By Mark E. Smith
January 2, 2013
The fact is that if people approve of something, or at least don’t disapprove of it, they aren’t going to resist or struggle against it. Election boycotts are not only the precondition for a successful revolution, they could make violent revolution unnecessary.
Most US voters really don’t approve of the government they’re voting for. They’re tricked into believing they’re voting for change, reforms, or various causes, and really don’t understand that their votes are the consent of the governed. There’s no such thing as a protest vote ― you either authorize the government to exist and do whatever it wants in your name, or you don’t. Millions of votes aren’t even counted, and of those that are, more than 93% of the vote counts are completed by privately owned central tabulators and are unverifiable. Remember the old joke sticker that said, “I voted I think…?” Most of the people whose votes weren’t counted still think they voted. It’s like putting a dollar into a vending machine, having nothing come out, and believing you bought something even though you have nothing to show for it.
As long as people continue to vote, a government has nothing to fear from civil unrest, because it has been authorized by the voters themselves to suppress such resistance. Only when there is such great discontent with government, that people refuse to grant their consent, is there a possibility of change. Most US voters are so fearful of change they’ll accept even the most oppressive status quo rather than risk real change. The people who pass through TSA are a good example ― they value their privilege to fly more than their bodily integrity, their dignity, their human rights, or the rights of their children. They’ll submit to anything rather than risk losing their privilege. But what sort of privilege is it to watch your child screaming in terror as a TSA agent molests them in front of you? These are not the souls from whom revolutionaries are made.
The other day I went to the store and noticed that everyone I saw, except for me, had a cell phone. Seven million Congolese have been killed so that western corporations could obtain the colton to make five billion cell phones. The people who use those phones don’t think about how they were manufactured, they think only of the convenience of having one. Similarly, the people who vote for marriage equality, reproductive rights, or GMO labeling, don’t think about the wars they are consenting to when they vote ― they are concerned only with their own rights and privileges.
As the US economy worsens, more and more people will become desperate. But no matter how violent, their demands will be suppressed by the government they voted for. Election boycotters are those with the foresight to prepare and to resist before it is too late. Most citizens of the capitalist, imperialist, new world order are too distracted by materialism, TV, sports, the media, and the daily rat race, to think beyond their own immediate needs and desires.
We have almost two years until the next midterm elections and almost four until the next Presidential race. Luckily for us, in addition to the adverse results of past elections, there are always interim elections we can use to illustrate our points. When one crooked legislator goes to prison or dies, they have to be replaced with another. There will always be new initiatives that various interest groups will use to get voters to the polls.
The myth of democracy in the US requires huge infusions of corporate cash to remain alive, and this is something we should always call attention to. If there was a fiscal cliff, how did corporations manage to spend over six billion dollars on the Presidential race? Don’t consumers know that when they buy corporate brands, their money will be used against them?
There are great possibilities in the US today. Immigrants who were terrified by Romney into reelecting a President who has deported more immigrants than Bush, may be rethinking their actions. Radical Blacks are fully aware that Obama is recolonizing Africa, and their message may spread to Black voters. Even the homeless and unemployed, formerly known as the middle and working classes, have the potential to stop grasping for trinkets and start struggling for the right to live.
There is even a slight window into the moribund Occupy Wall Street movement, although it has long since devolved into actions that were once carried out by churches and charities, as they have learned that the government they so eagerly voted for, had done Wall Street’s bidding in suppressing them. Of course they are likely to suffer from amnesia in a few weeks and promptly forget what they’ve learned.
As Che Guevara said, we have a special task, being in the belly of the beast. If the formidability of the task is a measure, then it may be an enviable task as Che said, but if we measure it by other standards, it may not. Whatever the case, we have taken it upon ourselves and it will fill our days with frustrations, joys, and the satisfaction of being in the struggle for global equality and justice. Nothing matters more.