Anarchist’s Guide to Voting


Do you believe in a world without government? Follow the Non-Aggression Principle? Hold that voting is violence? Then this article is for you. I’m going to tell you why you should vote.

No, I’m not here to tell you to vote for pro-liberty candidates who will in turn enact legislation that will reduce the size and scope of government, thereby making you more free. While that’s certainly a convincing argument to some, I’m not addressing this to those who would be persuaded by it. No, I’m talking to the cantankerous anarchist who refuses to legitimize the system. Who makes more election-day posts about why voting is useless than partisan politicos make about why it’s useful. I’m talking to you. Yes, you, you incorrigible bastard.

Voting is active dissent. “If you don’t vote you can’t complain.” Ever hear that? That’s because by not having a presence in the electoral system, you’re allowing people who do vote have complete say over your world. You’re passively accepting your fate. Not that it makes any difference, but if you vote and it doesn’t work, then you get to complain that voting doesn’t work.

Voting for lost causes terrifies the establishment. Elections are rigged. The system is stacked in favor of the two-party system and its favorites. They’ll never let anyone with a chance of making a difference get elected. But if they’re going to cheat, make them work for it. Send them a message not in your own personal online echo chamber, but instead in their world. Vote for the proverbial (or literal) Ron Paul, and watch with glee as the media and party heads struggle with increasing incompetence to hide the black sheep’s increasing popularity in the polls. Watch with pride as more and more disillusioned voters wake up to corruption of the system.

Voting allows you to make a mockery of the system. The government relies on a semblance of legitimacy in order to rule, the sacred myth of representative democracy being the foremost pillar thereof. So spray it up and down with metaphorical graffiti. Vote for the Easter Bunny. Vote for John Galt. Vote for Vermin Supreme. Who knows, maybe one of them will get elected to some smaller office. Wouldn’t that be a fun spectacle to watch on the faces of the state’s ardent defenders.

The system is violent. It is unrepresentative. It is a farce. Yet, for the time being, we are all forced to live under its oppressive thumb. So make like a good anarchist and resist. Struggle like an insubordinate child. Give your overlords grief and spite at every turn. Voting is the only situation where they still pretend to care what you think. So let them know what you think. Go vote.

Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela
Joël Valenzuela is the editor of The Desert Lynx. He is also the founder of the Rights Brigade, a mover for the Free State Project, and a martial art instructor.
  • “You don’t need a revolution to escape the system. You need secession. You need a withdrawal of support for the existing systems. You need to revoke the legitimacy which you extended to these organizations. You need to do it, and everybody else needs to do it. Nobody organizes this. People just learn, scandal by scandal, bureaucratic snafu by bureaucratic snafu, that the system is irreparable. It cannot be reformed. It must not be captured. It must be de-funded. The secret of liberty is not revolution; the secret of liberty is to de-fund the existing centralized order.” ‪#‎VotingIsViolence‬

    • So you’re talking about both secession, which implies a smaller state leaving a larger state, and completely defunding and otherwise not using the current system? You can’t secede and not use the system. That would be called collapsing the local government.