Monday, October 27, 2008

My Suggestion: Don't Vote (Lew Rockwell)

Lew Rockwell writes in the latest issue of the American Conservative:

The critical problem we face today is the same one all mankind has faced: the state, those monopolists who claim the right to break the laws that they make and enforce. How to restrain them is the critical problem of all sound political thinking. Making matters worse, this gang now has a monopoly on the money and the ability to print it, and they are abusing that power at our expense.

How does voting change the situation? Neither of the candidates for president wants to do anything about the problem. On the contrary, they want to make it worse. This is for a reason. The state owns the “democratic process” as surely as it owns the Departments of Labor and Defense and uses it in ways that benefit the state and no one else.

On the other hand, we do have the freedom not to vote. No one has yet drafted us into the voting booth. I suggest that we exercise this right not to participate. It is one of the few rights we have left. Nonparticipation sends a message that we no longer believe in the racket they have cooked up for us, and we want no part of it.

You might say that this is ineffective. But what effect does voting have? It gives them what they need most: a mandate. Nonparticipation helps deny that to them. It makes them, just on the margin, a bit more fearful that they are ruling us without our consent. This is all to the good. The government should fear the people. Not voting is a good beginning toward instilling that fear.

This year especially there is no lesser of two evils. There is socialism or fascism. The true American spirit should guide every voter to have no part of either.


Rusty Scalpel said...

I heartily share Rockwell's assessment of the election. I am guided by my religious scriptures which state to seek out and uphold good, wise, and honest men. Anything less than this comes of evil.
Like Rockwell, I refuse to vote for the lesser of the available evils. However, no vote can be considered no statement. No vote can be interpreted as an apathy about our government and a permission to trample God-given rights, which certainly is not the sentiment of myself or Rockwell. Instead of abstaining from my constitutional privilege, I plan to use my ballot to support a third party candidate. In this way, not only am I standing by my principles, but perhaps I will put some wind in the sails of a growing national movement for constitutionalism and liberty.

Minnesota Chris said...

Hi Rusty Scalpel,

I understand where you're coming from, and if I voted it would definitely be third party. But there's something to be said for the old adage, "If voting could change things it would be illegal."

Carl Watner put it well in his introduction to "Dissenting Electorate":

1. Voting does not override individual rights or establish the truth. Majorities cannot vote away the rights of minorities.

2. Voting is implicitly a coercive act because it lends support to a compulsory state.

3. Voting reinforces the legitimacy of the state because participation of voters makes it appear that they approve of the state.

4. There are nonpolitical methods that rely on the spirit of voluntarysim that better serve society.

Also see this great post on