In Defense of Voting by Chris Dates

Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.” ~ H.L. Mencken

I’ve heard many good arguments in opposition to voting. The arguments were so compelling that I adopted the non-voting stance for quite awhile. I mean, it just seemed so natural for someone who doesn’t believe in authority to gravitate towards this position; it seemed like a no-brainier to me. I completely understand that behind every pull of the lever, and in back of every check of the box, lies aggression, or the threat of it. This is problematic for me, because the non-aggression principle is foundational to my philosophy. Therefore, I abandoned the act of voting, and swore I would never vote again.

Along with coming to the conclusion that voting is aggression, I also had other reasons for swearing off voting. I see democracy as nothing more than a perpetual war of the collectives, and I wanted no part in that any longer. In a battle of collectives, the vote is the lowly grunt, and as an individualist, I am much more than that. I own me, I own my labor, I own my property, and frankly, that ain’t up for a vote. That was basically my position, and I held it for a long time, and I defended that position fiercely. However, I try to be as honest with myself as I possibly can, so this means from time to time, I send my own beliefs back through the logic mill to check them for errors. Through internal cross-examination, I believe I have discovered an error within the principled non-voting position. I stated earlier that my property is not up for a vote, and I believe that is where the error lies.

My aim with this essay is to try and lay out a logical and factual counter-argument to the non-voting position. I have found that many of the non-voting arguments appeal to emotion, specifically to pride,which I admit, can have the power to win over many people. But I am the kind of guy who constantly searches for the truth, so I specifically look for these kind of errors, and when I spot them I know I have to tread lightly. I really don’t want to focus on one specific argument, because many good arguments have come from the principled non-voting camp, and if I was to try and refute every point, I would end up writing a book. Rather, I would like to try and strike at the root of these arguments; I will attempt to collapse them at their foundations.  My goal is to focus on the principle, because I no longer consider non-voting a principled position for the anarchist. As a caveat, I will admit, I do find a difference between the statist voter, and the principled anarchist voter, as one could be considered offensive and one could be considered defensive. One is based in the destruction of property rights, one struggles to preserve property rights. I don’t need to tell you which position the statist holds.

The reason voting is even possible is because the position of property rights has been surrendered. This is a fact, and it cannot be argued against. Here are the facts:
1. You own property
2. You surrender it to the state
3. You do nothing

Whether you like it or not, the only principled position there is has already been lost. How you feel about it, or what you think may happen to you, does not matter. This is the reason I have trouble calling the the non-voting position principled, as struggle to find the principle in it. The second you fail to defend your property, is the second that the concept of property rights is sacrificed. The facts of the matter are this:

1. The property you surrendered to the state is used to fund the democratic process
2. This makes voting possible in the minds of the masses

3. This makes individual property right impossible

I’ve heard some say that they are too proud to try and regain lost liberty and property through the ballot box, and I have to wonder why.  If you let them take it in the first place, how is there any room left for pride? I would like to take a minute here to point out my blinding hypocrisy and cowardice. I understand that I do not defend my own property, but this still does not change the FACT that I surrendered it in the first place. The consequences of what would  become of me does not matter, because if you do not defend your property, who will? You have a duty to yourself to try and recover some of your freedom and property. The non-voting stance seems to me to be overwhelmingly altruistic, because an individual is “too proud” to try and recover what they claim is theirs. When we examine the facts, you already surrendered your liberty and property to the state, and now you take no steps to recover your losses, this seems very anti-individualistic to me.

Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am calling for violence or anything crazy like that, all I am stating are the facts. All I am trying to say is that as long as the idea of property rights has been surrendered to the state, voting ought to be done. As long as the only principled stance has been surrendered, no other principled stances can be taken, because that one sacrifice makes it all possible, as it always comes back to property rights.  I am simply saying that we must educate those as to why we vote; why we have to vote. It is a near worthless defensive maneuver and a very crude way to try and salvage some liberty and property, but it can have decent results locally. I am not saying it can or will reverse tyranny, I am only saying that it ought to be used while we try and educate others on the concept of property rights, and how there is no middle when it comes to this idea. It’s all or nothing; either you own your property, or you don’t; either it’s theft, or it’s not. These are the principles that need to be spread. Who cares about a principled non-voting position, time wasted here could have been spent educating others on property rights.  I do not advocate for violence, because I have an understanding of this: as long as the guns are drawn when ideas are born, property rights will never be respected, and without property rights, you are a slave. To advocate for violence other than self-defense is to advocate for the perpetual continuance of human slavery.

Some would say that this is counter productive and would only serve to make the state more efficient, and maybe that’s right. It still does not change the fact that your property is what makes the state possible in the first place. I argue for voting based on the principle of property rights, and I will use the ballot box to try to guard and recover at least some of my property, and if this makes the state more efficient, then so be it. It is not my goal to make the fiction known as the state more efficient, because I understand that there is no state. My goal is to preserve my property. I understand that this is a self-interested position, but so is every other position I hold. Again, here are the facts:

1. There is no state
2. There is only individuals
3. Some individuals claim your property is theirs
4. You surrender your property to these individuals
5. The idea of Individual property rights is lost
6. This means that, factually, your property is up for a vote

Until the idea of property rights is respected; until every individual stands up to the idea of the state and says, “no you can’t have my property.” I will continue to vote, because I understand that my property is funding evil. The non-voting position is not principled, it is a feel-good position that is adopted by feel-good anarchists, because there is no risk in it, and those are the facts. I consider myself an anarcho-abolitionist, because I understand that when all forms of slavery are abolished, the logical conclusion is anarchy. I also understand that it is not the act of voting that makes me a slave, it is the loss of my property rights that enslaves me. Here is the worst part of it, I am the one who enslaves myself, and that is a fact. Every time I hand over my property to the individuals calling themselves the state, I add one more link to the chains I have created for myself, and the chains become a little heavier with each link. I am a slave to the concepts of other individuals, and I have accepted this, for now. This means my pride is already forfeit, therefore any non-voting argument that appeals to emotion is fallacious.  To all of those who believe that the state is nothing more than a group of indivdiuals who claim the monopoly privilege on the use of force, I have a question to ask: would the state relinquish this privilege if everyone stopped voting? Logic tells me they wouldn’t.

I still wait for a logical, principled non-voting argument that is not founded in hyperbolic emotion.

Since there is no such entity as ‘the public,’ since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that ‘the public interest’ supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others.” ~ Ayn Rand

Chris Dates
nismotekk@gmail.com
44 Comments
  • Kent McManigal
    Posted at 08:46h, 16 January Reply

    Your property rights (and your liberty) were not surrendered or taken from you. They were yours at birth, but you never claimed them. How to fix that?

    If you vote, how do you respond when you lose? Do you consider yourself obligated to go along with the results? If so, how far does that compliance go? If not, then why bother to vote?

  • Chris
    Posted at 10:37h, 16 January Reply

    kent,

    Claiming that my liberty and my property rights were mine at birth, but I simply never claimed them, takes away from the responsibility I have to protect and defend my property rights. The fact is, I surrender my property under the threat of the cage or death. I absolutely do surrender my property rights, so I can at least try and keep the property I do have; my life.

    I vote only as a defensive maneuver, if I see an opportunity to lessen the aggression using the ballot box, I will take it. I feel no obligation to go along with any result or anything like that. I mentioned in the article that I believe that voting is in violation of my principles, but it is the loss on my property rights that makes the aggression possible in the first place. I feel I have a duty to myself to try and lessen the aggression that is fueled with the theft of my property. Until I gather the intestinal fortitude to stop paying taxes, I will continue to vote.

