We all welcome disagreement and discussion on matters of great importance, but I was surprised at the level of hostility among some people to my post about why you are not “consenting to the system” by voting. I did not say voting would solve all our problems, and I did not say anyone had to vote. Moreover, I am only taking the position that Murray Rothbard (1926-1995) and Walter Block (see here and here) have taken, and while I do not wish to make an argument from authority, one would think that when disagreeing with these eminences we would at least appreciate that we are having a friendly discussion among people of like mind in which principled disagreement exists. What on earth is so hard about that? (By the way, thanks to Javier Ramirez for the links, which I had not dug up.)
The great Robert Fellner pointed out that anarchists who claim you are consenting to the system by voting are themselves accepting the propaganda of the democracy worshipers, who do indeed insist you are consenting by voting. I see no reason to agree with these fanatics, ever. The correct position, of course, is that the democracy worshipers have stacked the deck so that no matter what you do, including simply remaining in the country, you are giving your consent to the system. These people are wrong and their position is ridiculous, as the great libertarian Herbert Spencer noted long ago.
At any rate, here is one of numerous comments I received on the post:
I consider myself a principled anarchist, and I think the idea that voting implies consent is silly. Let’s scale it down. Imagine you’re on an island with five people which has set up a system of voting in spite of your objections. One of the islanders calls a vote: to execute a lazy refugee who isn’t pulling his weight. The vote is 2 for and 2 against with only you remaining. Now, execution is wrong. Especially for this fellow who has done nothing wrong. He’s innocent. You certainly couldn’t be held accountable for his death if you refused to vote, but would voting really be wrong? Would it really imply you agree to the system, just because you used it once to do good, to right a wrong?
I don’t see voting for someone like Ron Paul any different. I don’t agree with the system, and I want it abolished, but I’m going to try my hardest to use it against itself if I can.