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00420 wrote

I'm going to vote. I don't expect voting to fix anything major, nor do I think we really have a functioning voting system, but the minor improvements that can sometimes be affected by voting are still improvements, so I'll take that over nothing.

I didn't used to vote when I was younger though, so I totally understand the sentiment.

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Pop wrote

Personally I feel like in the time it takes a person to register and to vote they could do action instead

Planting a tree seems more useful than voting, having a conversation with your neighbours seems more useful than voting, both could be done instead

Really though organising people to have a critique of elections and voting is the best thing I think a person can do while people are voting
i.e. Instead of getting in the queue yourself, hand out flyers at the queue on how voting is not a source of change and instead how action and organisation is
Getting people to see that it's not enough and that direct action gets the goods is my preference

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[deleted] wrote

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Pop wrote

That's what I was doing; I said no-vote and 'activism' is better than vote and activism, because you could be doing more activism (and even a specific, situated kind of activism in response to voting) when you would have been voting

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[deleted] wrote

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Pop wrote (edited )

The point I seem to have failed to make is just that any time spent voting is better spent acting, so if you've got time to vote just hand out more flyers or whatever instead

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[deleted] wrote

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rot wrote

My view is that while, yes,voting legitimizes their power. Not voting doesn't not legitimize their power it just removes your smaller influence.

Direct action is your bigger influence. Vote or no, we need to make an impact.

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indi wrote

Is it really necessarily true that voting legitimizes the system? I'm not ready to accept that uncritically.

If you are in a situation where there is a realistic chance that a far-right, race-baiting, anti-immigrant demagogue could take power - a situation that is depressingly common of late - it can't really be true that the right thing to do in the situation is to sit back and just watch it happen. That just doesn't compute, ethically. Even if the alternative isn't great, stopping the demagogue seems important enough - especially taking vulnerable minorities into consideration - that you should take whatever action necessary to prevent it. There's really no more impactful action you can take to stop an asshole trying to use the democratic process to attain power than to use that very process against them. So that should be an action you should be taking, no?

Put that way, a vote against a racist demagogue is not a vote in favour of the system. It's exactly what I just said it was: It's an action against the demagogue. Nothing more, nothing less. It can be done at the same time as other actions, like protesting the system itself. There's no contradiction or hypocrisy there.

You could also think of it as a form of "self-defence". I think we all realize that punching back at someone who is in the process of trying to murder you is not in any way a legitimization of violence; it's not the same thing at all as punching someone who wasn't attacking you. Same action (punching), very different meaning. Context matters. The same action - voting - could be about legitimizing the system... or it could just be an act of desperation in taking the most-likely-to-be-effective action to protect yourself against a threat.

I'll grant that it's likely that some people are going to interpret your vote as legitimizing the system, but fuck them, because the same people are probably going to interpret you not voting as the same thing (for example, by saying, "if you don't vote, you accept what you get"). If you're really that concerned about how your action will be interpreted, then be vocal about your reasons for doing it. But saying you can't take meaningful action to prevent real harm because someone might (likely wilfully) misinterpret your reasoning seems ridiculous to me.

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[deleted] wrote

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indi wrote

So one can simplify it with "which candidate will kill the least people" and at that point walking away from that shit makes way more sense to me.

I'm not sure the people who will be killed by the candidate will agree that this position makes more sense.

If we were living in a society much like we had even 10 short years ago, where there really wasn't all that much difference between candidates, then fine. But look around. You can't seriously say there's no real difference between, for example, Bolsonaro and Haddad. Those days are over. We are living in a period where the far right is not only ascendant, they are getting real power. And they are doing real harm.

A vote against Bolsonaro wouldn't have changed the world, sure. It wouldn't have ended capitalism; it wouldn't have ushered in a new age of voluntary association; yes, not much would have changed. Except... a lot of vulnerable people would have suffered a lot less than what they're likely to suffer in the next four years. That's not nothing. Walking away from that does not make way more sense to me.

