Voluntaryism: Taxation = Theft , Govt = Slavery , Voting = Violence

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Fri Sep 23 20:01:09 PDT 2022


Voting Is An Act of Violence

by Hans Sherrer (1999)

Voting is the most violent act someone can commit in their lifetime.

This little noted anomaly about voting is directly related to the
modern conception of the State as an entity deriving its grant of
authority to act from the consent of the governed. The aura of
legitimacy surrounding the government's actions is enhanced by the
perceived role of voting as an expression of the "people's will".
Whether non-threatening or violent, the authority for each and every
one of the government's actions is presumed to flow from the consent
of the people through the electoral process. School children are
told this from their earliest years.

The idea the State derives its power to act from the consent of the
people sounds romantic. Few people, however, are aware that by
definition the State's power is for the specific purpose of engaging
in acts of violence. No grant of power is necessary for anyone, or
any organization to act peacefully. This is no secret among scholars,
and sociologist Max Weber's definition of the State is considered
one of the most authoritative:

"A state is a human institution that claims the monopoly of the
legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. ... The
state is considered the sole source of the 'right' to use violence." [1]

The legitimizing impact of voting on the government's exercise of
power intimately involves voters in the use of that power. Which
means that non-voters tend to delegitimize the exercise of a
government's power as an expression of the "will of the people".
So if no one voted in an election or only a small percentage of
people did, the government couldn't profess to be empowered to act
as an agent of the "people's will". Without the protective cover
provided by voters, the government would have no pretense to act
except as a law unto itself.

Consequently, the government's actions and the voters who legitimize
them are linked together. Thus at a minimum, voters are spiritually
involved in every act engaged in by the government. Including all
violent acts. This involvement in the government's violence isn't,
tempered by the nominal peacefulness of a person's life apart from
voting. By choosing to vote a person integrates the violence engaged
in by the government as a part of their life. This is just as true
of people that didn't vote for a candidate who supports particular
policies they may disagree with, as it is for those that did. It
is going through the motion of voting that legitimizes the government
to act in their name, not who or what they vote for.

This means that the violence perpetrated by any one person pales
in scope or significance when compared to that which is authorized
to be taken by the government in the name of those who vote. The
combined ghoulish violence of every identifiable serial killer in
American history can't match the violence of even one of any number
of violent actions taken by the government as the people's
representative. A prominent example of this is the economic sanctions
imposed on Iraq after the Gulf war in 1991. These sanction prevented
Iraq from rebuilding its destroyed sanitation, water, and electric
power infrastructure that were specifically targeted by the U. S.
military for destruction. Supported and enforced by the U. S., these
sanctions are credited by UNICEF and other organizations with
contributing to the gruesome deaths of an estimated 3,000 to 5,000
children a month for over 8-1/2 years. [2] All voters share in the
government's contribution to the unnecessary deaths of these children
caused by disease and a reduced standard of living. So the over
half-a-million deaths of innocent children in Iraq in the years
after 1991's Gulf war are on the blood stained hands of every voter
in the U.S.

The same dynamic of voter involvement in government atrocities is
true of the many hundreds of civilian deaths caused by the bombing
of Yugoslavian cities in the spring and summer of 1999 that the
United States participated in. This was a small scale recreation
of the atomic bombing of the non-military cities of Hiroshima and
Nagasaki in August 1945. Hundreds of thousands of innocent women,
children and old people were killed from the initial bomb blasts
and the long-term effects of radiation exposure. [3] Those bombings
had been preceeded by the U.S. military's killing of many hundreds
of thousands of non-combatants during the firebombings of Tokyo,
Hamburg, Dresden and Berlin. All of those people were killed in the
name of the voters that had elected the Roosevelt administration
in 1944 by a landslide. Voting, like a missile fired at an unseen
target many miles away, is a long-distance method of cleanly
participating in the most horrific violence imaginable.

So declining to vote does much more than cause a statistical entry
on the non-voting side of a ledger sheet. It is a positive way for
a person to lower their level of moral responsibility for acts of
violence engaged in by the government that they would never engage
in personally, and that they don't want to be committed in their
name as a voter. Non-voting is a positive way for a person to
publicly express the depth of their private belief in respecting
the sanctity of life, and that violence is only justified in

The social sphere in which most people live is notable for the level
of peaceful cooperation that normally prevails in it. The majority
of people strive to better their lives by working together with
other people in the pursuit of their mutual self-interest. [4] This
community spirit of non-violent cooperation supported by non-voting,
stands in sharp contrast to the societal violence endorsed by the
act of voting,


[1] "Politics as a Vocation", Max Weber, in "From Max Weber: Essays
in Sociology", edited by C. Wright Mills, Oxford University Press,
NY, 1946, p. 78.

[2] See e.g., "Sanctions of Mass Destruction", John Mueller and
Karl Mueller, Foreign Affairs, May/June, 1999. vol. 78. no. 3, pp.
43-53; and, "U, S. Weapons of Mass Destruction Linked to Deaths of
a Half-Million Children", in "Censored 1999: The News That Didn't
Make the News - The Year's Top 25 Censored Stories", Peter Phillips
and Project Censored, Seven Stories Press, NY, 1999, pp. 43-46.

[3] See e.g., "Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb",
Ronald Takaki, Little Brown & Company. Boston, 1995; and, "Hiroshima
in. America: A Half Century of Denial", Robert Jay Lifton and Greg
Mitchell, Avon, NY, 1996.

[4] See e.g., "The Evolution of Cooperation", Robert Axelrod, Basic
Books, New York, 1984; "Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds
Complexity", John H. Holland, Perseus Press, 1996; and, "Reputation:
Studies in the Voluntary Elicitation of Good Conduct", edited by
Daniel B. Klein, University of Michigan Press, 1997.

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