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(en) US, California, The dawn* #4 - Nine Reasons Not to Vote by “The Ministry of Subjectivity”

From <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Mon, 18 Oct 2004 07:57:00 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
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What we know as Democracy is nothing more than a fleeting moment of
illusory power. Once every few years we are allowed to select a new ruler
from a virtually identical selection – very similar to our sacrosanct
freedom to choose from a myriad of prosaic commodities. In our
supposedly democratic political system, our participation rarely ventures
beyond the ballot box, resulting in apathy and boredom. Voting
extinguishes our yearning for direct action and stultifies our ability to
organise together without hierarchy. We are constantly placing our
desires in the hands of someone more competent, someone more
deserving – always someone else.

The political system exists as an integral State apparatus. Its primary
concern is self-preservation. As such, electoral politics permits only
nominal, superficial and ultimately innocuous change. If there was the
slightest prospect of the political system inducing systemic change, the
State would promptly disassemble it.

Irrespective of a party’s alleged progressiveness or the faithful
promises of politicians, the most “radical” of governments will
only ever be able to implement the most tenuous of reforms. This is
because regardless of ones position on the political spectrum,
governments will always be subject to the intolerable pressure of both
state and capital. Both these powers have inveterate interests – the
continuation of current economic and political structures – and wish
to maintain their own existence. If a government was to threaten the
interests of these powers, both have effective means – including
bureaucratic campaigns and economic disinvestment – at their
disposal to deter and prevent such actions.

While governments may implement piecemeal policy changes for the
better – such as the reformation of Australia’s immigration policy
or the improvement of Medicare – these ameliorations will never
challenge capitalism, the state or our hierarchical society. How can
problems such as patriarchy, racism, heterosexuality and ecological
destruction be solved by the very system that creates them? A
government does not possess the power to radically alter economic and
institutional structures; this power is monopolized by international
commerce, trans-national corporations and their protector – the state.
That is, until we recognize and seize our capacity to transform the world
and our lives.

By participating in the electoral system you validate government. Will an
isolated and exclusive body of politicians – governed by elite powers
– ever be capable of making the correct decisions for you, your family
or your community? Can anyone accurately represent your interests? In
fact, do you really want representatives to make and implement decisions
for you? Surely we can resolve dilemmas, discover solutions and
determine our own lives without recourse to alienating mediation, that is,
indirect action and representation.

Voting is incredibly disempowering as it abdicates control over our own
lives by forwarding that control to someone else. By voting we are
involved in perpetuating our own oppression and reinforcing the notion
that government authority of any mannerism is right, effective or superior
to self-governance through voluntary association.

Political abstention does not entail apathy. To the contrary! By refusing to
endorse the farce that is representative democracy you can channel your
efforts into direct action and the free self-organization of your workplace,
neighborhood and community. By refusing to vote you oppose the
eternally oppressive state and the very concept of representation and take
back the right to pursue and achieve your goals through cooperation
rather than an external authority.

We are individuals who, knowingly or not, lust for authentic life.
Renouncing control within the political and economic spheres of society
results in losing control of our personal life. If your life appears vacuous or
lacking sensation and excitement you can be assured it’s largely due
to the fact that we are excluded from decisions and actions that affect our
lives profoundly.

We can construct an alternative to the state, capitalism and faux
democracies. We can build truly democratic assemblies in our
community, self-managed workplaces without bosses and self-managed
schools, all replete with passion and colour. We can coordinate transport
and health locally from the bottom up, ensuring our needs and desires are
met. These can then multiply and evolve, allowing real participation and
communication to germinate in the most unexpected of places. As such
organizations grow and expand, becoming increasingly self-sufficient, we
can federate with others and manage resources through non-hierarchical
networks. In doing this, we create a sizeable counter-power, one that can
directly confront and eventually supersede the state, reclaiming our world
and our lives in the one impetuous grasp.

>From The Dawn, October 2004
* [Ed. note: The Dawn is an anarcho-communist journal]

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