A Plea for Rejectionist Electioneering

<table><tr><td>From <a href="http://www.unrestmag.com/a-plea-for-rejectionist-electioneering/">Unrest Magazine #7</a>

Every four years in American society, critical theorists are offered a veritable human circus of entertainment, as we bear witness to the farce of electioneering.

Every four years, for a month or so, the hum drum apolitical citizen becomes inundated with rhetoric of Country, platforms for change, criticisms of their opponent, and a host of carefully crafted messages designed to invigorate the populace for a short while—just long enough to vote, and then to once again disengage. During these times, not only is the system tasked with self-regulating the choice of candidates presented to the voters, but there is also the issue of the larger system’s maintenance. In this manner, the system must preserve its veil, because as Max Weber (1997, 325) notes, “all systems of authority…attempt to establish and to cultivate the belief in [their] legitimacy.” If the population disengages and begins to call into question the legitimacy of the system, this presents a far greater challenge than any rogue candidate could ever offer.</td><td><img title="I bear nothing!" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/hopeless.jpg"></td></tr></t...

In 1968, when the Paris Communards famously wrote on the walls, “If voting changed anything they’d make it illegal,” they were speaking from a moment of revolutionary clarity. The moment this rejectionist sentiment becomes popularized, the system must once again adapt and co-opt, or face actual threat.

"Whoever wins, we lose"

For me, the true deception of American electoral politics is the common belief that each election presents the nation with an opportunity; places it on the precipice of transformation, and if we vote just right, we can ‘elect in’ real change. Many people believed this was the case with the 2008 election of the nation’s first non-white President, but four years later, the landscape looks quite the same. Despite this pattern of expectation-disappointment-expectation-disappointment, this November, many voters are once again rushing to the polls, expecting the election to either: a.) drive the nation into a post-recession, new age of prosperity, or b.) plummet the nation into a rapidly accelerating spiral of destruction and national ruin.

Every four years the average citizen rediscovers that they are a political animal, and loudly proclaims their civic responsibility, as to not vote, to choose the path of rejectionism, is as un-American as communism. This expectation-disappointment pattern brings to mind the often cited idiom, ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me,’ or to borrow from Karl Marx (who borrowed from Hegel), “All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice…the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” (Marx 1852) This phrase is so apt to describe our era of [neo] liberal-democratic modernity that Slavoj Žižek titled his book after it [1], and it is from this neo-Marxist that we will explore the US elections with a bit more depth. Approximately ten years ago, Žižek published an article, which offers some key insights applicable to a discussion of US electoral politics and if one desires, the larger neo-liberal, democratic order.

In his essay, “A Plea For Leninist Intolerance,” Žižek argues that modern society allows for the perception of freedom of choice, as long as those choices do not disturb the public’s social peace. The relative freedom of neo-liberal pluralism presents the citizen with a great variety of options—options to modify and allow the citizen to “reinvent” themselves—yet these options must fall short of disrupting the “social and ideological balance.” (Žižek 2002, 543) Žižek would argue (2002, 545) that at the precise moment when an idea is seen to be challenging the liberal (or neo-liberal) consensus, one is accused of abandoning the ‘objectivity’ of science and becoming an outdated ideologue. This is of course framed in the negative, and instead citizenry is defined by:

Fidelity to the democratic consensus…[and] acceptance of the present liberal-parliamentary consensus which precluded and serious questioning of how this liberal-democratic order is complicit in the phenomena it officially condemns and, of course, any serious attempt to imagine a society whose sociopolitical order would be different. (Žižek 2002, 544)

Here, within Žižek’s logic, the theorist postulates that such “fidelity” to the Statecraft of liberalism is an integral part of the mechanism of control, thus to return to the 2012 Obama-Romney elections, the promotion of elections, liberal democracy and civic engagement of these sorts is actually an integral component of the system’s maintenance. While elections are seen popularly as ‘people power,’ and one’s ability to engage with the proscribed methods of socio-political change, in actuality they are yet another manifestation of “write whatever you want on the condition that what you do does not effectively question or disturb the predominant political consensus.” (ibid.)

