Lesser Evil?

While it is certainly tempting to take pleasure in the defeat of the republicans in congress, it would be incorrect to imagine that something actually important happened November 7, when supporters of the united states government went to the polls.  The conventional wisdom may be that there is a real difference between having one party or another as our rulers, but the democrats are just as vicious, acquisitive, authoritarian, and hypocritical as the republicans and have no more interest in individual liberty than those they will replace. Continue reading

Four More Years of Government and War

Although it would have been nice to see the bums kicked out, it really matters little who won the election.  Kerry and Bush were both committed to pursuing the war in iraq, limiting the freedoms of americans for “our own protection,” and otherwise engaging in the standard government business of pillage and violence.

But the politicians have not maintained their grip on power by themselves.  The voters of this country have imposed their preferred masters on those of us who choose not to participate in the vile process of selecting our rulers.  Those who vote may well be considered to have given their consent to being governed, but unfortunately they and those they elect believe the rest of us should also be bound by the results of their election, whether we like it or not.  While we can abstain from voting, there is no practical way to completely escape the domination of governments and their supporters.

Not only do these voters and politicians impose their will on those of us here in the united states who simply want to be left alone, they are responsible for spreading death and destruction around the world.  American troops have just devastated Fallujah, the most recent chapter in their campaign of terror that has murdered thousands of non-combatants in iraq.  United states occupiers prop up the brutes who run afghanistan.  Money from Washington enables the israeli military to continue its brutal rule over gaza and the west bank.  American sanctions impoverish the people in cuba and help sustain the nasty government of Castro and his allies.  Meddling by united states politicians and military forces has subjected the people of haiti to one murderous government after another and impoverished the country.  The list of violent and destructive activities by the american government all over the world goes on and on.

Unfortunately, most americans appear to support their government in terrorizing the neighborhood.  Not only this, but they are eager to give up more and more of their own freedom.  Even though there have been no further violent attacks like the ones on September 11 several years ago, which provided the excuse for the most recent rampages of the american military through afghanistan and iraq, the government wants more and more power to watch over us, interfere with our travel, monitor what we read, pat us down at airports, and encourage people to be suspicious of others, all in the name of the “war on terror.”  And the voters show their support for this nonsense by turning out by the millions to vote for more of the same.  The politicians and bureaucrats lie to people about the real likelihood of violent attacks in order to justify the growth of their police state.  But most people take these manipulators at their word, making no effort to learn about the world and evaluate risks and benefits on their own.  They seem to have forgotten the joke about the three great lies, one of which is “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.”

The american news media continue to play an essential part in this campaign of disinformation.  They parrot the government’s line on most things, fawn over the military, and basically function as cheerleaders for the slaughter in iraq.  Of course they give coverage to the more extreme cases of outright murder and mistreatment by american military personnel, like the killing of unarmed people and the abuse of prisoners.  But most of the stories by the TV anchors and embedded reporters portray the war in iraq as a generally virtuous endeavor, with the occasional excess perpetrated by misguided individuals.

Newscasters and reporters uncritically use the vocabulary created by the government and military, writing about the “war on terror,” “coalition forces,” the “sunni triangle,” and “terrorist” iraqi “insurgents.”  They write story after story about the hardships endured by american soldiers and their families, despite the fact that everyone in the american killing machine is a volunteer and knew what they were signing up for.  Most of the press and other news sources defer to government, defend its policies, and drum up support for its military adventures among readers and viewers.

But despite the propaganda of the government and its fans in the news media, the responsibility for supporting or opposing government lies with each individual.  Governments would not exist without the support of most of their subjects.  People can choose to either follow the lead of the rulers and their agents, or think for themselves and stand up for their freedom not to be told what to do or robbed to pay for slaughter around the world.  Voting, joining the military, and otherwise propping up the state through voluntary acts of submission, show the failure of people to think for themselves, critically evaluate the conduct of government, and envision a better alternative to the world that exists.  Unless people become free-thinkers and withdraw their support from the state, recognizing they are capable of living their lives free of coercion, the cycle of war and domination will go on.

The War Parties Fight It Out

In preparation for the election in November, Bush and Kerry are each trying to convince voters that he and his party are the better warriors.  As the carnage in iraq goes on, with the abuse and murder of non-combatants and prisoners by the american military there, Kerry is making it clear that, if elected, he will continue the occupation and do his best to expand the military.

Most of the opponents of the war who vote will, of course, vote for the democrats, despite their pro-war positions.  Too many believe there is an important difference between the parties and will thus try to elect Kerry the war-monger because of their hatred for Bush the war-monger.

During the last democrat presidency, the united states military invaded haiti, bombed innocent people in serbia, sudan, and afghanistan, and continued the bombing and sanction campaign that devastated and impoverished iraq, resulting in the deaths of thousands of regular people.  In fact, during most of the decade preceding the September 2001 murder by airplane of hundreds of people in new york and pennsylvania, it was democrats who controlled the american military and foreign policy establishment.  It was their meddling in the affairs of other countries created the loathing for the united states government that led to these killings.  Meanwhile, at home, Clinton did his best to get his own version of the patriot act passed in order to make it easier for the government to monitor residents of america who speak out against government murder and repression.

Whatever their differences, and there are some, the parties are united in their contempt for individual freedom and their dedication to violence to get what they want.  It is foolhardy for anyone to believe that a  democrat president will end the war, free the prisoners held and abused in secret in iraq, cuba, or the “homeland,” or make anyone more free.  By voting, people simply strengthen the institutions of government and give aid and comfort to the enemies of liberty.  The time spent campaigning for Kerry (or Nader or Sharpton or Kucinich) by those who seek an end to war and a freer world is being wasted.  The state will never be a friend of freedom or a force for peace.  Even if the candidates were motivated by the best intentions, which is clearly not the case, they could not accomplish good ends by using the evil means which would be at their disposal as president.  Taxation, the police, the military, and the laws, rules, and regulations by which the lives of people both here and abroad are ordered, restricted, and sometimes ended, are what make government what it is.  Force and violence are its lifeblood, and nobody elected to office can change the basic nature of politics and government.  Nobody can use the military, police, and legal system, institutions based on hierarchy, servile obedience, and violence, to expand anyone’s freedom.  Only by abolishing government can we advance the cause of liberty.

Nobody who runs for office will end the war, abolish taxes, dismantle the FBI, or make you free.  So don’t waste your time, vote for nobody.

 

Voting Anarchists: An Oxymoron or What?

          While historically anarchists assiduously avoided any involvement with electoral politics, in more recent times, at least in the united states, some anarchists have advocated voting.  The arguments these voting anarchists put forward are generally the same as those put forward by other leftists who are unable or unwilling to completely sever their connection to the political process.  They argue that voting for their candidate, usually described as a lesser evil and usually (if not always) a Democrat, is necessary to prevent united states aggression against some favored revolutionary state (like sandinista nicaragua), is some sort of self-defense against the more conservative candidate, or is merely better than “apathy,” as some describe abstention from voting.  While one could argue against voting simply because it rarely, if ever, accomplishes any of the goals its advocates claim it can, there is a more fundamental reason for anarchists to oppose voting: voting in government elections is an inherently authoritarian activity, and authoritarian means never yield libertarian results. Continue reading