Observations on ANARCHY 37 - Why I won’t vote

Submitted by Reddebrek on August 19, 2018

Although I enjoyed ANARCHY 37, I was somewhat disappointed that no one discussed the ethical (or rather unethical) aspects of voting. Presumably anarchists consider it morally wrong to dominate or coerce a fellow human being. Therefore it is equally wrong for one to designate an agent to dominate or coerce another; regardless of whether one individually selects him, or combines with others to vote for him. Authority, per se, is vicious—no one has a right to tell another creature what to do. Consequently an anarchist can hardly sneak into a secret polling booth to join with other underhanded anonymities in choosing a slimy politician to do the dirty work.
New York

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I shall not vote in the General Election because I do not wish to consent in being governed. I have no desire to associate myself with the workings of the State in any way that could be considered as laudatory.
In the same way I would not sign a death warrant or praise the actions of a maniac. I would seek to end the insanity of the madman and refuse to give my assent to the death warrant.
I want to withdraw myself from the process of government and seek to spend my time and energy in building a society based on mutual co-operation, not one based on organised violence. I will not kiss the hand that hits me and my fellow beings; I will not embrace a person who would stick a knife in my back; I will not shake the hand of a person who would twist my wrist and break it. In a similar fashion I will not vote for politicians who work for the State.
I have no part in the State, nor do I want any. I have nothing to thank it for, indeed my aim is to destroy it. It is therefore not my intention to support it. There is no political party that the State fears, the politicians are neither capable nor willing to help mankind. Quite certainly the State only fears those who would do without it. I want to frighten the State by our inaction as well as by our action. I want our silence to scare them as well as our words.
I want to take away the power of the State, I do not want to contribute to it. I want to end privilege, injustice, inequality, war, poverty, misery, unhappiness and capitalism. I have no desire to help them on their way by means of a cross on a ballot paper.
The world will disarm when the people disarm the State, the capitalist system will be destroyed when the workers take control of the factories and the fields, the unnatural order will be ended with the spread of the lively anarchist contagion throughout the world. Authority will be overthrown when the well of its strength—obedience, nationalism, hatred, violence—dries up, and when the clear spring of spontaneity washes away the stench of cruelty and crime with compassion, fraternity, love and creation.
I cannot see that the opportunism of etiolated politicians has anything to do with this. I cannot see that the cause of anarchy is furthered one jot by voting in a General Election. I cannot see why it is thought that elections matter very much. They are small events, they interest only seekers after power. I cannot be responsible in any way for the perpetration of such a thing.

The “Why I Won’t Vote” issue of ANARCHY, useful as electoral ammunition, is still available at 2s. a copy, 15s. a dozen post free.