In asserting the “unfreedom” of democratic electioneering, Žižek continues within a long history of critical theorists such as Herbert Marcuse (1964) who argues that the State allows individuals to involve themselves with elections and other aspects of perceived choice in order for them to feel involved in the maintenance of their own lives. Marcuse even warms about the perception that such freedoms are linked to liberatory change, writing:

The distinguishing feature of advanced industrial society is its effective suffocation of those needs which demands liberation…the need for maintaining such deceptive liberties as free competition at administered prices, a free press which censors itself, free choice between brands and gadgets…Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves. Free choice among a wide variety of goods and services does not signify freedom if these goods and services sustain controls over a life of toil and fear. (1964, 7)

Here, and throughout his larger work, Marcuse cautions against the perception of choice and the recuperative power of State hegemony at the social, political and psychological levels. Similar notion regarding the false freedom of choice, were also presented by Slovenian psychoanalyst Renata Salecl, in her 2011 book Choice. The basic psychological functions of the election process is to inculcate the citizenry within this logic of acceptable and unacceptable topics of debate [2]; what is up for negotiation and what is outside the horizon of acceptability. This is one of the psychological and social functions of participatory democracy and the larger system of liberalism.

"Whoever they vote for, we are ungovernable"

While the topics of debate remain constrained by the structure and historical context of the nation, the sheer similarity in the two candidates must cause one to stop and observe that a filtering effect is occurring far before the voter reaches the booth. In the parties’ nominations prior to the conventions, all the way up to the series of primary contender debates, these similarities reek of unfreedom. Returning to the idea of choice, the selection of the Democratic or Republican parties is akin to the ‘choice’ between Pepsi or Coke, Ford or Chevrolet, Marlboro or Camel, American Idol or The Voice. With such pre-determined constraints, what does this mean for those of us who want to drink juice, ride bicycles, smoke pot, and read books rather than watch TV? The problem is that a list of dueling similarities is not the same as choice, even if is presented as such. What does voting mean for those of us whose choices fall beyond the horizon of available candidates?

While the presence of options is experienced akin to choice, the pre-choice constraining of those options conceals the insidious denial of actualized freedom. I am reminded of American comedian Bill Hicks, who in a 1993 comedy sketch said:

I’ll show you politics in America. Here it is, right here.
‘I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs.’
‘I think the puppet on the left is more to my liking.’
‘Hey, wait a minute, there’s one guy holding up both puppets!’
‘Shut up! Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control. Here’s Love Connection. Watch this and get fat and stupid.’

Besides the dated references to the TV show Love Connection, the joke is still apt. When faced with the Obama-Romney ‘choice,’ whom do you select if you would like to vote for a candidate that is not in favor of increasing US proxy ways in the Middle East, Asia, Africa and South America? Which candidate do you choose if you want to oppose the drug war, the death penalty, the electoral college, political action committees, the corporate-State plutocracy, the absurdity of the privatized educational system, the military-industrial complex… Who can I vote for to cut US support for repressive regimes abroad? Who do you vote for with the platform advocating for the destruction of the State and capitalism? When both candidates mirror each other in their preservation of systemic violence and structural oppression, a vote for either is an endorsement of the status quo, and a promise of four more years of increased wealth gaps, environmental degradation and to once again borrow from Žižek, the creation of ‘new forms of apartheid.’ [3]

Beyond constraining the horizon of options, the State also functions to coopt and recuperate manners of protest, using such ruptures as evidence of the rich democracy it manages. In the latter portion of his essay, Žižek discusses how former President Bill Clinton’s handling of the 1999 World Trade Organization (WTO) protests served to deny those dissenters their “political sting.” (2002, 558) Through Clinton’s actions such as “reminding the gathered leaders inside the guarded palaces that they should listen to the message of the demonstrators,” (ibid.) the former President was able to neutralize the dissent. In the realm of electioneering, the ability to debate, campaign and organize, alongside the explicit encouragement by the State to ‘get out and vote,’ serves the same function. The absence of Gestapo, physical intimidation, military checkpoints surrounding voting sites, etc. is seen as the presence of free choice, when in reality, to borrow from Žižek (ibid.), “The system is by definition ecumenic, open, tolerant, ready to listen to all; even if one insists on one’s demands, they are deprived of their universal political sting by the very form of negotiation.”

