This European Election Season I Won’t Be Voting, and You Shouldn’t Either

by Ian Golan

I do not vote. And I greet anyone who does with a disrespectful smirk.

There are few things I did over the course of my 22-year existence that I am ashamed of. But the one thing I am the most embarrassed about is my act on the 23rd of June 2020. It was on that day that I applied my ink pen to a mail-in ballot card. I partook in the utmost sacred statist ritual of voting. I sold my soul for that election cycle. The only saving grace of my foolishness is that the presidential candidate I cast my ballot for got only 0.14% of the vote. This was my first and last endeavour as a voter. The ballot for the second round of the election, where the choice was limited to only two candidates, I kept to this day unmarked. 

I am an oddity, but I am a part of a suppressed majority. In most countries, participation in the political process rarely goes beyond half of the eligible population. The belief that voting is a waste of time is widespread amongst the populace and uncovered in a grand act of disobedience every single election. Despite long hours of civics classes, tacky pleas from celebrities and preposterous in their insulting simplicity posters on every street corner, a high portion of individuals decides to abstain from the statist ritual, in favour of continuing the normal course of their day. A preference revealed in their inaction on election day shows they consider voting a ludicrous endeavour, just as do I. I am just the rare case of a human who proudly admits he refuses to vote, while others squirm in shame about their failure to uphold the supposed duty of the citizen.

Voting is Foolish

The sacrilegious notion encapsulated in the title above is prone to make vehement enemies. Still, one needs to abandon all reason to refute it. The problem with voting is not just the fact that in the majority of the world, the political offer on the ballots lacks candidates who could meaningfully constrain the state for the upcoming term. The core of my argument is the implausible odds of an individual impacting the electoral outcome. The probability is zero. Your vote doesn’t count. In most jurisdictions, voting is more irrational than spending money on Mega Jackpot Lotteries. Whether this election day you queue for an hour to fill a single ballot or sleep for an hour longer, the election result will be the same. Electoral outcomes decided by a single vote are incredibly rare. And even more rare are parliamentary votes hanging on a single vote. Your utmost favourite or loathed politician will get elected no matter what you do on election day. It is more likely that you will get hit by a car on the way to the polling station, than that your vote will matter. The rational stay home on election day.

Voting is Cultish

Why does voting  then remain such a sacred cow? Why am I destined to infuriate so many with my case for non-voting? What drives this electoral frenzy?

Well, the stakes of this argument are very high for any government. Voting is the fundamental axiom of all modern statism. It is the central lie that the state relies on to reinforce the sole justification of its existence, the imaginary social contract. Once it is stripped away, all actions of the government can be seen in their full horror as unjustified violence. Exorbitant taxation to fill its coffers becomes an obvious case of extortion. The prosecution of victimless crime turns out to be banditry.  Conscription is revealed as barbaric slavery. The emperor has no clothes. The state stripped of the democratic smoke cover is seen as merely the most successful crime syndicate on planet Earth. A well-organised squad of goons who successfully built a complex mythology around their monopoly on violence. The point about the nature of the state is historically verifiable. No state emerged through its citizens unanimously signing social contracts. The social contract is merely an ad-hoc rationalisation of evil. Every single time the state has been created by violence and rampage. The denizens of a particular territory terrorised into obedience and then propagandised into a belief that this is all in service of their own good. 

Voting is a faux imitation of consent. Its absurdity was greatly encapsulated in an example constructed by Murray Rothbard in his Anatomy of the State.Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have “committed suicide,” since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part”

For the state to continue its existence all citizens need to be forced into meek obedience. They need to be indoctrinated since kindergarten. They need to be absorbed into a cult. 

The cult at hand is quite peculiar but undeniably adept in delivering on its purpose. It has powerful symbols that evoke strong emotions in the devotees. It has its saints spread around the country on monuments, paintings and street names.  It has temples in every city. It has ingenious publicity campaigns and its newspapers, radios and TV stations funded by cult members and non-members alike. It is present in our lives every month and every week.

And then comes the most holy of days for statists: the election day.  All the faithful must embark on a pious pilgrimage to the polling station. They need to partake in the holy rite of voting and receive the holy benediction in the form of a sacred “I voted” sticker. 

Abstention is Liberation

I am a sceptic of that cult. I plan to never vote again. I won’t be queuing for hours in front of the temples of the statist religion. I won’t be marking candidates on the pieces of paper with holy ink. 

If you were convinced by the article to not vote, but you still feel pressured to vote by your social circle you will find some useful tips here for your predicament.

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