"The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant." ~ John Stuart Mill
Life Is Good (Voting Is Insane)
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"In Birmingham they love the governor (boo hoo hoo); now we all did what we could do.
Watergate does not bother me; does your conscience bother you? (Now tell the truth)."
~ From "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Questioning state authority is considered a sin by those who worship it. Negative comments about the state and its agents challenge the core beliefs of those who believe that benevolent rulers can be created out of the magical democratic process. The energy required resisting pressures to conform to the consensus opinion imposed by state education and media organs can become burdensome. Constructive criticism of our existing political operating system can make life seem like a drag and burn cynicism into our moods. Admitting that you don't vote can make you a pariah among the faithful. However, the cause of liberty need not be a heavy cross to bear simply because life is good.
Understanding the seemingly subtle difference between gentle (non-violent) persuasion and zealous (violent) persuasion is a significant factor influencing one's sanity; both inwardly and outwardly. Elections are the true birthplace of 'reality TV'. That so little difference can be seen between supposed archenemies is evidence of collective insanity institutionalized. People keep going back into the voting booth election after election thinking that this time their vote will make a difference, yet it never does. This is a classic case of insanity.
Emotional disagreements between voters guided by their handlers ensue from the most trivial of perceived differences. Honor is staked on the acceptance of following orders and duty morphs into blind obedience to political leaders. News shows have become thinly veiled propaganda organs supporting state policies formulated by those who handle the handlers. That the world has gone crazy supporting the Democratic-Corporate-State should be obvious. As Hoppe has pointed out, this entity perceived to be all-powerful in its ability to right wrongs and fight evil-doers has replaced God in the minds of loyal state supporters. Even its most obvious failures reinvigorate its disciples' desire to give it more power. Evidence of yet more insanity.
Persuasion and spreading the word of liberty is important in order to expose ignorant and/or brainwashed people to a vital message that has bearing on our mutual survival and individual happiness. People need rules and liberty requires justice. There are bad people and good people should resist them. The questions we need to discuss include how do we agree to agree? Agree to disagree? How do we choose to cooperate on justice? Is common law discovered or dictated? Are individuals or representatives of the majority the primary deciders of the answers to these questions? They all come back to the question of sovereignty: Who owns your body?
There are three basic ways to persuade: personal example, rhetoric and force. Voting sanctions force. This simple fact must be trumpeted. Stop voting and become an example while offering peaceful discussion on the matter for those who choose to listen. Forget the masses and go personal. It is true that there is no silver bullet to take down the beast with one shot, but small actions can lead to expanding awareness and larger triumphs that may not be visible today.
The handshake is a remnant of a time when personal example was the standard of cooperation. People rose above holding a weapon during discussions as an example of trust. Men will most often choose to accept society and its benefits when offered the chance. Sometimes they change their minds and come and go. Civilized people wave good-bye.
The freedom to peacefully come and go must be respected in a civilized society. The use of force to restrict peaceful people from seceding from a group is a return to pre-civilization. Substituting the process of choosing your masters does not mitigate this violent restriction of liberty. Elections are not advancement for mankind, but a childish predilection to "everybody does it." Voting is a poor substitute for personal sovereignty.
Forming a monopoly on the use of force (the ability of specified individuals to legally incarcerate, kill and steal) does not eliminate the "animal spirits" in people. It just harnesses them and focuses them in the directions chosen by the elite. The elite use the state to institutionalize barbarism by dressing it up as the savior of civilization. This is how individuals who control the state are able to get good people to do bad things.
Instead of seeking balance and harmony among self-interested individuals, as people who want peace do, the state and it minions seek conflict between individuals and their interests because the state can't survive peace. The survival of the state requires either war or the continuous threat of war. This includes wars against their own citizens such as the Wars on Drugs, Poverty, Terror, Child Abuse, and on and on. Peace is thus the enemy of the state and the state will not allow long periods of peace because the people would begin to see the little madmen behind the curtains pulling the levers. Elections are just regularly scheduled battles in the divide and conquer strategy that keeps the elite in power and the masses busy.
