On Tuesday 02 November 2004 07:54 am, Francis Hwang wrote:
> Corey, I agree with much of what you say in this matter, but I wonder
> if it's going to have an effect. 
>

It has a profound effect within myself. 

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing
himself." - Leo Tolstoy

And it has a profound effect of solidarity when others see that they're
not alone.

Courage, like fear, is contagious.


> The centrist committees who control 
> most of the money in the Republican and Democratic parties are not, in
> fact, sitting around wringing their hands about somebody like you. 
>

I'm not sitting around wringing my hands about what the centrist
committees think about me.

Secondly, I have to strongly disagree with you here: it seems quite
apparent and logical that people like me ( i.e. conscientious objectors )
are a _real_ and _serious_ threat to the Status Quo. You think all
the massive reams of propaganda regarding the elections, voting,
"democracy", "freedom", and all that B.S. is accidental?

What happens to the illusion when less than 50% of the country
turns out to vote? Less than 30%?


> On a 
> symbolic level, the choice of opting out of the voting system is a
> principled, and perhaps admirable way of communicating your
> dissatisfaction with the narrow range of choices presented on Election
> Day.

My dissatisfaction is not limited to the narrow range of choices - that's
merely an aside.

My own personal choice not to vote has to do with my strong moral
and ethical convictions that Government is, _by_nature_, a FOUNDATIONALY
violent, repressive, unjust, discriminatory, and coercive institution; these
are the means by which it is able to enforce its authority. Government
kills people. And it does so with other peoples money and their passive
consent, but I can say that it did not do so with *my* money or *my*
passive consent.


> But on a practical level, your non-vote is going to get counted as 
> one more voice that doesn't count.
>

This reasoning is repeated often, by many different sources, and still 
makes absolutely no sense to me.

My "voice" isn't hoping to "count", and I'm not hoping to be counted -
I'm just living my life as best I can within the realms of my own 
conscience. And I'll continue to do so; I'm not trying to change the 
world, I'm just trying to live; I'll help others to live only through my
own abilities and resources and inclinations.

Simplifying things down to a more personal level, my act of not voting 
should be seen as a direct and explicit gesture of comraderie towards 
you and everyone else - I'm not attempting to utilize a tool of massive
power and destruction ( the government ) in order to force  _you_, or
anyone else, into complying with _my_ desires. I wish that you would
grant me the same respect, and likewise refuse to vote.


> Why note go to the polls and vote for Badnarik? Or another third-party
> candidate? Such a vote would get a third party one step closer to
> getting a little help with advancing their cause next time 'round.
>

This is part of The Great Illusion[tm] - the "baby steps towards political
reform" idea. It's a limp and demonstratably false premise. Absolutely
ZERO civil liberties of any truly significant level has ever happened in this 
country through the ballot, but only through prolonged and massive civil
unrest. 

Additionaly, I don't _want_ a "third-party" candidate... I don't want _any_
candidate. I believe in liberty and personal responsibility, and I believe in
uncoerced, voluntary associations. I also believe in a great many other things
that are entirely anathema to everything that a centralized government
requires to maintain it's own existence.

I'm not interested in advancing someone's cause. I'm interested in living
as a grown human being is capable of living. And I'm interested in doing
so without taking from, stealing from, forcing or manipulating other people -
directly nor indirectly.

> Unless you've decided to exercise your political power in another way.
> And no, blogging and writing on a mailing list doesn't count.
>

I don't pay taxes either. I simply don't file. Does that count?

And yes, blogging and writing on a mailing list, and speaking to friends
and family and those who care to listen, _does_ count.

So does civil-disobedience, and the sort of active-nonparticipation that
I do on a personal level everyway that I can.

Practicaly speaking, voting is the most thoroughly passive, inane,
non-productive and uneventful form of political action that a person could
possibly do; which is precisely why it's such a popular form of government:
it provides people with a minimal sense of feeling they have political power,
for the purpose of keeping them mollified and controllable - and divided.


Beers!

Corey


-- 

Every man who puts money into the hands of a "government" (so called),
puts into its hands a sword which will be used against himself, to
extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection to its
arbitrary will.
  - Lysander Spooner,
    'No Treason. No. VI, The Constitution of No Authority'