In the media’s narrative retelling of the WTO protests, the Marxists (and other political radicals such as anarchists, primitivists, etc.) manipulated “honest protestors.” Thus from amidst this framing, and through the lens of Lenin, the problem becomes: How does one make this false claim a future reality, in other words, how does one organize a demonstration with a systemically-broad political demand, as were rallied that day in Seattle? If the protest does not become a revolutionary demand, if it does not offer the participants the prospect of systemic challenge, then it is quickly co-opted as a marginal disturbance, or worse, it is organized into a NGO that can never serve to challenge the core issue at hand. For example, if the protestors or voters fail to question speciesism, domestication and capitalist ecocide, the dissent becomes Greenpeace, not a revolution. This is the failing of single-issue politics (e.g. women’s rights, gay rights, animal rights) as well as single issue voting (e.g. abortion, gun control, education). When one tackles the environment, labor abuses, or other so-called “issues,” such tacticians are serving to exploit the working class’ discontent against the status quo without providing an actual challenge to the larger system. To once again explicitly link this discourse to that of the 2012 ‘race to the White House,’ in the case of Clinton’s WTO presence, or that of Obama/Romney’s willingness to debate immigration, war, or a reworking of the domestic economy, the true strength of the system’s cooptation can be found in its willingness to listen to critique. When Clinton told the WTO to ‘hear the protestors,’ he deprived the rioters of their politics. The tolerant system, the system that is always ready to listen, denies those dissenters their politics of opposition.

Every four years we as citizens are allowed to be political players. We are given the opportunity to release the steam through the spout of the boiling teapot; a spout that if kept sealed through the firm hand of repression, will inevitably lead to revolution. To borrow a phrase from the infamous Theodore Kaczynski (2010, 197), this is “the system’s neatest trick,” and it is within this logic that elections “serve as a kind of lightning rod that protects the System by drawing public resentment away from the System and its institutions.” Political control in modernity is maintained through the preservation of Weberian legitimacy and democracy. If either of these is not present, one must resort to tanks and soldiers, and while the State is well equipped at this style of conflict, through the farce of elections and ‘participation,’ we are managed and maintained through the psychological and social manipulation—presented with a hundred choices, all of which have been preapproved.

Conclusions

In sum, why are revolutionaries from Žižek to the contemporary anarchists opposed to voting? Because it is an ineffective manner of representation, deeply corrupted with corporate money and political maneuvering. Elections and the party system serve as a mechanism for co-opting potential for legitimate change and integrating piecemeal reforms into a system of control. With such critiques in mind, we conclude that participation itself serves to confirm legitimacy in a system that does not represent us. In this way, not voting only serves as the final articulation of a sincere, politicized, informed, rejectionism.

So what is one to do with this misanthropic view of our contemporary representative reality? Well, most will hear these words, and go about their day, voting in another member of the ruling class. To that I say, ‘Fine, go ahead!,’ but if you think this constitutes the extent of your effective political involvement you are sadly mistaken. Whether or not someone chooses to go out and vote is irrelevant in defining your political self. To pull a lever in an isolated booth somewhere is the epitome of political irrelevance.

As the slogan so often reads scrawled on the walls, ‘Our dream can not fit into their ballot boxes.’ We can certainly dream much larger, and with a much clearer vision, than the false promises politicians make us. A principled stance against voting, and against the entire farce of winner-takes-all electoral representation, is not a call for apathy. In fact, it is a rallying cry to the 40-50% of eligible voters who do not vote. In fact, if we judge the vibrance of a democratic system by what portion of the population chooses to engage, the 2006 Palestinian elections (75% turnout) that placed Hamas in power were far more democratic then the 2008 US elections (57% turnout) that placed Obama in power. So to the massive non-voting population in the US—to these approximately 142 million [4] people—we are here to say that other options exist. Our critique is against apathy, against apolitical consumerism, against complacency, and 100% for getting active!

