Why Vote? (James E. Miller)
Thursday September 13th, 2012
With the U.S. presidential election right around the corner, Americans are getting themselves all in a tizzy to go to the voting booth and remind the holders of public office who they work for. Because it's a presidential election, the stakes are looked to as even higher as the media paints the contest between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney as a conflict with extreme consequence. The statist tramps known as mainstream journalists are championing the race as a great ideological battle. The fact that the candidates differ little on policy and vision is purposefully avoided. To the political and intellectual establishment, the show must go on. Their way of life depend on it.
Already in both the Republican National Convention and Democratic National Convention the party elites took the opportunity to trample on the democratic virtue of dissent. On the Republican side, Ron Paul supporters were effectively told to get lost as party leaders rammed through a rule change to make it next to impossible to nominate a pure grassroots candidate. The Democrats, per usual, were no better. When it came time to vote on whether the party platform should contain language on God and ensuring Jerusalem remains the capital of Israel, the voice vote was disregarded and the language was kept. And as a Fox News showed, the decision was predetermined by the teleprompter. In one fell swoop, both of America's major political parties demonstrated that their own members can't be trusted. The irony is that this practice of top-down dictates is wholly reflective of the reality of governance.
No matter how hard boobus Americanus is kicked in the teeth with his own inability to have an effect on government, he still feverishly casts his ballot with faith locked into the system. This ignorance doesn't hold for just the U.S. either. Democracy is still looked to favorably all around the world. Above the rhetoric of listening to the voice of the people, technocrats removed from the voting process run major world governments. One look at Europe and it becomes obvious the politically-connected elites are running the show. Some are keen to realize this and are setting about to instill leaders of integrity. Many remain enraptured with the idea of a government for and by the people. These people aren't just blind to the evils of the state; they take enormous pride in their ignorance.
But democracy is a sham. In its purest form, it is mob rule by childish emotion. In its representative form, elections are a reoccurring fiction to convince the people they aren't servants to masters who have become all too acquainted with power.
The ballot box is the last refuge of the half-witted fully convinced of his utter inability to dismember his umbilical cord from the state and take responsibility for his destiny. It is the chance to press a boot on the neck of your fellow man without the shame of doing so directly.
It is a much believed fairytale that the intentions of government are good but misguided. But from time immemorial, the state has been a conspiracy levied against the many by the few. Through the bailouts, printing press rescues, and socialized takeovers, the objective is obvious. The losers of government throw money at their fellow losers in business to maintain an establishment class of total inferiority.
The job of the political class is to make it so that crises are constantly haunting the electorate. Herds are easier to tame when frightened and looking for a savior. The West has become a great pity where suicidal lemmings run toward a cliff disguised as a voting booth. Every aspiring dictator they wish to put in office is a drug that numbs the senses and brings them one step closer to being fully shackled and on their knees ready and willing to serve.
As Gary North puts it, "democracy is window dressing for elite control." The people are told they have a voice. They become teary-eyed at the prospect of casting a vote for a marionette. The news media bludgeons voters over the head constantly with phrases like "doing your duty" and "participating in democracy."
Corruption, kick-backs, and corporate cronyism are wrapped up in a shiny box with a bow and sold to the people every election. The stealing away of all that is important in a functioning society by unaccountable schemers goes largely unnoticed. The money supply is controlled by a few central bankers. Law is given the final word by appointed judges. Regulations are written by bureaucrats. Wars are waged by generals and military complex administrators. Lawmakers are there just for Kabuki Theater.
Leviathan can't and won't be tamed through the ballot box. Reasoning with the state is like reasoning with a lunatic armed with a machine gun. His two modes of thought are firing cheerfully into an unarmed crowd or keeping a finger itching to pull the trigger once more.
To quote the great author and civil disobedient Henry David Thoreau
I heartedly accept the motto, -- “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, -- “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.The sad truth is that the majority of men are infatuated with nationalist creeds and looting the pockets of their neighbors. The absence of such a religion would pit them into the great unknown of actually having to behave like civilized beings. There would be no liars to look up to who promise a land of milk and honey for votes. There would be no invaders to honor who make a living breaking down the doors of foreign dwellings in the middle of the night and leaving pools of blood and piles of bullet shells for children to find their parents lying in. There would be no leader of the people surrounded by guards armed with militarized weaponry to salute.
The cycle of scaremongering with false threats followed by the reactionary heroism of public officials finding the courage to crush already withered freedoms into dust would come to an abrupt end. Schoolchildren would no longer learn that government saves them from poking themselves in the eye every second of every day. Independent critical thinking would make a roaring comeback. In the end, men would have to make an honest living; which is perhaps the greatest fear of state bureaucrats.
H.L Mencken accurately described what the state of American politics would become almost a century ago when he wrote:
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.It wasn't just the average U.S. voter Mencken referred to -- it was voters around the globe who still see government as their friend and not an avenue for the slime of society to carry out their violent fantasies. Unless there is a radical change of thinking, mankind's intellect will finally begin to resemble that of a dog who after being beaten mercifully, happily returns to his master's side ready once more for another round.
James E. Miller holds a BS in public administration with a minor in business from Shippensburg University, PA. He is the Editor in Chief at the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada and a current contributor to his hometown newspaper, the Middletown Press and Journal.