Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obligation NOT to vote

For many years now I have actively chosen to refrain from voting in any governmental election. I am not apathetic, quite the opposite, but rather I understand the immorality of voting for rulers. The trigger for this decision was the wonderful essay by Wendy McElroy Why I Would not Vote Against Hitler.

Today I read another such essay, this time by Alex R. Knight III on the obligation not to vote.

Both of these lead to that "How did I ever think otherwise" moment when you see clearly that which was always right in front of you, but never recognized.

Here is an off the cuff addition of my own:

We are morally obligated never to initiate violence or coercion against any other moral agent (person). Basically, we cannot morally steal, cause pain, physically harm, enslave, or otherwise harm another. Pretty simple and uncontraversial.

Government is merely that entity which claims to have the legitimate authority to engage in exactly those sorts of actions.

Government cannot even exist without engaging in those sorts of actions. If we have the power and ability to disobey, then the entity in question is not a government but rather at best some sort of advisory board.

Since we do in fact have a government which claims ownership over us, that is to say the right to dictate our peaceful actions and take without permission our property (in the form of wages, as well as any real property we may own), the issue of any such advisory board is moot.

So to voting.. voting is simply lending the illusion of legitimacy to the use of force against innocent non-aggressing others. With every vote, with every action taken supporting government you are not merely consenting to any and all harms which may come to you via that government, but you are also consenting to all harms to all others. While you may irrationally consent to harm to yourself, as I noted earlier, you do not have the moral authority or the right to consent to harm to others.

Show basic respect for others, show some compassion for others, show that you respect right action and simply stop supporting harm to others: Stop voting.

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