Deborra Ann Low
$6 billion was blown on the 2012 election cycle. Along with that expense comes one overall goal ― the legitimacy of the state. And even with that whopping bill, non-voters out-numbered those who voted for the “winner” by 27 million. Whenever voters realize that it’s not a matter of reforming the state but a matter of repudiating the state, that’s when an election boycott movement can be effective.
Apathy comes when folks blame themselves for not being able to change a system that was, from its inception, established as a tyranny and purely a mockery of democracy ― a charade that has existed for nearly 230 years. But, while it’s easy not to vote, what’s not easy is organizing all the reasons for not voting and bringing them together as a viable non-violent movement in dissent of the state ― a refusal to consent to tyranny.
What must happen, I believe, is the continual dislodging of political operative lies that merely condone the government by leaning heavily on reforms that merely backslide dissidence into ineffective, apathetic, and counterrevolutionary instruments co-opted by statists who have no intention of defending democracy or liberty and justice for all.
In my opinion though, faithful voters should not be unfairly blamed for falling for the pack of lies ― that somehow voting for reforms can effectively cause even an inherently adverse system to right itself eventually even though that eventuality obviously never comes. People always want to remain hopeful ― especially those who accept minuscule victories as a sign that David is getting closer to slewing Goliath.
Instead, I believe the burden falls upon election boycott advocates to make the case for voters to begin to responsibly assess the damage that has been done to them by their continued participation in this government’s tyrannical electoral system and the inhumane and genocidal policies it attempts to legitimize in their name.
Once people become aware that their vote for a “lesser evil” in this “winner-take-all” system, is essentially a vote against themselves and a vote for the corporatist perpetrators of global genocide, then I believe it becomes impossible for anyone to continue voting without making a conscious decision to condone the evil they say they oppose. Once voters have made the undeniable moral connection between their vote and the actions the government takes in their name, they and the government they endorse with their votes, cannot escape responsibility for their actions, even if the governed masses cannot hold them accountable under voter-enabled systemic corruption. In short, it is impossible to dissent against tyranny by giving it your consent. As Audre Lord put it:
“It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change.”
In a fully functioning democracy, an election boycott has no meaning. In fact, it could have a serious detrimental effect, because voting is obviously the focal point of a truly democratic system. Yet, that is the heart of the problem in the US. We have never had a democratic government ― ever. Therefore, across the board boycotting of the electoral system is not only justifiable, it may be the only effective, non-violent way to repudiate a form of government wherein absolute power is not vested in the people.
As evidenced by the multibillion dollar tab generated by the most recent election cycle farce, wherein non-voters still out-numbered the total votes cast for the winner by 12.4%, this outrageously wasteful expense, (while people are forced to suffer the consequences of austerity measures and are told to “share the sacrifice” for no reason other than the avarice of the ruling class), points to one important conclusion. The sociocentric ruling class fully recognizes that effective election boycotts have a dramatic impact on state legitimacy, even if they have no effect on election outcomes.
If the state recognizes the utmost importance of twisting our arms or buying our votes (no matter for whom or for what our ballots are cast), why should we ever underestimate the full impact of a successful election boycott? Why consent to tyranny? Repudiate the state!
BOYCOTT ALL ELECTIONS!