Monday, November 03, 2008

Better than Voting

Of course I'd like you to vote for me. But here's what I would accept instead:

Make a promise to communicate with a government official at least once a month during the next 2 years.

Any government official, not necessarily the same one.

I've heard that politicians view a letter as having the same weight as six votes. That is, for every person who takes the time to write a letter, there are six others who didn't.

The message we should be communicating to government officials is this:

If you are not working to reduce the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and actively opposing any increase in the size, scope or power of government at any level or for any purpose, then you are a force for evil.

We all admit that the government does some evil things. What we need to understand is Everything the government does is evil. This is true for two reasons. Even if the government is engaged in an ethically non-evil act, such as giving money to the poor, or delivering Christmas cards through the USPS,

• the government engages in evil to prevent competition, and/or
• the government funds its acts by acts of evil.

The government will place your Christmas card in your friend's mailbox for a small fee. Nothing wrong with that. But the government will threaten you with violence if you attempt to put a Christmas card for your friend in your friend's mailbox without a government stamp on it. It's your card, it's your friend's mailbox, the card is intended for your friend, but you will be threatened with violence if you place your friend's Christmas card in your friend's mailbox without a government stamp on it. The government is indistinguishable from the mafia on this issue. (I've been told that legally/technically the mailbox "belongs" to the government, even if your friend bought it at Home Depot. So surely you can see why YOU are the evil doer if you place a Christmas card for your friend in a mailbox your friend bought at Home Depot: you're trespassing on government property.)

A needy person receives a check from the government, and everyone thinks that's a good thing, but the money was stolen. The government did not plant, grow, and harvest wheat and sell it, and give the proceeds to the needy person. The government threatened to lock you in its basement with a psychopath unless you forked over some money. The government kept half and gave the other half to a needy person.

This is evil, not good.

Or (since taxes are unpopular) the government quietly stole purchasing power from your retirement funds, using the Federal Reserve to redistribute purchasing power. (You have the same number of dollars, but each dollar will buy less: what the needy person bought with the money printed up by the government came out of your retirement funds.)

So everything the government does depends on the violent enforcement of a monopoly, or the violent extortion of funds, or the fraudulent embezzlement of purchasing power.

If you vote for a candidate who promises to perpetuate these evil acts, well, it would seem you share some of the guilt.

An ethical person can only vote for a candidate who starts off by saying, "All extortion ("taxation") is immoral, and I will never authorize of any of it."

You are under no obligation, legally or morally, to vote. If you vote for Candidate A who promises to steal less than Candidate B, you are voting for a candidate who promises to steal. You are an accessory. You have given your approval to immorality and acts of violence.

We need to persuade politicians to resign, and destroy their position of power on the way out. We need to convince them that good people do not respect them for engaging in evil political acts. This is how we begin shunning government down.

Of course, that requires some reality to be effective; we need to convince good people that government is a bad idea.

In the meantime, we can still communicate with politicians, and while we can, we should. is a great way to do this.


Should You Vote?

The Only Choice on November 4th | Don't vote! Article by Lew Rockwell.
Don't Vote | You're wrecking the world, says Dave Thompson.
Dross and Debt | A Christian perspective on elections, from Jim Fedako.
The Ballad of Two Hunks | And the battle a-comin' on Tuesday. Article by Mike Rogers.
Don't Forget to Vtoe | Mike Rogers misspells that on purpose.
Voting Is Immoral | Rick Dunaway explains his religious objections.
Why I Don't Vote | A classic from Butler Shaffer.
A Rational Choice for Election Day | Indeed, the only rational choice. Article by Butler Shaffer.
Socialist or National Socialist | Take your pick. Article by Tom DiLorenzo.
Confessions of a Former Voter | Phil Hensley on his rehabilitation.

I Don't Mind If You Keep Voting, But Do You Mind If I Keep Laughing While You Do? |
“McBama vs. America” | by Craig Biddle
The Value of Voting |
I Won't Vote! | Donald J. Boudreaux
Why your vote doesn't matter | Non-Voting Archive |
Two Choices for President | by Mark Thornton
Why I Don’t Vote | by Mark Reynolds
The Myth of the Wasted Vote | by Charles L. Hooper
The Voting Ritual | by Butler Shaffer
Stop Voting! | by Russell D. Longcore
Don't Vote | by David Ker Thomson
Why I Do Not Vote | Michael S. Rozeff

Gene Callahan:
Your Right Not To Vote | Exercise it while you still can.
Rock the Non-Vote, Part 1 |
Rock the Non-Vote, Part 2 | Not voting is a blow to the state and the establishment.

Wally Conger:
Forget Voting | But whom will you root for?
Don't Vote | Wally Conger's anti-electorate manifesto.

Thomas DiLorenzo:
Don't Vote | It's the patriotic thing to do.

Brian Dunaway:
Voting Is Immoral
Don't Vote | You'll only help legitimize the criminal gang running the country.
The Voting Blues | Brian Dunaway on the trouble with democracy.

