Voting is Violence
Lysander Spooner put forth the concept of voting as violence in No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority (though I would argue that Thomas Paine in Rights of Man – and before him John Locke – were most likely the originators of that idea). Specifically, he equated it to pointing a gun at someone, going as far as to say that some would justify it as a defensive thing, given that his fellow man was also using the ballot box. However Spooner wasn’t trying to justify voting, only explaining why other people justify it, that is to say: People – if they are honest with themselves – inherently identify voting as an act of violence. They are forcefully trying to inflict their will upon others, and because of this, there are people who specifically vote as a quasi-defensive action, voting opposite the way they see the vote potentially going as a means of either preserving what they already have or at the very least, preventing what they see as a worse option.
I call so-called ‘defensive voting’ ‘quasi-defensive’ because you aren’t actually accomplishing anything, and in fact are just continuing to feed the beast that pitted us against each other. You are lending credence to the belief that so long as you voted on something, and so long as you wound up voting with the majority that you somehow now have a right to see your ideas forced upon those who would otherwise do the same, that you are indeed no better then they are. You are as much a tyrant as a single king, though in reality, I would say you are worse than a single king because now we all act as individual little self-important petty tin-pot dictator wannabes, each trying to inflict upon others what they believe should be the standard for an entire nation of people. However, just like with a single king, inflicting your will upon people without their consent (and, honestly, often with it) is not valid. Not because of issues of consent but because no human has the moral or ethical standing to inflict their will upon others, not to mention there is no “right to rule”.
To imply that one has a right to rule you first have to accept that someone else (whether it be a single someone in a fancy hat or many someone’s at the ballot box) has a higher claim on your life than you do. That’s the only way you can logically resolve allowing someone to rule over you. You are saying, “You have more of a right to my life, therefore you get to tell me what to do, how to live, and even how to die” than you yourself have. Fortunately, that’s utter horse shit and should be immediately treated as such. To agree to that is to say you not only have a lower claim to yourself, but you now have a lower claim to that which you produce through the application of skill, time, and energy. You have, in fact, enslaved yourself and it comes across as a desperate attempt to justify it by saying that everyone else has to enslave themselves too, or they somehow don’t love Jesus, America, and freedom. That is actually funny because the only one who doesn’t love freedom is the person who has willingly enslaved themselves to someone else.
In an interesting aside, I have personally found those so enamored with “working within the system”, regardless of what side of the left-right dichotomy they are on, are the quickest to ‘other’ those who won’t bend the knee to their belief in government, whether they support or oppose the Constitution (or any other document relevant to their country of origin) they both equally support inflicting their will upon others (for whatever reason they try to justify it with) in a near (or, in some cases, actual) jingoist philosophy. They are so stuck inside the box that even the idea that there might be a better way of interacting with other people (such as leaving other people to their own ends) is anathema to them and it will be rejected out of hand.
I feel like we’re living out the beginning of our own Weimar Republic and not too many people can see the writing on the wall. For fuck’s sake people, learn some history.