I'm frankly appalled that people are so casually willing to put esoteric and ultimately meaningless principles over the very real suffering of vulnerable people. I am very opposed to violence - I do not believe that violence should ever be used to advance a political agenda, it should only be used in self defence... but if I happen to pass by a queer person or Jewish person or whatever being beat on by a gang of neo-Nazi thugs... yeah, I'm fucking going to get in there and help that person. I don't believe that action violates my principle of non-violence, because it was an action I took in a crisis to save someone who needed help. People are always more important than principles.

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existential1 wrote

I go for voting + activism without having a preachy reason for voting. It is scientifically proven that voting in the US is rigged in favor of the wealthy as is the system as a whole. However, it takes so little time to vote (pending where you live) that most often it is not an either/or decision to vote or perform some action. Voting in the US is really not that meaningful in terms of what outcomes you get, but for me it takes about 30min of reading up on the issues and picking a candidate.

Now if you want to talk about contributing to campaigns or things like that, completely different answer. Hard pass on that form activism with the exception of places where citizens can put legislation on the ballot themselves and have it passed only through their own votes.

To the argument that "people died so you could vote", which I hear a lot in my own community when I talk about how I'm not really sold on the importance of voting in our system as currently constructed, my response is "yes they did, and they had no idea how fucked it actually was. They thought we could vote our way into freedom, they were wrong." It's like going to church just because my momma and her momma went to church. Some things exist just to perpetuate themselves.

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[deleted] wrote

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existential1 wrote (edited )

Yeah, I'm usually quick to respond that stuff with "people also died trying to not be shipped across the atlantic ocean. How'd that work out?"

Anything is better than nothing sometimes. Not true with fossil fuels, very true with propaganda.

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RosaReborn wrote

There are so many problems with voting systems most places that I don't think it matters: 1000 + 0.1= 1000.1 where action is worth 1000 and voting is 0.1, so not much difference either way.

If there are any "extreme" candidates, even if they can't win, it is a better use of your vote than the lesser of two evils because at least it will be reflected in statistics as a legit attempt to break the electoral mold.

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[deleted] wrote

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RosaReborn wrote

I encourage you try to do some activism, whatever it may be if possible. That is the best way to meaningfully change your society.

I think voting for a third party if possible or for a joke candidate, both are good options because it shows dissatisfaction with the establishment. I don't want to endorse voting centre-left to beat centre-right because that reinforces their garbage, although I have done that in the past. Ultimately I don't think it really matters and if you want to change things you need to do activism in any way you can. Plant a tree, put up stickers or signs, cut a petrol pump line, whatever you wanna do

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[deleted] wrote

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RosaReborn wrote

As an anarchist, it really does not matter and voting, even with the intention to show dissatisfaction is ineffective since our entire goal is the abolition of states or government in the first place. With this as our goal, I don't think any elected government could be justified in having my vote.

The comments I made are from the stand-point of a "pragmatist" which is an oxymoronic description of it because it is not really practical from an anarchist stand-point. Those were views that I used to hold as a liberal when I still believed that the system can change and they are views that I don't really hold any more.

Last year I voted for the party that my country calls "the radical left" because I felt they were different enough for the vote to be justified. If I was only given the choice of my two establishment parties then I wouldn't have voted at all. I guess it can be situational. Definitely don't buy into the liberal hype every election cycle. Vote or don't vote, it doesn't matter. Agitate and activate, that does matter

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rot wrote

What is activism in this situation? And by voting is it local or national?

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[deleted] wrote

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rot wrote

I think local matters more than national because of the scale and impact it has on you personally. I don't care about national elections other than getting the least harmful boot on my face.

To me it doesn't matter if you vote or not if you have effective activism but voting can help with your ability to organize, stay safe, etc.

So I guess vote+activism is best simply because a less fascist government helps comrades live.

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