So vote, or don’t vote, but either way, get active elsewhere as well. In their 2004 propaganda towards direct democracy program, the “Don’t Just Vote” campaign wrote:

Voting is the least effective strategy for having a say in society. You can vote once or twice a year, but it’s what you do every day that counts. Don’t abdicate your power to so-called representatives—take responsibility for the ways you can change the world yourself. (CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective, 2004, 1)

So go out and vote, or don’t. Tell your friends to vote, or encourage them to boycott. But regardless of what path you choose, find other ways to endanger your political proclivities through actions that challenge State authority and lead us towards a brighter, more liberatory future. Get political outside of the voting booth since the space inside is sapped of all known political power.

Gather friends together in your community and monitor the police. Prevent them from murdering and profiling without observation. Steal food from your local wholesaler and serve it for free outside of posh restaurants. Develop your own political ideas, print them on paper, and post them all over the walls. Organize free childcare for your block, neighborhood, or workplace. Read, write, argue and debate. Plan a riot, write a song, make a new friend or conspire against an age-old enemy. Learn to be political outside of the voting booth—in the streets, in your classrooms, in your workplaces, in your bedrooms. Instead of voting in a candidate who might fix healthcare, education or housing, begin to build counter institutions which offer new methods of promoting health, teaching one another, and housing us all. Examples of such direct attempts at solving one’s problems abound:

When people start their own organization to share food with hungry folks, instead of just voting for a candidate who promises to solve “the homeless problem” with tax dollars and bureaucracy…When a man makes and gives out fliers addressing an issue that concerns him, rather than counting on the newspapers to cover it or print his letters to the editor…When a woman forms a book club with her friends instead of paying to take classes at a school, or does what it takes to shut down an unwanted corporate superstore in her neighborhood rather than deferring to the authority of city planners…(CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective, 2004, 2)

If you still choose to vote, make November 6th not just a day to pull a lever, but find time in that day to learn a new skill that might help you or your community. Learn to knit a blanket, to cook kale chips, to grow your favorite legume, or to field strip a rifle.

Politics is the active space between complacency and change, so fill that space with critique, solidarity and revolt, and not simply ballots, PACs and fundraising. If we are to believe that ‘the personal is political’ as we are so often reminded, find manifestations of political unfreedom in your own lives and work on changing them. Let us take the apolitical space of the election and fill it with a re-politicized space where we examine how we relate to our neighbors, our lovers and our friends. Let November 6th be a day when we ask ourselves: How do I contribute to violence, coercion, domination and alienation in the daily actions of my own life?

This form of introspection—along with its accompanying revolutionary behavior alterations—is a political act far more impactful for change then pulling a lever, shading a circle or writing in a protest vote. Voting as political action is apathy portrayed as engagement and coded within a thin veneer of patriotism and responsibility. If we are real patriots, let us remember the words of the early American Thomas Paine, who said:

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like [wo/]men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it…If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace…We have it in our power to begin the world over again.[5]

It is with the bravery and honesty that we must face the new day; not with a ballot and a vote, but with a revolutionary spirit, and a yearning for a new world in our hearts.

Against Apathy!
Against Complacency!
For Community, Solidarity & Liberation!

Notes:

[1] Žižek, Slavoj. 2009. First As Tragedy, Then As Farce. Verso.

[2] A similar argument of sorts can be seen in Herbert Marcuse’s essay “Repressive Tolerance” (1965) available via http://ada.evergreen.edu/~arunc/texts/frankfurt/marcuse/tolerance.pdf [date accessed 18 October 2012]

[3] Žižek uses this term throughout numerous works including his essay “How to Begin From the Beginning,” located in: Douzinas, Costas, and Slavoj Žižek, eds. 2010. The Idea of Communism. 1st ed. Verso.

[4] This number represents 45% of the current population estimates but does not account for the many people the system deems unworthy of voting rights including convicted felons (nearly 5.5 million people), undocumented citizens, “legal” resident non-citizens (i.e. Green Card holders) those under the age of 18, those deemed “mentally incompetent” by a court, residents of Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam…

[5] This is a cobbled together quote from three Paine texts, “The American Crisis No. 1” (1776), “Common Sense” (1776), and “The American Crisis No. 4” (1777).

