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Author Topic: Politics is an immoral dead-end  (Read 60901 times)

srqrebel

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #165 on: November 14, 2007, 10:36 AM NHFT »

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Voting is force, but that only restricts pacifists - not anarchists - from using it.  If it is used for defensive purposes, then it is fully legitimate force, and not a violation of the ZAP.

I disagree.  Electoral voting is aggressive force.  While the simple act of pulling a lever or pushing a button in the voting booth does not constitute violence, the result of the act most certainly does.  When a person votes to elect another to a position of power, he or she is accomplice to every crime of the elected other.  For instance, many of the political types intend to vote for Ron Paul in one year's time.  Although Ron Paul will probably commit far fewer crimes than the other contenders, some innocents will assuredly suffer by his hand or those of his administration.  Your vote makes possible the commission of these crimes and ensures they continue in perpetuity.

Carl Watner makes the same argument in this article, titled "Is Voting an Act of Violence?": http://users.aol.com/vlntryst/wn103.html

This argument makes sense to me, yet there is another side to it which begs attention (or refutation)... so I am going to play the devil's advocate for a minute.  I am curious what the rest of you anarchists make of this:

Taking the Ron Paul candidacy as an example, it is undeniably obvious that a Ron Paul administration would create far less victims of violence than that of any other presidential candidate in this race.  This can easily be deduced by observing the track records of the candidates in their previous political offices.

If enough people care about that fact to vote for Ron Paul in the elections, a great deal of gov't violence will be prevented -- by the simple non-violent act of each person stating a preference. This is not a vote for the perpetuation of government itself: We can safely assume that option will definitely not be on the ballot.  Government will definitely continue to exist beyond this presidential election, regardless of whether you and I vote in it.

We know that if everyone who loves freedom decided not to vote, Ron Paul will not be our next president, and an opportunity to prevent a large amount of governmental violence will have been missed.  Of course, this is assuming that enough other people vote the same way I do, which is a distinct possibility.  On the other hand, if nobody at all voted, gov't would ostensibly cease to exist -- but that is categorically impossible, because at the very least gov't folks themselves will always vote, as long as ballot boxes exist.

So the question at the center of this issue is, "Am I responsible for allowing something bad to happen to my fellow man through my inaction, when I am aware that I could easily do something to prevent it?"
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #166 on: November 14, 2007, 10:41 AM NHFT »

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To look at it from a more technical standpoint, the claim that voting supports the actions of a given candidate is based on the notion that you have contracted with that candidate to do certain things, so you bear responsibility for his actions as a result.  I think that's a good summary...

Well, the system as it exists puts all of us in a state of duress.  They have the power to use violence to obtain compliance with their arbitrary rulings.  Since we are placed under duress by them, we cannot form a legitimate contract with them.  Contract obtained under duress are not valid.  As such, there is no contractural responsibility on the part of the electorate for the actions of the politicians.

No one is under any duress to vote.  Voting is a positive action and with it comes partial responsibility for the actions of the person you helped put into power.  Without the voters, the politicians would be able neither to claim legitimacy nor to achieve their criminal ends.

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To look at it another way, I would never vote for Ron Paul, but I would vote against every other candidate in that race.  But, as stated above, responsibility for his actions cannot exist with the electorate, due to the state of duress created by the government.  Contracts are simply not valid if obtained under duress.

If Ron Paul is elected to the presidency, the evil he will inflict will no doubt be lesser than that of the other candidates, but he will still do some evil and you would be responsible for that evil no matter how much you wish to excuse yourself.  Your argument would justify electing some of the most horrendous murderers in history, on the off-chance that their opponents would commit greater evils.  The blood of their victims would stain your hands too.

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I will listen only if the liner notes clearly identify this segment as "FTL masturbates with listeners"

Theory and ideology move mountains while you push at pebbles.
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MaineShark

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #167 on: November 14, 2007, 10:56 AM NHFT »

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To look at it from a more technical standpoint, the claim that voting supports the actions of a given candidate is based on the notion that you have contracted with that candidate to do certain things, so you bear responsibility for his actions as a result.  I think that's a good summary...

Well, the system as it exists puts all of us in a state of duress.  They have the power to use violence to obtain compliance with their arbitrary rulings.  Since we are placed under duress by them, we cannot form a legitimate contract with them.  Contract obtained under duress are not valid.  As such, there is no contractural responsibility on the part of the electorate for the actions of the politicians.

No one is under any duress to vote.  Voting is a positive action and with it comes partial responsibility for the actions of the person you helped put into power.

The contract you are supposing in which voters agree to accept responsibility for the actions of the politicians cannot exist, because the voters are already under duress.  Being under duress, the voters have every right to mitigate the damages they endure by doing what they can to select “less evil” candidates.  That selection cannot be “support” of that candidate, because the state of duress already existed.

If someone kidnaps you, nothing you do while under his control can be considered “support” of his actions against you, because your choices were not freely made.

Without the voters, the politicians would be able neither to claim legitimacy nor to achieve their criminal ends.

Clearly, because no non-elected dictator has ever caused harm...

