Vote for Me by VolodyA! V Anarhist (ethical_anarhist on kingstonuniversity.org) has been printed in the 9th issue of SUblime.
“Democracy occupies the same ethical territory as gang rape, the victim gets to vote no.�? ~ missunderstud
“You can't complain if you didn't vote!�? We have all heard this before, and you know what, I am in complete agreement with that, there will be nothing to complain about if we didn’t vote. Voting is a tool that the oppressors use to make them look as if they are our legitimate masters. Think about it, at the time of slavery every abolitionist arguments were met with the discussion of how much slave trade was actually done by Africans themselves and this is precisely what is going on with voting, we are selling each other to our “masters�?.
But let's take everything a step at a time. The magical all encompassing description of the state is “social contract�?, which is a theory that when we accept our society we gain rights and privileges, and lose our freedom. If you don't vote this particular theory says that you still accept the society you live in by not moving away. However, any rational person will see that today, you can't move away. Look at the people who run away from fundamentalist governments, just to come to this country and be faced with persecution by the racist metropolitan police and the National Front bigots. So simply not moving to a different country is not a reason to feel responsible for the injustices that are carried out in your name. However, if you have actually voted in the election that has brought the government into the position of power, you are fully responsible; and at this time there is no excuse, no possibility of crying that you have voted for a different slave master, the point is that you have voted for one.
Look at the track record of people who have believed that voting could change things. Nazi Germany is a cliché example, and it is one for a reason. Everyone after seeing Adolf Hitler take power, rather than doing something about it straight away, were calmly waiting for the next election to roll along, at which time they thought to expose him as a moron (which he was) and beat him. But unfortunately for the whole of Europe, this moron, after taking the slave-master's whip has refused to give it up, and speedily changed all the laws to keep himself in power.
Another thing that we are constantly being told is that if we don't vote we might end up like the USSR or Iraq under Saddam. But have you ever actually looked to see how many people voted in those countries. In the USSR the rate of the voter turn-out was usually around 95%, and Saddam has beat all the records in the last election that he won, by having less than 1% of total population who didn't turn up to the voting poll. The reason for that is, that the repressive regimes need to keep themselves appearing to be legitimate, so they will use any means at their disposal to force people to vote. They introduce “compulsory voting�? laws and convince the international community that they are in fact legitimate “representatives�? of “their�? people.
All the examples that I've been giving you so far are on the level of the government, and that surely means that it is OK to vote for small positions like KUSU sabbaticals, the election which is once again about to start up. Right? Wrong! People who claim to represent us, only represent their own interests. They get paid with your money (you pay uni fees, uni pays the union, union workers take the money), when they run for their positions they use the money that you have never even intended to be used for that purpose (they get “no more than £25 or £12.50�?), how can then those people represent any of us? They can't, and they don't.
If that doesn't convince you, then take a look at the way that Kingston University is using the Student Union to prove to outside observers that there are no problems. Ask yourself, have you ever known anyone who was actually helped by KUSU when the person had a serious problems with the university? Normally I cannot even get a reply from Arnold, the president of KUSU, when I e-mail him about something important (although I do get “read confirmations�?).
So with all that said, I'd like to wrap up by pointing out that the only real option to tick on the ballot in any election for anybody who respects one's freedom and freedom of others is of course “None of the above�?.
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