Friday, 1 March 2019

Would it be a good thing if people didn't vote in elections?

I don't vote - and I have not participated in any vote for about a decade, whether that vote be an election or in a small meeting. The reason? I regard voting as intrinsically immoral and illegitimate.

So, what would happen if, like me, great masses of people stopped voting - in particular in national elections, even in referendums like Brexit? First and most obvious, in the short-term - the elections etc. would be decided by those who did vote, without reference to those who did not...

But what would happen then. From experience, and by what I understand of people, the matter would not stop there; because a deliberate refusal to vote - when the decision is made on moral grounds - has many knock-on effects.

I found that when I stopped voting, my fundamental attitudes about all sorts of things changed. It was a Red Pill experience that kept growing. By not-voting I found that all decisions made by voting were de-legitimised, had authority removed from them, seemed arbitrary and irresponsible.

Not-voting dispelled the black-magical confusion of being required to regard - in advance of the outcome - whatever derives from voting as correct, just and moral. Despite that there is no responsibility for this outcome.

I realised from not-voting that voting exists primarily as a psychological manipulation; as a way of getting masses of people 'on board' with the agenda imposed upon them. A key way of neutralising dissent. A displacement of responsibility from any individual to a 'system' - and also a displacement of responsibility from the rulers to the ruled.

Clearly, voting is not for the good of the individual doing the voting - it must therefore be for the good of the people arranging the votes - the bureaucracy.

My experience and inference suggests is that the long-term effect of many people not-voting would probably be a significant degree of awakening to important realities. In short, mass not-voting would quite likely make the world ungovernable by the current Establishment.

Whether this would be a good or bad thing depends entirely on what came to replace Them; on whether the new rulers and their system were better or worse than the current.

But the psychological consequences of principled not-voting would surely be revolutionary.


Nullus Maximus said...

I imagine they would prevent this from becoming too widespread by forcing everyone to vote, as several nations already do. Whether that would work in a context of mass non-compliance is an open question.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Not to mention that voting keeps you plugged into the news media because you have to be an "informed voter"!

I stopped voting about 15 years ago and consider it one of the better decisions I've made.

Bruce Charlton said...

@NM - If people *who regarded voting as evil* were compelled to vote, I can't see that as being an effective psychological manipulation.

I think compulsory voting is only effective when the assumption is that voting/ 'democracy' is 'a good thing', but some people are too *lazy* to vote, and therefore they must be compelled 'for their own good'.

Cererean said...

If they forced everyone to vote, it could be even more effective. It's even harder to argue for the legitimacy of the outcome if the plurality was spoiled ballots.

What happens if a majority send the message that they consider the vote to be illegitimate?

dearieme said...

Nowadays I let my wife vote on my behalf. "Anyone but Labour" is the agreed policy for my vote. How she uses her own is her business.

Mind you, sometimes all the choices look like variants of Labour.

If Mrs May is still leader of the Conservatives next time they'll join the blacklist too.

But for you committed non-voters: assume for a moment you were an American in 2016. The effective choice for President was either the sleazy oaf Trump, or the obviously evil Clinton: sociopath, dyed-in-the-wool liar and cheat, defender of her (allegedly) rapist husband, corrupt bribe-amasser, and probably traitor.

How the devil could you not vote against Clinton?

Bruce Charlton said...

@d - Indeed. But things must (nearly) always get significantly worse in the short term, before they *may* get better in the long term - which is why the long term is never very popular.

Bruce Charlton said...

@C - My belief is that (in the UK, and in the USA) the process of voting is increasingly corrupt - at least in some places; and to the point of changing results.

When it is easy to cheat (by design - eg. the introduction of postal voting, failure to check ID etc), and when cheating is unlikely to be detected, and when if cheating is detected then it is not being punished severely (all of which are the case, now) then... my assumption is that there will be A Lot of cheating.

Yet the mass of people *still* persist in regarding voting as a sacred 'right' and the foundation of justice...

Andrew said...

It's clear that in some US areas there is massive fraud (e.g. the same Detroit precincts always turns in more ballots than voters, where even a >50% turnout would be suspicious). It goes completely unpunished.

In the case of the blatant fraud in Florida - there was lots of noise and nothing really happened. I think eventually someone resigned or something. So I guess if you get caught you can drag it out forever and you might get a slap on the wrist? Obviously there is going to be major, massive, beyond massive fraud.

Andrew said...

But for you committed non-voters: assume for a moment you were an American in 2016.

Indeed, the brave and courageous Trump vs. the certain traitor and obviously evil Hillary Clinton revealed my non-voting stance as a pose. I was compelled by my revelation of the Good v. Evil nature of the choice to cast a vote for the first time in 8 years and and have history count myself on the right side. It felt good.

-Andrew E.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Andrew E - As you describe, the psychological effect of individual voting in national elections can be very strong, in contrast with its effect on outcome: which is zero. And this is just one part of the corrupting effect of voting.

Always ask what happens next... When a vote participated gets what someone wants, he will then (very likely) defend the legitimacy of the victor in terms of the majority vote, thereby strengthening the system of voting.

It's a psychological trap - and a highly effective one.