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since this tired old argument comes up every election, I might as well start rebutting what I can:

"Voting in a political election is unethical. The political process is one of institutionalized coercion and force. If you disapprove of those things, then you shouldn’t participate in them, even indirectly."

sure, the political process is one of coercion and force. but will my failure to participate diminish that force in any significant amount? does not the preexistence of this coercion justify exercising some violence in my own defense? I will not lie down and let the system run me over. I will fight, however ineffectively, with whatever tools are at my disposal. the ballot box is one of those tools.

"Voting compromises your privacy. It gets your name in another government computer database."

the same information that is already in hundreds of other databases. not a convincing argument. privacy is water over the dam at this point.

"Voting, as well as registering, entails hanging around government offices and dealing with petty bureaucrats. Most people can find something more enjoyable or productive to do with their time."

not any more, not for years now. everything is either done online or by snailmail; rarely has voting taken more than an hour or two every election, including the time to study the candidates and issues.

"Voting encourages politicians. A vote against one candidate—a major, and quite understandable, reason why many people vote—is always interpreted as a vote for his opponent. And even though you may be voting for the lesser of two evils, the lesser of two evils is still evil. It amounts to giving the candidate a tacit mandate to impose his will on society."

similarly, not voting encourages them, perhaps even more. a sign of apathy, acceptance of the status quo, gives them leave to take a few more steps in the direction of enslavement of the people. I say a protest vote is more effective than nonparticipation. vote for someone principled, a third party or independent, even if he has no chance of winning. if nobody is principled, vote on some nonpolitical item on the ballot, such as voting down a tax increase or bond issue, and leave the political offices blank. that leaves a record that you actively abstained rather than just stayed home. if not of that is applicable in your state, and no write-in is possible (you can write in NONE OF THE ABOVE), just scribble something like THEY ALL SUCK on the ballot, voiding it, and mail it in or drop it in the box anyway. again, it's active defense rather than passive acceptance. Lysander Spooner, certainly no slacker in anarchist thought and action, in No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, condoned if not advocated for voting as an act of self-defense.

"Your vote doesn’t count. Politicians like to say it counts because it is to their advantage to get everyone into a busybody mode. But, statistically, one vote in scores of millions makes no more difference than a single grain of sand on a beach. That’s entirely apart from the fact that officials manifestly do what they want, not what you want, once they are in office."

this amounts to a "hail Mary" pass. if none of the other arguments convinced me, void them all with this one and try and shame me with mathematical statistics. it's pretty lame, but I can agree that my vote doesn't count and still use that ballot as a way to strike back, in even some infinitesimal way, at an obscene and treacherous system. and I can try and convince others to do the same. you anarchists who refuse to vote may criticise me with smug self-righteousness, but the ruling class sees your nonparticipation as a "ho-hum" rather than the "up yours" you intended.

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last updated 2016-02-26 12:27:58. served from tektonic