Is Voting Ethical?
The following post is by guest-author Nathan Payne.
Since the time we were children until even the present day, we have been told time and time again that voting is a right; that voting is our patriotic duty as American citizens, and that anyone who does not partake in the process “isn’t allowed to complain.” The claim is made that if any person voices a dissenting opinion in any other way than in the form of a vote, then it’s all their fault anyway for allowing that particular politician into office.
This is false and cleverly lays the blame on the potential voters, not the actions of the politician. Politicians protect their own image and office above all else, and it just so happens to be highly in their favor when people think this way. What is it about politicians that people are always putting on a pedestal when it is the very same politicians that are constantly found to be corrupt and working against the people they are supposedly working for? A massive form of Stockholm Syndrome has taken hold of a majority of Americans even though much of the time, they can see that there is something blatantly wrong with the system. Why do they continue to put the same types of people in power over and over again?
First, it is because of the point mentioned earlier: we have been told forever that our system is the best system on earth, and that voting is a moral imperative. If one finds that voting for Criminal X over Criminal Y is still voting for a criminal, then their entire view of the political system will fall into shambles. Everything they have known ceases to exist, and a vast wilderness of uncharted thought processes spreads before them. Many may even see this uncharted territory of critical thinking on the rare occasion, but quickly turn back the moment it appears. Thus, the mass Stockholm Syndrome is created. It is far easier to live with a comfortable lie than difficult truths.
So why is it wrong to live with a comfortable lie, so long as you don’t get hurt? You pay your taxes, you don’t kill anyone, you have never done anything illegal (that anyone knows about), so why does it matter if you vote for the lesser criminal? Because you are still voting for crime. Voting works on the assumption that everyone has an even say in the outcome of an election, but this is not true. A large percentage of people choose not to vote, but are punished for that choice because those that vote decide to take away their possessions via tax increases or other coercive methods dreamed up by the politicians whose names are on the ballot. Those who don’t vote are plundered by those who do. Democracy is a system of mob rule on a grand scale, a smashing of the 49% by the 51%.
But why do I call them criminals? Because that is exactly what they are. If someone were to walk into your workplace, put a gun to your head and confiscate a portion of your hard-earned income without your consent using threats of force, that would make them a criminal. But, if this theft is given a new name, “taxes,” all is well and good. If this sounds too far-fetched, take the path to its logical conclusion: if you are sent to prison for tax-evasion and you try to escape your unjust sentence, agents of the State are allowed by law to do everything within their power to stop you, up to and including killing you. This is the moral equivalent to a gun being held to your head in order coerce you into paying taxes. A confiscation of the money earned by your own labor, going to causes that you have no say in whatsoever is unjust. This is just one example of how politicians are criminals by the very nature of their office. They make their livings by taking money from the very population which votes them into office.
Voting is unethical because of the promises of politicians to raise certain taxes in one area or another, which is akin to promising to steal from this or that group. This creates a system whereby whichever politician makes the grandest promises can count on receiving the most votes. This system will fail for one of two reasons: the first being that the politicians will make more promises than they can possibly keep, thereby betraying the voters, or second, and worse, they will keep their promises – plundering as much as possible in order to meet the demands of those campaign promises.
Fortunately, most politicians lie as much as possible in order to attain office and never get the chance to do half the things they promised to do. God forbid a politician somehow find a way to keep all of his campaign promises! Then we might be in real trouble.
Some promises must be fulfilled by these politicians, lest people learn the true nature of the political system. These few promises over time have resulted in the largest welfare state ever seen in the history of earth. Each promise kept by a politician represents a larger transfer of wealth from one group to another; politicians cannot create any services or products themselves without money stolen from the working populace. Those who are wealthy or middle-class are hit with ever-increasing taxes, only to have their wealth transferred to those who can attract the favor of the politicians. This creates more problems than a thieving political class. It creates an incentive for those who are fully subsidized by government to vote ever more feverishly for those politicians which can promise the most to them. Theoretically, once 51% of the country is fully dependent on the tax money stolen from the other 49%, the 49% can be fully crushed. What is stopping the 51% from looting all of the remaining wealth from the other 49%? Simply by being outnumbered, the middle/upper classes would be helpless to stop the demands of this new majority, and this is only speaking economically. There is not enough space here to list the implications of other social or newly legalized demands being forcibly foisted upon the remaining 49%.
What about those who wish for no masters at all? They are decried as extremists longing for “anarchy” (anarchy in the socially accepted meaning, synonymous with “chaos,” “death,” or a myriad of other destructive adjectives). To those planning on voting for Criminal X or Y, it seems ridiculous that someone might not want one of these ignoramuses ruling their life, stealing from, and threatening them. Since those who have massive faith in democracy vastly outnumber those who wish to be left alone, these anarchists are forcibly swept along in the tide of government and plundered along with everyone else via the mechanism of voting. Those tax-anarchists that attempt to stand up to the State are quickly thrown in tax-funded prison cells, requiring the State to extract more money from citizens to fund operations within the walls of the concrete prison. In order to make up for the lost revenue of one tax-slave to prison time, the government must increase the taxes on the remaining individuals outside prison.
Whether conscious of it or not, a private vote is a legal weapon used against your fellow-man; a weapon of destruction that can forcibly stomp the rights of those who disagree with you. Voting inherently obstructs liberty, as there must always be a large amount of losers in the aftermath of any election. It creates an culture of tension around voting-time, and reinforces division rather than bringing people together in an economy of beneficial exchange.
Finally, voting is morally irresponsible. When you vote for someone, you are throwing your full support behind every action that person takes for the next four years, presidentially speaking. When wars begin under a president and thousands of innocent lives are lost (on either side), it is not just the president and his cabinet that are responsible. The voters who put the president into a position of power are also responsible for the war crimes, just as the man who ordered the attacks, because they endorsed any and all decisions he was going to make when they put his name on the ballot. Endorsing all future actions of a man whose only goal is to obtain power and maintain it through any means necessary is plain insanity, especially when he’s robbing you of your money to do it!
In a system of man against man, both parties lose. Such is voting.