Voting For Anarchy?

There are still some people who are attempting to use the political system to try to promote the principles of self-ownership and non-aggression. But both tactically and philosophically, that is a really bad idea, which is doomed to be counter-productive.

First, I want to acknowledge the one potentially good outcome, which would be using the ridiculous circus of “politics” to bring attention to the philosophical principles underlying voluntaryism. However, to do that without being completely counter-productive and self-contradictory, one would have to run a “campaign” that is very clear and loud on several points:

The results of elections have absolutely no moral significance. Individual rights don’t depend upon constitutions or legislation. The entire game of political elections (choosing masters) is inherently illegitimate and immoral. Freedom doesn’t come from “government” or political action; freedom is always the diametrical opposite of “government” and political action.

In other words, an actually consistent anarchist “running for office” would intentionally make a mockery of the whole charade, making it quite clear that the outcome of the election does not matter in the slightest, because political “authority” is 100% mythological bullshit, with no relevance to right and wrong, or to what human society ought to be. An actual anarchist would not speak of any political or “legislative” agenda or plan, because he would know that constitutions, elections and politician scribbles have absolutely no legitimacy to begin with. In short, the only anarchist political “campaign” I would have any respect for (and I would still object) would sound a lot like this:

This whole game of politics and voting is a stupid, bogus charade. Pressing buttons in booths doesn’t give anyone any special power or authority. I am only playing the part of another clown in this ridiculous circus in order to point out the absurdity and illegitimacy of it all, and to use the platform—and whatever attention I might get from it—to condemn statism entirely, in principle, from top to bottom, without exception, and to promote and spread the ideas of self-ownership, non-aggression, and a purely voluntary society: ideas which are in every way incompatible with the very notion of ‘government’ and political ‘authority.’ I will not win this election; I do not want to win it; winning it doesn’t matter in the slightest. If you vote for me (or anyone), you are still horribly misguided and duped.

The moment an “anarchist” political candidate starts taking himself, or his campaign, at all seriously, you should run away from him as fast as possible.

(Incidentally, almost every tyrant rose to power by promising that, if given power himself, he would use that power to free the people from the injustice and tyranny coming from someone or something else.)

And if a supposed “anarchist” candidate ever says anything starting with “If elected,” then you know he is lying to himself, lying to you, and is only strengthening the insane notion that it matters who “wins” that silly clown show. There are several reasons why it is completely irrational to think that an anarchist getting electing is going to do any good, including (but not limited to) the following:

1 - Basic math dictates that, long before any anarchist would ever win any major election, it would already be completely unnecessary for him to run at all. For example, if we reach a point where 25% of the population believes in non-aggression and self-ownership, they would still be losing every election, while also easily having the numbers to simply ignore any authoritarian regime out of power.

2 - There is no office, including President of the United States, which can unilaterally legislate (or “un-legislate”) anything. Those who understand how federal legislation works (as bogus as it is) know that the President is the last step in the process, and can do exactly nothing by himself, except for Executive Orders which either apply only to federal employees, or carry out specific powers which Congress already delegated (i.e., pretended to delegate) to the President. They aren’t just a magic wand.

3 - The entire show of federal elections has nothing to do with reality. If you aren’t a loyal puppet ready to do the bidding of your masters, you have exactly no chance in hell of getting anywhere near the White House. Ever. (Ron Paul’s campaign was a fine example of someone who had massive real support from many millions of actual, honest people, and who was squelched, suppressed, silenced, demonized and destroyed by both parties, and the mainstream media, so that he never had a chance of winning.)

4 - When (not if) a voluntaryist candidate loses, it then looks like hypocrisy and “sour grapes” to declare that whoever did win doesn’t really have the right to rule. To play a game, lose it, and then whine about the results, is not exactly the best way to spread a coherent, consistent, principled message of liberty.

5 - Even in the best cases, a political campaign will automatically be perceived by most people as being about a certain person more than being about any idea. And the “cult of personality” routine, implying that we need a certain savior/leader/hero to save us, is the last thing that voluntaryists should be doing, or should be presenting to the world as their message.

6 - And most importantly, to campaign based on some legislative or political agenda clearly and obviously implies that you think that elections and legislation are actually legitimate and relevant. To try to play the role of savior by saying that, if given political power, you will use it to give people their freedom, is philosophically entirely statist, and psychologically a sign of some serious megalomaniacal delusions. Furthermore, anyone looking to a political candidate to grant them freedom obviously doesn’t know the first thing about self-ownership or non-aggression.

Democracy is the best trick tyrants have ever come up with. It is a way to give the slave class the illusion of control and influence, while giving them no real power. It allows the masters to pretend that the slaves have “consented” to the arrangement by choosing a master. Most importantly, it creates at outlet for the anger and frustration of the abused peasantry which uses up their time, energy and money, without ever getting them one inch closer to true freedom.

Watching supposed “anarchists” joining in that game, legitimizing it, and acting as if that game can be used to achieve true freedom—pretending that if you give the Ring of Power to the right person, he will use it to free you—is, at best, extremely misguided and counter-productive. And at worst, it is just another variation of what politicians always use politics and “democracy” for: empowering and enriching themselves—growing their own egos, their reputations, their influence, and their bank accounts—by exploiting the fear, anger, frustration, desperation and helplessness of everyone else. That is not the road to freedom.

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P.S. Some people, in trying to justify political involvement, will talk about how we need to move towards a free society gradually, in steps, and that it can’t be done all at once. Aside from the obvious historical fact that “government” never gradually reduces and gets rid of itself (quite the opposite), whatever happens along the way, the only point that matters is digital, not analogy: every individual either owns himself, or is the property of someone else (e.g., the collective, or the ruling class). A slave trying to get his slave-master to be nicer, even if it works, is never the way to achieve freedom. Likewise, trying to get “legislative” permission to be more free has nothing to do with actual freedom, and thinking that way is still just playing into the hands of the parasite class.

P.P.S. Some people will point out, and rightfully so, that Ron Paul started a lot of people on journeys that ended with those people becoming anarchists. But that had everything to do with the ideas Dr. Paul expressed, and nothing to do with elections or legislation. Indeed, in his closing comments on the House floor, Dr. Paul said about himself what I had been saying about him for years, including this:

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. … In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. … I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom. Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. … Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior.

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