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Why I Don't Vote

I don't vote. I have never taken part in an election and I never will. To many, the idea that someone who cares so much about what is happening in the world would refuse to vote seems incredible. The common sense of the democratic state tells us that voting is the way that we can change things and that those who don't vote are apathetic. It has even been said that those who do not vote shouldn't complain.
I don't vote. I have never taken part in an election and I never will. To many, the idea that someone who cares so much about what is happening in the world would refuse to vote seems incredible. The common sense of the democratic state tells us that voting is the way that we can change things and that those who don't vote are apathetic. It has even been said that those who do not vote shouldn't complain.

But common sense often hides a great many unquestioned assumptions. This is certainly true with regard to the commonplaces about democracy and voting. I hope that by explaining why I don't vote, I will expose some of these assumptions and raise a few questions.

If my refusal to vote sprang from apathy, obviously I wouldn't take the time to write this. In fact my refusal to vote stems from a desire to live in a certain way, a way that requires a radical change in the social structure of our lives and the world. As far as possible, I try to confront the world in which we live in terms of these desires, acting toward their realization.

Put briefly, I want to live in a world in which I can be the creator of my life, acting in free association with others with whom I feel some kinship and whose presence I enjoy in order to make our lives together on our own terms. The existing social order consists of a global network of institutions that stands in the way of the realization of this desire. This network includes economic institutions, not just the corporations as such, but also the entire system of economic exchange, private and state property, and wage labor - the institutions of capitalism. It also includes government, law, the police, the military and the social bureaucracy - the institutions of the state. These institutions define the conditions of our social life, forcing us into roles that uphold and reproduce the institutional order. My desire to create my life on my own terms places me in rebellion against these institutions. If I find others with a similar desire and we join together in collective struggle for its realization, that is potentially revolutionary.

In order for the ruling institutions to exist at all, they have to take away our capacity to create our lives for ourselves. They do so precisely by directing our energy into activity that reproduces the institutions, and selling some of the product of this activity back to us. This theft of our life's energy means that the social order and those who hold power in it are objectively our enemies, because they have made themselves our masters. This is why class struggle is an inevitable part of this social order. But subjectively, we become the enemies of this society when we decide to take our lives back as our own and begin to act on our decision.

Having made this decision, what would voting mean to me? First of all, let's consider the kinds of choices that appear on the ballot. All of these choices can be reduced to two questions: 1) who do we want to rule us? and 2) with what rules do we want to be ruled? These questions themselves already assume that we should not or cannot by the creators of our own lives, that we should give our ability to decide and act over to others who will determine the conditions of our lives (or uphold those long since determined by the global social order) on the basis of pre-existing rules. But a ballot doesn't even present these two questions in an open way that allows the voter to choose freely. This would be impossible since election officials couldn't possibly manage to go through a series of essays in which people described what they wanted even within the limited framework of these questions. So instead we are given a few candidates to choose between for the various elected offices - individuals who want to exercise power over other people, whether for "the common good" or out of crass self-interest -and ballot measures on which to vote yes or no. The candidates and ballot measures are presented to us by professional politicians, people who have the time and money to determine the questions that they are willing to let us vote on. None of this will ever call the ruling order into question, since the electoral process itself assumes the necessity of this order.

So voting is nothing more than choosing which of the masters among the few on the ballot that the voter would prefer to be ruled by and deciding which of the potential rules presented on the ballot for managing this master/slave relationship s/he would like to see them use. Since the democratic process is based on majority rule (with a few notable exceptions, such as the use of the electoral college to choose the president), one's individual "choices" will not, in fact, determine what sort of servitude s/he will experience. Instead, the "choices" of the majority (as determined by election officials) will determine this for everyone.

In short, voting is not taking action, nor is it taking responsibility for one's life. It is the very opposite of this. When people vote, they are saying that they accept the idea that others should determine the conditions of their life and their world. They are saying that others should determine the limits of the choices that they make, preferably simplifying these choices into mere either/or decisions, quickly dealt with by a simple momentary gesture. They are saying that they would leave the responsibility of taking decisive action to others. In other words, those who vote are saying that they are content to leave their lives in the hands of others, to refuse the responsibility of creating the life they desire, to avoid the task of finding ways to directly make decisions and take action with others of their choosing that could lead to a real transformation of social reality. So every voter would do well to ask themselves if this is what they mean to say.