Brad Edmonds:
Voting Is Evil | Abstaining is good.

Anthony Gregory:
Go Ahead, Cancel the Election | There would be silver linings to such a usurpation.
Voting for the Lesser of Two Police States | Anthony Gregory on the election.

Paul Hein:
Don't Do It! | Vote, that is.

J. H. Huebert:
Every Vote is Wasted

Ira Katz:
A Vote for Not Voting | We need voter de-registration drives, says Ira Katz.

Robert Klassen:
Your Vote Counts | But only in the marketplace.
Vote for the Leader of the Gang? | No thanks, says Robert Klassen.
Turn Your Back | On the 2004 elections.
Don't Vote | It makes you culpable.

Al Lowi:
The Vanishing Voter | Al Lowi says, Hurray.

Benjamin Marks:
Americans Are Free Not To Vote | We in Australia are not, says Benjamin Marks.

Wendy McElroy:
Be Responsible: Don't Vote | Don't be a conformist.

Bob Murphy:
Hey, Voters | Don't.
Still Don't Vote | Bob Murphy responds to his critics.
Picking Neither of Two Evils |
Picking Neither of Two Evils, Part II | Bob Murphy on the irrationality of voting.
Don't Cancel the Election! | It would be a nightmare, despite the trouble with mass democracy.
Don't Let the Feds Postpone the Election | Unless you want Occupied America.

Michael Peirce:
Heads They Win, Tails You Lose | Michael Peirce on the election.

Fred Reed:
The Con Game Called Democracy | Voting is a public display of weak character and low intelligence. (And see Hoppe.)

Mark Reynolds:
Why I Don't Vote | Mark Reynolds on a waste of time for you that pleases the government.

Jeremy Sapienza:
Vote? | Are you kidding?

Bretigne Shaffer:
Don't Vote | Indeed, don't participate in politics at all.

Butler Shaffer:
Bush or Kerry? | Butler Shaffer on how to decide.
Elect a Donkey | No, no. A real one.
Why I Do Not Vote | Politics is evil.

John Seiler:
Alien vs. Predator | John Seiler on election 2004.

Russ Stein:
Ignore the Campaign Too | Not voting is only the first step.

Mark Thornton:
Don't Vote, or Vote 3rd Party | Both are right.

Mark Westcott:
Stay Home on November 2 | Mark Westcott goes over a few of the reasons.

Austro-Athenian Empire » In Defense of Voting (sort of), Pt 2

The Wandering Heretic » Should Christians Vote?

The Wandering Heretic » My Paradigm for Christians Voting
Does Your Vote Really Count? The New American

A Non-Voting BibliographyCompiled by Wilton Alston

For general theory on non-voting and political party involvement, see:

the late Samuel Edward Konkin III, so-called agorist, founder of The Movement of the Libertarian Left, author of The New Libertarian Manifesto (PDF), editor of the magazine New Libertarian, coiner (in 1971) of the term “minarchy.”
the late Robert LeFevre, founder of the Freedom School and Rampart College .
Ronald N. Neff, editor of the (currently exclusively online) magazine The Last Ditch.
George H. Smith, Carl Watner, and Wendy McElroy (her website), the three founders of the magazine The Voluntaryist (old web site), currently edited by Watner.

For specific articles on non-voting (with some pro-con debate), see:

