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L. Neil Smith's
Number 470, June 1, 2008

".470 Nitro Express"

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Can there be a better time to STOP VOTING?
by Dennis Wilson

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Can there be a better time to STOP VOTING?

The Libertarian Party, a political organization, was started by and for libertarians. Since the Denver convention on Memorial weekend, 2008, it should now be painfully obvious that the political Party—created by and for libertarians—cannot be maintained and sustained by libertarians. What better proof could any libertarian need to convince himself or herself of the futility of solving problems by political means such as voting?

The Libertarian Party offered a refuge for Ron Paul supporters alienated by the Republican Party. But what is the refuge for libertarians and Ron Paul supporters who are now alienated by last weekend's Denver Disaster? The newly formed LINO Party does not offer a sensible, principled alternative to the BOYN Party(s). How much longer will the new LINO Party continue endorsing the Non Aggression Principle? Or continue to refuse matching funds? Will anyone be surprised if the LINO presidential nominee suddenly endorses Mad Bomber McCain, or negotiates to become McCain's VP?

This is an excellent time to consider some alternatives to voting and to review some of the numerous reasons to deliberately STOP VOTING. I would like to initiate that thinking process with the following references.

  • "By voting, we can maintain the fiction that we are in control over the government. We can imagine that government is limited. We can view the voting cum government as a species of self-government, rather than the imitation that it is."
    Excerpted from Why Limited Representative Government Fails [1] by Michael S. Rozeff. The article is also worth reviewing for other related reasons, as indicated by the title.

  • "Political systems derive their power not from guns and prisons, but from the willingness of those who are to be ruled to expend their energies on their behalf. For state power to exist, a significant number of men and women must sanction the idea of being ruled by others..."
    Butler Shaffer [2]

If you vote, you sanction the government and the terms that they impose. As long as people keep voting, they keep supporting the government that they have—and government knows they have that support and continues to function the way it does, because of that support.

Furthermore, it has been said—and proven many times—that most write-in votes and absentee votes don't get counted (unless they are votes written in by absentee tombstone voters in Lyndon Johnson's early elections). However, the fact that the vote was cast DOES get counted as an eligible-voter-who-voted and therefore will be considered as participating in and sanctioning the system of voting itself.

Consider that the "mighty" Soviet Union collapsed without violence. After 70 years of rule, the government lost the support of its people and the empire crumbled. The same thing happened to the British Empire. Withdrawing support from government does work! More research on this subject would be of greater value than supporting a political party or voting.

What if an election was held and nobody voted?

Contemplate that question. Just how close IS this country to having less than 50% voting? I found this 1996 article [3] from an Oregon news service very interesting. It was asking the same questions (selected excerpts):

What if we held an election and nobody came? Voter turnout is plummeting.

Whether the "Republican Revolution" made you cheer or want to move to Canada, it's hard to take solace in the final scorecard for November 1994: 20 percent support for Republican congressional candidates, 18 percent for Democrats, and 62 percent for none of the above.

Just 56 percent of registered voters in America actually cast ballots in that election. Considering those who weren't even registered, just 38 percent of America's adults voted. Nearly 80 percent of twenty somethings just said "no" to voting.

The rest of the article rambles around, but those voting percentages are interesting.

I cannot help but wonder if the United Nations would declare the US government invalid if voting fell below 50% of eligible, registered voters? They have done so with regard to other countries. Elections with low turnout are always suspect. Low turnouts indicate low trust in the integrity of the governing body. That is why governments make a big push to "get out and vote". They NEED that sanction. By voting, you help keep that count above the 50% line.

The futility of voting:

The whole political campaign process is just a huge, futile waste of resources. In the end it ALWAYS comes down this:

"The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

This observation is attributed to a renown and acknowledged expert on the subject, Josef Stalin. For evidence that is more recent than the common knowledge about Lyndon Johnson, review the 2000 presidential election in the USA, especially the Florida returns, and review some of the corruption revealed during Ron Paul's primary campaign.

Moral considerations:

The current USA federal and various state, county and city governments are immoral, organized systems of mob rule and plunder. I consider participation in such a system to also be immoral. I hasten to acknowledge that many people have not completely thought thru all the issues—because until only a few years ago, I was one of those people. The view of government as completely immoral and the concept of "refusing to vote" are not popular subjects amongst the news media and their government regulators. Such "radical" ideas usually only get introduced and discussed in articles and publications such as this. And it is here that a newly aroused reader can get pointers to similar articles. Having recently traveled that path, I hope to leave a wider trail for others.

Many people who already hold the view that government is immoral, still decide to vote, citing the moral justification of self-defense. Although I sympathize with their moral position (having long held the same view), I consider the self-defense argument to be more a rationalization than a moral justification. In practice, I have not seen any evidence that "voting in self defense" accomplishes anything constructive.

