• NOS4A2
    6k
    I’ve recently become disillusioned with political action in general, voting in particular. The state has become so sour to my tastes that I feel I must do what I can to refuse participating in its aggrandizement, and refusing to vote seems a viable position in this regard. But there is little philosophy on the subject and very little writing I can find comfort in. So I seek help from the forum in formulating any arguments for refusing to vote. Any challenges, refinements, and of course mockery is appreciated.

    To explain, my disillusion began when a friend of mine from Australia boasted to me that she was quite proud of the compulsory voting in her country. I had to scoff because living in a state where performing compulsory political rituals is not much to be proud of, or at least it ought not to be. The right to vote is not much of a right if the right not to vote doesn’t come with it; if you’ve traded your right to vote for a duty to vote, suffrage for state servitude, it might be proper to show some humility.

    One can understand why a state might make voting compulsory, though. Without the vote, and thus without the necessary concessions of power from the people to the state, state power would appear less legitimate. After all, despite what indoctrination teaches us, a concession of power is all a vote amounts to. This becomes clear whenever we use our votes in its most obsequious function: in order to elect which mammal should be given power over the rest. So it could be said that refusing to vote is tantamount to refusing to sign over our lives to other men.

    Though it’s true that a right to vote should be universal, and lords and landowners ought not to be the only ones able to elect who has the power and who makes the rules, the representative system, the relationship between a representative and his constituents, differs only in degree to the lords and land owners representing the landless tenantry in the decision making processes. That we get to vote for who should rule us seems more a consolation prize than any tangible enfranchisement.

    In effect, though, refusing to vote as a matter of conscience is no different than refusing to vote because I have better shit to do. Others would vote; people would be afforded power; very little would change. Not until no one voted could anything revolutionary occur, and any political movement in this direction appears outlandish, even if not impossible.

    So the question remains, is refusing to vote a viable political position?
  • Paine
    542
    So it could be said that refusing to vote is tantamount to refusing to sign over our lives to other men.NOS4A2

    If that is what is said, it is a very private statement. Other men will gladly accept your silence as submission.

    If everybody withdraws from the selection of representatives and agents of the state, how is that an opportunity for change? Or do you wish for a war of all against all? That condition would guarantee a change but not much choice.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    It’s not a desire for change that motivates me but a conscientious effort to refuse participating in what I view as an evil arraignment. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum.
  • Paine
    542
    If the decision is not connected to a means of change, is not the refusal an acceptance of the service you find so revolting?
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    I’m not sure how that is the case, so I’ll say “no”.
  • Paine
    542

    Then how do you see the withdrawal from the legal right to vote as making change more possible?
  • javi2541997
    1.7k


    Very important OP. Let me tell you that I fully agree with you because of the following arguments:

    1. Since the moment politicians don't seem to respect voters in general, it looks like it is not worth at all to go and vote for them. Whenever a politician gains his seat he is no longer operative. I mean he stands there in the parliament doing weird stuff and plotting. They only rule for a few so (for example) 800.000 votes go to the rubbish ban if 10 or 20 still winning their benefit. Clearly, they do not govern for the mass but a few persons with money and power. Then, if a seat gives such power to a politician, we have to do the opposite: Not voting. Simple. At least he no longer will survive thanks to our taxes.
    2. About honour and loyalty to the nation. But again, it seems politicians do not respect these basic principles of a wealthy nation either. These politicians think they have the power to rule over my life but they are wrong because I know how to die with honour at least. As Yukio Mishima once wrote in one of his essays:
    His name was Kozaburo Eto. This young student killed himself on February 11th, Constitution’s day. He did it lonely in the darkness of his job staying apart from television or looks. It was a solemn and respectful act. This was the main critical action against politics I have ever seen in my life.
  • Paine
    542
    He did it lonely in the darkness of his job staying apart from television or looks. It was a solemn and respectful act. This was the main critical action against politics I have ever seen in my life.javi2541997

    And now this private decision is being given public notice. That is a political message.
  • Daniel
    398


    What about voting for none of the options? Don't you have that option in your country?
  • Paine
    542

    The US does not have a 'none of the above' option in their slates. Some states are trying forms of ranked voting to alter how run-off elections work.
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    By all means, don't vote. One less vote for fascism.
  • Paine
    542

    What is the formula? How is that not a vote for fascism?
  • Xtrix
    3.7k


    For someone like the OP author who openly wants fascism and corporatocracy, and defends the likes of Donald Trump to the bitter end -- all why pretending to denounce the state -- should most certainly not vote. Their non-voting is a deliverance.
  • Paine
    542

    I get that. A big part of the success of the Republican Party has been getting people out to vote no matter what is on the ballot. I don't know how that relates to what the OP proposes.
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    By all means, don't vote. One less vote for fascism.Xtrix
    :100:
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    I would not want to see a withdrawal from the legal right to vote, only to retain the legal right not to vote.