Wilton D. Alston, “Legitimizing Voting: A Modest Proposal”,
Anonymous, “Why I Refuse to Register (to Vote or Pay Taxes)”, The Voluntaryist, no. 100 (October 1999). (Also available here.)
Raymond William [“Bill”] Bradford, “Voting Is No Sin”, Liberty, November 1996. (A response to McElroy’s “Why I Would Not Vote…Even Against Hitler”)
Richard O. Hammer, “Is it Wise to Vote? Getting My Head Ready for Freedom
Jacob G. Hornberger, “Five Questions to Ronald N. Neff”, With Mr. Ronald N. Neff’s reply, “Ron Neff replies.” The Last Ditch, February 3, 2002 .
Samuel Edward Konkin III, “The Damnation of Bill Bradford”, New Libertarian. (A response to Bradford ’s “Voting Is No Sin”)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part I: Can We? Should We?”, Formulations, vol. 2, no. 4 (Issue no. 8) (Summer 1995). (Also available here.)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part II: The Process of Reform”, Formulations, vol. 3, no. 1 (Issue no. 9) (Autumn 1995). (Also available here.)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part III: Is Libertarian Political Action Self-Defeating?”, Formulations, vol. 3, no. 2 (Issue no. 10) (Winter 1995–1996). (Also available here.)
Roderick T. Long, “Dismantling Leviathan from Within. Part IV: The Sons of Brutus.Formulations, vol. 3, no. 3 (Issue no. 11) (Spring 1996). (Also available here.)
Wendy McElroy, “Neither Bullets nor Ballots”, The Voluntaryist, no. 1 (October 1982). (Also available here.) Reprinted (“in slightly alterered form”) as Introduction to Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy & George H. Smith, Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism (Voluntaryists, 1983). (Also available here.)
Wendy McElroy, “Climbing Off the Bandwagon”, The Voluntaryist, no. 3 (February 1983). (Also available here and here.)
Wendy McElroy, “Why I Would Not Vote…Even Against Hitler”, Liberty, May 1996. Reprinted in The Voluntaryist, no. 85 (April 1997). (Reprint version also available here and here.)
Stefan Molyneux, “My Son: Klan Reformer”, (This is a personal favorite of mine.)
Ronald N. Neff, “Oh, sure . . . your vote matters!The Last Ditch, November 8, 2000 .
Ronald N. Neff, “Why I am not a Libertarian”, The Last Ditch, November 28, 2000 .
Ronald N. Neff, “Ron Paul’s Gift”, The Last Ditch, September 19, 2001 .
Ronald N. Neff, “Fifty Ron Pauls and the Government with Only One Law”, The Last Ditch, September 19, 2001 . Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.
Hans Sherrer, “Non-Voting as an Act of Secession”, The Voluntaryist, no. 114 (3rd Quarter 2002). (Also available here.)
George H. Smith, “The Ethics of Voting — Part I”, The Voluntaryist, no. 1 (October 1982). (Also avaliable here.)
George H. Smith, “The Ethics of Voting — Part II”, The Voluntaryist, no. 2 (December 1982). (Also available here.)
George H. Smith, “The Ethics of Voting — Part III”, The Voluntaryist, no. 4 (April 1983). (Also available here.)
George H. Smith, “Party Dialogue”, New Libertarian, vol. IV, no. 8 (December 1980–February 1981). Reprinted in Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy & George H. Smith, Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism (Voluntaryists, 1983).
Joe Sobran. “How to Vote for Liberty”, Sobran’s: The Real News of the Month,
October 26, 2004 . Reprinted in The Voluntaryist, no. 126 (3rd quarter 2005). (Reprint version also available here.)
Geoff Turecek. “An Open Letter to Voters: Please Don't”,
Carl Watner. “Cultivate Your Own Garden: No Truck with Politics”, The Voluntaryist, no. 40 (October 1989). (Also available here.)
Carl Watner. “Harry Browne — Have You Forgotten?: "The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil"”, The Voluntaryist, no. 85 (April 1997). (Also available here.)
Carl Watner. “Is Voting an Act of Violence?The Voluntaryist, no. 103 (April 2000). (Also available here.) Even more articles may be reached via online repositories:
The Against Politics Web page “The Calculus of Voting
The Non-Voting Archive. (Butler Shaffer, among others, has some great stuff in this archive!)
The No Treason Voting Archive.
The Strike The Root Non-Voting Archive. (Several, but not all, of the articles noted here can be found in this archive!)
The Voluntaryist’s list of “Additional essays related to non-voting and The Dissenting Electorate.”
Books on non-voting include:
Sy Leon. None of the Above: The Lesser of Two Evils . . . Is Evil. (With an Introduction by Harry Browne.) Fabian Publishing Co., 1976.
Sy Leon. None of the Above: Why Non-Voters Are America’s Political Majority. 2nd ed., rev. ed. (re-titled) with a new Introduction by John Pugsley. Fox & Wilkes, 1996.
Carl Watner, Wendy McElroy & George H. Smith. Neither Bullets nor Ballots: Essays on Voluntaryism. Voluntaryists, 1983. (See also, The Voluntaryist bibliography.)
Carl Watner, ed. I Must Speak Out: The Best of The Voluntaryist 1982–1999 (PDF). San Francisco, California: Fox & Wilkes, 1999. Table of Contents and Other Material.
Carl Watner with Wendy McElroy, eds. Dissenting Electorate: Those Who Refuse to Vote and the Legitimacy of Their Opposition (Introduction Only) (Also available here.) McFarland & Company, 2000. Table of Contents, along with some other material, available here.

1 comment:

Kevin Craig said...

Mock the Vote - David Heleniak - Mises Institute

Why I Don't Vote - Mises Economics Blog

My Suggestion: Don't Vote - Lew Rockwell

Reasons to Vote Debunked! - Mises Economics Blog

Most of these articles are directed against those who believe in "the system." Those who don't believe in the system should still vote if they have a chance to vote for a candidate who would deconstruct "the system." The problem is, there usually isn't such a candidate. Despite a huge groundswell of support, Ron Paul didn't make it to November. He would have provided a clear alternative to Obama. Instead, we have two pro-bailout, pro-war candidates, neither of whom are promising to deconstruct the Federal Reserve welfare-warfare State. Does a vote for Bob Barr send a message against government theft and vengeance? If you think it does, you should vote. If you don't think such a vote is worth your time, then remember that the real work begins after the campaign charades are over.