Works Cited:

CrimethInc. Ex-Workers Collective. 2004. “Don’t Just Vote—Get Active: A community non-partisan voters’ guide 2004.” Greensboro: CrimethInc. Press.

Kaczynski, Theodore J. 2010. Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J. Kaczynski, A.k.a. “The Unabomber”. Feral House.

Marcuse, Herbert. 1964. One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society. (republished by Marxists.org). http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/marcuse/works/one-dimensional-....

Marx, Karl. 1852. “The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte”. Die Revolution (republished by Marxists.org). http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1852/18th-brumaire/.

Weber, Max. 1997. The Theory of Social and Economic Organziation. New York: Free Press.

Žižek, Slavoj. 2002. “A Plea for Leninist Intolerance.” Critical Inquiry 28 (2): 542–566.

For more information on NOT voting, start by checking out:
http://www.crimethinc.com/tools/downloads/pdfs/dont_just_vote.pdf
http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/colin-ward-the-case-against-voting
http://edibleballot.tao.ca/
http://praxeology.net/antivoting.htm
http://www.commondreams.org/views/110500-104.htm

Comments

tl;dr: go out and vote, or don’t.

First off, we're inundated every year. There's an election once a year. Not every four years. Secondly-when it's presidential in nature, it poisons our minds for WAY more than a month. Don't know where you've been holmes.

"This expectation-disappointment pattern brings to mind the often cited idiom, ‘Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice shame on me,’ or to borrow from Karl Marx (who borrowed from Hegel), “All great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice…the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” (Marx 1852)"

That's not what it means, you complete fucking moron.

A couple of false premises here. Refusing to vote is not "apolitical." Everyone who can vote, but doesn't, sends a definite message: "I don't care. I don't care who wins, I don't care which ballot measures pass or fail, I don't care what the government does nor who's in charge of making the rules."

And "If the population disengages and begins to call into question the legitimacy of the system," the people who don't believe in voting, those who don't want you to vote, don't see it as any kind of a challenge. They see it as a triumph of THEIR propaganda. They don't take your Big Message as one of power, rebellion, or revolution. All they see is you bending over, giving them permission to do whatever they like.

Say they're thinking of building more prisons. "I don't care." Great! They'll take that as a "yes" vote. Say they're thinking of legalizing marijuana. "I don't care." Great! They'll take that as a no vote; easier to fill up the prisons that way, and to ensure that the "wrong" kinds of Americans don't ever have to worry again about whether or not to vote.

Not voting won't make "the system" go away, although ultimately, if enough people didn't vote, it could help make voting go away, and people go away.

Its not about if a person cares or does not care, its about principles for an Anarchist. If someone identifies as an Anarchist, that means they have come to the point of not wanting anything to do with a State or mediated political system. An Anarchist is an active non-voter as one of their most simple foundations of thinking.

But that's a contradiction. If you don't want anything to do with a State or a mediated political system, what's an "active" non-voter?

A person can "want" to be not a part of the system but it is ultimately apart of the system no matter what. But that "want" or "desire" is what separates a person who is actively figuring out ways to subvert the system and someone does not challenge that system.

There are radicals who may want a different system but do not actively try to change or abolish it. A person can say they want a Marxist economic system, but if they vote Democrat each time they are reaffirming Capitalism...I know many Marxists who are like this.

But declining to vote does not challenge the system. That's a romantic fairy tale.

Sure, there are people in "the system" who desperately want you and everybody else to vote; your vote serves their agenda.

But there are other people, just as entrenched in "the system," who desperately want you and lots of other people NOT to vote. Your refusal to vote serves their agenda.

Capitalism will always be with us. There's capitalism in Cuba, and in China, and there was capitalism in the Soviet Union. Abolishing capitalism would be about as effective as prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages or smokable greenery.

There's nothing wrong, of course, with hoping for and working toward a better kind of society, but unless and until those noble dreams come true, this one's what we've got. You can like it, you can hate it, but every day you're still part of it, idealistic fables notwithstanding.