  • Chris
    Posted at 11:02h, 16 January Reply

    Jesse,

    I will not defend the tyranny of the majority, that was no the purpose of my article. All I am saying is that voting would not even be possible if we did not surrender our property rights. Surrendering one principle makes all of this aggression possible.

    Do you feel some responsibility in that?

  • Forest Queen
    Posted at 11:30h, 16 January Reply

    I’m wowed, what a great post. I’ve recently decided that when I vote again (and its been a long time), that I will participate if its done by applause, or Affidavit. As we must choose a language that better serves us, a newly learned form of ancient words, that we stop the use/thought of any words that are ‘single’/separating. Nothing exists in a disconnected manner. Rather than ‘individual’ I use, ‘any one of us.’ People, never person(s). Travel, not drive. Guest, not passenger. I am one of the people, I do not reside. I am not a citizen. We have arrived at a time/space with everything we need to go thru this transition in a safe and sane manner. When Gandhi freed an entire nation without firing a single shot, he began with educating the masses about THEIR (the STATE’S) driver’s license, REGIStration, (we can add insurance). The plates on my truck: NO EXP(at top/dk. blue), California/in red, SUI JURIS/dk. blue. Sui Juris -in my own jurisdiction. Juris-Oath. Diction/to speak. I terminated THEIR d/l and THEIR license, plates. I’m done playing with dead things (corpse aration) and franchises. Done with invisible contracts that came about thru deceit and fraud. Render unto Caesar. Are you aware that many states, via affidavits, voted in Governors? Govern -control. Mente -mind. If we can’t self-govern, then why are we here?

  • Forest Queen
    Posted at 11:47h, 16 January Reply

    I meant to add that becoming a taxpayer requires consent. Everything we need is available – Supreme Court rulings we’ll have to refer to as we get thru this. The change isn’t happening to us, we are the change. When 3% of us KNOW that we are caretakers, no one owns the Earth, and participants, not observers, then the light of truth will be beyond bright. For now, yes, property rights is of most importance. Land patents. I haven’t ‘paid’ property taxes for about 5 years. I know that the ‘count y’ doesn’t have my autograph (not signature), saying that I will ‘pay’ taxes indefinitely on something that I own/on record. Always reserve your rights when ‘signing.’ At the very least, put By: in front of your Name. When ANYTHING comes in the mail in the all-to-familiar (but, not grammarically correct) ALL CAPS NAME, I black ink over it, put ‘return to sender, no PERSON here by that NAME. “Returned for fraud.” “Returned for cause.” “I do not have a contract with you.” May take a time or two, then the mailings stop. Utility bills ($), same. Then telephone THEM and say that you will be happy to pay any debt that you may owe, when THEY correct the Name. I’ve gone off subject–it’s all so vast, and all interconnected.

  • Kent McManigal
    Posted at 12:24h, 16 January Reply

    Forest queen- Word games don’t impress the bad guys. I’ve seen those tactics fail time after time after time. I hope you are the first to succeed with that approach, though.

  • Chris
    Posted at 12:35h, 16 January Reply

    I have to agree with Kent, Forest Queen. At the end on the day, the individuals calling themselvs the state have big guns and they are not afraid to use them.

    The word game does not matter.

  • Chris
    Posted at 05:31h, 17 January Reply

    Jesse,
    You can look at voting as a violation of the NAP all you want, I told you that I agreed with you; it’s a strawman argument. Now, let’s get back to the facts of the matter. YOU pay for the aggression. period. Is paying taxes a violation of the NAP?? This is the point I am trying to get across. Voting is not what makes you a part of the collective, it’s the fact that YOU fund the collective that makes you a part of the collective. That’s a fact.

    Abstaining from voting while still paying taxes is like saying you are divorced from your abusive ex-wife, but she still comes around to beat you, and you still pay for her life(just a metaphor).

    It’s not really a principled stance.

    Although voting may be a violation of the NAP, I still have property rights even though I have failed to protect my property from the biggest bully on the block; the state. Are you telling me that I can’t use the ballot box to try and recover some of that stolen property?

    Are you denying me my property rights? You say that voting is a violation of the NAP, can you defend that position?

  • Chris
    Posted at 07:44h, 17 January Reply

    Jesse,
    It’s a strawman argument, because you are arguing points that I am not disagreeing with. So, you are “arguing with a strawman”; that’s what that means.

    You said, again, that voting is a violation of the NAP. I asked you to defend that position, and you didn’t. If you believe that voting violates the NAP, then how do you feel about the thing that fuels the aggression? Taxes.

    I’ll ask you again: do you believe that paying your taxes violates the NAP? Put aside the consequences for now, and only focus on the question.

    You are, again, setting up a strawman argument, because I am not focusing on one politician, I never even mentioned Ron Paul. All I am saying is that while we continue to pay taxes, we are fueling the thing that causes aggression in the first place.

    If I see a chance at the ballot box to lessen the aggression to my liberty and my property, I will take it, because I realize the actual reality of the situation, and that is this:

    My money and property fuels the aggression in the first place. That is the reality of the situation. I’d like for you to address that instead of just setting up strawman arguments. Please point out the logical error in my argument.

  • Chris
    Posted at 11:16h, 17 January Reply

    Jesse,
    Damn man, calm down.

    I only asked you to support your position, I did not attack you, but you are responding as if I did.

    All I am asking is why you think voting violates the NAP. All I am asking is that you support that position. Then we can debate from there. You stated that voting violates the NAP, but you never explained why you think it does.

    The last three comments you have made have been attacks on me about how I need to be more educated on logical fallacies, claim I’m being defensive, not logical, and why I am an admin if I “support’ the government.

    I’m not sure why you want to attack me, I am really trying to flesh this idea out here. You say I support the government because I vote. Can you support this claim? I have said, repeatedly, that I would vote in order to defend myself. This does not necessarily mean that I support the government. I also have not voted in many years, please keep that in mind as you slander me when you accuse me of supporting the government. If you think my essay was written to support the government then you really don’t know me or have ever really paid attention to my writings on zerogov. I have written about some pretty radical theory right here on this website, and I think I have written some pretty good stuff regarding morality and the state.

    Actually, support for the government is the very thing I am questioning in my essay; where does it begin? That’s the idea I am trying to explore here. All I’m am asking for is a good logical argument to why non-voting is a principled position, and you have given me nothing but grief about that very question. Before I adopt a position I want to know exactly why I should first.

    Again, I am not talking about a specific politician, I am saying that, voting, although nearly worthless(ver batim from my article), can reduce the tryanny you personally experience in your life. Anytime your tax burden has been reduced, you get to keep more of your property. I am talking about the theory in back of it, not about a specific politician.

    There are the facts:
    There is no state, it only exists as a concept. You cannot point to “the state” as an actual object. Taxes don’t exist, they only exist as a concept. Wha exists is an indivdiual handing his property to a different individual, that’s the reality of taxation.

    You said, “A fact is not a fact because you say it is, but because you can show that it is”

    I cannot agree with you more.

    Objectively, show me “the state” and “taxes”, please point them out for me. You say “rights” don’t exist, but “taxes” do.

    Jesse, your beliefs should be able to withstand at least a couple of “whys”, all I am asking is “why”, and you can’t even answer the first “why”.

    There is something wrong when you personally attack me because I ask you to support your position.

  • Chris
    Posted at 11:33h, 17 January Reply

    Let’s say the government declared martial law tomorrow, and suspended voting indefinitely. All of us would still hand over our property in the form of taxation.

    My position is that it is NOT voting that supports the state, it is the FACT that we hand over our property that supports the state. Therefore, non-voting is not a principled stance against the state, because given the nature of the state, they don’t give a shit if you vote. They are a gang with a flag, and do you really think they care about your vote?

    Now, this may sound like an argument against my own argument, but it’s not, because I can show examples of how an indivdual was able to keep more of his property by going to the ballot box. Remember, I argued this essay with property rights as my premise.

