every reason to complain for you never gave your consent to be represented and governed by electing a group of people into office. Everything they do to you is an immoral imposition you never gave your consent to and Government is then revealed to be the immoral coercive force that it is, based on violence (including the violence of taxation and police intrusion). Supposing that one day there was a 0 turnout to an election, the Government would lose its phoney 'democratic' legitimacy and would then resort to forcing people to vote under threat of a penalty. Voting keeps the system in place and confers legitimacy on the immorality that is the State.