Voting as violence against your fellow man

It has often been pointed out that in the American two-party system that we are always being offered a choice between two evils, and people tend to vote for the candidate that represents the lesser of these two evils offered. Many have pointed out that voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Do you want to vote for evil? Of course not. But what about voting itself? What if we had a European style democracy with many small parties and there was one that did pretty much represent your political and social views? Would voting be OK then? I answer no. Full disclosure demands I mention that I did vote for the message candidacy of Ron Paul in the primary in Florida. I had to think long and hard about that, but finally decided that the message was so important that a vote for him was a blow against the state. Some say that was a mistake: I remain conflicted over that decision.

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I believe that voting in general represents a participation in violence since elections are one of the methods used to validate and legitimize the violent state. There are other methods of course but voting is one that you are not yet required to do at the point of a gun as was the case in the old communist USSR. In the age of Kings and Queens there was the idea of the “divine right of Kings” that was supported by the Catholic Church and that was participation in evil by the Church as it supported the evil of the nation-state. This alliance has often been called the “Throne and Altar”. Even participation in a lotto to decide the ruler would still be helping to legitimize the outcome of the lotto and thereby supporting the state.

“Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Next time, go all out and write in Lucifer on the ballot.
” ~Jarod Kintz

The state is at its root a compulsory political organization that has acquired and maintains a monopoly of violence that is considered legitimate inside some certain geographical area. Force and violence is the very reason for the state’s existence and anyone who leads that state is said to magically acquire some mythical, moral, and legal right to reign down death, destruction, and despotism on the people in that geographical region. Now it does not matter how that leader got his position, he is still the head of the evil state. If you help him gain and retain that position like the priests of old, then you are participating in the evil of the state. For the same reason, voting for any of the supporting cast in this morality play of evil is just as bad as selecting and supporting the chief tyrant.

Consider for a moment the maximum leader of the US Empire who is said to be the most powerful person in the world. He or she may be an idiot, mentally ill, unstable, or being blackmailed by the NSA but he or she is still looked upon as some magic man with all the answers. It is the very office of the president that legitimizes his actions. Why is this?

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” ~ H.L. Mencken

We work hard to hardwire the children in our government schools to believe that the president has the legal and moral right to employ the organized violence apparatus of the human arrangement called the state. He may use the military, police, CIA, NSA, the Fed, and so on to cause suffering and death, but whatever he does is seen to be “for the best in the long run”. When President Clinton’s sanctions on the people of Iraq killed at least 500,000 children, his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright famously said on national TV that this mass murder was “worth it“. Why was this horrific crime allowed to go unpunished? It is because of the myth of legitimacy of the office of the president and his powers. It is this myth that you help to perpetuate if you vote or help the state in any way. Once someone has the office of the president in the US Empire he or she is vested in the myth, mystique and the moral validation that goes with that office, and he or she can make new laws that validate the agony and slaughter he or she is pouring down on others or just ignore old ones.

It is the supporting of the myth that what the state does is legitimate that makes voting wrong. The state or any of its minions do not magically acquire the right to do things that would be immoral if a private person did them, and yet that is exactly what we teach our children. We extend this idea from the president down to the local cop. We must stop legitimizing the state by word or deed. We must, therefore, not vote.

SITE NOTE: An edited version of this essay appeared last Wednesday July 3rd, 2013 at The Libertarian. For some period of time (until they tire of me) I will have an essay posted at The Libertarian on Wednesdays and that post will be re-posted here in the form I sent to them before any editing on the following Wednesday. Please go to my archive at The Libertarian to see my posts as they appear there.

Random thoughts on government

There are some basic premises that one should have to use to judge proposals for government action. One need not be an anarchist to see that governments often make things worse rather than better, so one needs to know why that is. Anyone who is a realist and honestly looks at the historical data could see why I agree with the following list.