    It is not the vote that gives birth to the state, it is theft of property that gives birth to the state. The vote is only a mask for the theft, and we might as well use it while it’s still here.

    You think the ballot box doesn’t work now? Wait until they take it away from you.

    I am still waiting for a good argument as to why I should not vote.

  • Kent McManigal
    Posted at 12:30h, 17 January Reply

    You think the ballot box doesn’t work now? Wait until they take it away from you.

    It has been taken away. You just haven’t noticed yet. The system is so completely rigged that you are only allowed to vote for “differences” that are illusory. I’m afraid there is only one “box” left… but perhaps it isn’t time to open it. Perhaps.

  • Chris
    Posted at 12:43h, 17 January Reply

    Kent,

    You make good points, as I know the ballot box is only a prop for the Statists to rob us blind, but it does have some value. As a hypothetical, let’s say your local property tax was reduced by 50%, that means you were able to keep 50% of the money they were otherwise going to take from you, and that is not an illusion.

    When I write about the state being slavery, I’m not kidding. If I can find a way to recover some of my money, and therefore my time, I will do it.

    My time is worth it.

  • Chris
    Posted at 13:01h, 17 January Reply

    “Please do not place words in my mouth as it were, it shows inconsistency and could be seen as being an issue of integrity. ”

    This is ridiculous, Jesse. I asked you to support your argument, and you tell me I’m putting words in your mouth, and it brings into question my integrity. You really need to slow down.

    I am sincere when questioning the non-voting position, I meant no attack on anyone, and I think that will be obvious to anyone who reads my essay and these comments. I’m sure they will also see how your personal attacks were uncalled for.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 18:05h, 17 January Reply

    Wow…quite a post and quite some comments. There are so many issues here that it’s tough to sort them out. It’s plainly obvious that voting is initiating force, and hence a violation of the NAP; even Chris agrees with that, I think. It hardly matters that it’s several steps removed; it still is what it is. To me, it’s even worse because it’s done through ganging up, by mob rule, which IMO is one of the lowest forms of aggression. And even worse yet, it passes the dirty work to someone else, which I think is the ultimate cowardice. I mean, if you want someone else’s property for your own benefit, then you’d might as well just go ahead and take it, seems to me. Couching it in verbiage of “public good” and “democracy” doesn’t change its nature.

    At first glance, Chris’s argument looks like straight pragmatism—they’re stealing my property and it’s better if they steal less. In my neck of the woods, one vote can make a difference and this is an appealing argument. After all, regardless of my political views, I’d prefer to pay a few bucks less in property millage. That’s sensible but I happen to have an extreme aversion to pragmatism and I inevitably follow the principle, so those few bucks aren’t enough to make me an aggressor, even indirectly. OTOH my aversion to pragmatism is so far gone that it could be charged that I sacrifice some important principles in adhering to that, like my own well-being. But like Popeye and Jesse, “I yam what I yam.”

    Plus, there seems to be some actual principle in Chris’s position, besides the plain pragmatism. I can’t say I completely understand it, but it seems to involve the fact that the property is being stolen anyway, and therefore it’s moral to steal it back. On its own, that would be an instance of the Tu Quoque Fallacy yet again, but my hunch is that there’s more to it. Maybe Chris can make it a little clearer.

    In the end, I think it’s much ado about nothing. If Chris finds a solid principle in voting, that’s cool. If others of us don’t want to engage even indirectly in mob rule, then that’s cool too. As we all know, in the end it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans and none of the current problems are likely to be solved by anything like voting, or persuasion to vote or not vote. That’s sad alright, but that’s the way it is.

    I will say in a different sort of defense of Chris, that there’s a legitimate argument that the only peaceful way out of this mess–except maybe for a secession of an extreme minority–would be some odd way through the ballot box. A guy like Ron Paul could make some huge differences, but that would only be in a context of huge numbers of Americans actually wanting him to do that. While minds can change, and quickly, that seems far removed from any likely scenario, and light years from where this society is now. So for myself, at least in the meanwhile, I’m following the principle that voting is nothing but brute mob rule enforced at the point of a gun, and is just simply something I’m not willing to be a part of. I’ve still got enough liberty left to do that, and so I will.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 18:43h, 17 January Reply

    “As a side note, isnt this site ‘zerogov.com’ why are we arguing voting for government in the first place? And why is someone allowed to become an admin and post their own articles regarding supporting the government…just wondering.”

    Damn, Jesse, that sounds pretty extreme. I didn’t see one word of Chris’s “supporting the government,” so that charge seems completely off the charts to me. Did I miss something?

    The closest you could come to that is, “I believe his position is a form of supporting the government,” but that would only tell us about you, not Chris.

    I’m surprised you wouldn’t want as many views written here as possible, even if they WERE supporting the government. Phaed, for one, offers a “minarchist” position, and these issues are pretty important for those of us who seek to guide ourselves by rational principles.

    Surely you don’t find anything wrong with that, even if it’s not your cup of tea, right? You’re adamant about your positions being yours, which is a good thing IMO; surely you believe it should be that way for everyone else, yes?

    Bill and Kaiser and everyone else have made quite a place here, and it ain’t rookieville. I can’t imagine that censoring anyone’s POV could possibly help. But if you’ve got a case for it, I’m all ears.

  • Chris
    Posted at 19:19h, 17 January Reply

    “It’s plainly obvious that voting is initiating force, and hence a violation of the NAP; even Chris agrees with that, I think. It hardly matters that it’s several steps removed; it still is what it is.”

    Yes Jim, I agreed with that, but I’d like to explore this idea with you. It “may” be the initiation of force, but the force was already there. The state supplied the force in back of the vote, all I’m trying to do is figure out what enables the state in the first place, and it ain’t the vote that does that. The vote is only a sideshow for the masses. If the thieves have to give some back to keep the sheeple convinced that this scam is legitimate, then that’s what they have to do. If they have to give 10% back then who cares, they are still making out. Would the state exist without the voting process? Given the nature of this concept I believe it would exist. It HAS existed without the voting process. So, your claim of “the initiation of force” is not quite correct, the force was already there. You just directed it. This is one of the reasons I have trouble with the non-voting argument. You are paying for the aggression, and that is the thing that enables the aggression, NOT the vote. It’s like you giving money to a hitman and then saying, “this money is to fund your aggression, but I refuse to tell you who to aggress against!”. Yeah, real principled. Seeing as how this group of thugs calling themselves the state would still exist with or without the vote, you might as well try and get some of your property back, or are you “too proud” for that also?

    I basically claim in my essay that the “good guys” of the world are losing the property rights debate to the collectivist thugs, and this is the enabling point of the state. This concept could not even exist without individuals surrendering their property. The thugs have had the balls to pull their scam off, and we just accept the war against property rights. 95% of the people out there think “well, we must pay our taxes!”, so, not only are they paying for the aggression, they are fooled into thinking they MUST pay for it. The ignorance of the commom man does not change the fact that their money makes the whole thing possible. This is where the aggression is born. With money you can hire soldiers, and with soldiers, get more money. The tyrant only surrendered the ballot box to keep the ever smarter slave happy. We are losing the property rights debate, but that will turn around. The internet is one big truth button, and freedom will win. However, I just think that the wrong “principled” stance is being proclaimed on the hill of voting. As voluntarists we need to pick the flag back up and keep charging up the hill, we still have a long way to go.

