L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 186, August 12, 2002
DOING THE RIGHT THING?
The Moral Outrage of Voting
Exclusive to TLE
In my county in the 2000 election, 1,306 votes were cast for the Libertarian candidate for president. Did these folks care about their freedom? Did they think they were Doing The Right Thing? As one of those people, I can say that probably they did. There is nothing that I can say about this mistake except that I was ignorant, naive, and foolish ("I didn't know it was loaded."). If I could, I would ask those voters one question: How dare you?
I would not dare trespass on another man's property and attempt to tell him what to do with it. I would not dare to enter another family's home in order to seek out and destroy objects I didn't like. I would never presume to force someone, on pain of death, to obey my whims. So how did you dare to do it?
You, who so proudly voted for "Liberty". No matter which candidate you endorsed, by voting in that public election, you implicitly affirmed your approval of the process that allows your liberty to be stripped from you. Moreover, you endorsed not only your own slavery, but the slavery of everyone else as well. You willingly, under no compulsion or coercion, decided that your inalienable rights as a human being were to be given over to a small collection of people to be disposed of as they see fit. In effect, you said that you have a vague preference for one set of masters, but that you will accept whatever set of owners the process produces for you.
That is what you have, after all: owners. If you own something, you can do with it as you see fit. Your "civil servants" can dispose of your life, liberty, and property at their whim. They always have, and they always will. Even worse, your ballot endorsed the wholesale disposal of everyone within its scope. Your vote is proof that you accept and approve of this disposal. My life is not for you to casually discard via an anonymous piece of paper. You gave away that which was not yours to give.
By signing that voter record, you wrote a blank check on your life, and you are endorsing any check presented on anyone else's life. "The Government" hounds a man to death? You approved of that process. A "public employee" shoots a child in the back as he runs away? You endorsed being "protected" by that agency, didn't you? You can have no complaint if you vote.
Did you really believe that your life should be put to a vote? My life is not to be put to a majority-plus-one vote, nor even to a unanimous vote: my life is not something to be voted on. Neither are my freedom, nor my property available for your approval or disapproval. I will not enslave you, steal from you, or kill you. But again, with every ballot that you cast, you either do these things to me directly, or participate in the process that allows them to be done in your name.
Did you believe that since you pulled a lever in a voting booth and not a trigger in a dark alley, that you are morally superior to a man who did? You may claim that you were voting in defense of your own life. If the vote were really that plain to you, would you still have participated? Would you have watched the election polls closely, to see if you would live or die? Would you have debated the subject? Would you have sought more recruits to participate in this vote, in the hope that they would choose your life over the spectacle of your death? Or would it have occurred to you that you were encouraging your own murder? How can you defend yourself against murder by first acknowledging that your enemy has the moral authority to murder you? What defense could you possibly mount after admitting that?
The more people that participate in murder and theft, the thinner the blame is spread. One man who kills is branded a murderer, but one million who kill in unison are hailed as citizens. A single thief can be stopped with locks, but what of ten thousand thieves, with the power of your own sanction behind them? How does participating in organized theft prevent you from being robbed? After claiming power over the property of others, how can you complain when they exercise the same power over you?
To add insult to injury, Voter, you attempted to encourage me to participate in this charade! You told me that everyone's opinion counts, that I have to follow "the process", that this is the way the Sacred Document says it should be done. To this I say: My life is not a matter of opinion, least of all yours. I claim no power over your life, and you have no claim to mine. I will keep my own counsel - I will not participate in your "process". After all, what can I expect to be processed into except fertilizer or food? As for your sacred text, as a wise man said many years ago "...it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist."
My reaction to this scam, this attempt to dupe me into participating in my own enslavement and murder, is cold moral outrage. How dare you?
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