Your vote counts in the marketplace, where your dollar elects goods and services. Your vote also counts in political government, where your ballot elects force and fraud.
The United States of America was founded on the rule of law, not of men. Factions and special interests were supposed to give way to justice before the law. But men make political law, and special interests broke the rules before the ink was dry on the Constitution, commercial tariffs and the theft of Indian land being first on the agenda.
The rule of law is dead. Jefferson warned of this outcome in a democracy — the history of mankind was not an unrevealed mystery to men like him. Throughout the Nineteenth and the Twentieth Centuries other men warned and then lamented the passing of a noble ideal. The men in power lie, cheat, murder, and steal at will, in the name of democracy, unrestrained by law. We all know that. We also know that there is nothing we can do about it, except vote, of course. Your vote assures them of their power, your vote sanctions their crimes.
Still, I wonder, is this social system of political government really a democracy, as the politicians and the media constantly insist? In the year 2000, only one-third of the United States population voted at all. What does this mean? Does it mean that two-thirds of the population don’t care? I don’t think so.
Some folks talk about secession again, apparently meaning that some states or regions could drop out of the consolidated union as a political protest against the central power. Under the circumstances, I view this proposal as an invitation to another Civil War. Maybe that’s what they want. I don’t see the choice between one political government over another political government to be any choice at all, we’d still end up with political government — a social system with a hundred-percent perfect rate of failure. Yet the idea of secession might explain what happened to the silent two-thirds of our population who did not vote in this loudly proclaimed political democracy.
I doubt if there are significant numbers of Americans who flat refuse to vote, not yet anyway, and I imagine that most Americans who do not vote shrug it off as irrelevant to their lives. The media calls it apathy. What is apathy? The dictionary says it’s "lack of interest or concern." What would cause a lack of interest or concern in two-thirds of the American population? Something about government? What would it be reasonable to suppose that Americans know for sure about their political government?
Taxes. Income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, money taken from people against their will under the threat of force. Foreign wars. Inexplicable and inexcusable use of force abroad, with the threat of the military draft not forgotten. Domestic wars. Inexplicable and inexcusable use of force against our fellow citizens; Wounded Knee, Kent State, Ruby Ridge, and Waco come to mind as well as relentless controls on guns, tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. Despicable politicians. With the exposed public lies of Nixon, Reagan, and Clinton most conspicuous, but with a legion of others merely forgotten under the sheer volume of them. Isn’t that enough? But let’s not forget the deep and widespread certainty that the big-ticket political promises, Social Security and Medicare, will fail in our lifetime. Americans know these things for sure.
Political government consists of force and fraud, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Two-thirds of our population do not approve and do not vote. That’s secession. When the same two-thirds discover a way to hide their money from political government, we may learn just how much our vote — in the marketplace — really does count.
Postscript: I wrote this essay immediately after the 2000 election. I would only add to the list of liars in political office today, and I still recommend quiet secession.
Robert Klassen [send him mail] retired from a forty-year career in critical-care respiratory therapy. He is the author of five books, including Atlantis: A Novel about Economic Government, and Economic Government, which describe a solution to the problem of political government. Here’s his web site.