    I don’t know how to address your pragmatism charge Jim, but I’ll try to call it how I see it. I see two sides, the “thugs” and the “not thugs”. Right now the the thugs are saying “you owe us a dollar, so pay up or get shot”, and the not thugs say, “OK, I like to breath”. After a couple of thousand of years of this the not thugs said, “wait this isn’t fair”, and the thugs said, “OK, here is a ballot box, this will help, hehehe.” You know what the funny part is in all of this, they’ve got you believing that voting is the initiation of force, when youu know this is not the case Jim! You are fully aware of the nature of the state. The thugs that have the balls to initiate the force in the first place, IS THE INITIATION OF FORCE. And guess why they do it Jim? Because YOU let them. So, again, the principled stance is not in the non-voting position, it’s in the resistance to thft position. But, you can keep thinking it’s pragmatism, hell to me your position looks like altruism. Looks to me like you sacrifice an awful lot for your pride. How much are the things you create worth to you? To me it’s my life.

    It’s interesting to me that you don’t find this appealing Jim, to me it’s the heart of the matter. Maybe you’ve been hanging out with the academics too long.

  • Chris
    Posted at 20:03h, 17 January Reply

    Please tell me, Jim, how could I possibly “steal” my property back? Do my property rights to the object transfer with the theft? I don’t think so, the thief would only really be in possession of MY property, unless you don’t believe in the concept of property, which I know you do. So, since this is the case, please tell me how this is the fallacy of tu quoque? I’m all ears, because you can’t do it without becoming a communist, and I know you are far from that.

    Jim, you know I’m a capitalist, so I am a firm believer in property rights, and even though you might call it “pragmatism”, I call it trying to recover my shit.

    And who even said anything about “stealing it back”? You try to accuse me of tu quoque when you are guilty of a strawman. Cute. What if I voted for a guy and he lowered my taxes and they didn’t steal it in the first place? What will I be guilty of next you communist? There’s an ad hom for ya! 🙂

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 20:27h, 17 January Reply

    I’ll start with the bad news, some corrections. First, it’s generally encumbent on the speaker (or writer) to express his points clearly unless he’s addressing idiots, in which case it’s a lost cause anyway. Second, it’s possible to be driven by emotionalism even when defending a rational principle, and this is plainly an emotional issue for you. Third, “initiation of force” doesn’t mean “the first time force is used;” a mugger initiates force tonight even if he mugged someone last night. Fourth, I do not spend a majority of my time “hanging out with the academics,” as between my writing, my business and my personal life I interact with people across a remarkably broad spectrum. I doubt you could find anyone who interacts with a broader spectrum, since I’ve made that a very specific goal of my life. Fifth, it’s not becoming for an egoist at all IMO to be denigrating pride, unless it’s believed to be a blatantly false pride. And if that’s what you were saying, then you should just say it; no need to beat around the bush.

    Now the good news. Your argument is much clearer and it does make some sense. My gripe would be it’s based on too narrow a context…exclusively the property. OTOH I agree that’s fundamental to the whole thing, so I don’t necessarily think that alone is a mistake.

    If you were to bring this argument to David Friedman, for one, he would make mincemeat out of it just on the basis that it’s not doing what you pretend that it’s doing. His big argument against voting is that it’s functionless and so any principle involved doesn’t matter anyway. I’m not partial to that argument myself, since I prefer to be guided by principle, but it’s not crazy in this instance. Torn apart, your argument implies that we can use the means of the thieves to deprive them of the property they need to function. And in so doing, they’ll cease to exist. That’s pretty close, isn’t it? If not, how not?

    I mentioned this very point to someone (a non-academic!) just the other day. “When a con man gets snapped, he turns into a strong-arm man.” I think that applies here, because it’s your imagination that if we deprive the thugs of the property through the ballot-box, then they won’t be able to do the dirty deeds they do. Is that close?

    So here’s some really bad news. If that’s close, you’re failing to recognize the nature of the object. Your “plan” is based on the idea that if we vote our property back, they will be deprived of our property. That’s just wrong; it won’t have any effect at all on whether they have our property or not. As you yourself note, that’s just the current means; if that doesn’t work for them, there are plenty of others.

    Now you could say, “Well, then everyone will see what a scam it is and do something about it.” But that fails for sure, because if they had eyes, they could see it now.

    You write, “Because YOU let them.” I guess this means that I don’t engage sufficient force against them to put them down. Okay, that’s true enough, but I’m not at all seeing why engaging their particular charade of force initiation, is somehow doing it either. IOW I completely fail to see to how voting turns “letting them” into “not letting them.” If you could make sense out of that at all, it would help a lot.

    I’ll leave it at that for now, and if you can clarify more about the principles involved, that would be great. Though at this point, I’d prefer to keep it as a matter of principle and not guesses about why a person is saying what they’re saying.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 20:33h, 17 January Reply

    “What if I voted for a guy and he lowered my taxes and they didn’t steal it in the first place?”

    That’s your error. Thieves steal.

  • Chris
    Posted at 05:52h, 18 January Reply

    First, it’s generally encumbent on the speaker (or writer) to express his points clearly unless he’s addressing idiots, in which case it’s a lost cause anyway.”

    Well, that was uncalled for. It’s funny you say that, because my email inbox has been loaded up with people thanking me for presenting them with a differerent argument for voting. So, perhasp it’s only lost on you, Jim.

    Second, it’s possible to be driven by emotionalism even when defending a rational principle, and this is plainly an emotional issue for you.

    Nah, I’m just trying to stick to the facts, that’s all. I’m trying to find out where the “initiation of force” is actually initiated. It’s out of character of you to make that kind of charge and not back it up. Please expose the emotionalism in my argument.

    Third, “initiation of force” doesn’t mean “the first time force is used;” a mugger initiates force tonight even if he mugged someone last night.”

    Man, with all of these strawmen you are setting up I might have to burn this whole place down!

    Fourth, I do not spend a majority of my time “hanging out with the academics,” as between my writing, my business and my personal life I interact with people across a remarkably broad spectrum. I doubt you could find anyone who interacts with a broader spectrum, since I’ve made that a very specific goal of my life.”

    I thought you knew me well enough by now to know that was a joke.

    Fifth, it’s not becoming for an egoist at all IMO to be denigrating pride, unless it’s believed to be a blatantly false pride. And if that’s what you were saying, then you should just say it; no need to beat around the bush.”

    I’ll tell you what’s unbecoming of an indivdiualist egoist, Jim. Using the concept of pride to sacrifice what you create in this world. It is unbecoming of an egoist to mask his own destruction in emotion and still have the nerve to call himself an egoist. Again, that’s smacks of altruism.

    Now the good news. Your argument is much clearer and it does make some sense. My gripe would be it’s based on too narrow a context…exclusively the property. OTOH I agree that’s fundamental to the whole thing, so I don’t necessarily think that alone is a mistake.”

    Thanks. Jim, if I didn’t personally know the type of man you are I would statrt to question who’s side you are on. It’s not “too narrow a context”, it’s THE context. I know you believe that the things that I make are my property, I think I know your philosophy good enough by now to say that. So, I’m still puzzled by your “pragmatist” charge. Is it my property or not? You say I use the process of thieves to try and guard and/or recover my property, and then call me pragmatic because I want to use the ballot box to try and lessen the aggression. It seems to me that you are trying to slander me all because I want to try and hold on to the property I have. Which leads me to question your other positions, you said…

    To me, it’s even worse because it’s done through ganging up, by mob rule, which IMO is one of the lowest forms of aggression. And even worse yet, it passes the dirty work to someone else, which I think is the ultimate cowardice. I mean, if you want someone else’s property for your own benefit, then you’d might as well just go ahead and take it, seems to me. Couching it in verbiage of “public good” and “democracy” doesn’t change its nature

    So what’s your hang up on voting anyway? You still have not given me a good reason why YOU don’t vote. Would you join a collective to defend you home and family? Would the collective you join use violent means to oppose the initiated aggression directed at you and yours? Yup, I’ll bet if the conditions are right, you would join a collective, be it a militia or some other group of indivdiuals to fight off the aggression. If this is the case, why in the hell won’t you use the ballot box to at least try and lessen the aggression? Let’s say Jim and his neighbors are tired of the high county property taxes, and Jim runs for office on the platform of lowering property taxes and wins. Minus the violence, how is the principle any different than joining a collective to fend off a physical attack. Are you such an idealistic individualist that you will wait until the VERY last minute to join a collective? Don’t push your idealism off on me and then have the nerve to call it pragmatism, because at the end of the day, you would have no problem joining a collective as long as it’s “Jim” approved. I explicitly said in my essay that I would only vote if I saw it as a way of defense, even though it may be crude. Is trying to defend my property cowardice? BECAUSE, that is the only reason I gave as to why I still “might” vote. So, stop trying to pin all of the non-voting talking points bullshit on me, I have no desire to use the ballot box to loot my neighbors, and you should know that by now.

