Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 13 years ago, in 2010, on the World Wide Web.
I’ve never opposed voting on moral principle. Of course, I oppose government on moral principle, but, Patriotically Correct mythology to one side, the notion that casting a vote has any meaningful relationship to controlling the apparatus of government is one of the more ridiculous lies that
representative democracies — that is, elective oligarchies — such as the United States government love to promote.
Defensive voting is not immoral; it’s a strategy. But strategies may be foolish. And if the last few election cycles have proved anything, they’ve proved that this is a strategy with no pay-off. No matter how many times you change out the party in power, the interests of power remain the same, and even when you win, you lose.
So I am boycotting the election today. I hope that you will too. I will not vote for any candidate for political office, Democrat, Republican, or other, no matter what promises they make, and no matter what party they come from. I do not support them as candidates, and I do not support the oligarchical political machine they represent. If the last few election cycles prove anything, they prove that power-plays beat promises every time. It’s not just a few radicals who have noticed that something is deeply wrong; it’s not just a handful of malcontents who know that we need a radically different direction, away from the insane and destructive Beltway consensus — away from this government’s wars, this government’s bail-outs, this government’s secret surveillance, corporate health-insurance cartels, PATRIOT Acts, runaway police powers, catastrophic economic policeis, shameless fear-mongering and constant, unremitting power-grabs. But people have HOPEd and parties have CHANGEd and if it all accomplished anything at all, it was only to prove that we’re never going to get anything but more of the same as long as we maintain a false hope in electoral politics. If what you want is social progress, there is no shortcut around principled agitation, grassroots social movements, community organizing, civil disobedience and direct action. There is no low-calorie political substitute for D.I.Y. social transformation. Elections and party politicking are no way to make a revolution. They’re not even a way to make small change.
No matter who you vote for, the winner is always the government.
How about refraining from voting for any candidates for office and instead voting only on public questions/amendments/whatever they are called in one’s area? If a libertarian anarchist were to vote only on those questions (and on the side of greater liberty, of course), could that be viewed as a slightly more effective defensive voting tactic?
Discussed at topsy.com /#
Tweets that mention Rad Geek People's Daily 2010-11-02 – Don't Vote -- Topsy.com:
Bob Kaercher /#
Well said, Charles!
Rob T. /#
+1 to Michael’s comment. I’ve been going to the polls for 20 years, but only to vote ‘NO’ on all taxes and most proposals.
This week, for the first time in decades, I voted for a major party candidate. In retrospect it was a ‘lesser of two evils’ type of vote, but I think I will feel guilty about this for a long time to come.