Monday, August 24, 2009

Politics: yea or nay?

One thing libertarians love to argue over is whether or not participation in politics does any good. It's an issue I have mixed views on.

On one hand, I reject the ridiculous view that voting per se is an act of "aggression." I think all libertarians should vote, if only to give a big fat NO to every new statist measure being proposed. Yes, it's ridiculous that anyone should have the "right" to vote away the life or property or someone else. But so long as we live under this sham system, it's stupid and futile to sit it out on "principle" as the state grows larger and more fascistic. Not voting may make you feel super duper principled or warm'n'fuzzy inside, but let's face reality: nobody gives a damn. Scream it from the rooftops all you want, 'cause it doesn't make any difference to the mob.

Voting for politicians is a different story. There are precious few Republicans (and almost zero Democrats--maybe Kucinich if he toned down his socialism) I would ever vote to put in Congress. I would love to see a Peter Schiff, a Rand Paul or a Murray Sabrin get in there as a Republican. If they were running in my state they would get my vote.

I just can't see any of these dudes even getting nominated, let alone elected. The only libertarian who has managed to get elected as a Republican has been Ron Paul. The GOP is simply too controlled by its base of medieval theocrats and paranoid 'national-security' bozos for it to ever happen. Any time a libertarian tries to run, the theocrats and Dr. Strangeloves whine "He ain't no conservative dagnabbit! He one of dem libertarians!"

I hope I'm wrong. I hope some of these guys can get elected as Republicans. But it seems so unlikely that it isn't worth the investment. Donating to one of their money bombs is throwing money down a rat hole IMO.

So the GOP is basically out. What about the LP? They'll never win anything, but I'll usually piss away my vote on the rare occasion that they have a candidate for Congress.

But isn't it a waste to vote Libertarian? I don't think so. Even though the LP candidate can't possibly win, it doesn't make the vote meaningless. If the LP works as a "spoiler" for the Republican party (as it has before), or if a very high percentage of people started voting Libertarian, it would force the Republicrats to listen to our ideas and adopt policies that are at least a hair closer to what we'd like to see.

Remember: the Socialist Party succeeded in most of its goals without winning a single election.

But what to do about the current LP, which is hopelessly lame? Not much, except to deny them a single red cent or vote until it goes back to being libertarian again.

To sum it up, I support the idea of voting "no" on statist measures as a necessary evil for living in our statist society. When it comes to politicians, you should either vote third party or not vote at all (or, in the extremely rare case of a Ron Paul type politician, vote for him). Never donate one red cent to any campaign though, because it will always be a big waste. Your money is far better spent on libertarian organizations that educate people, which will in turn hopefully get the more libertarian candidates elected anyway.

I'll stop rambling now.

UPDATE: What about agorism? I support it as the ultimate (and only realistic) step to transition to a market anarchist society. Unfortunately, it's irrelevant in today's world.

Perhaps in a thousand years the masses will organize and teh glorious agorist revolution will ensue. Until that happens (which will probably be never, and certainly not in our lifetimes), there's nothing to discuss. I'm more concerned with minimizing the damage here and now.


  1. I see no benefit in freezing things in place as they currently are.

  2. Neither do I. I want to reduce the power of the state or at least stop its growth where I can.

  3. "Stop its growth" is the same as "freezing things in place." And it's the best you'll ever accomplish at this point. No, I'd rather welcome the coming collapse and be prepared to take advantage of whatever chance for freedom arises from it.

  4. The state isn't going to collapse. It will eventually go into an extreme crisis--perhaps one that will end the US' role as super power/empire--but that's about it. Libertarians expecting state collapse are going to be very disappointed.

    If history tells us anything, it's that states are pretty good at cementing their own power.

  5. Yes. There's adage in politic world: "There's no eternal friend or eternal enemy, but only eternal interests".

    Greeting from Indonesia.

  6. WTF are you talking about? If history tells us anything, it's that states collapse all the time. It's economically inevitable.

  7. You're confusing states with empires. Empires certainly collapse, but few states die for good. The Russian state is still around even long after the death of the Soviet Empire. Ditto for the British state and many others.

    The US government is not going to collapse (as wonderful as that would be).

  8. We can still hope for a collapse (or wish for it).

    One possibility in the U.S. remains secession (an original right of the individual states destroyed by the evil Lincoln, but which yet has life), which would not leave us stateless, but would lead to decentralization, and probably more opportunities to realize a much freer society than anything we have now.


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