I want to make my life my own. I want to find others with whom to create ways to freely act together to directly determine the conditions of our lives on our own terms, without rulers or institutional structures defining our activity. In other words, I want to live in a world without masters or slaves. Therefore, I do not vote. Such desires could never fit in a ballot box. Instead I do my best to create my life in revolt against the ruling order. I talk with others around me about our lives and about what is happening in the world in order to find a few accomplices in the crime called freedom. And I act, alone when necessary and with others when possible, towards the realization of the life and world I desire and against the ruling order and the misery it imposes on life everywhere.

 anonyprole@yahoo.com

There's Nothing More Hateful Than Politics 25.Oct.2004 11:47

Mistletoe Angel

I wish that was true, I really do.

Let me say first of all how dearly I respect your sentiments here. Your justifying not to ever vote is genuine and filled with true, raw emotion. I too believe we should all be the creators and governors of our own lives, and a vote in particular is just choosing who you want to be governed by.

However, the sad reality is this. Politicians govern. Our lives, our land, our lifestyles, are all affected by the decisions of politicians.

I am one-fourth Cherokee Indian, so, being of much Native American ancestry, I believe as strongly as many of my clansmen do in preserving our traditional values, culture, and protecting and harvesting our sacred sites. Sadly, I am also aware that my silence is deafening, and if clans were silent, their land would be stolen, their traditions butchered by organized education and religion, their culture blatantly westernized.

Politics is a dirty game, no question about it. I believe politics is the most evil and masochistic game on the face of the Earth. Therefore, everyone is playing, and many don't even realize it. You've got to make a move, or you'll be screwed.

The way we have let this paradigm become central to Western civilization, therefore, I feel we're all kind of forced into this game somehow. I choose to vote because I believe there are lesser and greater nuisances of candidates, and therefore it is my job to analyze and see to it the lesser nuisance is elected, so my ways of life are less tampered with. Being silent and allowing perhaps the greater nuisance to be elected could create a devastating domino effect upon so many innocent bystanders lives.

Politics govern us all. The fact you even brought up this topic shows you are too. A sad reality it is, but, to me, a vote is a voice and I must sing for something.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

Politics may govern us all 25.Oct.2004 11:53

raven

Politics may govern us all, but fear governs you Mistletoe Angel, and for that I am deeply sorry.

Raven... 25.Oct.2004 12:20

Mistletoe Angel

...it is not so much fear that has continued to drive me into this activism as the passion and love I have for what I believe in. Fear just got me up to begin with.

The earlier point I was making was because the one who began this thread who said he didn't vote made this message, it shows he himself is politically-conscious, even though he may not participate in the election part of it all.

If you consider my previous response one of fear, I can certainly say the same for that of Anonymous Proletarian. Intangibly he is driven by the fear for individualistic survival.

Ask yourself, Raven, what made yourself get engaged in activism, or drove you here to Indymedia? Surely, fear played some role in it all, yes?

Fear really is that alarm clock that tells us in the morning we must hurry and shower, eat breakfast and catch the Max or we'll be late. Fear may get us up, but the passion is truly the lasting effect of pure activism in the long run.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

No. 25.Oct.2004 12:23

Bison Boy

"When people vote, they are saying that they accept the idea that others should determine the conditions of their life and their world."

No, they're not. They are acknowledging the empirical fact that we live in a world where cooperation is necessary. In such a world, your choices might be overwhelmed by society if you vote... but your choices will *certainly* be overwhelmed by society if you do not vote. If the only people who vote are the ones that value hierarchical control, that's what we'll continue to have.

This year, even Utah Phillips has decided to vote. See his reasoning here:  http://www.thenation.com/docprint.mhtml?i=20041025&s=crane

Use what influence you have at the ballot box, however small you think it to be. Be an activist, and vote too.

if you act out of fear 25.Oct.2004 12:23

citi zen

You will lead a miserable life. I have never allowed fear to control me; nor will I ever. Try giving up your fear, you will enjoy the result.