    In a way the vote, at least in elections, is to afford someone the privilege to govern over you. It is also to afford someone the right to represent you, as if such a feat was possible. It seems to me that the refusal to bestow these rights and privileges is the first step to unlinking oneself from their deeds.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    Protest voting is still voting. I don’t want to stand in their lines and go along with their charade.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    For someone like the OP author who openly wants fascism and corporatocracy, and defends the likes of Donald Trump to the bitter end -- all why pretending to denounce the state -- should most certainly not vote. Their non-voting is a deliverance.

    More lies. I openly oppose fascism every time I oppose your political activity.
  • DingoJones
    2.6k


    So…move? It sounds like you want to opt out of the system. Whats the dilemma exactly?
    Is refusing to vote a viable political position? No. Its a position, a moral one perhaps, but its not a political one since it necessarily entails not being political, not participating in the politics.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    You’re right that it entails little more than avoiding the polls, except for wherever compulsory voting is in order. But voting isn’t the same as politics, so I would not say refusing to vote entails not being political.
  • DingoJones
    2.6k


    True voting isnt synonymous with politics, but I would say its a necessary part of the political system in Canada or the US. Aren’t you opting out of a system based on votes when you refuse to vote? I would compare it to playing baseball but refusing to take the field. Not really playing baseball then. (And likewise the baseball field is not synonymous with baseball).
  • Hanover
    8.5k
    Last presidential year election, I voted in all races except for President. Under the theory votes must be earned and not that you should just choose the lesser of two evils, I'm proud of my vote.
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    True voting isnt synonymous with politics, but I would say its a necessary part of the political system in Canada or the US. Aren’t you opting out of a system based on votes when you refuse to vote? I would compare it to playing baseball but refusing to take the field. Not really playing baseball then. (And likewise the baseball field is not synonymous with baseball).

    Yes, refusing to participate would be opting out of the system, in a way. But it’s more like refusing to play baseball but having to remain in the dugout.
  • DingoJones
    2.6k


    Ok. So why remain in the dugout? Are you holding out hope that the political system will change? Also, what forces other than voting would result in the changes you want?
    I often think about modern times and how its just the wrong time to be born for people who want to live outside the control of governments and corporations. In yesteryears there were places you could go that weren’t owned by either, a place where you could do your own thing. In the future when we expand to the stars you grab your people and set off for some distant star to do your own thing.
    Today, where do you go that isnt owned by some country or corporation?
  • Xtrix
    3.7k
    Those who advocate for fascism and corporatocracy not wanting to vote is a great thing. Hopefully it starts a trend.
  • andrewk
    2.1k
    Australia does not have compulsory voting. The law only compels you to attend a polling place of your convenience (and unlike in the US, they are very convenient, both as to location and as to opening hours) and get your name signed off by the attendant. Whether you subsequently put a ballot in the box, and whether and what you write on it, is entirely up to you.
    People call it 'compulsory voting' as a shorthand. But, like many shorthands, the label misleads significantly.
  • 180 Proof
    9.3k
    :smirk:

    Your refusal to waste your vote on the P-O-S who was 'highly favored' to win your state was as patriotic a statement as it was prudential. A greatful nation turns it's fat, dumb & lonely eyes to you, sir! :victory: :mask:
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    Voter turnouts, even in the most democratic of countries, is never 100%. I don't see an issue here.

    In the UN general assembly and security council, abstention is a valid stance to adopt. What am I missing?
  • NOS4A2
    6k


    “It is compulsory by law for all eligible Australian citizens to enrol and vote in federal elections, by-elections and referendums.”

    https://www.aec.gov.au/enrol/

    Seems clear cut to me.
  • Agent Smith
    6.2k
    compulsoryNOS4A2

    You have no choice in the matter, you havta a choose! :snicker: A contradictio in terminis.
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