The rationality of not voting.


There is a presumption among many people, after last weeks leadership debate, that the Liberal Democrats are some extraordinary force for change in British politics. It amazes me. They are still centrists, much like New Labour. They have quasi-radical policies I agree with; scraping Trident comes to mind. But overall, they aren’t much different. They are market liberals. It would be incredible if the Liberal Democrats became the next Government, not because they offer radical change, but simply because the name “Liberal Democrat” has been largely ignored in British politics since it’s inception. But, they do not offer a change of system. They offer the same system, with a couple of tweaks. Their supporters seem to be assuming a change. Clegg in the debate said of the MPs scandal, and home switching, and other ridiculous expenses claiming that:

I have to stress, not a single Liberal Democrat MP did either of those things

…… Clegg himself collected £1,657.32 in expenses, on family groceries. Oh the irony. Lib Dem MPs Richard Younger-Ross, John Barrett, Sandra Gidley and Paul Holmes were all forced to pay back over £16,000 for claiming huge amounts of money for renting posh flats near Parliament. Oh…the…irony! Chris Huhne, the multi-millionaire, claimed £119 for a trouser press. The irony continues.

The choice in my constituency is between Labour, Tory, Lib Dem, and BNP. Now, i wont vote Tory out of principle. I wont vote Labour because they no longer represent my view. I wont vote BNP because i’m not a despicable nazi, and I wont vote Lib Dem, because they don’t represent my view either. If I have to give in to this system I dislike, then I will support a party of the left. Of which, none seem to actually exist.

So I wont be voting.

The cliche among Western democracies has been “if you don’t vote, you cannot complain” in suggestion that if Labour win and you didn’t vote against them, you have no right to complain. I disagree. I wont vote, because I do not believe any of them are fit the run the Country. I do not believe they have the right to have a say over so many lives. When they inevitably fuck up, lie and cheat, and are seen to not actually do what is expected of them, I can happily say that I haven’t empowered any of these bastards, and so I have every right to complain.

It is a rather difficult choice to decide not to vote. By not voting, I am in essence voting. Because by not voting, it isn’t because I am apathetic. It isn’t because I don’t understand Politics. It is simply because no political party represents my views. Not voting, is a rational decision for me. I consider myself of the Anarcho-syndicalist variety. I have no love for Capitalism. I don’t particularly like the idea of the Nation State, and Democracy is only acceptable to me, at a grassroots level. The current democratic system, is a mash of democratic and undemocratic principles. It says “This is the system that people who you have not elected have put in place, your job is now to elect one person to be the figurehead of that system”.

To vote in this upcoming election, would mean that I am giving my blessing to a system I am not too fond of. And since Labour, the Liberal Democrats and The Conservatives all offer no real change except a change of businessman running the show, and a few weakly tied bandages on a system that has recently failed miserably; for me to vote for any of them would be an endorsement of that system, and I cannot out of principle bring myself to do that. A system that says that Conservatives will win and cut spending, forcing the homeless rate back up, and the suicide rate sky rockets. Labour then get in a few years later when the misery gets too much, and a few extra regulations are placed on businesses that work only to help us all ignore the fact that those same businesses are openly tax avoiding. Then, an economic bubble will burst, the Tories will blame Labour again, despite them both being to blame. The Tories will get back in and force cuts again and so the cycle continues. A self perpetuating avalanche that negatively affects the majority, but keeps the wealthy minority happy. It is not the democracy that centuries of warfare has been fighting for. It is not democracy when there is no real choice. It is a group of businessmen, all fighting for control over a single system. It is that system that is tyrannical because there is no choice, we are stuck with it.

The public do not chose the agenda. We simply endorse an entire agenda of one party. One party, out of two or three to be precise. But all Parties rest on the assumption that human nature, is greedy and self interested. I disagree profoundly with this assumption, and so no party that represents that view, is ever likely to acquire my vote.