That’s just an asinine statement.  They will do what they will do, regardless of whether you vote for them, or their opponents, or no one at all.  It has happened, you know... a town election in which no one showed up at the polls.  No one.  So all the incumbents just declared that the townsfolk obviously intended them to keep their positions, and stayed where they were.

The rest of your post is more of the same, so I don’t suppose there’s any particular reason to reply to it.  Basically, you are stuck on the notion that voting legitimizes the State.  By accepting that proposition, you have accepted the State.  As long as you hold onto that, you are a part of the State, and have no moral authority to judge an anarchist.

Joe
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srqrebel

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #168 on: November 14, 2007, 10:58 AM NHFT »

Will anyone be actually offended if I "tag" this masturbatory thread with an explicit, pornographic image of that act?

I think I will start the show tonight by discussing how both Mark and Dale's positions are counterproductive.
I will listen only if the liner notes clearly identify this segment as "FTL masturbates with listeners"

 :( Never thought I would smite Denis, but I just did.

Honest, thoughtful debate can be very productive... in fact, that cannot be stressed enough.  When done for the purpose of edification rather than to convince others of one's own superiority, it is a very effective thinking and learning tool.  When done respectfully, it also helps to clear the air and understand other peoples' points of view, which draws us closer together -- while the alternative is to not give a sh-t about folks who appear to espouse erroneous views, resulting in distancing and festering animosity.

If you have a point to make here, please do so.  Characterizing an educational debate as a self-gratifying sex act is both counterproductive and offensive.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #169 on: November 14, 2007, 11:15 AM NHFT »

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If you have a point to make here, please do so.  Characterizing an educational debate as a self-gratifying sex act is both counterproductive and offensive.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt insulted.

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Clearly, because no non-elected dictator has ever caused harm...

I was speaking in the context of the present system, the so-called democratic republic.  However, every dictator causes harm with the tacit support of a sizable segment of the population.

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The rest of your post is more of the same, so I don’t suppose there’s any particular reason to reply to it.  Basically, you are stuck on the notion that voting legitimizes the State.  By accepting that proposition, you have accepted the State.  As long as you hold onto that, you are a part of the State, and have no moral authority to judge an anarchist.

I do not think that voting legitimizes the State (I don't recall saying that but perhaps I did), only that it creates the illusion of legitimacy that agents of the State use to justify their actions.

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MaineShark

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #170 on: November 14, 2007, 11:46 AM NHFT »

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Clearly, because no non-elected dictator has ever caused harm...
I was speaking in the context of the present system, the so-called democratic republic.

Yes, you were speaking in that context.  I was speaking as an anarchist.

However, every dictator causes harm with the tacit support of a sizable segment of the population.

That’s an amusing notion.  Of course, since “sizable” is not defined, it’s a semantically-null statement.  In other words, talking for the sake of talking, without saying anything...

I do not think that voting legitimizes the State (I don't recall saying that but perhaps I did), only that it creates the illusion of legitimacy that agents of the State use to justify their actions.

You’ve said repeatedly that voting legitimizes the State.  You’ve tried to couch it in various other terms, but all your claims here boil down to that.  If voting does not legitimize the State, then it cannot be support of the State (by definition), and cannot be wrongful as such.

Your claim, repeatedly, is that voting is wrong because it legitimizes the State’s actions, thereby making the voter a party to those actions, which are (far more often than not) evil.  However, there is no magical reason why voting would legitimize the State.  That is a claim of the State, not something which exists as natural law or somesuch.  If you accept that claim, then you have accepted the system of the State and, since folks do vote, you have actually accepted the State as legitimate.

That position is not compatible with anarchy.  The State is not legitimate, and nothing can ever make it legitimate, including voting.  If voting does not legitimize the State’s actions, then it does not cause the voter to bear responsibility for them.

Joe
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Rodinia

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #171 on: November 14, 2007, 12:02 PM NHFT »

It seems like threads like this come about because those that love politics are pressuring others to join them. I guess those of us that hate government and the strange game of politics will have to weather the enthusiasm surrounding each election.
I look back with fondness to living in places where presidential primary candidates didn't visit. ;)
The State likes it when people jump on the  :treadmill:. I enjoy seeing people jump back off of it. I hope to see a few of you again soon, and I hope you don't mind that I stop by every once in a while  :soapbox: and remind you that your steps are leading nowhere. :Bolt:

I've noticed the contrary to be true about liberty minded,(alliteration warning) principled politico's pressuring people to participate in the political system. It seems in my experiences, those who would work outside the system have far greater contempt for those who choose to work within the system.
Personally speaking, I think both angles are necessary. I think many who don't find working inside the system to be immoral or a waste of time can appreciate what those who work outside the system do. I don't see this translate reciprocally all too often. This seem to fly in the face of individualism.
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Vitruvian

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #172 on: November 14, 2007, 12:10 PM NHFT »

From my second post in this thread:
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Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.

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Yes, you were speaking in that context.  I was speaking as an anarchist.


You are not the only anarchist posting here: my profile and previous posts say as much.