Consider:

  1. Government is inherently incompetent so no matter what task you give it will likely be done in the most expensive and inefficient way possible. Often it is counter-productive.
  2. The government of any land, but especially the US, is corrupt from top to bottom. Power corrupts men and the more power a government has, the more corruption there is.
  3. It is foolhardy to rely on the mainstream media to inform you about your nation or local community. The task of the mainstream media is not to inform but rather to propagandize.
  4. Democracy is a bad idea, just as H. L. Mencken told us so often. The notion that the destiny of all the people should be in the hands of ignoramuses, idiots, party hacks, rent-seekers, and freeloaders is ridiculous.
  5. Education by the government is meant to indoctrinate the young and not to inform or enlighten.

The above is just a distillation of a lifetime of watching politicians and politics. It has often been observed that government even at its best is kind of like an ogre: slow, dumb and violent. (h/t Nunzio@Nunz112 for that one) Like any retarded and clumsy giant it is foolish to assign it any task that is important; and why give it any unimportant task either? I read sites all the time that specialize in publicizing the obvious tom-foolery, waste, and stupidity of government and they never seem to run out of material to use.

It reminds me of the definition of the term “ironic evil” which is the evil that good men do while they are trying their best to do good.  Governments don’t often have the best interests of their people as a prime concern, but even when they do they make things much worse than they need to be. Government corruption is all around us and it is the system itself that is corrupting and its coercive nature would corrupt even a saint.

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Our government does not really care for “the people” rather the politicians care for certain people who funnel huge amounts of money into their pockets. When is the last time you saw your own elected representative give some “face time” to one of the working poor so that the man might tell his representative a thing or two?

What is any political campaign save a concerted effort to turn out a set of politicians who are admittedly bad and put in a set who are thought to be better. The former assumption, I believe is always sound; the latter is just as certainly false. For if experience teaches us anything at all it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar. ~HL Mencken

As for the universal franchise, look at the people who vote. Polls done in the street tell us of the universal ignorance of the people. There are millions that can’t name a state’s capital city or tell if a quote came from the Declaration of Independence or from Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto.  How can people who are ignorant of politics, history and economics choose wise leaders? And if they somehow did choose wise leaders, those men and women would be corrupted after a month on the job anyway.

Public education is mass-producing ignoramuses who can not spell, punctuate or use the language correctly and who know virtually nothing about their country’s history or geography. Is this failure on the part of the schools? No, it is a feature not a bug. The state does not want a nation of intelligent, self-reliant men and women. The state wants compliant men and women who are as obedient as sheep. The state wants slaves not strong, independent men who are self reliant. Mencken observed that “the most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out… without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.”

Sometimes people holler at me and claim that I can’t prove that an anarchy would “work” even given all the examples of it working in history. OK, fine. But I think it is easy to prove that government is a mass murdering monster. For that reason alone we should be looking to kill the beast.

The dark heart of the people?

“The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.” ~ H. L. Mencken

Of course Mencken wrote that in the middle of the progressive era when do-gooders of every sort were afflicting men with their mindless “help”, so Mencken had an easy time seeing that little truth. Those of us alive today in the belly of the beast, that is, the US Empire, don’t really believe any more that the rulers are trying to help us out of some moral obligation on their part. Too much water over the damn for that.

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Ah, but the next one has come to past in our times! …

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” ~ H.L. Mencken

The moron was Bush the lesser, and then we went on to to Obama who is the very personification of the dark heart of Americans who want to control others. We fight the Muslim because he believes differently than we do — hell, even worse he seems to really believe his religion! We can’t have that now can we? Of course it has been pointed out that not only does the Muslim believe a different religion, the overwhelming vast majority of them have darker skins that we do. Brown in fact. There seems to be a large measure of racism involved in the Empire’s treatment of the middle east.

But now the dark heart of the modern man, raised on violence everywhere he looks, is coming to pass in the person of Obama. “For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong,” and the American loves a simple solution — drone the bastards! “Get her done!” is our motto.

Democracy is the tyranny of the majority just as the ancients told us, so it will be the minority who will oppose the total control of the central government. That minority will be the first to taste the full brunt of the terror state that Obama is building, but the flag waving majority will get theirs in the end — good and hard no doubt.  One hopes that before they die, the government worshippers who helped build this modern terror-state will realize their error before they travel on to their just “rewards” in whatever comes next.

