Recently by Michael S. Rozeff: Vote, If…
Many ideas depend heavily on context and premises. On voting vs. not voting, attempting any kind of cost-benefit analysis presumes a link between a person’s vote and an effect on his life via the government’s measures or responses. There are those who think it’s worth it to vote libertarian, say, or to write in a name. This kind of cost-benefit calculation presumes business as usual, i.e., change occurring through government as the conveyor belt between the people’s votes and their welfare.
I argue that the conveyor belt is not only frayed, ragged, but torn to shreds and no longer even moving. Besides, there are all kinds of disparate groups in America. There is no single "society" behind this single government that, in any case, is doing as it pleases. Really, the vote-government system simply produces a mish-mash mess of legislation and rules that pretend to serve a "people" and a "society" that don’t exist. The government is operating in pretend mode. It’s serving all sorts of special interests. We’ve been getting irrational results out of this for as long as I can remember.
In this context, what is needed is to WAKE UP to reality and cope with it as it is, or else we all just keep on going downhill due to MISH-MASH and MESS imposed by government. Not voting is a psychological act. It is a breaking free from allegiance to a system that is broken. That’s far more important than any conceivable benefit from a cost-benefit standpoint of voting. The idea is to get free of the warfare-welfare state and its crazy impositions domestically and its empire overseas. The premise of not voting is not to change the system through that system, but to change that system through a change in thinking and ideas at the personal level that then leads to social change and a basic change in how 300 million people govern themselves. It’s a bottom up notion. It’s educational in nature. The context is really a change toward an ethics of liberty. This is a slow process and formless. There’s no formula to it. We can’t get right without doing right. Every small step to doing right reinforces it and has a tendency to spread in unanticipated ways. At present, voting is an act of domestic warfare, with winner take all. That’s no way to live. It’s as simple as that. My social theory of change, such as it is, emphasizes changing thinking at the individual level as a necessary condition for any successful and long-lasting social change.
Michael S. Rozeff [send him mail] is a retired Professor of Finance living in East Amherst, New York. He is the author of the free e-book Essays on American Empire: Liberty vs. Domination and the free e-book The U.S. Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline.