Anarchists Who Vote Are Like Atheists Who Pray


Suverans2's picture

There are, evidently, two kinds of anarchists, "An advocate of', [i.e. one who speaks, pleads, or argues against all forms of coercive control and authority, (i.e. government)] 'or a participant in anarchism"[1], [i.e. one who rejects of all forms of coercive control and authority, (i.e. government)].

The couch potato anarchists, the ones who only speak, plead or argue against government, but choose to remain citizen/subjects, still possess their membership right to vote; while those who are true anarchists, the ones who reject, [i.e. "refuse to accept, submit to, believe, or make use of" (government)], are no longer members, i.e. citizen/subjects, and therefor no longer have the political right to vote.

[1] American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language [Emphasis added]

Samarami's picture

‘Electoral anarchist’ is oxymoronic, like "free country". Can't happen.


Paul's picture

I commented there as follows:
This is one question I have real trouble with, and am still not sure what side I come down on.

One thing though, I wish people would ease up on straw men. I see no arguments here for voting for run-of-the-mill politicians. This is not a discussion over the “choice” between Romney and Obama. The only dispute is over voting defensively.

If you’ve admitted that voting against a tax hike is permissible, then you’ve admitted that voting for certain politicians is permissible. For example, say an anarchist runs for county sheriff. He promises never to do anything when in office. He is known as a man of his word. He writes up a contract for anyone who asks, allowing that person to sue him for damages if he ever acts as sheriff or arrests anyone. And just assume his opponent is Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Really, is the “legitimizing” argument so strong that this anarchist should not be voted for?

The thing I worry about is that this position appears to cut off one of the most viable routes to liberty: the election of figureheads. A town full of anarchists may exist in a statist state if only the figureheads are there. Imagine Hardyville, or one of L. Neil Smith’s scenarios (where a gorilla was president).

I am not talking about putting someone in power over others, or “hiring a hit man”; I am talking about preventing that from happening by voting for the figurehead.

I know human beings prefer hard and fast rules like “don’t vote” at least in part because it frees them from having to exercise judgement. However, human interactions are not a matter of mathematics, of ones and zeros. The question of “legitimizing the state” – is that an absolute, or just one of several factors bearing on voting? It reminds me a bit of the arguments by some feminists that firearms should not be utilized because they are the “tools of the master.”

I still don’t know where I come down on this, but thanks Wendy for bringing the subject up. It really needs discussion.

Samarami's picture
    "...When you go into the voting booth, the only meaningful significance that your action will have is to show that one more person supports the state..." ~Mark Davis

From Be Free, by Mark Davis July 10, 2005.

I'll stand with Mark and Wendy on this one.