Why I Do Not Vote

Why Other People Think I Should, And Why They Are Wrong

#GeorgeOrwell

Tue, Jun 8th, 2010 16:41 by David Dylan ARTICLE

Elections are coming up here in the Netherlands, Europe. Because of this I have been subjected to just about every clich? there is about the subject. But I do not vote. I made a very conscious decision not to vote and in fact I urge everybody to follow my example.

Why? You may ask.

It?s not because there literally is no party I can vote for in good conscience.

Look at the players:

  • A Maoist party resembling a cult more than a political party. Elected officials even "donate" most of their earnings to the party.

  • A party comprised of a hodgepodge of small, marginalized, left-wing parties ranging from pacifist socialists (How does that work? We?ll guilt-trip you into paying your taxes?) to Leninists with a decidedly dodgy past being on the payroll of Moscow back when Moscow was less known for producing porn and more for actually planning to nuke us into oblivion.

  • A pro-PETA one-issue party.

  • A Socialist Worker's party seeking the centre and failing.

  • A moderate Christian party that could very well seek the support of less moderate parties, selling out stuff like, oh, Gay rights in the process.

  • Some not-so moderate Christian parties, one of which bans women members from doing anything but bring them coffee.

  • A "Liberal" party whose thinly veiled anti-minorities standpoints are nothing but an attempt to win back electorate lost to...

  • Two breakaway right-wing parties on we-hate-Muslims one-issue trips.

  • A party which manages to sound more new age than Madamme Blavatski.

So, this was not the reason. But it helped. Jokers on the left, clowns to the right and, well, more jokers in the middle.

This helped my decision, but this is not it.

What is it, is the realisation I've come to that I cannot vote at all in good conscience.

You see; I am a Libertarian with strong Objectivist leanings. I will not insult the late Ayn Rand by calling myself an Objectivist, since that was a title reserved in life only to the honourable Miss Rand herself. (Judging by her denouncement of anyone calling him or herself an Objectivist for such reasons as; not completely agreeing with her on everything, not reading all of her books at least three times, not having sex with her.)

As such I believe that no human being has the right to govern the life of any other human being.

From this it follows that no human being has the right to form a "majority" and govern the lives of those thus finding themselves in the "minority".

People can't quite grasp this reasoning. Those who know me, know it is futile to debate these issues with me once I've made my mind up. I don't decide on anything without a lot of thought, and once I do I therefore know all the arguments, pro and con, and I'm not going to be swayed by anyone but myself.

But people who do not know me that well will give it a shot. Their most tired arguments I will now dissect and debunk:

People died for your right to vote

Do not start this line of reasoning with me. It annoys me, at best.

People have shown themselves willing to die for just about anything. The mere suggestion that I, therefore, owe them anything but perhaps respect beyond the grave is preposterous. I am well aware that, for example, during WW2 people have died fighting a (democratically elected, by the way) dictator and by doing so brought democracy back to Europe. This does not mean the brave men and women fighting in that war died for democracy, or my right to vote.

They all fought for their own reasons. Some for communism like the communist resistance in France (funded in part by selling Jews to the Nazi's, by the way.) others for mere survival, most because they were simply sent, and yes, some for democracy. But the bottom line is that they fought for reasons of their own, and suggesting otherwise dishonours their memories by reducing them to cogs in some great greater good scheme. Taking their sacrifice and using it to try and win some petty debate is cynical at best. They are dead. They can't speak out and correct you. Respect their memories, and do not pretend to be able to speak in their names.

But most of all this annoys me because it implies that whenever someone decides to something from which I might later benefit, I owe them whether I chose to enter into that 'contract' with them or not.

People died defending Nazism, too. Do I owe it to them to don a black uniform and march through the streets looking for Jews to beat up?

No. If and when people decide to risk their lives for an ideal, this is to be respected on a basic level. It is not a one-way street to my serfdom to their ideals. Suggesting otherwise is especially asinine and disrespectful when it involves people dieing to fight a state that claimed full and total ownership of its citizens. If anything, these people died for my right to choose for myself whether to vote, or not.

If you do not vote, people will decide things without you

True. The point is, that I do not believe people have any right to decide things for me at all. As much as I do not have a right to decide things for others.

The state claims ownership over us. We are born into a 'social contract' they say. Well, any contract is void when not entered into knowingly and voluntarily, except, apparently, this one. The one that governs almost every aspect of my life.

The mere fact that we have to vote at all is part of the way the state exerts this control. We are not allowed to decide our own fates by voting. Quite the contrary; the state decides our fates and in its benevolence this particular moderately more enlightened state allows us to beg and grovel to it for some of our life back. That is, if at the basic and fundamental level we do agree to play by its rules.

It is demeaning and insulting. It is a big bully allowing us to choose the means by which it will bully us.

Yes, other people will now decide my fate. I have nowhere to run. All places I could run to are either democracies, or worse. But I can take my life and my self-respect back from the state and refuse to play its game.

I own myself, I am not a slave, and I refuse to co-own others.

If you do not vote, you have no right to complain

Should I even address this one? Of course I have a right to complain. And I will. Saying this shows the true nature of 'democratic' thought. If it were about, as voters claim it is, liberty then they would respect my right to not vote at all. But it isn't. It's merely a way to regulate oppression and limit liberty with a smile and a veneer of civility. We get to decorate our own cage, yippee. I'll go get the paint.

'Democrats' objecting to people not voting are showing the true face of oppression. You get to help decide the rules, but you will play the game.

Sorry to disappoint. True liberty means the right to choose to not play, at all.

Given that I am forced to live under 'democratic' rule, not by my own choosing since the alternatives are even worse, I feel I have every right to complain. The free flow of thought and ideas is the foundation of liberty. By claiming that I forego my role in a free society by not voting, they lift the veil on their oppressive machine. Liberty only for those who use it according to their rules.

Not voting means voting for [insert name of vilified bad politician here]

Yeah? Well, tough. According to me, any ruler is bad. One may be worse in some respects than the other, but all are equally bad in the sense that they elevate the opinions of a 'majority' over those of a 'minority'. Majorities can be wrong. History has shown this.

But what history has shown most of all is that minorities get shafted. Always.

By voting, I attempt to become the majority. I join the mob to escape their beating.

Sorry. No politician so far scares me enough to justify this.

Besides: right now, all of them pretty much scare me equally. Jokers, clowns and more jokers.

This circus can do without me.

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