26 years ago, in a letter addressed to Philip Roth, Saul Bellow wrote that “The Good Intentions Paving Company” has “fucked up again.” I cannot think of a better way to describe the flood of libertarians and other well-intentioned folk who will ‘do it’ in the voting booth today in the belief or hope that casting a ballot will make a difference.
The sad reality is they are correct…but the difference is not one I think they wish to make. By casting a ballot they are reaffirming ‘the system’ of majority rule; by participating in electoral politics, they personally sanction ‘the rules of the game’ and, thus, whomever emerges as the victor; by lining up with ID at the ready, as the elites declare is their “civic duty,” the good intentioned voters do the opposite of protesting the injustice of one man ruling others. When is it ever in your self-interest to follow the admonitions of the power elite? And, yet, there the ‘good’ citizens will be. Participating in the one process that provides a patina of legitimacy to the idea that a politician has any right to pass laws restricting the peaceful activity of unconsenting others. (For “unconsenting” read “non-voters” who did not sanction the process through their participation.)
I know those who toil for The Good Intentions Paving Company do mean well. Many of them want lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government… I would be more sympathetic if their good intentions did not result in leading everyone down a path toward hell. I would be more sympathetic were it not for the fact that I am among the unconsenting who must bear the heavy consequences of their support of electoral politics, of their willingness to sanction a system that is inherently oppressive and unjust.
Your vote is not a defensive act. It is an act that facilitates violence committed against people like me who have done you no harm but merely wish to live…and peacefully so. By casting a vote, you tell thugs, opportunists, parasites and worse that they have a right to intrude upon my life with their laws, their taxes and zero-tolerance policies about everything from speech to drugs, from guns to trans-fat. You vote is like ringing a dinner bell for wolves to descend.
Ah, no, you protest! Your vote is against the thugs and thuggery. You wish to usher in decent human beings who are fit to rule us all. Benign and wise power elites who would never, ever abuse their vast power and access to wealth. Reality check:
1) decent human beings do not seek to occupy a position of unjust power over others…and that is inherently what a political office is. The litmus test for decency is whether the person says “no” and walks away.
2) I don’t care how good your motives are for facilitating the violation of my rights. This merely makes you less distinguishable from others who wrap themselves in a morality backed up by force.
You must forgive me if I do not forgive your good intentions. Without your sanction, the State could not exist.