Vote and morality

Some people may argue that one HAS TO, from a moral standpoint, vote whenever possible, as voting is a democratic principle that guarantees freedom.

I see a number of misconceptions in that. First, democracy has very little to do with freedom. A place with no “power from the (or of the) people” can either be a place of unlimited and abusive power from one, or a few, people thus preventing the freedom of many. It can also be a place of extraordinarily limited power exerted by anyone, thus enable the freedom of most.It is the limitations put on the power of others that guarantees the possibility of freedom and if democracy can sometimes achieve that, it is by no means the sole way of doing it, nor a certain way of doing it.

The second misconception, and a very surprising one at that, is the linking of democracy and vote. A simple loot at history proves how weird that belief can be. People in the soviet union voted regularly. People in the Chinese Communist Party do vote regularly. I’m sure that elections happen from time to time in North Korea. Still, these were/are hardly democratic. Same as most of the western countries nowadays. There are elections. People vote. And nothing changes because basically the vote offers you choices between the tyranny of a party favouring some minority interests or the tyranny of another party favouring other minority interests. As Spooner put it: “A man is no less a slave because he is allowed to choose a new master once in a term of years.”

The final misconception is that voting is a moral duty. And that even if you are not “in favour” of any of the proposed parties/politicians you should vote to express the adherence to democratic/freedom/republican values. We already saw of that last point is plain nonsense. But the beginning is also moot. Indeed, as soon as the government has any power reaching further than strict regalian functions (police, justice and the relations with other countries, i.e. military and diplomacy), it does intervene in our fellow men’s lives, and ours. Therefore whoever is in power in such government has to (or at the very least can) violate the freedom of people. Voting to select who will exert tyranny on others and to decide what sort of tyranny should be exerted is, at the opposite of what the media say, the pinnacle of immorality, the peak of hypocritical “altruism”. And it is a way by which we become part of the tyranny, dictators ourselves, because we get to decide what should be imposed on our fellow men.



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