Predictive value

According to a theory popular among certain kinds of anti-voting anarchists, anarchists shouldn’t vote, and should encourage other people not to vote, because general participation in voting creates the perception that the elected government is legitimate, whereas if only a tiny handful of people voted, or nobody voted, it would expose democratic government as illegitimate, and spur people to resist them or simply shrug them off.

If that’s true, then we ought to expect anarchy to be breaking out any… day… now… in Pillsbury, North Dakota.

Somehow, though, I expect that what we’re much more likely to see is that the lack of a clear No will just be taken as good enough for a Yes, and the same old assholes will go on doing the same old thing and collecting the same old taxes anyway.

(Story via Lew Rockwell 2008-06-16.)

Please note, by the way, that this post is not intended as a brief in favor of voting. If everyone in town had showed up and voted against every candidate on the ticket, that would still be interpreted as legitimation for the State. There is literally nothing you could do with respect to a government election, whether voting for, or voting against, or abstaining from voting entirely, that statists will not interpret as legitimating the State. Statists will interpret any damn thing you could possibly do as legitimating the State; that’s just what statists do.

7 replies to Predictive value Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Roderick T. Long

    “Perhaps it will be said that this consent is not a specific, but a general one, and that the citizen is understood to have assented to everything his representative may do, when he voted for him. But suppose he did not vote for him; and on the contrary did all in his power to get elected some one holding opposite views — what then? The reply will probably be that, by taking part in such an election, he tacitly agreed to abide by the decision of the majority. And how if he did not vote at all? Why then he cannot justly complain of any tax, seeing that he made no protest against its imposition. So, curiously enough, it seems that he gave his consent in whatever way he acted — whether he said yes, whether he said no, or whether he remained neuter! A rather awkward doctrine this.”

    — Herbert Spencer, Social Statics

  2. Belinsky

    I completely agree, Rad. No matter what we do in regard to voting, it will be interpreted as consent, even though none of the statists’ arguments are sound. The only way to clearly show that we do not consent is through direct action.

    I do vote myself, and I don’t think it’s a waste of time. Taking five minutes to fill out the absentee ballot is hardly any inconvenience, considering that this would otherwise be time spent doing nothing special, and at least it helps to ensure that Tweedledum is ruling us instead of Tweedleohfuck.

  3. LadyVetinari

    I think most people are aware that the average citizen votes in self-defense, not out of some deep sentiment of respect for the government. Not that most people are anarchists, but the idea that voting legitimates the government has always struck me as silly.

  4. Discussed at anthro.pophago.us

    anthro.pophago.us » del.icio.us links for 2008.06.27:

    […] Rad Geek People’s Daily 2008-06-27 – Predictive value […]

  5. Joe Hill's Ghost

    The article is cute about the whole thing. No one voted? No problem! We’ll just reappoint the old ones. Jeesh, I wonder what would happen if we all sent in ballots marked “fuck off.” The same? Probably.

  6. Anon73

    Somehow this onion news parody seemed appropriate:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=DXY_8cJlGMc

  7. Discussed at joehillghost.wordpress.com

    When Nobody Turns Up at the Ballot Box « Joe Hill’s Ghost:

    […] radgeek I discovered that the little town of Pillsbury, North Dakota recorded 0 votes this June. That’s […]

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