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That’s an amusing notion.  Of course, since “sizable” is not defined, it’s a semantically-null statement.  In other words, talking for the sake of talking, without saying anything...

You have not defined any words thus far; does that make them "semantically-null," "talking for the sake of talking"?  Find a dictionary if you want a definition.  Are you also suggesting that historical dictators lacked any support among the populations they claimed to rule?  And, if not, what measurable forms could this support possibly take?

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The State is not legitimate, and nothing can ever make it legitimate, including voting.

As you must know, the vast majority of people on this planet view governments as legitimate entities, otherwise States simply could not sustain themselves.  Their legitimacy is an illusion.  But the larger issue remains: I claim that voting is immoral because it enables aggressive violence against innocents not because it perpetuates this illusion.

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srqrebel

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #173 on: November 14, 2007, 12:25 PM NHFT »


If voting does not legitimize the State’s actions, then it does not cause the voter to bear responsibility for them.

Joe

If that is true, then the same could be said for other things, such as paying income tax: If one pays the income tax demanded by the State (regardless of whether or not there is an actual law), does that legitimize the State's actions?  If not, then does it follow that one does not share any responsibility for the acts of war, torture, etc. that the State commits, when one chooses to hand them the funds to do so?

While it does not actually give the State legitimacy, funding it through payment of taxes at least appears to perpetuate its existence.  The same can be said for voting.

When there is an option for abolishing the State -- or even a single elected office -- on the ballot, I will personally feel no ambivalence toward voting.  Voting for "lesser evils" (or against greater evils >:D) is a gray area for me, and one that I am increasingly uncomfortable with.

By the way, thank you Vitruvian for starting a debate on this subject.  It has long been a gray area for me, and one I have unknowingly been avoiding thinking about.  This discussion is helping to bring this subject into sharper perspective for me, by motivating me to think about it, as well as benefitting from other peoples' diverse insights, including yours :)
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srqrebel

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #174 on: November 14, 2007, 12:30 PM NHFT »

From my second post in this thread:
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Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.


This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

It is worth adding that therein lies the effectiveness of Lauren Canario's brand of activism.  It lends no illusion of credibility to the State.  Instead, it motivates ordinary folks to think about something that they would otherwise never consider: "Is the State itself actually such a "necessary" evil -- or could we do without it?"  It strikes at the very root of the evil of the State.  If she combined that activism with voting and supporting political candidates, it would only preserve the illusion that the State can ultimately save us from tyranny, and ordinary folks would dismiss her message because of the apparent inconsistency.

The trick is to motivate more and more people to think.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 12:47 PM NHFT by srqrebel »
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CNHT

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #175 on: November 14, 2007, 12:39 PM NHFT »

From my second post in this thread:
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Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.


This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.


So is Vitruvian now the new NH Free Jesus?

 :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:
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srqrebel

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #176 on: November 14, 2007, 01:00 PM NHFT »

From my second post in this thread:
Quote
Participation in the "system" preserves the illusion of its legitimacy.  This obstructs all who strive to convince others that it is illegitimate.

I think I have been quite consistent on this point.


This is the point that Vitruvian has been making all along, and I have yet to see any attempt at a rebuttal.

If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.


So is Vitruvian now the new NH Free Jesus?

 :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep: :sheep:

WTF Jane?  What exactly are you implying?  If you are implying that I am blindly following the ideology of another, you need to go back and read my post more carefully.

What part of "which I personally can think of none" don't you understand?  Just so you know, every belief I hold is filtered through my mind before I accept it as my own.  That in no way precludes me from learning from the insights of others.

If you only hold beliefs that are original to your own mind, then your degree of personal growth must be pitiful indeed.  The same is true if your beliefs remain static rather than evolving.

There is a reason I have you on ignore.  Unfortunately, the "ignore" function does not block your posts from showing up when I am in the middle of posting a reply.
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KBCraig

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #177 on: November 14, 2007, 01:14 PM NHFT »

I finally figured out how to look in the database at who does what with karma.  There isn't much info, but it appears just one persistent person is dinging your karma.  Seems like he'd get a life.

The +/- systems seems to have thrown him for a loop. It's been holding at -1391 for a day or more.

Many thanks to those who have joined my effort to boost Joe back up.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 01:22 PM NHFT by KBCraig »
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CNHT

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #178 on: November 14, 2007, 01:24 PM NHFT »

WTF Jane?  What exactly are you implying?  If you are implying that I am blindly following the ideology of another, you need to go back and read my post more carefully.

Does trying to be funny count? I know a lot of people's ideas that I can't necessarily refute, but it doesn't mean I should suddenly say I am inclined to have to adopt them.

There is a reason I have you on ignore.

Let me guess; because you have no sense of humor?

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Rocketman

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Re: Politics is an immoral dead-end
« Reply #179 on: November 14, 2007, 02:27 PM NHFT »


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If there is no sound rebuttal of this argument (which I personally can think of none), I have no choice but to adopt this view as my own.

On my list of things to do for this evening, srqrebel... hope I can put together a good case.   :)
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