Why I Voted Today

  • Posted on: 8 November 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From The Implicit & Experiential Rantings of a Person

Today I went to my local polling location and voted. I voted for Hillary Clinton and all of the other Democrats who were listed on the ticket. I did this not because I am a Democrat, but because I want to stop the rampant spread of what I see as being a kind of 21st century fascism in the U.S. The act of voting was easy, it took me only a few minutes. What I foresee as being really difficult is what is coming next.

Also, at the same time, I am an anarchist, and I have been one for quite some time now. I know many anarchists who do not vote and who consider the act of voting to be a very un-anarchist thing to do. This has stirred up in me a desire to try to publicly explain myself on this.

There is a common notion among anarchists that the act of voting is one that legitimizes the existence of the state. An individual freely choosing to vote is often viewed as an individual consenting to the existence of the state. I do not see it that way.

I see voting as being a big huge collective game that many many people choose to participate in that is an adjunct to the larger social structure of the state. All of this has meaning because people choose to give it meaning, and then they act accordingly. In other words, like many things, it is a social construct that is ascribed meaning by people, and people play along with it. One can play the game and go through the motions, together with others, while also simultaneously not holding the same meanings that other people are holding. One can "be in the world, but not of it," or to use a less grandiose phrase, people can do actions without believing in what they do. (And, in fact, one could make an argument that this is indeed how most people get through life).

I see voting as being an act that is essentially value-neutral. In my eyes, there is no obligation for anybody to participate in this ritual (or anything else, for that matter). Subsequently, there is also no obligation for an anarchist to not participate in it. I choose to participate in voting because this particular ritual is one that many people believe in and use to operate the dominant social structure of the state. This is an area where for a brief amount of time one can exercise a small amount of leverage in the current social machinery that surrounds us. So, one might as well use it while one can, or, "smoke 'em if you got 'em".

And in this particular case, in this particular country right now, I think that this guy, Donald Trump, wants to become an outright dictator, no holds barred. Whereas Hillary Clinton is just your run of the mill corrupt career politician, you have seen them all before, they are a dime a dozen in a representative democracy. And I would rather have the kind of B.S. that we are used to over an outright dictator. In other words, I see there as being more happiness and freedom, to whatever marginal degree we can find it, in a bullshit society that is structured as a "representative democracy" than in a bullshit society that is structured as a "dictatorship". And the best way for us to stop a Donald Trump fascist regime from coming about, at this point, is for us to vote for Hillary Clinton.

This stance of "being in the world, but not of it" is one that I take with many different things in my life, every day of my life. It is by no means just confined to the single act of voting. I basically do not believe in much, if not most, of what I do. I do not believe in capitalism or the state, private property or ownership. I do not believe in people working jobs, using money, paying rent, going to school, driving automobiles, and the list goes on. I could go so far as to say that I do not believe in Civilization itself, and yet here I am, thoroughly domesticated as all get-out. The notions of "purity" and "integrity" are ones that I no longer believe in or strive towards. The way I see it, we are all in a cage, through-and-through, and the world that I want to live in is completely Other. A truly anarchist world is completely outside of all of this, and it is one that I can only imagine and dream of. Yet at the same time, it is worth everything to me.

That all being said, there is also the real possibility that the world as we know it now is on it's way out. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could very well help to start World War Three (this one with the nuclear option available from the start). The bitterness and acrimony between the Democrats and Republicans, and the Left and the Right writ large, could wind up with the U.S. entering a second Civil War. And then there is always the looming possibilities of a global economic collapse, or an ecological collapse, or a technological collapse (or a Singularity). Who knows! The point is, if any of that happens, and if the human race survives the experience, perhaps then a window of opportunity will be available for people to truly leave this bullshit society behind, with all of it's egregious ascribed meanings and performative rituals that work the gears of the spectacular machine that so many people find oh-so-fascinating. Perhaps then a door to the cage will open.

Until that point, however, I will be watching the election results on TV.

**Disclaimer: I am not saying here that I think that you should vote, or that you should vote for a particular candidate. And if you read this piece and say that I am "not really an anarchist", then my response is "fuck you too"**

category: 

Comments

I am the one who wrote this piece, and I have to say: it is already outdated. We are at a new stage now, namely, figuring out how to respond to an imminent Trump regime.

it's even more funny,and make more sens after the election. To know why you should have tempt to sabote the election instead participate to the masquerade!

Hope you learned something.

I'm sympathetic to the idea you're putting forward even if I personally can't be arsed to vote when I know it's totally worthless.

There are people I care about who acknowledge that voting is worthless, but they do it anyways because they don't feel like there's anything else we can do to bring about political change (and I think we should as anarchists be more aware than most people of how hopeless our prospects are for reaching any kind of non-bullshit society). And with this particular election cycle, people I care about who are POCs are also particularly worried over the fact that Trump has spouted far right populist and racist rhetoric and yet managed to nonetheless get popular support.

I still think it's totally ridiculous to think that Trump is going to bring about some kind of dictatorship though. The status quo is going to be mostly maintained - although things will be shittier for me and people I care about than if some social democrat had gotten into office and abolished student debt and made it healthcare more accessible. But the real problem as far as any kind of genuine fascist shit goes is the fact that Trump was so openly edgy and racist and yet managed nonetheless to win the election. It speaks to the troubling political climate in the US - a trend which has been seen around the world - and it's likely that there is going to be a rise in actual fascist activity.

Things will get even more interesting come next election cycle.

