The older I get and the more I learn from observing politics, the more obvious it is that it’s no way to run a business — or almost anything else, for that matter. The deficiencies, absurdities, and perverse incentives inherent in the political process are powerful enough to frustrate anyone with the best of intentions. It frequently exalts ignorance and panders to it. And a few notable exceptions aside, it tends to attract the most mediocre talent with motives that are questionable at best.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Please Remember Not to Vote
The United States holds midterm elections today, November 4th; hence the mania of the media and the frenzy of fools. As I wrote two years ago, in “If You Need Me On Election Day…,” “The best vote is the one uncast.”
Refusing to vote is an exercise of intelligence and conscience. It means recognizing that the state is a criminal organization. It means rejecting the state’s rituals.
Voting only encourages the false legitimacy of the state. The problem is the existence of the state, not its particular personnel. Politics is a symptom of the state, not a cure. As Lysander Spooner famously wrote in 1870, “A man is none the less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”
While I approach the issue of involvement in politics, including voting, as an anarchist, everyone should be skeptical of politics. Lawrence W. Reed, now the president of the Foundation for Economic Education, wrote in 2001, in an article entitled “Don’t Expect Much From Politics”:
As Sheldon Richman has observed, “Ideas, not force, rule the world.” As long as people submit to the state, as long as they consider the state legitimate, they will not be free.
Engaging in politics means accepting state power. Advocating liberty means persuading others to embrace worthy ideas. And ideas change the world. The seeds we plant now may bear little or no fruit in our lifetimes, but lead to bountiful harvests in decades and centuries ahead.
Let us work to make politics — and politicians — irrelevant. Please remember not to vote!
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