Except for a measure to increase taxes (votes for which are counted by the initiating government agencies), voting in self-defense is not usually a response to a direct, immediate threat, but rather to a long-term threat posed by the system itself—and the very act of voting validates acceptance of the terms dictated by the system. The self-defense argument is usually a simple failure to understand how voting sanctions the actions of an overbearing government. "After all" the government will proclaim, "You voted so you implicitly agreed to accept the majority decision".

The MORAL position is that MY life, liberty and property ARE NOT SUBJECT TO majority wishes, whims or voting of any kind—and I refuse to participate in any kind of activity (such as voting) that can so easily be misconstrued as consent to deprive me. Never forget who counts the votes.

Do something, refuse to vote!

Please do not conflate "NOT VOTING" with "DOING NOTHING". Based on personal observation over the past 50+ years, VOTING has accomplished absolutely NOTHING except to deceive a lot of people into thinking that the USA federal and various state, county and city governments are actually being controlled by voters and/or written constitutions. It should be painfully obvious that we live in a militarized police state and the governments and their courts operate without any control whatsoever.

As for "doing nothing", there is a concept commonly known as FREE YOURSELF [4]. Harry Browne's book "How I Found Freedom In An Unfree World" has to be the foremost proponent of this concept. For those who want to "do something", consider what it takes to FREE YOURSELF [4], become a Sovereign Individual, secede from the fraudulent protection offered by governments at all levels, seek out and trade with other Sovereign Individuals, and prepare to defend your life, liberty and property—hopefully with the voluntary cooperation of other Sovereign Individuals—should such action become necessary.

The Libertarian Political Party is dead, leave it to the politicians.

During a POLITICAL convention in Denver, libertarians lost to POLITICIANS. Is anyone really surprised? Libertarians played politics with politicians using politician's rules and expected to win? Vain attempts will undoubtedly be made to "resurrect" the Libertarian Political Party by a dwindling number of libertarians—doing what they hate and have proven they cannot do—contending against a growing number of politicians—doing what they love and have always been successful doing. To those who would attempt to "resurrect" the Party, I say, "Let it go!" Politics is not the answer, it is part of the problem. It sucks resources from libertarians that would be better utilized where libertarians have strength instead of weakness (see below). Pursue your strengths, not your weakness. Discover for yourself that there IS life outside of politics. Libertarians are not and cannot be politicians. They have too much integrity. Politics is part of the problem; it cannot be part of the solution. That is the contradiction of a Libertarian "Political" Party and that contradiction has been brutally and undeniably demonstrated in Denver.

There is life after politics.

Now that the LP has evolved into the LINO Party, I personally hope that more intellectual time and energy will be expended exploring the virtues of living with rational rules but without rulers (anarchy), the virtues of being a Sovereign Individual (FREE YOURSELF), and the virtues and ways and means of "Gulching" such as Free State Wyoming & New Hampshire, Free County Projects such as Loving County, Texas [5], gated communities like the proposed Paulville,[6] outside of Dell City, Texas for Ron Paul enthusiasts, and Supersedure Zones for Signatories to the Covenant of Unanimous Consent.


STOP VOTING and do something useful!


[1] Why Limited Representative Government Fails by Michael S. Rozeff

[2] Butler Schaffer has assembled an e-book of his writings, available at no charge, and titled The Wizards of Ozymandias which may be found at The above quote is from the first chapter in that e-book.

[3] 1996 article [3] (from Oregon):

[4] For those interested in more suggestions regarding FREE YOURSELF please read, beginning at the three "* * *", the second part of my article at:

[5] Loving County, Texas—At less than 60 (2006 est.), it is the lowest populated county in the USA.,_Texas

[6] Libertarianism and utopianism are part of the plans for Paulville, outside of Dell City, Tex. For now, the town is little more than an idea and a title deed to a 50-acre parcel of desert. The goal, according to is "to establish gated communities containing 100 percent Ron Paul supporters and/or people that live by the ideals of freedom and liberty."

Dennis Wilson is philosophically an Objectivist and the creator of Atlas Shrugged Celebration Day in Ouray, Colorado which features Judge Narragansett's New Constitution Project which in turn demonstrated to him the unworkability of "constitutional" governments. (Note: There is no formal "Objectivist Politics", only indications of Ayn Rand's preferences). As a consequence, he discovered and became a Signatory to and ardent advocate of L. Neil Smith's Covenant of Unanimous Consent and has written articles about it and other libertarian issues.

He is a semi-retired architectural designer, computer software engineer and commodity speculator who has witnessed Arizona change from Barry Goldwater Libertarianism to Bomber McCain Madness and plans to change his residence to Free State Wyoming, hopefully living among other Signatories.

Visit his personal website & blog at and his graphic designs at Artemis Zuna Trading Post

Index to his published articles:


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