Voting solves nothing. Why the fuck are we still talking about this. Black bloc's or nothing

Black Blocks have pretty much run their course. Way too predictable and containable. Demonstrations against the World Economic Forum in NYC in 2002 and against the International Monetary Fund in Miami in 2003 (where the so-called "Miami Model" of police crowd control tactics got is name) proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt. Time to get more creative.

miami 2003 was against the FTAA.

but yeah, the surveance state is so advanced no resistance that relies on "getting away with something" is workable. you have to rely on masses of people fighting back together unfortunately. think autonomous zones. territory. space to defend.

Oh yeah, Miami 03 was against the FTAA, wasn't it? My bad.

As for effective street tactics, I'm becoming increasingly skeptical of mass demonstrations as a means of creating radical social change. Cities are designed in such a way as to channel movement in predictable patterns and create areas of enclosure. The pigs have all of the advantages in terms of equipment, training, and communication. While I tend to think that anarchist activity needs to expand its view beyond urban centres and take a closer look at the technological infrastructure of the rural countryside, I will not go so far as to say that large-scale demonstrations should be abandoned entirely.

As for maintaining group cohesion in large numbers, I think it's a bit much to expect that anything more than 5 or 10 people are going to be able to act spontaneously and intelligently without the risk of communication breakdown. This is why I see affinity groups as so important and, based on what I've seen of the anti-Trump protests so far, it appears to be an idea that has completely flown out the window. While affinity groups can certainly use the larger crowd to their advantage by breaking away to carry out an action and then merging back into it again, relying on the entire "mass" of people to determine all of your movements and actions is a recipe for disaster. This doesn't mean that there won't be opportunities for multiple affinity groups to work together on the fly, but it does mean that each group should maintain relative independence and decide for themselves when to hold their ground and when to disperse.

there are literally 12 years of black blocs after Miami that disproved this - 2005 inauguration, 2008 RNC, 2008-2009 insanity generally, G20 pittsburgh, various MayDays before they became predictable. Things have gotten more creative. No, you don't just show up to the march wearing black with a dozen people. But to say its over is really out of touch.

How exactly have things gotten more creative? Also, you seem really attached to the idea of participating in black blocs and really reluctant to subject them to any sort of criticism. Why is that? Is it just the "coolness" factor of getting to mask up and wear all black or do you think that black blocs offer strategic advantages that other tactics simply do not? If your answer is the latter, then what are these advantages?

It's bloc … quit spouting off on a subject you know nothing about. Nobody showed up in Miami anyway.

Nah, think I'll keep talking. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Black bloc solves something more? This is still another way of demanding. In the case of struggles focused on more specific issues (like squat defense, shutting down some businesses, creating a precedent, or even police violence) the tactic has been quite efficient. But just black-bloc'ing because some bastard got elected instead of Hillary seems dumb to me.

That's because you lack strategic analysis. Black blocs have to form somewhat spontaneously to achieve the mass required to successfully resist police crowd-control techniques, therefore ANY reason that draws large masses of people in to the streets is a potential rupture that can be exploited in order to achieve economic disruption that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

Each person who wants to be free can see the fascist grow up today. In every country. So we need to think about get out from these fascists societies, about riseup out of home front. I tried to change people around me so many time, and now I say: don't spent your life for it, get out, take your friends anarchists or socialists and build the new society in the outside. The technologies and knowledge can help us. When we will be separated from them and will be integrated with ourself, we will can fuck up these fascists.

I stopped voting several years ago. I have not regretted making that choice. I know a lot of people who do not vote,but are not anarchists.If an anarchist wants to vote,fine by me.As long as you know that it is an empty ritual,then there is no harm done.Trump is a joke,but he could be a dangerous joke,so I can understand why a lot of people,including anarchists, are feeling more anxious as we get closer to January 20,2017.

It think it's safe to expect a neofascist march on D.C. on January 20th, or possibly the 22, fronted by clownish meatheads like Steven Seagull and Alex Jonestown.

I also voted for Hillary Clinton. We must now oppose the proto-fascist
Trump in a variety of ways including occupy-like activities. Best left to spontaneous manifestations
as they arise.

How dare you call yourself an anarchist if you voted for HC!

In the light all of his bullshit po-mo poetry he's written for years here, often in butt-licking infatuation for Emile, this is just predictacle in a funny way that Azano was never an anarchist.

I had no idea that I wrote in a post-modern poetic style.
I take that as a complement. I'll be sure to post on this site
more often.

Capitalized first letters... complete and somewhat coherent sentences... Aside than the misspelling on "complement" (since "e" and "i" are pretty removed from each other on a keyboard I only can assume you're too retarded to write in English intelligibly), you don't sound like the real troll azano.

But I know how trolls here get high on people hating them. I guess you'd be one of the "hit my balls with a hammer damnit! do it do it do it!" crowd... so hey I'll stop and stay that I unconditionally love you for being such a gigantic asshole.

LOL

Black Bloc defeats the surveillance state while unifying the group and creating a safe space for militant direct ation.

THE WINTER OF DISCONTENT HAS ARRIVED!

Funny how political moderates swing anarchist all of a sudden when they lose the white house. Not to say anarchists were pure before all this in any sense of the word but it's WORSE now. If Trump left and Hillary took over today, I'm sure anarchists would be gone leaving the splinter in the dust.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
CAPTCHA
Human?
D
z
f
4
h
u
R
Enter the code without spaces.