If you were stuck in a cage with a grizzly bear and a gun, and you threw the gun across the cage, sat down, covered your eyes and chanted "This SUCKS! This SUCKS! This SUCKS!" you'd still be stuck in the cage, and all the grizzly bear would see is an easy meal.

This is why I'm going to encourage to the bear to be more moderate and kill me off really slowly...

In the same way, now that you have convinced me, I'm going to vote for Jill Stein for President !

You won this time, Noam Chomsky !

I don't care whom you vote for, or even whether you vote. Just pointing out that some of the noble stories you tell yourself about not voting have little basis in cold, hard reality.

There's no way you can "decrease" your involvement with Capitalism.

For example, I am an Anarchist and I just bought a brand new Mercedes Benz. I'm doing well enough as an Academic. I have gotten slack for being an Anarchist driving around in a brand new luxury car but I've told these capitalists to fuck off. You don't tell me what to do, I'm an Anarchist...I decide what is best for myself. My trunk is full of Anarchist books that I deliver to low income people to remind the People that I'm an Anarchist.

So you go ahead and don't vote and be a purist Anarchist. You might as well enjoy Capitalism while you're alive.

Mercedes, new boots, a latte, a bag of weed, paying the phone bill, posting bail. Fork over money for it, and guess what? Capitalism.

Exactly, wether we vote or dont vote mkes no difference. The only thing that will change things is if we take matters into our own hands, with massmovements, riots, strikes and direct action etc. Like they are doing in Europe.

And we will not "always" have capitalism. We have not always HAD capitalism and therefore its a-historical and naive (and arrogant at the same time, strangely enough) to think we will always have it in the future. But this is exactly why you shouldnt vote: you become defeatists and leave your future in the hands of someone else instead of only counting on our own power - the only power we have to change things.

Also, using the gun to kill the bear would be the revolutionary option. Your option is to stroke the bear and hope it makes it friendly towards you and dont hurt it. Which you cant be sure of nomatter how friendly and subdued you behave towards it.

*hurt YOU

If capitalism didn't exist, somebody would invent it by the end of the month. Currency is a tool; nothing more, nothing less. If I'm a fisherman, for example, currency keeps me from having to lug a lot of fish around every time I need to trade them for something.

And bears aren't "friendly" or "unfriendly." Those are human qualities, not bear qualities. Bears kill out of hunger or fear, and then they go on with their day. Nor is their anything particularly revolutionary about shooting a caged bear. Even if you did shoot the bear, you'd still be in the cage.

But yeah, I don't think you should vote. As you're already trying to tell me what my chosen options would be, you're probably a closet Republican anyhow.

Lol... So in other words you dont even know what capitalism is. The point was that capitalism is a specific way of organising society. We have had other ways of organising society before, and there is no reason to think we dont organise society in another way in the future. Only people with an ideological and a-historical view of capitalism (i.e. That it somehow is "natural" to organise society this way) would think otherwise.

Also, hillarious that you didnt understand My use of YOUR allegori. Haha.

But isn't apolitical just another word for not caring, knowing that representative non-compulsory democracy is a farce, and that statist politics, which represents a capitalist society, is a filthy con and lie, in fact, the false premise is that the people need representation, as if they are powerless or dependent on a corrupt hierarchical structure that brainwashes and enslaves the majority. It is the defining precept of anarchism that mutual aid and ground level community consensus can replace a system whose hegemonic dominance is destroying this earth. I've said this a thousand times, starting to be clichéd, damn!
The ultimate corruption is revealed when a so-called democratic society chooses non-compulsory voting, doesn't that say enough about their power agenda, and anyway, why vote in a non-compulsory system, because mathematical probability theory places you in a minority without representation. But even in a compulsory voting system, why vote also, because the society by that time is so regulated that the vote can be manipul;ated by media propaganda. So either and all ways, democracy is a statist mechanism which causes hierarchical and socio-economic inequalities.

No, apolitical means "not political." And that's simply not a realistic goal unless one is considering suicide.