    If you were to bring this argument to David Friedman, for one, he would make mincemeat out of it just on the basis that it’s not doing what you pretend that it’s doing.”

    Yeah, well David Friedman ain’t here is he? I’m not too sure why you threw that in there. I don’t “pretend” Jim. I can show you, using deductive logic, how one specific person got to keep more of there property when taxes were lowered generally, so don’t tell me I’m pretending.

    Torn apart, your argument implies that we can use the means of the thieves to deprive them of the property they need to function. And in so doing, they’ll cease to exist. That’s pretty close, isn’t it? If not, how not?”

    Yet again, another strawman. When did I ever say that we could use the ballot box to vote our way to freedom? This is a gross misrepresentation of my position, as I said in my essay. Just in case you missed it, here is EXACTLY what I said…

    I am simply saying that we must educate those as to why we vote; why we have to vote. It is a near worthless defensive maneuver and a very crude way to try and salvage some liberty and property, but it can have decent results locally. I am not saying it can or will reverse tyranny, I am only saying that it ought to be used while we try and educate others on the concept of property rights, and how there is no middle when it comes to this idea.”

    So no Jim, you were not close at all. Try again.

    I mentioned this very point to someone (a non-academic!) just the other day. “When a con man gets snapped, he turns into a strong-arm man.” I think that applies here, because it’s your imagination that if we deprive the thugs of the property through the ballot-box, then they won’t be able to do the dirty deeds they do. Is that close?”

    My “imagination”, cute Jim. It’s not an imagination, if all the indivdiuals in this world stood up and said, “NO! You can’t have my property!” The thugs sure would have a hard time buying guns and bombs and cages, etc. wouldn’t they? Also, I have no desire to walk down your primrose path, but nice try. Again, another gross misrepresentation of my position. Again, I argued for the principle of property rights in my essay, did you read it?

    So here’s some really bad news. If that’s close, you’re failing to recognize the nature of the object.:

    Well then it’s a good thing that you are not even close at all.

    Your “plan” is based on the idea that if we vote our property back, they will be deprived of our property. That’s just wrong;”

    Again, I never said this, I said we must continue to educate others of how property rights actually works while we use the ballot box. So, I don’t know who’s “plan” you are referring to, but it ain’t mine. Why do you keep trying to pin these strawman arguments on me?

    I’ll leave it at that for now, and if you can clarify more about the principles involved, that would be great. Though at this point, I’d prefer to keep it as a matter of principle and not guesses about why a person is saying what they’re saying.

    I’ll leave it at that for now also, Jim, because frankly I was a little disheartened by your comment this morning. You know me better than this. If you can’t see that I am principly trying to defend property rights by now, then I’m just wasting my time.

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:34h, 18 January Reply

    “for us illiterate obviously emotionally and intellectually challenged people who must be incorrect as you neve can be, try a different argument.”

    My God, why would you even say all of this? I never implied you were illiterate, emotionally and intellectually challenged. I also NEVER implied that I could never be incorrect. Yet you challenge MY integrity. Check yourself buddy, we’re not on the forum, so you can’t just erase your rants.

    Why should I try a different argument when you have yet to even refute my first argument? Your subjective defense of “My response was clearly “individual/specifically to me” is not a valid counter argument to my argument. So, try again.

    “You promote voting with the article, which is support of state- ie counter the name (zerogov)”

    You accuse me of support of the state, now SUPPORT your argument! Why can’t you do that? Show me how voting necessarily means I support the state. Again, we are not on the forum, you can’t just state a position without supporting it, and your subjective rebuttal of “in my personal” opinion is wholly inadequate. So, you want me to say I’m wrong because Jesse gave his personal, individual opinion? Wow.

    You say my “support” of voting is support of the state, and I say your subjectivist stance is MUCH more statist than my way of thinking. After all, why should the state have to prove it’s not legitimate. Perhaps it’s their personal indivdiual opinion that makes it right.

    “If you should need clarification so I do not commit further “strawman” that my statements are only for myself as an explanation of my behavior by all means- please ask”

    Ummm..No thanks. after the personal insults you have slung at me, I have no desire to ask you anything at all.

    I’ve learned all I need to know, and that is when you challenge certain “voluntaryists” on their own “principles” they act just like statists.

    Like I said, we are not on the forum, and that means you cannot erase these comments, I’d suggest you go back and re-read them, so you can see just how rude and insulting you have been.

  • Chris
    Posted at 06:27h, 19 January Reply

    Jesse,

    It’s cool man, I accept your apology. Please understand I am not trying to provoke feelings of anger, so I don’t want you to jump into a defensive mode. I am only trying to explore this idea, so let’s see if we can start over.

    I know this guy, he’s a good guy, and he’s a good anarchist. It seems life has dealt him a shitty hand, and he is in pain most days. He has severe back problems, and he is on disability. He recieves money from the state, and neither he nor I has a problem with this, because his defense is basically this, “well, I paid into this rotten system all of these years, I might as well try and recover some my my money.”

    I like this defense, because it basically breaks down to a property rights defense. They took your property from you, so it’s reasonable of you to reclaim it. Although this person recieves money from the state, I WOULD NEVER claim that he was in support of the state. Those two things don’t necessarily go hand in hand, just as voting and the support of the state don’t necessarily go hand in hand.

    The same property rights position this man takes on reclaiming stolen property, I take against guarding or reclaiming my property. I hope it’s a little more clear for you now.

    Jesse, to me property rights is the foundation on which ALL is built. This is why communism fails, because it does not recognize property rights at all, and without property, you cannot have aggression. So in order for the NAP to be violated property rights must already be an established principle. If you don’t own your house, how can it be aggression when they take it from you? If you don’t own your life, how can it be aggression what they take THAT from you?

    When the communists do away with property, they also do away with aggression. The reason America was so successful is because we came so damn close to taking the principle of property rights all the way to it’s logical conclusion.

    The reason I keep pointing out the strawman arguments is because it’s assumed that I take the traditional “democracy is good” position, and that is not the case. I argue for property rights, and if I see a chance to lessen the theft of my property at the ballot box, then I will take it.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 07:36h, 19 January Reply

    Chris, as I noted in the final paragraph of my first comment, I understand that you are motivated by a desire to engage peaceful and non-aggressive means to resolve the mess we’re in. As I noted–you can read it again–I think this is a “legitimate argument,” in the sense that it’s derived of pure and right intention. That’s a big thing, and so we have no quarrel about that.

    Perhaps you haven’t considered this, but that is also the “legitimate argument” for Rule of Law in the first place. 99% of the (sane!) population believe that Rule of Law is the peaceful and non-aggressive way to resolves disputes among men, and to deal with the few ne’er-do-wells among us. Their goal, just like yours, is to deal with each other as rational, peace-seeking men and not allow our society to devolve into the “chaos of anarchy” as they see it. Like yours, theirs is not some crazy argument and that’s why they believe in stuff like the Constitution, trial by jury, various enumerated rights, and so on and so forth.

