How Is an Austrian Anarcho-Capitalist to Vote This November?

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Soon the mid-term
federal elections will be upon us once again. As this event nears,
the debate around the water fountains, in the media and on social
networks will once again center on whom or which party to vote for.
Strangely, the question rarely if ever heard is if one should vote
at all. I will hazard to guess that even among those who proclaim
themselves to be anti-state, Austrian, libertarian, anarchist etc.,
an overwhelming majority will unquestioningly head to the polls
on election day and cast their vote. With this brief essay I intend
to convince you that casting your vote in the upcoming federal or
any other election, staged by people who are running one of the
many monopolist governments so that you may "decide" who
among them is to be your master, is wrong.

The core argument
against voting is deceptively simple. If one is anti-state, then
it stands to reason that one will shun any avoidable action which
supports statist organizations. Ask yourself what (short of actually
running for election) can be more statist than voting? By engaging
for weeks in debates about the relative merits of the political
parties, then stepping out the door on voting day, driving to the
nearest polling place, accepting a ballot and casting your vote,
you are voluntarily and pro-actively initiating a string of actions
which are clearly in direct conflict with your avowed anti-state
principles.

Almost every
time, when stating that in my entire life I have never cast a political
vote and that I never will, I receive variations of one of the following
responses:

The first,
"you must exercise your franchise," is an obvious canard.
If I have a right to vote, I have an inclusive right to vote "none
of the above" by not casting a ballot. On top of that, there
is the little detail that it's a complete waste of time anyway unless
the margin happens to be one single vote. Any more than that and
your vote will do nothing to influence the matter. Then there is
of course the generally overlooked fact that governments are run
by people, millions of them. Even if we assume for a moment that
your vote influences the outcome (it doesn't), we're talking about
only a few hundred politicians. The millions of bureaucrats who
actually run the outfit are totally unaffected. That's not to suggest
that politicians are harmless. Far from it, but that's a topic for
another day.

Now let's look
at the second response, "if you don't vote, you can't complain."
I love this one. My reply is always the same. "No my friend,
if you vote you can't complain, because you obviously
support the statist system. You're voting for it, aren't you? I
on the other hand resist any temptation to vote in support of statism
or the politicians who use it so skillfully to camouflage the extortion
racket it is with pious u2018do good' slogans." It is therefore
only the man or woman who is principled enough to withhold his or
her vote who has earned the right to complain about the actions
of the people who run the state apparatus and the impact of those
actions on his or her freedom.

Last but not
least, there is the tired old argument, so frequently offered, that
one can/must at least choose "the lesser of two evils."
It is astounding how many self-professed Christians put this one
out for consumption. Choosing between two evils is still choosing
evil. Do they really not get this? Let me put it a different way.
How, pray tell, does choosing the lesser of two devils help bring
me closer to godliness?

So this coming
November, if you want to stand up and be counted as the true lover
of liberty you are, refuse to support the morally and ethically
fraudulent statist system you despise.

This
time stand proud and loudly vote "NO."

September
13, 2010

Robert Eschauzier
[send him mail] gives
allegiance to no state. He lives and works wherever opportunity
and freedom beckon, these days that sadly means mostly outside the
USA. A life-long entrepreneur, he considers himself an "autarchist,"
meaning that he views society/nature as a self (auto) regulating
arrangement, rather than a non (an-) regulating (chaotic) one. Since
discovering LRC and Mises.org about ten years ago, he has been a
voracious if informal student of Austrian economics.

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