Litany Against Fear 25.Oct.2004 12:33

i know this is geeky

But seriously, this has worked well for me.

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Citi Zen... 25.Oct.2004 12:41

Mistletoe Angel

...I think you may have looked at my pevious response the wrong way.

I said that fear is what gets us up to begin with. Faith keeps you moving.

Whether you're voting for Bush, Kerry, Nader, or no one this November, something had to have motivated you to begin with. It's OK that fear got us up, but I've found after months of activism since Bush declared war on Iraq a year and a half ago, it has become exciting and the fear has evaporated. I've managed to convert the fear into passion, and faith is the propeller of passion to me.

Let's be human for a second here. Weren't we all afraid the moment Bush declared war on Iraq? Didn't we all fear for the innocent Iraqi civilians, families, women, children? Didn't we fear because he also put Iran and North Korea in the "Axis of Evil" that he may declare war there also?

We all live with a little fear I believe. The real important thing is what we do with the fear. Either you convert it into a positive energy or keep it stored down there in a little part of your soul and let it make you sick.

I live by the Jim Morrison philosophy: "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free."

The fact is, in the beginning of many crucial moments in our lives, our first reaction is out of fear. That's natural. It's the second and third moments that are up to us, we must choose to decide how we'll approach fear and mediate the situation.

My aesthetic reaction to Bush's senseless war was from fear, and then I decided, "OK, take a deep breath, think of how you can confidently hope to stop this purile, senseless act!" I work with the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition, and have been every week since then, converting my initial fear into an optimistic activist impulse.

You're right, however, on that those who continue to allow the fear to dominate their lives lose. Those who worry each day about the poll numbers, or think about terrorists planning Election Day attacks, etc. are unhealthy spirits.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

jesus christ! 25.Oct.2004 12:44

tob

what a load of crap. i've never seen so many words that say so little. it makes me wonder if it is a fbi agent infiltrator.

i vote, not because i'm afraid, but because i live in a democracy. if you don't vote you get tyranny. and to all of those who respond "we're already living in tyranny," well, shut the fuck up because you don't know what you're talking about. the usa may have its problems but it is not east berlin or china, you dumbass. it's our job to make it better, and voting is one way to do it. one way among many, but it is a necessary way.

and to all of those who say there is not a difference between skull and bones, well you are fucking idiots, too. sure, john kerry has major problems as a candidate (no talk about wto, no talk about homelessness, no talk about corporate control) but to say that he is no different then bush is to pretend you can fly. it is not based in reality. wake up.

That's Fear Right There You're Speaking! ;) 25.Oct.2004 13:13

Mistletoe Angel

You seriously think I'm another FBI infiltrator?

Well, first of all, let me say I am NOT. Of course words such as this perhaps won't convince you, but the fact you'd even wonder if I was another FBI agent investigating these boards and keeping or tracking records of random people or whatever clearly shows you're no stranger to fear.

I have the nerve to share my name to this community, even with the possibility thought by some that Tom Ridge is monitoring these message boards and listing our names on federal watchlists or whatever theories some people make up here. I have the nerve to show up at all major protest rallies here in Portland. I have the nerve to speak my mind even when my voice shakes. Yet, it's funny how some earlier would suggest I live in fear.

I vote ALSO because I'm a believer of democracy. The voting isn't motivated by fear at all. I never said before I'm voting out of fear, I said my initial reaction to the major event of war was initially motivated by fear, and ever since up to Election Day I've taken the fear and converted it into faith, determination, perserverance for the nostrum.

And...OF COURSE the USA is not China or East Berlin. It's not Lesotho or Suriname or some galaxy in a place far away either. Names are just names. No matter where you live, it's up to the people to make better wherever they are.