The theory behind representative government is that superior men—or at all events, men not inferior to the average in ability and integrity—are chosen to manage the public business, and that they carry on this work with reasonable intelligence and honesty. There is little support for that theory in the known facts… ~Mencken

Some goober claimed in response to me that anarchy was “Utopian”. I got a laugh out of that little peace of ignorance as he obviously thinks that all the people acting in non-coerced, voluntary cooperation every day can’t work but that these same people will elect angels to make us all work together. But then, the fellow in question works for the Empire as a lawyer so I understand he can not possibly see anything that might hurt his income.

The worst delusion of modern man seems to be that “democracy” is somehow superior to other forms of government. Yet it is obvious that the lawmaker of today is totally devoid of principle. He is a political player in a grotesque power game. If the right pressure is applied to him he would cheerfully and forcefully be in favor of torture, bestiality, cannibalism or any other of a host of horrors.

The job of the radical libertarian is to seek to convert the masses to belief in the non-aggression principle, but often the first step is to make a man realize that “democracy” is a farce. It is the horrible deal that the ancients said it was thousands of years ago. When the common man sees this, then perhaps we can help him see why we believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve any government is largely a waste of time.

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The Sage of Baltimore

“It is typical of American Kultur that it was incapable of understanding H. L. Mencken. And it was typical of H. L. Mencken that this didn’t bother him a bit; in fact, quite the contrary, for it confirmed his estimate of his fellow-countrymen.  It is no more than he would have cheerfully expected.” ~Murray N. Rothbard

It is a pleasure to read Mencken, I wish I had more time to just sit and read his work. He is said to be one of the greatest American polymaths of the 20th century. “Mencken’s gifts were singularly varied. He was surely one of the great newspapermen of his generation, and of his books probably those dealing with the American language will be longest remembered. He took on the professional philologists and beat them at their own game. He knew more about medicine and the law than any other layman who has passed my way. And he was always reading books about religion,” wrote Alfred Knopf.

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H. L. Mencken lived from 1880 to 1956 which means he died just a few years after my own birth. Mencken was a journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the “Sage of Baltimore“, he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers of prose. Most of his books remain in print. Mencken is known for his satirical reporting on the Tennessee “Scopes trial” which he dubbed the “Monkey Trial”. He was one of the most influential pontificators and public scolds of his time. As a newspaper columnist, first at the Baltimore Herald and later at the Baltimore Sun, he used his vast wit and biting sarcasm to skewer a host of targets. He skewered politicians, popular culture, men, women, religion, the temperance movement, bigotry, creationism, and “experts” of every sort, including chiropractors and economists.

In his newspaper columns, essays, and books he commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians, and government wrongdoing. He is also remembered for writing “The American Language” which was an academic study of how the English language was spoken in the United States in the early 20th century. H.L. Mencken through his wide criticism of government has had a strong impact on the liberty movement and that impact continues to this day. I have tweeted many quotes by Mencken to my friends on Twitter. They are some of the most re-tweeted quotes that I have done. Quotes like “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

I am reading  “In Defense Of women” just now on my Kindle. In it Mencken wrote: “A man’s women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them; they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence, or, as the common phrase makes it, feminine intuition. The mark of that so-called intuition is simply a sharp and accurate perception of reality, an habitual immunity to emotional enchantment, a relentless capacity for distinguishing clearly between the appearance and the substance. The appearance, in the normal family circle, is a hero, magnifico, a demigod. The substance is a poor mountebank.” I fear that Mencken was on to the very secret of life with that one.

One of my favorite quotes of his is, “If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.” I am not sure why that one always comes to mind out of the hundreds or more than I have read and liked. I guess that says something about me, but I don’t know what. A close second might be, “We must respect the other fellow’s religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.”

H. L. Mencken was many things and his legacy would take several books to tell but nothing sums up the Mencken phenomenon better than his credo:

“I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.

I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty, and that the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms.

I believe in complete freedom of thought and speech – alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.

I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run. I believe in the reality of progress.

But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.”

There are many books by H.L. Mencken and I think you could do a lot worse with your time than to sit down and read one. He was always very entertaining. I think one of the best of his books to start with might be “A Mencken Chrestomathy: His Own Selection of His Choicest Writing“.