Sometimes it isn’t about who you vote for, it is about who you vote against.
Ah, good. Nice to know he’s decided to participate in the process rather than refuse to do so and complain about it afterwards.
Deciding not to vote is an explicitly political decision. From the anarchist point of view, it legitimizes an illigitment process. Moore acknowledges this, but states that the current political moment is forcing his hand. If today’s politics are forcing an anarchist to the polls, times must be dire indeed.
I’m sure that’s his point of view, yes.
Others would call it a lazy opting-out of the process to absolve yourself of blame or guilt or involvement.
I mean “I don’t like leaders because they’re selfish” to “But if I don’t pick the best of the bunch, the worst one might get in” is a pretty elementary calculation. Truly great leaders are rare (probably in large part due to how we select for who gets a shot at the job) but still, who doesn’t see that someone is definitely going to grab the reins, so it’s best to participate and get your choice…
That’s the difference between liberals, who think that the system can be fixed by participation in it, and radicals who know that the system is broken and participation isn’t going to do much of anything. Radicals see the system as rigged towards the wealthy ruling elite and that voting for one of two neo-liberals isn’t going to do much to change that.
They know that real change comes from outside of the system. If it weren’t for 20th century radicals, we in the United States wouldn’t have the 40 hour work week, women’s sufferage, the repeal of Jim Crow laws, basic civil rights laws, the ERA, etc&etc. Those things had to be fought for, and in those battles many people died. It wasn’t the ballot box that initiated the change.
Moore has made his poltical stance clear in all his writing, and one could call that a politcal act as well. A sort of “propaganda by the deed” where the “deed” is his artistic output. He’s definitely swayed some people towards anarchism by way of his comics. We see the Guy Fawkes mask now all the time in radical contexts and that’s pure Moore.
Where we are now, it’s scary to stand on principle. Yes, it’s a radical political decision not to vote. BUT, times are literally crazy. The situation is dire. In the U.K. they’re on the precipice of something truly disasterous and if you have to comprimise anarchist principles to try to avoid falling of the cliff, then you should do it.
The situation in the U.S. is not as bad, but I’ll still be voting in the next election. If we end up with Biden, I’ll recognize that putting another neo-liberal in office would be terrible for our country, but that it also would be better than the alternative.
I think it’s altogether possible to be a self-styled “radical” and fight for change outside the system while also voting.
Writing “V for Vendetta” and porn aren’t terribly effective ways of fighting the system. He didn’t invent the Guy Fawkes mask or popularize it.
Not voting is irresponsible stupidity.
If you think “voting” is unlikely to bring the positive change you seek then just wait until you see where “not voting” gets you.
If I understand the Fixed-term Parliaments Act correctly, the default is FIVE YEARS. So yeah, please vote.
Until we rise up and shake it off, it’s pretty much the same thing either way.
Staying home on Election Day and whining about the system being rigged is the exact opposite of “shaking things off and rising up.”
I used to not vote. For me what got me to vote was noticing that getting people to feel so disheartened that they don’t vote is a deliberate political strategy of some of the people in power. The Tories in the UK do not want Alan Moore to vote, they don’t want you to vote, they want as few people to vote as possible. Disheartened people feeling like they have no say in the system is what helps them keep running things.
No one looks at low voter turnout and says the government isn’t legitimate. It’s always people who think you should vote who are concerned about low voter turnout, and they blame people for not voting, not the system for making voting pointless. When you don’t vote no one gets the message.
If it’s time to burn down parliament and install a provisional government then rally the forces. If it’s not quite time for that yet, I don’t understand how voting is making things worse.
Exactly. I’m immediately skeptical of anyone whose preferred approach to political change happens to coincide with the course of action that requires the least amount of personal effort.
I think the point is not that things are made “worse” by voting, it’s just that voting doesn’t change much at all. In the U.S., I seriously doubt we’ll see either Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders as the Democratic nominee. The Wall Street oligarchs fear their policies because they’ll undermine their ability to profit off the rest of us. They;l fight them at every step.
So, let’s say it’s Biden (or Mayor Pete). Voting for them will make us feel less racist, but they’re damn sure not going to challenge economic disparity, break-up tech monolopolgies, or regulate big banks. Economic inequality will chug along. Capitalism will continue to speed climate change with nothing more than token government interference. They will not stop the real, unspoken damage that Trump is doing. It will continue on as it did under Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Bush I, and Reagan.
Hedges writes that the only thing we can do is rise up in revolt against the ruling elites. He cites the Extinction Rebellion as a political group using direct action to evoke real change. Strikes, street-actions, non-violence, non-cooperation, at this point are a stronger option than the ballot box.
As they threaten their power, the elites will demonize the rebels, arrest them, kill them, do everything in their power to turn us against them. But they’ll be the true vangaurd of change.
None of this means you shouldn’t vote. But if that’s ALL you’re gonna do… then you’re the lazy one.
Voter apathy is a huge reason we have Trump right now. Some might say the main reason.
Direct action is absolutely a path to change. But fighting against the feeling that voting is pointless is extraordinarily important. When only about half of the populace bothers to show up, and margins are as slim as they were in 2016, every vote matters. Especially on the local level, which is where direct action is most effective as well.
I’m gonna call nonsense on that right there.
I can’t speak for the UK, but in every single step forward in American history was either the direct or indirect result of the voters’ choices, from ratifying the Constitution to ending chattel slavery to women’s suffrage and LGBT rights. Point to a big change—good or bad—and I’ll show you the voters who allowed it to happen. Or in many cases, the non-voters who allowed it to happen.
Voting is, of course, insufficient without additional action. That doesn’t mean isn’t useless or unimportant.
Counter power is becoming a more popular idea.
Voting in this context is a method of choosing your enemy. I’d rather take my chances with Corbyn than another five years of the Tories.
Yup. He’s not ideal, but he doesn’t strike me as Pure Evil so, yes, he’ll get my vote and probably won’t use it to destroy the country.