One should view human nature as so intricate and inexplicable, that it is deeply atrocious and manipulative for advocates of a particular social or economic system to claim to have tapped into it. The idea that human nature is inherently greedy, and self-centered seems to have become the prevailing philosophy, but it has taken over a century of forcing it upon Nations like Latin America, riots against Thatcherism, propaganda against any system that suggests otherwise (if you wonder why a child in Africa is allowed to starve, you’re automatically a “communist” or a “bleeding heart liberal” apparently), pounding home the idea that businessmen “create” wealth and so it’d be apparently immoral to redistribute that wealth to people who can’t actually afford to live; that Authoritarianism is a great evil – unless it’s in the workplace, then it’s wondrous. Should such a small amount of individuals be allowed control over such vast resources? No. It has taken over a Century and the loss of many lives, to become almost universally accepted that a small amount of individuals controlling a vast amount of resources is perfectly acceptable, and even desirable. It is simply a philosophy. It is not universal truth. It is not objective fact. Durkheim and Jung both suggest that human nature is supremely malleable. I accept that whilst human nature is not free of instinct (we are only animals after all), within the political and economic realm, it is deeply, deeply malleable. Furthermore, the Capitalist system was not developed and put into practice by a group of philanthropists concerned with the development of the human good inline with our basic nature; they simply put in place a system that protected their wealth and developed a political system to further enhance it.

Canadian author Stephen Garvey says:

“Western societies are fundamentally driven by capitalism. So Western Democracy through its autocratic, hierarchy is an excellent political system to maintain and expand the global capitalist agenda. I say this point, based on a majority of people being deceived into believing they have say, a final say, through elections.”

For those who consider this to be strictly false, take note of the amount of money the U.S has spent spreading “democracy“. Do you truly believe it is for the benefit of the people? No of course not. It is because democracy, is a pretext for this morbid version of Capitalism that exists purely to further the wealth and by definition; power, of a select few. It is why Castro is considered evil, yet Pinochet was supported vigorously. It is why we overthrew a democratically elected President of Iran and replaced him with a dictator in the Shah. Capitalism and Democracy, the Western way, complement each other, and for that reason, I am dead set against it.

To vote for one of the main parties, is a vote for the way the system is. And given that there is not a way to vote out the current system, to vote is by definition, undemocratic. The system is undemocratic, in that it isn’t about free and fair elections between people who wish to help make life better for the majority. It is a system based on which party is the wealthiest, which Lords and businessmen bankroll them, and what they expect in return. The majority of us rely on information from political parties and the media (which has it’s own political agenda) to make up our minds. We are not autonomous. We do not decide for ourselves. Therefore, a political party’s purpose, is simply to manipulate and influence opinion to it’s own ends. All three of the main parties, operate from the assumption that we are all self interested.

Human nature, whilst it has the potential to be greedy; is also loving, compassionate, reliant, ugly, detestable and every other possible trait we may show. The system we live in today, quite obscenely rewards greed and so greed as a trait, is amplified. Competition is built into our nurture from a young age, from the school system onwards, so competition upon greed, is amplified. In reality, the degree of variability between outright greed and utter benevolence is huge.

Rudolf Rocker once said:

“The causes which underlie the processes of social life have nothing in common with the laws of physical and mechanical natural events, for they are purely the results of human purpose, which is not explicable by scientific methods. To misinterpret this fact is a fatal self-deception from which only a confused notion of reality can result.”

The three main parties in UK politics, disagree with Rocker, and for some reason think they are experts on human nature. As if economic Darwinism is ethically justifable. Whilst it isn’t apparently popular to say this, but I’m all for a huge rate of tax, universally, on the richest 2-3%.
I am of the belief that once necessity has been taken care of (basic food, drink and shelter for everyone), then profit and riches can exist. It is not ethically justifiable to allow one man to own much wealth, whilst another starves to death, in my opinion.

My ideals are Syndicalist. They are also Anarchist, in that I believe all forms of power and control over others, should be able to legitimise itself. To that end, I do not believe the the Capitalist has any such authority. However, in a system in which the most power is wielded by the Capitalist, I believe the State has a role to play in curtailing that Capitalist power. In that respect, I am a Statist. But only when the State exists within a Capitalist system. I am a great supporter of workers rights. Hence the Syndicalism. I am and always will be entirely suspicious of anyone with a lot of money and a lot of power.

So, I will not be voting.

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3 Responses to The rationality of not voting.

  1. octo says:

    It would be better to vote first for a program of universal demands of common interests (see blog) and only afterwards in a second round for the ones in charges of a project (transport,energy,housing,telecom…)people with much experience in a certain field can then be chosen directly on projectlists, not on partylists…this can be done internationaly, within two rounds…the ones choosen are obliged to follow the program(for ex. reconversion of military industry, same wages for same work worldwide,etc…)see blog. We should work out a homepage and invite people worldwide to have our own elections…i’m npt an expert in making one, anybody volunteers ?

  2. Geoff says:

    It’s so nice that other countries get the choice not to vote.

  3. […] should vote, but given the quality of the choices available I’m coming round to the idea that not voting may actually be the best option. (I do like the Nobody poster!) Some lucky people even get to vote for no candidate. In the end […]

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