As for your latter point, in case you've read my comments in some earlier threads, I absolutely agree there is a difference between Kerry and Bush. I believe you. One instance is Bush believing this war in Iraq he dragged our nation into was the right thing even after no WMD's were found, Saddam was never even a threat, blah blah blah. Meanwhile, Kerry says this was the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time and actually has the moral conscience to say, regardless if you are anti-war on a moral level or not, that this war was completely unnecessary.

I wouldn't say there's any radical difference between the two men, but Kerry is morally superior to Bush in my opinion and morals really matter.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

voting Kerry is voting for war 25.Oct.2004 13:18

.

Deal with it.

I did not react with fear to the war 25.Oct.2004 13:26

citi zen

What was there to fear? The Iraqi people had been bombed every other day for 12 years; it's not like the "war" changed much for them. And at least now they can fight back. I have no reason to fear our country going bankrupt, nor the increase in terrorist attacks that may result from US foreign policy. Being afraid is merely wasteful.

I find it interesting how people are so selective in their quotes. After all, why would one believe Kerry when he says the war in Iraq was the wrong war, and not when he said that it was the right thing to do? That is always the problem when trying to quote liars; their credibility is always in question and you are reduced to a position of faith rather than reason.

choose your ruler 25.Oct.2004 14:10

x

The idea expressed in the article is a truth with which we must all live. Take responsiblity all of you self-proclaimed radicals and stand up against the rulers through making a joke of there so-called democracy, just dont vote. Dont except the idea that you must choose a ruler or the rules that they set in front of you, make the act of democratic abstinance a everyday choice.

wake-up !! 25.Oct.2004 15:01

working

Not voting is simply "feel good rationalization". I think declining to vote equates stupidity, but maybe it's just innocence or naivete. Other than that, there is no excuse for not voting. Think about it....it takes very little energy to make the marks on the ballot, affix a stamp and put in the mailbox. Abstentionist politcs makes no sense at all. What? Do you really want someone else to decide for you, factors directly impacting your living circumstances?
Even given the reality that mainstream american politics is a pathetic show, this gives no excuse for not voting. The contemporary state the modern american political inrastructure is a reality that must be directly confronted, but the voting procedure currently in place is one component of it that actually works fairly reliabily, so use it. At the very least, your vote, exercised responsibility, demonstrates to those around you, (numbering among them your friends and those with hopes and dreams consistent with yours), the power you weild potentially for the fruition of those dreams into a reality benefitting all of us.
When and if radical political minds ever have an alternate system of representational government that works for mainstream america, I believe it will be embraced readily. This is what those individuals disgusted with the current state of american political representation should work for. Abstentionist voting is just whining, sophmoric, feel good stupidity.
Lastly, indymedia "editors" demonstrated to me today, the degree of pettiness to which they are capable of stooping where freedom of speech on the indymedia site is concerned. Someone making a brief, succinct, non-profane, though snide comment, should be able to expect it to stand on a site supposedly dedicated to freedom of speech. In one personal experience today, this unequivocally did not happen.

Super Bowl 25.Oct.2004 15:54

Tad's cousin in Pendleton

This is like what I always tell my younger brother around Super Bowl time. See, he got this idea a few years ago that it really didn't matter who won and that he just didn't care. Well, it would really piss of Uncle Vince when we would get together, especially if Green Bay looked like a contender. "What do you mean you don't have a team, you little prick?!" Uncle Vince would say. "You gotta root for somebody, else people will think you're queer!" Vince would go on, "Can you imagine what would happen if other people followed your example -- we wouldn't even have a Super Bowl, Nancy!" So my brother got tired of all of the aggravation and now he just roots for the AFC. Doesn't matter to him. He just drinks a lot of Miller and eats chips.

Go team!