    Rather than write a super-long essay about why this “legitimate argument” fails when it’s instantiated, I’ll just ask–at least for now–that you consider the /principled/ similarities between the two, with a focus on their instantiations in reality, the intentions notwithstanding. If you can’t see what I’m saying, then I’ll be happy to clarify. It would be best IMO if you could ask direct and simple questions about this, and I’ll try my best to answer.

    Everything else doesn’t interest me. My intent is not to cause you any distress, and I believe you understand that I don’t have the power anyway.

    As a matter of simple fact, I’ll ask you to clarify this sentence—“When the communists do away with property, they also do away with aggression.” AFAIK, both Red China and the USSR “did away with property” and placed all title (estate) of all property in the State (though maybe that’s wrong). In any event, it’s pretty clear that they did NOT “do away with aggression,” so if you could clarify what you mean by that, that would be nice too. TIA

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 07:46h, 19 January Reply

    Really, there’s one other thing in which I’m interested, Chris. The principled argument for many who don’t vote is very simple and straightforward. They view it as mob rule–whatever the majority say goes–and they view it as being accomplished through the means of thugs, which it is and I believe you acknowledge.

    I understand that you have a different argument–that you’re taking your property back–but I’m quite curious why you think those who hold the above principle, are whacked out beyond redemption. Just offhand, it looks like a reasonable approach, and doesn’t seem to make any errors of fact.

    I’m not bringing this up as some “argument” against yours. I’m just very curious why a man who takes himself as an extreme voluntarist–which presumably means that another person can do whatever the hell he wants for whatever reasons, as long as he doesn’t stop someone else from the same–is so clearly emotionally wound up in this particular issue. That’s not to say it’s not important, but you might remember that I commented elsewhere, “Something always sets someone off.” This issue seems to be that for you, at least when compared to the hundreds of other issues you’ve dealt with, so I’m wondering why.

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:03h, 19 January Reply

    Jim,

    Alright, I’ll keep it real simple.

    Do you agree that I own my labor?

    I know you will say yes. Ownership implies property rights.

    I own my labor, therefore I own the commodity that my labor gets converted into.

    The state’s philosophy is basically pay up or get shot. When I surrender my property under duress, that does not mean that I also surrender my property rights. I don’t think you agree with this, Jim, but sometimes I do wonder.

    Since the thugs took my property from me, I am well within my rights to try and recover it, since I STILL own it. And since I didn’t have the balls to stop the theft in the first place, I will try and recover it anyway I can.

    If I see a chance to recover what was taken from me or a chance to lessen the theft that is forthcoming, I will take it IF I see a chance at the ballot box.

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:07h, 19 January Reply

    “As a matter of simple fact, I’ll ask you to clarify this sentence—”When the communists do away with property, they also do away with aggression.” AFAIK, both Red China and the USSR “did away with property” and placed all title (estate) of all property in the State (though maybe that’s wrong). In any event, it’s pretty clear that they did NOT “do away with aggression,” so if you could clarify what you mean by that, that would be nice too.”

    Jim, in communist states they don’t see it as aggression, because they don’t see it as theft.

    Of course, you and I know that the aggression was still there, but looking at it through a communists perspective how can theft be aggression if it’s not yours to begin with.

    Just as the communist argues against property rights, I argue in favor of property rights, and for the right of the individual to recover the theft. When you tell me it is aggression to use voting to recover my property or to guard it from the theft in the first place, then you also argue against property rights.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 08:21h, 19 January Reply

    “I own my labor, therefore I own the commodity that my labor gets converted into.”

    Agreed. It’s worth noting that this is true whether you vote or not.

    “The state’s philosophy is basically pay up or get shot.”

    Agreed.

    “When I surrender my property under duress, that does not mean that I also surrender my property rights. I don’t think you agree with this, Jim, but sometimes I do wonder.”

    Why are you wondering about me so much? I thought that was my job! Maybe you should be wondering about the guy who wrote an essay here about rights not existing.

    “If I see a chance to recover what was taken from me or a chance to lessen the theft that is forthcoming, I will take it IF I see a chance at the ballot box.”

    That’s cool. I already acknowledged that as a “pure and right intention.” What are you arguing about?

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:25h, 19 January Reply

    “Really, there’s one other thing in which I’m interested, Chris. The principled argument for many who don’t vote is very simple and straightforward. They view it as mob rule–whatever the majority say goes–and they view it as being accomplished through the means of thugs, which it is and I believe you acknowledge.”

    This is where you and I differ Jim, because I understand that the thugs were there BEFORE voting. There is two classes the ruling class, and the ruled class, and voting ain’t got nothing to do with it, and that is what I understand. The thugs who are commanded by the ruling class would still come and take your shit WITH or WITHOUT the stupid ballot box. The ballot box is only there to help to perpetuate the hallucination.

    You are right Jim, it is “mob rule” but it is not perpetuated or facilitated by the ballot box. The problem is not “the majority”, hell, that does not even exist, the problem lies within the individual. The problem is not in DC, or at the ballot box. The problem is the fact that other individuals think they have the right to your property.

    I have this simple understanding Jim, and as long as the indivdual keeps hallucinating this belief that he can help himself to your property, then I will continue to take whatever measures I can to try and guard myself against it.

    I blame the indivdual for hallucinating this crazy belief in the first place, you want to blame something that does not even exist.

    The thugs do not draw their power from the ballot box, they draw it from the individual who believes that he needs to be ruled. The principled non-voting position DOES NOTHING to address this.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 08:26h, 19 January Reply

    “When you tell me it is aggression to use voting to recover my property or to guard it from the theft in the first place, then you also argue against property rights.”

    Here’s a deal. How about if you speak for what you’re arguing for and against, and I’ll do the same for myself. Would that be okay? As you know, I already have a cast of characters to tell me “what I really mean.” Plain and simple, I just don’t need another one.

  • Chris
    Posted at 08:27h, 19 January Reply

    Hey Jim, Whatever happened to…

    “I see nothing but indivdiuals out there”

    Does that fail when you think you are ruled by “the majority”?

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 08:43h, 19 January Reply

    “This is where you and I differ Jim, because I understand that the thugs were there BEFORE voting.”

    This is starting to get repetitive. Not only did I explicitly acknowledge this, I addressed it. That the thuggery was there already is not evidence that it’s not thuggery…”a mugger initiates force tonight even if he mugged someone last night.”

    Plus, you asked this…”“What if I voted for a guy and he lowered my taxes and they didn’t steal it in the first place?”

    …to which I responded,

    “That’s your error. Thieves steal.”

    This is quite enough to falsify your charge above. It’s rather obvious that we don’t differ on this. You sum up your position with this…

    “I have this simple understanding Jim, and as long as the indivdual keeps hallucinating this belief that he can help himself to your property, then I will continue to take whatever measures I can to try and guard myself against it.”

    I keep saying, “That’s cool.” What are you arguing about?

    “I blame the indivdual for hallucinating this crazy belief in the first place, you want to blame something that does not even exist.”

    What do you believe I am blaming that doesn’t exist? I’m not forwarding some belief that the ballot box caused all this. Did you think I was? You make it sound like we each have to pick the one thing that’s the “initiation of force,” and I’m saying it’s the ballot box. Not hardly…I’d say the ballot box is one of the lesser instances. Does that help?

    “The thugs do not draw their power from the ballot box, they draw it from the individual who believes that he needs to be ruled. The principled non-voting position DOES NOTHING to address this.”

