“Politics is pissing in public” –Norman O. Brown
Unlike commodity choices where fear creates many product categories (life insurance, income tax negotiation, home security, produce pesticide wash, dating web sites, private schools) and you select among the products with the most positive features, the essential methodology of voting is to create fear based participation in which what you give in to is the best case of worst cases. Nobody buys a brand in order for its competitors to fail.
Creating non-electoral social action requires greater initiative, spontaneity, self-organization, and communication skills than politicking because hundreds of years of voting routine have created a juggernaut which, though it fails to deliver, takes up nearly all the social space allocated to change. The champions of the vote are well aware of this which is why they never fail to ask the question, “what have you done as an alternative?” knowing that a systematic alternative is impossible to create in small numbers. Recognizing the dead end of politics is a necessary first step. It represents a positive moment in the process of discovering our humanity.
The Electoral College Dictionary
This solitary act confirms the depraved choices offered by Power and at the same time lives in a cynical hall of mirrors. We know they know we know we can do better than this. In representative democracy what is delegated in the form of a generalized resignation are the worst attributes of market based behavior (narcissism, misogyny, greed), thus the vileness of the shenanigans of political figures. They mirror us rather than them setting the tone. And the horror of voting, with its diabolical compromises justifies and condones everything that follows. As the enormity and complexity of the question of social power in this apocalyptic historical moment continues to reveal itself, the appeal of simplistic, quantifiable behaviors expands. Nothing lends itself to a pseudo-science more than the endless data stream of the binary choices of the ballot box.
This is someone who is not seduced by the current political and/or social order of work and commodity consumption or related slavish ideologies. The term describes a broad range of stances from catatonic to urban insurrectionist. They could have begun any place on the political spectrum. It is often a transitional phase. If they vote, it is under great duress.
They do not believe that there are electoral solutions to social problems, and may or may not have an alternative solution or perspective. They do not vote nor believe outcome of elections is significant compared to the humiliation required to participate in the process. Often they avoid social movements because they intimidate non-voters into electoral participation.
“It’s justified cynicism. When they are engaged with the system it has screwed them over. You go to the DMV and find out you have an old speeding ticket you can’t pay. You vote and your name will show up on a file somewhere and you’re called up for jury duty. Every interaction brings hardship.”
They are the human face of divisive crypto-fascist propaganda. He (mostly men carry this attitude) pretends to be too tough to need the protection of the State but votes enthusiastically for all authoritarian measures and candidates and is a zealous collaborator with the police and the military. Personal unhappiness fuels anger at everyone except those responsible for his miserable life. They prefer clubs and tiki torches to words of which they have very few.
Scaring away the why-don’t-you-vote hit squad
You can fend off an aggressive pro-voting humiliation, often from a family member or close friend, with these statements/questions.
· The reason I don’t vote is it only makes it worse. Look at the last __________years (Your age minus 18).
· If voting created profound change it would be illegal.
· I am interested in collaborating with creative, compassionate problem solvers who see that anyone has the ability to address profound social issues and who are responsible for the populist initiatives that use unmediated techniques in the streets of the world. These kinds of people frighten politicians because they make them irrelevant.
· If voting is so important to the system why is the technology so antiquated and dysfunctional? Why are voter’s rights so poorly enforced?