Confession: I have never voted in my life. And surprisingly, it appears others are now joining me.
But over the decades, people are always stunned to find out that someone such as myself, who tries to stay informed and have good reasons for my actions, has never bothered heading to the polls. And in that time, I’ve heard every cliché you can imagine for why I must have been opting out.
In some of these, I’ve been cast as “totally apathetic,” too lazy to rouse myself to the political excitement of having my voice heard. In other chestnuts, I’m told that I must think, in a modern democracy, that my voting doesn’t do much, so I must not believe that it’s a big deal to forgo it. After all, what does one vote really matter in the grand scheme of things?
However, these reasons are ludicrously incorrect, as others are discovering. To find out why, let’s turn to James Lawrence.
This principle of kakistocracy has appeared in past regimes, e.g. in the phenomenon of politically powerful eunuchs. But it should not be able to override, permanently and universally, the natural incentive for a state to prize the best of its subjects over the worst. So why does this not hold true in Western democracy? Because there is an Outer Party; we are fool enough to vote for it; and the Inner Party must mobilise a huge standing army of clients against us.
As we’ve learned over the past four years, the Outer Party cannot and will not take power. So we cannot use it to defeat the Left. Rather, it is using us, co-opting our discontent into its anachronistic Burkean stupidity. Whenever we try to infuse a more radical ideology into this zombie, we merely succeed in granting it a deceptive flush of life.
So instead of continuing to flog a dead horse, we must wager on a strong one. We must try to defeat the Left through the Inner Party. For the most part, all we need do is to get out of its way, by exercising our sole prerogative to stop voting for the Outer Party. This will allow the Inner Party to advance the state to full power; but it will also dissolve the party system, and render voting irrelevant to governance, thus annihilating the value of the leftists and clients to the state.
While it’s rather long, you should read the entire piece.
But in a nutshell, he sums up, far more eloquently than I could, a strategic argument for opting out of voting going forward. And in it, he lays out the case for a political pragmatism that I’ve been advocating for over two decades. Yet, I would have never guessed that we would find ourselves here, not quite anyway. And I wouldn’t have guessed that dissidents, regular people even from my conversations, would eventually adopt my position.
Even so, his suggestion is similar to the one I recently made regarding the mega-corporations. And that’s how, although you can’t starve these beasts in an age of consolidated power and infinite bailouts, you can deny them the façade of their legitimacy.
Imagine it for a moment: a social media giant with no users. And the biggest online retailer in the world that no one shops at. A streaming platform that gets all its revenue from bailouts. And a search engine, as people de-list their own sites from it, with no usable results.
Or in today’s example, a democracy with no voters.
In that world, you cannot seriously pretend that it represents the will of the people. Or that these are businesses. And everyone, on both sides of the political divide, will know it and see it for what it is. And will likely be impotent to fully stop it as parallel systems begin to flourish around it.
Where then might we find ourselves?