    I’ll go along with that. Maybe I wasn’t clear, but I don’t think it does either. If you thought the argument was, “The way to stop the madness is to not vote,” then you have again utterly missed the principle. The principle is what I said it was, at least for me…”I don’t want any part of that.”

    Now that we’ve cleared up your misunderstanding of my position, maybe you could address yours. Let’s look at these two sentences again. The first is…

    “”The thugs do not draw their power from the ballot box, they draw it from the individual who believes that he needs to be ruled.”

    Knowing what you mean, I agree. IOW this is true.

    “The principled non-voting position DOES NOTHING to address this.”

    Okay. Now explain how the principled voting position does.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 08:54h, 19 January Reply

    ——————
    Hey Jim, Whatever happened to…

    “I see nothing but indivdiuals out there”

    Does that fail when you think you are ruled by “the majority”?
    ——————

    The other guy’s argument doesn’t magically transform into what you say it is. I’ve written absolutely nothing about being “ruled by the majority,” and I’ve offered no indication that I think voting is the single critical instance of thuggery in our society. IOW, this has nothing to do with anything.

    The “principled argument” for not voting is much simpler than you’re making it sound. It doesn’t involve politics, theft of one’s own property or anything like that. It’s just simply, “That’s a form of thievery and I don’t want to take part in it.” That’s all…if you were at the bar and heard some guys planning to attack and pillage some other bar, maybe you’d go along to lessen the violence and maybe you wouldn’t go along at all. Either one is defensible IMO.

    So would trying to warn the victims about what’s happening and not go along at all. I can’t say for sure, but I’d probably find that the wisest course of action in that instance. I know I find it the wisest in this one. Does that help at all?

  • Chris
    Posted at 09:58h, 19 January Reply

    Alright, now we are getting somewhere.

    “This is where you and I differ Jim, because I understand that the thugs were there BEFORE voting.”

    “This is starting to get repetitive. Not only did I explicitly acknowledge this, I addressed it. That the thuggery was there already is not evidence that it’s not thuggery…”a mugger initiates force tonight even if he mugged someone last night.”

    Ummm…That’s not what I meant. I meant that the ruling class was around LONG before the ballot box.

    …to which I responded,

    “That’s your error. Thieves steal.”

    No Jim, THAT’S YOUR error, “I see nothing but individuals out there”, are you willing to say that every single politician is a thief? You are contradicting yourself.

    “The principled non-voting position DOES NOTHING to address this.”

    “Okay. Now explain how the principled voting position does.”

    I’m not saying it does Jim, but voting can be used in defense of the PRINCIPLE of property rights, therefore voting can be seen as a principled position.

    “The other guy’s argument doesn’t magically transform into what you say it is. I’ve written absolutely nothing about being “ruled by the majority,” and I’ve offered no indication that I think voting is the single critical instance of thuggery in our society. IOW, this has nothing to do with anything.”

    “The principled argument for many who don’t vote is very simple and straightforward. They view it as mob rule–whatever the majority say goes–and they view it as being accomplished through the means of thugs, which it is and I believe you acknowledge.”

    What does “MOB RULE” mean to you Jim? Does “the mob” exist?

    “The “principled argument” for not voting is much simpler than you’re making it sound. It doesn’t involve politics, theft of one’s own property or anything like that. It’s just simply, “That’s a form of thievery and I don’t want to take part in it.”

    In order for “that’s a form of thievery” to be true it must be true in all instances of voting. Just for the hell of it, let’s say Ron Paul gets elected, and end the wars. Could I then say “voting saves lives”?

    Also, “voting” is not a form of thievery. I see nothing but individuals out there, so The THUG who is committing the theft is the thief, the “vote” has nothing to do with it.

    Now we are right back to where we started. In order for “voting” to violate ANYTHING it takes the thug to believe it’s legit.

    Since you can’t prove all instances of “voting is theft” your principled position doesn’t look so principled to me. Voting is not a violation of the NAP, the THUG violating the NAP is violating the NAP.

    Jim, I have much respect for you, and I hope you know this. A long time ago, you told me to take it as far as I can, I’m trying my friend.

  • Chris
    Posted at 10:28h, 19 January Reply

    I think it’s more correct to say “voting tends to cause the theft of other peoples property”, or “voting can lead to a violation of the NAP”.

    Now, I can just as easily say “voting can lessen tyranny and aggression” or, “voting can lower tax rates”.

    It can go either way, but, again I was arguing a position in favor of voting because in some instances in can reduce tyranny, and I’m only on this planet once, so I’ll take all of the freedom I can get.

    An anarchist position does not have to necessarily include non-voting.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 10:39h, 19 January Reply

    “What does ‘MOB RULE’ mean to you Jim? Does ‘the mob’ exist?”

    Aw, c’mon…you know what mob rule is. I’m not saying the mob is distinct from the individuals in it. Why, are you saying there’s no such thing as a mob?

    “In order for ‘that’s a form of thievery’ to be true it must be true in all instances of voting. Just for the hell of it, let’s say Ron Paul gets elected, and end the wars. Could I then say ‘voting saves lives’?”

    I already addressed this too…”A guy like Ron Paul could make some huge differences, but that would only be in a context of huge numbers of Americans actually wanting him to do that.”

    Don’t you get it? In THAT context, it’s not Paul’s election that would make the difference. We’d be there already and the people who want it, would already have made it happen. This is the strong part of your position, that it could be a reflection of people turning rational. But THAT’S the important part, not that it manifests at the ballot box.

    IOW you’ve got the causal process backwards. People voting wisely won’t turn them rational. People turning rational will cause them to vote wisely, or disregard democracy altogether. For my money, your far stronger argument is what voting does FOR YOU, not for or against the system. But then, that’s my opinion of everything!

    “Also, ‘voting’ is not a form of thievery. I see nothing but individuals out there, so The THUG who is committing the theft is the thief, the ‘vote’ has nothing to do with it.”

    This is plain nuts and you know it. It’s not nuts in all instances, maybe not even most, but it’s nuts anyway. According to this, the guy who contracts murder is not a murderer because someone else does it. According to this, almost nobody is a thug because almost nobody engages the thuggery directly, including virtually all the politicians.

    You know better than that. Obviously intent matters; that’s all there is, after all. And sure, most people who vote don’t view it as a means of taking what others have…they’re just trying to do what they were taught is the “higher good” and all that claptrap.

    But plenty of them DO know what they’re doing, and intend to do precisely that…take what belongs to others and spread it among themselves and their allies. There’s no secret about this, and the appeals are fairly explicit. That’s thuggery, whether they personally come to your door or not.

    Do you seriously deny this, or do you retract this statement?

    I want you to take this as far as you can, but it’d be a lot better if I knew exactly what you’re trying to say. Are you saying that a rational person MUST vote in order to be rational? Are you saying that not voting is prima facie an instance of idiocy and lack of principle? Are you saying that you support Democracy? Are you saying that Democracy is not thuggery institutionalized?

    I just don’t get it. I thought you were saying that you have a principled reason to vote. I already said, “That’s cool” several times and really, you could make that point in two words…”I vote.” I already know that you wouldn’t vote unless you saw some principle in it, so all the rest is extraneous to that particular point.

    This is getting long and tiresome, especially to any readers I’d guess. So maybe if you could express the PARTICULAR argument that you’re presenting, we could shorten it up. In a sentence or two, could you restart with that?

  • Chris
    Posted at 10:53h, 19 January Reply

    “I vote”

    Sorry to waste the readers time, and your time as well.

    Saying that voting is a violation of the NAP takes away from the actual thuggery an indivdiual is inflicting on another individual. If that’s nuts, then so be it.

    The fact remains Jim, that voting can reduce the tyranny in your life, and you’ve even admitted to as much. So I highly doubt you fully believe that “voting is a form of theft”. Do you want to retract that statement?

