July 13, 2014

Voting is Not the Point

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

Ron Paul wrote an article today discussing the immigration “crises.” I haven’t talked much about immigration on this site and this post is no exception (for those who want my view, I agree with Hoppe –sections 3 and 4 get to the heart of my position).  Anyways, Paul did say something else on a completely different topic entirely that I thought was important.  He was talking about how the current Progressivist-Statist political environment causes immigration laws to be far too important; and then says:

In a free society… [v]oting itself would decline in significance.

This is a point that is considered far less than it should be.  The political commenters and popular opinionators so often talk about the importance of voting and how it is a sign of a “free” society and all that.  Women’s suffrage is seen as one of the most important steps for “equality” in the Western World.  It reminds me of one paleo-libertarian woman (I’m trying to figure out where I read it) who, when asked if she believed that women’s suffrage was a great thing, said: “no, and I’m against men’s suffrage too.”  The point is that “voting rights” and “democracy” and “power to the people,” or whatever the Popular Pitchfork expression is, is less important than liberty.

Liberty is most important in terms of political goals.

Voting is such a big deal because the State is such a big deal today.  But in a free society, “voting itself would decline in significance.”  Why? Because in a free society, the politician elected couldn’t use the weight of the majority to steal from people, transfer wealth from poor to rich or rich to poor, or interfere with the individual right to life, liberty, and property.  In a free society, it wouldn’t matter how many people decided that gun owners shouldn’t exist or that Christianity is offensive or that Mr. Jones makes too much money –they still couldn’t request that the State, always eager to participate, could service their wishes by violently interfering in the lives of the mob’s chosen victims.

The more we focus on voting, the more legitimacy we given to the results of voting. But is morality determined by the will of multitudes?  And further, look at the multitudes which make up this nation.  Look and consider whether you really do want the majority to win out.

This isn’t a “don’t vote” post.  Do as you wish.  This is a “voting is not the point” post.  This is a “voting is not necessarily the means toward liberty” post.  This is a “if voting is the best you got, then consider yourselves enslaved” post.  Think about it.  When in American history was voting the means by which we could get permission (from the government) to be free?

Liberty, not voting. Morality, not mob rule.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com