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The Silver Linings in Canceling the Elections

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory22.html The Silver Linings in Canceling the Elections by Anthony Gregory (With inspiration and some tutelage from
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 27, 2004
      http://www.lewrockwell.com/gregory/gregory22.html
      The Silver Linings in Canceling the Elections

      by Anthony Gregory

      (With inspiration and some tutelage from Walter
      Block.)

      Bob Murphy described a horrendous and scary scenario
      in which terrorists attack America, the US government
      cancels the elections, and America becomes a
      concentration camp.

      If it happens, which we cannot absolutely rule out,
      that would indeed stink big time.

      But I don�t think any of the fascism that would
      inflict America could be blamed on canceling the
      elections. Suspending democracy might be a symptom of
      US martial law, but I wouldn�t call it the cause.

      In fact, I�d say that canceling the elections has many
      silver linings. Walter Block has pointed out the
      silver linings of wrongful executions, drug
      prohibition and term limits. The other day over
      Chinese food � we went to a great restaurant in San
      Francisco with Walter�s wife, our friend Michael and
      his wife, their friend Ed, and my girlfriend � Walter
      told me I had his blessing to tell the world about the
      silver linings in canceling the elections. (Actually
      he said, "Anthony, you know there�s no such thing as
      intellectual property rights! Haven�t you read Stephan
      Kinsella? Steal my idea!")

      Certainly, canceling the elections would be a boon for
      America.

      I�m serious about this. Can�t we see America becoming
      just as totalitarian while maintaining elections? What
      do elections really do to temper bad government,
      anyway? Canceling the elections will at least make
      Americans wake up and realize they have no control
      over the government. It will smash the illusion, held
      by many, that voting every four years, along with 100
      million other Americans � when we all know that the
      winner will either be a Republican or Democrat �
      somehow means the government represents the people.

      There are other silver linings. Certainly canceling
      the elections will reduce expenditures by government
      on elections. What Rothbardian wouldn�t gladly approve
      of any reduction in the size and scope of government?
      Think of all the money saved on printing ballots,
      hiring poll workers, not to mention on federally
      financed matching funds!

      We could save millions, and convert it into tax cuts!
      What libertarian wouldn�t take that trade?

      There�s also the time preference issue. Hans-Hermann
      Hoppe argues in Democracy: The God That Failed that
      monarchs are in some ways preferable to democratically
      elected rulers, because they care more about the
      long-term prosperity of the country, somewhat like
      property owners care about their long-term
      investments. If Bush were our president forever � oh
      joy!! � we could assume that he wouldn�t run the
      country into depression and failure, any more than he
      would his own business.

      Oh, wait. I forgot that Bush ran most of his
      businesses into the ground. Well, this would be a
      silver lining, if Bush had more managerial competence.

      Another great thing about canceling the elections is
      that we wouldn�t have to hear about elections all the
      time! We wouldn�t have to talk about whom to root for.
      Libertarians would no longer stress out about which
      candidate is the lesser of two evils, or whether to
      vote Libertarian or for another third party.

      No one would hassle you for not going to the polls on
      Election Day. You could stay at home and watch
      television, just like everyone else, and prime time
      network TV wouldn�t be saturated with news from the
      vote returns. Tuesday evenings are great times to
      watch sitcoms, and why should we preempt our routine,
      even once every for years, just to spend hours
      watching that annoying map gradually fill up with a
      bunch of red and blue states?

      America would no longer be so divisive! We wouldn�t
      have Republicans and Democrats anymore; we would all
      be happy nonpartisan subjects of the US government.
      Can you think of a better way to end all the bitter
      partisanship in America than to eliminate elections?

      You wouldn�t have to remember to register to vote
      every time you moved. You wouldn�t have to read
      through those nauseating sample ballots that weigh
      twenty pounds and come in fifty languages. You
      wouldn�t have to deal with obnoxious petitioners
      outside grocery stores, when all you want to do is get
      home and microwave your pot pie and watch sitcoms. We
      could repeal campaign finance laws, because there
      would be no more campaigns, let alone campaign
      finance. Michael Moore�s movie would be advertised on
      television. Some Republicans might finally understand
      that Bush�s presidency is as indeed illegitimate as
      the Democrats complain.

      Supporting the end of elections is hardly defending
      the undefendable; it�s merely pointing out the
      obvious. The silver linings are endless!

      Unfortunately, the House of Representatives
      overwhelmingly refuses to consider such a sensible
      libertarian policy as canceling the elections. I urge
      you to write your Congressman! Get involved in
      democracy, just this once, so we can help in getting
      rid of it altogether.

      Truthfully, I�m just as frightened of the US
      government canceling the elections as the next guy,
      not because I believe so much in elections, but
      because it would likely coincide with real oppression.

      But on the election question alone, who wouldn�t give
      up the right to vote for all his or her genuine,
      natural rights in return? One of the biggest mistakes
      in US history was giving women the vote. Instead, we
      should have taken the vote away from men, and told the
      politicians to pack their bags and go home. Democracy
      is a very dangerous illusion. It makes Americans think
      they have control over their government.

      I prefer the real control I have in the marketplace,
      where if I want something, I buy it, and if I don�t
      want something, I don�t buy it. I wish it were that
      way with politics. Everyone could pay Bush or Kerry to
      be their rulers, while I would save a few bucks and
      see if I could govern myself without the wisdom and
      guidance of the omnipotent lords in Washington, D.C. I
      doubt terrorists would have much interest in those of
      us who didn�t pay for US imperialism in the Middle
      East, and I doubt there would be much US imperialism
      if the warmongers had to foot the whole bill on their
      own.

      But until that day comes, we can at least spend our
      time thinking about what American politics would look
      like with some substantial, albeit gradualist, reforms
      in the right direction. Whether or not canceling the
      elections is one such reform is open to debate.

      July 27, 2004
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