From Facebook: A Discussion of Voting from an Antistatist Perspective

I posted on Facebook:

I vote

Zachary Fiscke responded to my post:

Gross. (The voting, not the guns or language).

I wrote back:

One of the nice things about being an anarchist is the lack of rules. Vote, Boycott the Ballot — it’s a strategic debate and a personal preference. Neither choice is immoral or moral. I was a non-voter for decades and vote now so I can argue both sides effectively. Now you want to talk gross? Blue cheese or mint ice cream.

Zachary wrote back:

Claiming neither side is moral or immoral rejects the possibility that it is indeed moral or immoral. Carl Watner ( and the rest of the crew at The Voluntaryist, among others) have argued strongly and largely effectively that it is an immoral act, while Tucker disagreed.

Also, anarchist does not mean no rules.

I wrote back:

Lysander Spooner. But my argument is that if — as anarchists and voluntaryists argue — ballots = bullets, then one can use a ballot to shoot back.

And I continued in a second reply:

Zachary Fiscke wrote, “Claiming neither side is moral or immoral rejects the possibility that it is indeed moral or immoral.”

Exactly. I advocate natural law and natural-rights based morality — as did Ayn Rand, C.S. Lewis, and Samuel Edward Konkin III — but I depart from Carl Watner and others who would turn statelessness into an Amish-like rejection of all modernity. Voting is no more immoral from an anarchistic standpoint than the claim that it’s immoral not to vote from a democratic standpoint. Force me to vote by law — as they do in Australia — and I’ll rebel against voting. But as long as voting is not compelled by law or gains one statist privileges when one does vote it’s not a moral question but a question of strategy, or tactics, or flavor.

Zachary replied:

A moral opposition to voting is not in anyway a rejection of modernity. It can be an act of pacifism, or a rejection of using any of the tools of the state, or a refusal to legitimatize by state… These are all moral objections to voting.

My moral objections to voting typically stem from there being no one or works be moral to vote for, and no moral way to implement any of such a persons policies using the state of someone did win. My primary opposition to voting is far more practical – there is no one to support and they couldn’t win if there was. If literally everyone that shared my views even broadly (legally socially liberal, fiscally conservative) in my district were to vote a candidate sharing those views would still lose even with limited mid term voter turnout.

And I replied:

As one can tell from the opening meme that started this thread it would be odd indeed for me to be a gun owner and a pacifist. I accept the Zero Aggression Principle but maintain the moral premise of violence being acceptable when used to stop a violent aggression. I see the refusal to stop violence against the innocent not as a superior morality but as a great immorality; but I do see cases where non-violent resistance (Gandhi’s Satyagraha) can be more effective than a violent response. That is not a moral decision, however, but a tactical or strategic decision.

Voting cannot advance liberty but it can retard tyranny. So long as the State exists there are more aggressive statists and less aggressive statists; ballot measures which can be a choice between more government or more market.

Agorism is the path to freedom but mitigating statist damage before agorist solutions have achieved what Samuel Edward Konkin III described in The New Libertarian Manifesto as “Phase 4: Agorist Society with Statist Impurities” is allowed so long as it does not betray Agorism, itself – for example, it would be a betrayal to vote for greater tyranny in the hopes it will foment rebellion.

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