Government by Lottery 25.Oct.2004 16:15

The Communist West

It is not possible to have an organised society without organization. So we need government. The way to avoid the corruption of politics and polititians is to get rid of the vote and elect people to government office by lottery. Sort of like jury duty. If our leaders are chosen by lottery, we eliminate the carreer polititians and the corrupt motives of those who seek power over others.
Also, to avoid the corruption of special interests, corporations, and other insidious capitalist organizations, government should be based on a constitution that is sacrosanct. Unchangeable, unamendable. A document that ensures fairness of law and true freedom for every individual. We call this system, not democracy, but a constitutional republic.

hey noah 25.Oct.2004 16:23

tob

my post agreed with you, i don't think you are a fbi agent. my post referred to the original post by anonymous. you are one of the few people here that is making sense.

super bowl 25.Oct.2004 16:25

tob

your super bowl comments are funny but neglect to mention the fact that the winner of the super bowl does not determine foreign and domestic policy.


you are either a dumbass or a cop or a republican.

to the one who thought they may seem silly 25.Oct.2004 16:27

Reader of Frank Herbert

Ever since i read the novel Dune, i thought that was an excellent way to put it: fear is a mind killer.


but thats not to accuse anyone here of fear, or to deny my own.

You missed the Point, Tob 25.Oct.2004 17:04

Translateral Rex

The *real* outcome of the Superbowl is the same no matter which team wins -- the stewards of the sport make a shit-load of money. The investment that a "fan" makes in supporting her/his team is paid of in emotion: if your team wins, then evil has lost. I think therein the analogy lies.

If one were to believe (as some do) that the "democratic" process has become totally corrupted by money, then the analogy holds.

Are you a cop, too?

We've been over this territory before 25.Oct.2004 17:08

Bison Boy

I expected this discussion would come up again, so I saved a link:  http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/07/292081.shtml

Please stop wasting time arguing about the merits of not voting. Spend your five minutes and $0.37 to vote, then get out there and do some good works too. Maybe voting will help, maybe it won't... but if you vote and then go back to activism you'll have done all you can.

Arguing about it just wastes those precious ticks on the clock.

"tob," please explain yourself. 25.Oct.2004 17:10

Dave Negation

To "tob" -

From my reading of your first comment, you suggest that Anonyprole's article may originate from the FBI for one of two reasons: you consider it "a load of crap," and the article is a bit on the wordy side.

I do not understand the connection you are trying to make between wordiness and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On its own and without further ellaboration, it doesn't strike me as a particularly convincing argument.

Also, simply stating that something is a "load of crap" does not in itself make it so. You need to actually explain why. I know, that involves thought and effort. But, unlike shit-slinging, it could actually result in a worthwhile discussion. Right now, you are detracting from the discussion, as your comments have no connection to the points of substance raised in the article. If you thought before you typed, you could perhaps be something other than a distraction. I probably wouldn't agree with you, but we could at least have a reasonable debate about our differences.

It is irresponsible and dangerous to make accusations which you can't back up.

ah, but you missed the point of my original post 25.Oct.2004 17:19

tob

my original post was that there ARE REAL, ACTUAL DIFFERENCES between john kerry and george bush. the outcome will INDEED have an ACTUAL, REAL impact on the world. to believe otherwise is to simply ignore the most basic, plain facts available. either you are doing that, or you are a provocatour trying to get progressives in a swing state not to vote. based on my reading of activist history, my guess is the latter.

of course there are differences 25.Oct.2004 17:41

cynic

Anyone who claims there aren't differences is simply resorting to hyperbole. One is taller, the other is shorter. One has darker hair, the other has lighter hair. One lies to placate on set of voters, the other lies to placate a completely different group of voters. One claims to prefer rape to gang rape (unilateral occupation), the other gang rape to rape (multilateral occupation). One is focused on attacking the other while the other focuses on attacking someone else. Oh yeah, I think they belong to different organized religions too. One has a terrible record as a senator and the other a terrible record as a governor and president. One thinks things are great in Iraq the other thinks we should send more troops (because nothing quells dissent like increased oppression). So vote for whomever makes you feel better about yourself. It won't make any difference to the people dying around the world due to US policies. Sorry to end on such a down note.

just for the record 25.Oct.2004 18:02

Dave Negation

"tob" -

Anonyprole's article does not argue that there are no differences between John Kerry and George Bush. In fact, it does not even mention these two people. The article is opposed to voting per se, no matter who the candidates, or what the differences.