    If I see a chance to reduce tyranny on any level, I will take it. I’ve maintained that from the beginning.

  • Chris
    Posted at 15:30h, 19 January Reply

    I’m going to respond once more, Jim, because I believe you have unfairly taken some things out of context(I hope you don’t find this response too tiresome).

    “IOW you’ve got the causal process backwards. People voting wisely won’t turn them rational. People turning rational will cause them to vote wisely, or disregard democracy altogether. For my money, your far stronger argument is what voting does FOR YOU, not for or against the system. But then, that’s my opinion of everything!”

    I never argued for any kind of process, I’m just trying to protect what’s mine. You know I am no supporter of democracy.

    I said…

    Also, ‘voting’ is not a form of thievery. I see nothing but individuals out there, so The THUG who is committing the theft is the thief, the ‘vote’ has nothing to do with it.”

    You said…

    “This is plain nuts and you know it….Do you seriously deny this, or do you retract this statement?”

    No, I don’t want to retract my statement, and I would like for you to not take it out of context and then claim it’s “nuts”. We were talking about the state, right? We must have been, because that’s the only place I know of where a vote may lead to thuggery, however the thuggery was already there, but then you said this…

    According to this, the guy who contracts murder is not a murderer because someone else does it.”

    You know I don’t think that, so one has to wonder why you went to such great lenghts to pull it out of context. Are you a murderer Jim? Why not? You pay for it. Now, I know you don’t agree with that, ad neither do I, because like we agreed on, it’s pay up or die. Since you did not directly pay for the aggression, the money was stolen from you, it is precisely as I said. The thug is doing the aggression, not the voter. How is the voter any different from you Jim? You both have something in common, you pay for it. So again, it’s not the stupid vote that is responsible for the aggression.

    Do you really think not voting relieves you in any way? You unfairly pin it on the voter, when, as I said before, the thug was always there from day one. The voter may only be guilty of directing the aggression.

    I believe I have addressed both of your points. It cannot be said that voting is theft in every case, and mob rule would not be possible without the funding for it.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 16:59h, 19 January Reply

    “I vote.”

    Oh, that’s quite enough for me to know there are at least /some/ rational principles in support of it!

    “Saying that voting is a violation of the NAP takes away from the actual thuggery an indivdiual is inflicting on another individual. If that’s nuts, then so be it.”

    I don’t think that’s right. If it were, then the General in the Pentagon is relieved of the actions he orders. In this case, the voting system is the “General,” and is “giving the orders.” Do you think that’s wrong? If so, why?

    “The fact remains Jim, that voting can reduce the tyranny in your life, and you’ve even admitted to as much. So I highly doubt you fully believe that ‘voting is a form of theft.'”

    First, it hasn’t been established that voting can reduce tyranny in any significant way, let alone YOUR voting. But you can take that up with David if you wish. Voting can also increase tyranny in one’s life, as we’ve seen. Do you really deny that?

    Personally, I think the bar thing was a decent analogy. It would be moral to go along in the attempt to reduce the rape and pillage—that’s a moral goal akin to your voting. It would be moral to not go at all and do nothing; that’s what most people would do. And it could be moral to not go and do something affirmative to try an help the victims, which is akin to what I do. Sorry, but I just don’t see the problem or argument.

    “Do you want to retract that statement?”

    No thanks. When my neighbors vote for a millage, they are engaging the guns of Govco to seize some of my earnings, or just take the house. What would you like to call it, if not theft? IOW for you, it’s not theft; it’s ____________ .

    “If I see a chance to reduce tyranny on any level, I will take it. I’ve maintained that from the beginning.”

    I got it. I see. I hear. I think that’s admirable. “That’s cool.” “That’s cool.” You believe you’re reducing tyranny and so you’re doing that. I think that’s a great motivation and I support you completely in that endeavor.

    Now dig this. I /don’t/ think it reduces tyranny and if anything, I think it helps hide what’s going on. So I /don’t/ do it. How come that’s not cool with you? I asked you several comments ago because I’m interested—WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS ISSUE THAT SUDDENLY YOU’RE NOT SO ACCOMMODATING?

    I mean, if we were going to start pleading to evidence, I doubt your case is going to get any stronger. After all, there’s been plenty of voting going on, and I haven’t seen tyranny reduced…have you?

    Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think that defeats your argument. To me, your argument is that you believe you’re doing the right thing, and you can see clear reasons for it. I don’t know any other way to put it…”That’s cool.” I just don’t see the reasons you see, and that seems to bother you a whole bunch. That’s cool too…if it bothers you that much, then you should keep trying express all these great reasons, and I’ll see it eventually. I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I am saying you haven’t presented any argument yet to me that I’ll be better off by voting. And meanwhile, I only have one argument why I don’t…I don’t want to be part of a system of thievery when I have as simple a choice as not voting.

    That’s all. I’m still part of the system of thievery in other ways because I’d have to sacrifice too much not to be. This is true for all of us, one way or the other. But so what? I can still not go to the polls and not be part of /that/ bit of it, You don’t see it that way, and that’s alright. I still wish I knew what the hell you’re arguing about.

  • Jim Klein
    Posted at 17:04h, 19 January Reply

    “Voting can also increase tyranny in one’s life, as we’ve seen.”

    Correction…your voting or my voting cannot do that. I should’ve written, “The system of voting can also increase tyranny in one’s life, as we’ve seen.” Indeed, as we’ve seen.

    Here’s another analogy, Chris. To me, it’s like hitting a child for doing something wrong. While it’s right to correct him for whatever he did wrong, it’s also teaching him that physical punishment is the way to handle things.

    I’ve no doubt you vote for proper things, but doing it through those means is acknowledging (at least IMO) that such is a proper way to go about it. Do you at least get THAT principle, which keeps me from voting?

  • Chris
    Posted at 17:56h, 19 January Reply

    Alright Jim,
    I’ll quickly address this last point here, and then I’ll take it over to the forum.

    Aggression, theft, and murder has been there since the dawn of man. Like Ernie Hancock says”There are those who want to be left alone, and those who just won’t leave them alone.” I look back to history to and I see thousands of years of aggression that didn’t include the ballot box. Who’s fault was it then? Surely not the voters.

    Even with non-democratic governments, tyranny eventually bubbled up, governments crumble, and there is a relative time of peace until the next tyrant rises up. Repeat.

    This is the story throughout history, and now for some reason, the voter gets the blame for it. Now it’s the voter who supports the state, and is responsible for its wrongdoings, when at any other time in history it would have been the monarchs fault, or the dictators fault. Now it’s the current collectives fault, and the voters will vote for the next collective to try to fix things. First it was pharoahs, then kings and dictators, and now it’s democracy. We used to blame the dictator for theft and aggression, and now we blame eachother! What a scam!Your neighbor would never rob you, so why do you blame him now?

    Would you blame the Helot for the aggression of the Spartan?

    Would you blame the Serf for the aggression of the King?

    Would you blame the voter for the aggression of democracy?

    I don’t on all accounts, because there is a common thread that sews them all together.

    The belief in a ruling class.

    Your slave ancestors could not take a principled stance against voting because there was no ballot box. What makes this stance so principled now?

    The only real principled position is resistance to theft, and until this is realized we are all part of the collective, and while the ballot box is still here, I’m going to use it, because one day it won’t be, and then that knock on your door won’t be the fault of the voter.

  • Militant Libertarian » In Defense of Voting
    Posted at 13:36h, 20 January Reply

    […] Posted: January 20th, 2012 by Militant Libertarian by Chris Dates, ZeroGov […]

  • FreeWestRadio.com » Blog Archive » In Defense of Voting
    Posted at 15:41h, 23 January Reply

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