A vicious cycle of institutionalized barbarism springing from and then enslaving civilizations seems entrenched as a recurring condition in human history. But it is unsustainable in the long run. Worshiping the false idol of democracy will lead to its own demise. Civilization must mature beyond this cycle if our species is to survive. Our society needs to grow up and quit being distracted by trivial pursuits when it comes to speaking to the power elite. Boycotting elections would undermine the whole system and allow it to collapse upon itself.
Choosing to join in the ritual of voting is personally sanctioning a monopoly on the use of force. It is accepting that stealing and murder can be justified by the façade of legality resting on a foundation of choosing thieves and murderers with supposed good intentions through an election. We thus abdicate personal responsibility for supporting, protecting and educating ourselves by electing people who promise to assume those responsibilities for us. In doing so, however, we sanction the power of the chosen/elected representatives to steal, threaten and kill in our names. We all have the power to choose a more righteous path, one that uses the power of peaceful cooperation and respect for the individual. To vote or not to vote is a personal decision of much more importance than who to vote for.
Rulers once used the clergy to place crowns on their heads in elaborate ceremonies designed to give the impression that God had ordained their divine right to rule. Today the popular election with its media circuses, "debates" and political parties serve this role to give the impression that The People have ordained their divine right to rule. Individuals who pretend to draw their authority from God or The People based on convoluted rituals are nothing but power hungry con-men. Shun them and take back your sovereignty.
To retain hope in the future and focus on the present, one must forgive the sins of the past; for others and for oneself. We have all voted at least once, so don't beat yourself up over it. Others who have not seen the light of peace leading to prosperity must also be forgiven. Do not despair of fools who cling to their divine vision of statism, laugh at them if you must, but live life like you know you should. Peace is the way.
People who understand that the state institutionalizes barbarism see the imbalances it permeates with interventions throughout society. The state claims control over our economies, laws, property, homes, families and even lives. But the state is able to control your mind only when you let it make choices for you. That so many people find themselves in a perpetual state of adolescence, if not infancy, in modern society is because they were weaned on the state pledging allegiance daily to its symbols and soaking up the words of state high priests as gospel. People effectively raised by the state who tells us that "we will now take care of you and you need not ever grow up. All you have to do is vote and we will declare you to be grown up."
So when you see the herds lining up at the voting booths to be coddled, cajoled and weaned by shysters and hucksters, do not despair, for they have chosen their lot in life. And they may yet, one day, make a choice to no longer support state madness when something clicks in their minds. Maybe it will be the folly of war, the misery of being managed and regulated or the depravity of taxes. Forgive and educate is the way of peace.
Substituting the choosing of leaders into the place of choosing actions is a ruse that will be revealed in time as our society matures. Exchanging deciding what path to take with deciding who will tell you what path to take is a rejection of personal responsibility. The child-like lunatics running the asylum can undermine the most positive of spirits, but this too will pass. You are here now. You are alive today. Act like it.
Life is too good to pass up fretting over what everybody else is doing. Focus on the people you have chosen to cooperate with and built trust in: your friends, family and associates. It is difficult to ignore people who steal and rob from you to provide 'services' you neither want nor asked for and then threaten you in the name of protecting you. The obnoxious presence of campaigning and cheerleading for politicians should be looked at as just another form of low-brow entertainment for the masses. So even if you can't turn it off, laugh it off. It certainly can be amusing.
Taking conscious control of your decisions will inspire a spiritual revival. This process of maturing enables the confidence needed to enjoy life for what it is. Understanding follows and giving may then be seen as the true nature of the human spirit. Show that spirit. Be an example and choose to not support the state by participating in rituals used to provide that support. Don't vote and tell others about the alternative of choosing peaceful cooperation and personal sovereignty. Choose the good life and spread the word.