Living as a vegetarian doesn't magically change the fact that you're a carnivore by nature. Wearing dreads and asking "You feel me?" a lot does not magically change the fact that someone is Caucasian. Declining to vote doesn't magically exempt you from being part of the political system; you're just a part that doesn't vote.

In thirty and fifty years, the young anarchists who haven't been born yet will be lumping you and your friends in with all the other oldsters in the system who fucked up the world before they even arrived.

This is the planet Earth. One way or another, everybody who lives here is part of "the system." Pretending otherwise is, well, just pretense.

It's a realistic goal if you consider involuntary suicide, so no, sorry, I'm anti-political, or apolitical. You should study the subtle difference between amoral (anti-morality, negating the entire construct) and immoral(binary opposite to moral), then you will understand the nuance.

So even while attempting to define yourself as apolitical, you can't go three lines without pronouncing what I should do.

Don't vote and stop being an electioneer.

Or one line. That's great - a wannabe governor ordering me not to vote because, well, anarchy or something.

I could be a great benevolent dictator but anarchists don't have an electioneering program, damn!!

PS, you're old and ageist inside your mind but you've probably only emerged out of adolescence. Sort of like that brilliant story the 'Strange case of ----Button', ummm, jesus, western society excludes youth from voting, talk about patriarchy, and then reformists like you start voting and building fucking walls around everything. Fuck you personal philosophy.

No, I'm just the bearer of bad news. Hating me, whom you've never met, doesn't make the bad news any less true.

And apparently, "fuck you" is the biggest anarchist cliché going. So much for mutual aid, community building, and all the other empty blah blah. Same politics; different thugs.

'Fuck you' is a greeting amongst people who don't take themselves TOO seriously! Lol, you really are wound uptight, what IS your problem,,,let me guess, too much angst about who to vote for next week, lololol?!

And PS...in all honesty, and I'm not saying this to be mean about your cliché, I don't see a lot of mutual aid, much less ground-level consensus, ever emerging from the anarchist community, such that it is. Seems to no shortage of bickering, dueling philosophies, one-upsmanship, agenda clash and ego flash involved in all this "apolitical."

The whole demographic of anarchist community is that it's not actually putting adds in the newspapers or on prime time TV. Why am I replying to your biased internet troll when I know that 50% of comments are from visitors who have no fucking clue about what they are doing and are sucked into on some ideological statist or religious obsession?!

No idea why, but again, I don't see a more equitable, nurturing, healthy society ever coming from you.

I grow and share vegetables from my garden, and smile alot. I rest my case.

Don't believe you for a second, but your campaign efforts are at least amusing.

to vote would be to acknowledge legitimacy. how can i adequately burn to the ground that which is legitimate?

You seem to be confusing legitimacy with flammability.

"why are revolutionaries from Žižek to the contemporary anarchists opposed to voting?"...

First, there's a typo, you meant to say "Leninist Academics" instead of "revolutionaries".

Second, Zizek is not against voting like most Marxists. He gave vocal support to the Syriza Party, a leftist party in Greece.

http://louisproyect.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/debating-syriza/

I think humor is the best weapon, and this article is worth a barrel of monkeys. I mean, what is to analyze, really?

Most people I know don't vote and "they" can think whatever "they" want. But my friends and family and acquaintances who don't vote, don't vote because they see it as useless. Some are purely apathetic; some care but see the candidates as irrelevant. A good portion of people I know who do vote say "well, it's all bullshit, but at least Obama's not as bad as Romney (or vice versa)."

If you push them on details of issues the conversation breaks down pretty fucking quick. The education and media system are obviously not geared toward educated discussion of the Constitution and case law, economics, history or political philosophy.

To me elections are like hangovers. There really isn't a damn thing to be done about them. And you just hang on feeling shitty until it goes away.

Sometime this will change, but neither voting nor any other elections nor analysis nor anarchism will have much to do with it. The system rots. It just takes awhile to actually die.

Will anarchists actually have anything coherent to offer at that time? I used to think so. But this article offers the same totally fucked up set of stale platitudes: "steal and feed the poor" print a zine, start a book club!!!!!!!!

Well, it's worth a laugh!

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