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Thousands have died so that Iraqis might partake of democracy's sacrament.  In the following essay, which Iíve been tweaking for ten years, I explain why I long ago apostatized from one of modernity's cults, after which I append links to complementary essays. 

 

 

Why I Don't Vote
 

Anthony Flood

 

I donít vote, but not because I am apathetic.  Pulling levers in a booth is not so inconvenient that I would not endure it for the sake of a compensating good to which I am entitled.

The alleged compensating good, however, escapes me, whereas the evil attaching to it is obvious and substantial.

When shareholders vote on corporate policies they exercise their own property rights.  They violate no one elseís.  Neither do club members when they elect officers. Citizens of a democracy, however, are neither shareholders nor club members. They are rather seekers of ends whose achievement requires the control of resources they do not own without regard for the wishes of those who do own them.  Voters therefore are accomplices to a system of brigandage.

The control or confiscation of property through taxation, regulation, or restriction of trade, however, comprises virtually all of the "issues" of political elections.   If individuals lack rights in scarce resources, they can hardly acquire such rights simply by voting them into existence by fiat.  Leave to elections only those decisions that honor that moral reality and nothing is left.  Even voting to repeal bad legal code legitimizes the process by which more will be enacted.

Mindless slogans like, "Bad people are sent to Washington by good people who donít vote," apparently intended to induce guilt, suggest that non-agents are agents, that those who refrain from acting are responsible for acting.  But nonvoters do not send anyone anywhere.  If nobody voted, nobody, good or evil, would be sent to Washington.

That is, if they gave an election and nobody came, no one could claim to tax and draft "by the power vested in them by the people.Ē  Free people on free markets would determine who receive which goods and services, including the socially necessary services like police now monopolized by the State, and including charitable services for those unable to earn for themselves.

Increasingly, eligible voters prefer to be left alone.  Of those who register to vote, however, most seem to prefer to attain monopoly (non-market-derived) privilege for themselves, or to influence the conduct of monopolies, than to abolish them.  The tragic, unintended result, however, is that they (and/or their loved ones) are lied to, robbed, enslaved, and sometimes even killed, either in a war on foreign soil or on the streets the Stateís police cannot or will not protect.  This is the price they pay for being so uncreative as to rely on voting to "make a difference."

I withdrew my ďconsent to be governedĒ long ago.  Why donít you withdraw yours?

 April 24, 1996

(revised November 2000)

 

Anti-Democracy 101