i am an anarchist and i vote

i often use the word propaganda and it makes many people uncomfortable.  When they hear this term they think i am trying to influence them, which of course i am, which is why i use it.

This poster is running around the internet.  From my perspective it is clearly designed to influence liberal/progressive voters to give up on Obama.  The only items i see on this list which might improve if Mitt Romney were elected president are the rate of raise of the CPI and the prices of gasoline.  Gas is largely untouchable by the president (as Bush 2 found out as he tried hard to influence it).

But from a progressive/liberal perspective Romney will make all of these things worse.

Mitt Romney wants to double Guantanamo, Obama shrank the number of inmates at Guantanamo and ultimately his efforts to close it were thwarted by congress which ironically was controlled by his own party.

As for military conflicts, Obama ran on the “right war/wrong war” platform, in which he was advocating conflict in Afghanistan and we elected him in part, based on that promise.  Except for contractors, we are out of Iraq (again not for completely the right reasons, the Iraqi’s would not grant our troops legal immunity, so we had to go).  Mitt Romney has made it clear he will bomb Iran over their nuclear ambitions. Obama is more diplomatic.  Obama unnecessarily went into Libya with NATO, Mitt would have too.

Government accountability is one of my biggest disappointments with Obama.  One of his three big platform planks was transparency in government and he has maintained all the Bush 2 secrecy policies and in some cases made them worse..  Mitt Romney is not even willing to release his old tax forms.  This might be a wash, but Mitt does not even make transparency noises.

Wall Street and big Pharma would be happy with a Romney presidency, clearly.

i have been watching politics in the US long enuf to have known that when Obama was elected he would disappoint those who put him in power.  I have to confess i have been even more disappointed in Obama than i thought i would be.   Specifically on transparency, not prosecuting political and corporate criminals from Bush 2, Not closing Gitmo and continuing Bush 2 extra-legal nonsense, and contrary to the implication of the above poster continuing the war on drugs and especially marijuana.

If i had more time, i would go through the Obama appreciations and point out the many false representations in it.  But i want to take a nap.

One anarchist orthodoxy (as odd as that sounds) is that you should not vote.  There are lots of strong reasons for it, as well as the stunningly low probability of actually influencing the campaign results.  And all orthodoxies are targets to be considered upending.  I will likely vote again this year and if VA is not close in the polls i might select a more radical candidate than Obama (this radical choice presumably has no chance of winning).

i believe all tools should be considered, tho not necessarily all deployed.

Here is a longer piece on Why i am an Anarchist

About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

11 responses to “i am an anarchist and i vote”

  1. Abigail says :

    Great post. I was just starting to think it was time to get back on the Obama train. I think this one is going to be closer than we would like, and though I am disappointed Id be kind of horrified to see what Romney would do.

  2. Becca says :

    Yeah, I’ll vote for Obama (unless it’s not at all close), but the key thing is to know that much more will be required of us than just our vote. I’m not sure exactly what that is. But it is clear that neither party represents our interests. Local Dems are good to vote for, though – the war on women has largely been waged at the state level, and there is more of a difference there. I wish I could say I have more hope, but as long as the populace remains entertained and sees politics like a sports game, nothing much is going to change. My personal challenge is staying out of despair. Thanks for all your revolutionary efforts.

    • paxus says :

      @Becca: For me part of what has been so hopeful about the Occupy movement is the social connections it has created between people who previously had no contact. In Cville where i only worked a little with Occupy, there have been strong on-going friendships between people who first met there – and this is true in many places. It helped us find each other, what we do next is an open questions.

  3. Kelpie says :

    The first poster should read “Big pharma has more rein,” not “more reign.” And thanks for writing this! I totally agree.

  4. Alex says :

    My biggest motivation for voting for Obama again is the potential Supreme Court picks. Scalia, Kennedy, Ginsburg, and Breyer are all in their 70’s. I don’t even want to imagine Mitt Romney appointing justices to replace any of them especially the liberal justices. The Court appears poised to reexamine a bunch of important issues (abortion, affirmative action, corporate personhood…). The Court has consistently been 5-4 on a ton of close issues with Kennedy heading conservative about 70% of the time. I for one would love to see a solidification of liberal justices on the Supreme Court.

    • paxus says :

      @Alex: The Supreme Court would be in the top three for me. Along with womens reproductive rights and militarization. Obama is no dove and certainly should not have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize, but he will be better than Romney on Iran and possibly intervention in general (Libya not withstanding).

  5. dh says :

    Am I mistaken when I recall you contributing (at very least) to an O+I paper extolling the probity of unregistering to vote? In my eyes the beauty of @narchism is in its dynamism, one can change their mind without sacrificing their integrity. But what brought about this about face?

    • paxus says :

      Dearest DH:

      indeed, the dynamism is elegant. And there are compelling arguments both to not vote and to not vote or sell out “liberal” democrats like Obama. And Virgina might well be a close state and it is clear that Mitt Romney is nightmare, so if people (like you and me in this state) want to play in this dirty game, it is on our conscience.

  6. Brian Adler says :

    I think the cycle that largely started with Reagan in the 80’s to mess up the country by and large can’t be stopped until the demographics of our country are different (and even then it might not happen). I’m looking forward to being part of the white minority in the US.

    I will, nevertheless, vote for Obama, but without a shred of enthusiasm.

    • Brian Adler says :

      Just to be explicitly clear, what I mean is that until the culture of people who tend to vote for Republicans are a much smaller portion of the overall mix, I don’t think much will change..

  7. Nexus says :

    When I was voting, I was hedging my bets. I was saying, “sure it would be great if there were an anarchist social revolution next year, but since that won’t happen, why not have a say in choosing the lesser evil? There may be hardly any tangible benefit to it, but It’s at least worth the ten minutes it takes.”

    I ceased voting when I started to focus on how the very act of voting is a statement of tacit approval of the perpetuation of an authoritarian system based on violence and coercion. Every vote is a vote for government. The only way to vote against government is to…well, I’m not going to tell anyone what to do, and I think anarchists can figure that one out for themselves. It might have something to do with consistency.

    My conscientious abstention from voting is not for the purpose of influencing campaign results. And I consider the progressive/liberal perspective to be irrelevant because I am neither progressive nor liberal. I don’t expect my abstention to achieve anything at all, and in terms of election results, it might even aid the corporate finger puppet playing the “bad cop” role in the scripted drama. I willingly take the risk, because now I dare to say, “I refuse to participate in a violent, authoritarian system (if this assertion is short-circuiting your brain, see “Government Explained”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUS1m5MSt9k ), and on those grounds, I consider this form of organization to be illegitimate. An illusion of vicarious power is no substitute for actual power. Government, as a catch-all term for a certain style of abusive behavior practiced in groups, may not end in this election cycle or the one after that, but I believe in the possibility of its abolition enough to stop hedging my bets. I believe that society based on peaceful, voluntary cooperation is possible within my lifetime.”

    It’s like stage-diving. It’s only safe to do when there’s a thick crowd in front of the stage willing and able to catch the stage-diver. I’m standing in front of that stage with my hands in the air. There are a few with me, and so far, if anyone were to jump on us, we would be squashed. When enough join in, the activity won’t involve any risk at all. But it has to start somewhere.

    Why I Would Not Vote Against Hitler: http://www.voluntaryist.com/articles/085b.html

    “The State is a condition, a certain relationship between human beings, a mode of behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently toward one another… We are the State and we shall continue to be the State until we have created the institutions that form a real community.”
    ― Gustav Landauer

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