From my reading of the article, the main point is that to vote is implicitly to surrender control over one's own life, and to allow a democratic leaders to make decisions in place of oneself. It is therefore the opposite of acting on one's own behalf. The argument is really quite straightforward. You may want to address it at some point, rather than building straw men to attack.

As you repeated irresponsible and baseless claims ("FBI", "provocateur" etc.) rather than apologize for them, I for one will be ignoring you to death from now on.

agent provocateur?! 25.Oct.2004 20:17

laura smallpress@hotmail.com

All of these posts have been very interesting and entertaining. The problem with the original post lies in the acceptance and support of certain laws and structures within society (systems not put forth by the individual in question) and the denial of others. I bet the poster was lying on her bed listening to her diskman, watching tv and crunching on carrots and toffuti while she emphatically and prosaically dreamt of living a life of her own chosing.
The poster is not a cop or an fbi agent. she's more likely a barista... and not a very good one.

yes, those are differences... 25.Oct.2004 20:44

tob

other differences include: one candidate has a plan that will leave a $1 trillion hole in social security, the other has a plan that does not leave that hole. one has a plan for progressive tax reform in order to restructure wealth and ownership away from the wealthiest 2%, the other has a plan to tax the poor and middle class and give it to the rich. one has a plan to spy on you and all of us without any court approval, the other has a plan to institute safeguards. one has a plan to appoint a supreme court justice that will affirm a woman's right to choose, the other has a plan to appoint a supreme court justice that will take that right away.


yes, yes, yes, tweedle dee and tweedle dum both have plans to continue the corporate control of this country, to continue an unjust and illegal war, to continue the road toward capitalism that got us in this mess in the first place, to continue involvement in the wto. however there are still real, actual differences that WILL affect your life. deny it and you deny reality.


to the others, you are right, unfortunately i did not address the original post's point that she is "choosing her own life," apparently by not voting. and you know what, i think she convinced me. in fact, i'm going to choose my own life by imagining i can spit fire out of my cornhole. yay, look at the fire, look at all the fire, it's so pretty and hot!

tob, 25.Oct.2004 23:00

tt01

how about this:
there are plenty of differences between gwb and jfk, i agree.
but there are two similarities that make all the differences mean all of nothing:
first, jfk voted to pass the USA PATRIOT act.
then, gwb signed it.

second, jfk rushed as a pledge for skull and bones
then, jfk rushed gwb for skull and bones.

these guys go WAY back. neither will get my vote. but i am voting.

and dont even try to tell me my vote doesnt mean anything
you're the one who wrote:

"one has a plan to spy on you and all of us without any court approval, the other has a plan to institute safeguards"

well, guess what my friend, you have JOHN FORBES KERRY to thank for that. all gwb did was sign the thing. what do you think of that?

"deny it and you deny reality"

well, i havent. and guess what? in the end, it is the similariaties that matter MORE than the differences.
but please, feel most free to disagree.

oh my god. 26.Oct.2004 06:49

kills

This debate is painted in such servile terms it reminds me of a debate between bush and kerry. Dropping out is all some know, while passive participation is all others know. What about diversity of tactics. I know you all must know somthing about popular struggle. Why are you even arguing these lifestylist positions really?

good movie pics:

Mandala, Michael Collins, Zapatista, Land and freedom, 1900, the Ad and the Ego

good books:

The peoples history, the works of Ghandi, The art of war, the american hallocaust, any combat training manuals or self sufficiency/gardening prezerving manuals.

your problem is.... 26.Oct.2004 11:37

getonwithit

voting is not choosing what kind of life you want. The government is big, but not that big. You are just choosing how the 20% of you income that goes to federal taxes will be spent; not even all of that, just part of it will be influenced by the person in office. The rest of your life is yours, (unless Bush drafts you), so don't let overdramatizing freeze you in the headlights. Just cast your ballot for what you think is best and get on with your life.

Of course your vote counts 26.Oct.2004 12:10

me

even if you don't care to vote between Bush and Kerry, there are important measures to think about that ultimately affect you. To me, it is irresponsible and immature to declare that voting is not an important task. People's lives are literally at stake with various measures, not to mention the environment. Regarding Bush vs Kerry, well there's that Supreme Court. So down the road, when your sister can not get a legal abortion because you did not feel it mattered whether Bush or Kerry took office, you may have second thoughts.

