Not Voting is Not Enough: 4 Ways to Build a Better, Freer World
To those who didn’t vote: We are the 46.9%.
And I’m going to state the obvious today: Not voting is not enough.
(And on the flipside, if you did vote… it’s still not enough.)
Not voting, for me, is a statement of nonviolent resistance.
Sure, lots of people didn’t vote out of sheer apathy. But to me, it’s an evolutionary (not to be confused with revolutionary) statement. It’s a statement made out of principle.
But, again, it’s clearly not enough.
There are three “stages of awakening” when it comes to refusing to participate in the current statist quo. Each one is valid. But all three are necessary for true change to occur.
For one, not voting is a way to say you fundamentally disagree with the idea that any mob has the right to violently and mercilessly thrust its will upon a group of people as punishment for being the minority.
If you believe violence is a barbaric way of solving human problems, it’s very understandable that you would choose not to consent to said violence.
“Democracy,” Dan Sanchez wrote recently, “is war by other means. Superficially, it is waged with ballots instead of bullets. At the end of the day, those ballots become bullets. Elections load real guns and aim them at real people. If you disobey the commandments handed down by elected officials, beefy men with shaved heads and Ray-Ban sunglasses will come to take you away. If you resist them, hot lead will fly. Elections are scrambles for control over the service weapons that propel those rounds. In such contests, every faction is trying to point the gun barrels at someone else.
“In this war, all sides are net losers, save one: the government.”
The second stage of awakening is understanding that a vastly better and much more practical and sustainable world is truly possible. And that more violent power is not the answer.
Not voting can also mean that you believe there’s a better way. You see that the system is broken, that it is corrupt beyond repair and you choose not to play by the Old Guard’s rules or feed into the system any longer.
You realize, though, that simply disagreeing is not enough.
There’s a rule I heard someone mention last weekend at the Voice & Exit conference in Austin, Tx. Though I’m paraphrasing here, it was something to the effect of: It’s not enough to simply disagree with an idea. If you’re going to disagree with it, you have to have a solution. Otherwise, it’s just mental masturbation. You’re not contributing anything to the conversation, in fact you’re only depriving it of potential and constructive resistance.
Nothing changes by simply negating an idea. In fact, without a solution it can cause negative resistance, causing people to become more irrationally devout to their old ways of thinking and doing. The common ground we all have are solutions.
The third stage of awakening is action.
If you are of the 46.9%…