LewRockwell.com | Is there a case to be made for voting? Indeed there is, if one believes that social order is a quality that can be instilled, by violence and other coercive means, by political authorities. I do not accept this proposition. To the contrary, I believe that social order is the product of unseen, spontaneous influences of which most of us are not consciously aware. The study of economics helped me to understand how we respond, marginally, to fluctuations that are continuously generated by one another’s self-seeking pursuits. I also came to understand that politics – like a rock thrown through a spider’s web – disrupts these informal processes as well as the existing patterns of interconnectedness upon which any social order depends.
I suspect that most of those reading these words share my sense of liberty and social order, and so I shall not address the mindset of the statists herein. I understand the temptation, born largely of a sense of frustration, of wanting to participate in the political process in order to get persons elected who more closely reflect one’s views. The illusion of a short-term reduction in the rate of increase of state power clouds the longer-term consequences inherent in political participation. Political systems derive their power not from guns and prisons, but from the willingness of those who are to be ruled to expend their energies on their behalf. For state power to exist, a significant number of men and women must sanction the idea of being ruled by others, a sanction that depends, ultimately, upon the credibility of those who exercise such power. When we vote in an election, we are declaring, by our actions, our support for the process of some people ruling others by coercive means. Our motivations for such participation – even if they be openly expressed as a desire to bring state power to an end – do not mitigate the fact that our energies are being employed on behalf of the destructive principle that liberty and social order can best be fostered through the coercive machinery of the state. Read Entire Article
By Butler Shaffer