A Flurry of Words To Conceal A Hoax 26.Oct.2004 18:06

Giant Lens

Of course the essay "Why I Don't Vote" seems to be an 'extremist' position to some, because it raises a challenging critique of the accepted boundaries of thought & action. "This is what we've always known and we can't fathom life without it."
Let's look at things objectively--America, founded upon genocide of the indigenous peoples and slavery of Africans, and developed to its current condition with the assistance of the ideology of Christian Capitalism, is reproduced every day as a nation state by those who are compelled to sell their time and energy to an economic structure that they had no 'choice' about. Every candidate in this two party lethal mediocrity serves capitalism, and the expansion that is necessary for its survival, which includes war and various types of repression. This is the unspoken given behind every candidate's diarhhea of the mouth.
The massive historical amnesia that allows people to not scoff and react with disgust when Kerry says he 'will win the war on terror' is a real problem, and those who are voting for Kerry are being swindled because of their fear of the continuance of Bush/Cheney's regime. Bush/Cheney is easy to hate--they represent a far right/neocon orientation within american capitalist state power, while Kerry hopes to get votes by playing 'good cop.' Bad cop, good cop, their goal is to kill, brutalize and imprison for reasons of unquestioned 'law.'
We want something entirely different, and the fear-based propoganda of this electoral system, already becoming discredited by its own standards, is an ultimately conservative force--a gesture of reductionism and tokenism in the face of the timeclock, the cop, and the fear of terrorism.
The question is, will those who happen to reside within this landmass called North America come to realize their own power as workers and excluded to reclaim the conditions of existence, or will they experience the election as a degrading, vicarious submission?

Giant Lens

PS-This doesn't deal with ballot initiatives, but even those could be resisted and made irrelevant through a real widespread rejection of the roles of worker/consumer/excluded, and through massive, imaginative direct action.

i said that 26.Oct.2004 20:12

tt01

to AA and all others who would elect to not vote:

"if free will is false, we are all worse than dead,
and a tyrant's hand, may well be blessed."

exercise whatever action you want.
and if you are capable of planning any "creative actions" you'd better start sooner rather than later.
i suggest getting off your ass on Nov 2nd and doing SOMETHING. and let us all know about it.
i'll be there.

otherwise all this BS about not voting will get you nothing but in a bread line. you fools.

Lens thought 26.Oct.2004 20:28

me

Nicely written and not inflammatory. Your thoughts have much validity and we know this is all a capitalistic charade. In the interim however, some of us need to remove as much of the crap as possible so we can breathe.

why nobody cares why you don't vote 27.Oct.2004 05:32

----

Some people care how you feel about the world and our situation in it.

Other people wish you would start voting, or are glad you don't.

The people who care how you feel don't want you to vote if you don't wanna do it. They don't really need to know why. They're interested in your other opinions for their own sake.

The people who want you to vote want you on their team. They already have an agenda. They don't really give a damn why you're not on the team yet. They're just recruiting.

The people who are glad you're not voting figure if you did vote you'd vote for their opponents. They really don't give a shit why you don't vote.

You're not sending any of these people a message by not voting. The people who are listening to you would listen anyway, whether you vote or not.

Why change is good 16.Mar.2007 03:04

JackFaire

"Also, to avoid the corruption of special interests, corporations, and other insidious capitalist organizations, government should be based on a constitution that is sacrosanct. Unchangeable, unamendable. A document that ensures fairness of law and true freedom for every individual. We call this system, not democracy, but a constitutional republic."

Wanted to point out that if we had done that there would be no equal rights for women. No civil rights. None of it. The only reason we have equality and fairness now is because the constitution could be changed.

If it was concrete based off what we believe and know now then our descendants would not be able to rectify our mistakes.

Watch With Honors I think Joe Pesci's character said it best,

"The beauty of the crude constitution is that our forefather's new they weren't perfect so they left it open to change so that mistakes could be fixed" (paraphrasing)