Empire of Dunces


Newsvine article on voting

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In response to a recent article on the wine that asked how many people voted – with the overwhelming majority asserting that they do, calling it their civic duty – I thought it pertinent to lay down the case for abstaining from the process. This is not based on apathy, but a rational analysis.

The act of voting provides badly needed legitimacy to the democratic process. Legitimacy, that is, in point of fact, the only function of the system in the first place. The politicians, ruling and opposition, are decidedly NOT our representatives. They are our rulers, deciding, without recourse to the principles of freedom, for us. Laying down the rules we have to live by, unrestricted by any constitution or basic law. (In the US, for example, the inter-state commerce clause is used to justify just about every curtailing of freedom, from the use of pesticides to the right to abortion.) Yes, we have the choice of electing the opposition the next time around, but there is broad consensus among the political elite that ‘we, the people’, do not know what is best for us. As an example, allow me to point out that when the new Euro currency was being introduced in Germany, the parliament had to vote on it. No public referendum was permitted. The reason for this was simple enough. The people opposed the abolition of the Deutsche Mark by an overwhelming margin of over two-thirds. The Bundestag, however, voted with almost 90 % in favour of the introduction of the Euro. Who are you supposed to vote for the next time around? The socialist or fascist fringe, merely because they are the only ones being different??? Just an example. Democracy provides our rulers with the one thing that all the despots, tyrants, dictators, monarchs and oligarchs had always been lacking. The regularly expressed veneer of legitimacy. The idea that they are not ruling us, but representing us. By abstaining from voting, I withdraw that legitimacy. The act of voting in and of itself does not entail freedom. It is, in theory at least, merely the means to achieve freedom. Freedom being defined to do with yourself and your property whatever you wish, so long as it does not conflict with another individuals freedom.

Overall, the case against democracy is too lengthy to be discussed here in detail. I merely wished to put down my general opposition to it, and the fact that not voting can, and frequently is, a person’s only true act of rebellion against an oppressive system of governance. To call that apathy is to insult the intelligence of the non-voting majority (at least in the US). 


Written by gloege

March 23, 2006 at 23:03

Posted in Politics

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