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A few words from the grateful side of Germany

Medienkritik has some food for for thought which I would recommend reading on this election day:

Democracy is something that members of free societies should never take for granted. It has been dearly paid for in the past and continues to be dearly paid for around the world today in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. We at Medienkritik therefore humbly encourage all our American readers to participate in the political process and the upcoming election. Whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, exercise that simple and basic right that signifies our freedom: Vote.

24 comments to A few words from the grateful side of Germany

  • Sorry but I intend to exercise my liberty by ignoring the whole frigging thing… and by suggesting people might also decide to vote for either ‘NONE OF THE ABOVE’ or better yet, don’t bother at all given the miserable choices on offer :-P

  • toolkien

    Somehow I knew Mr. de Havilland would be all over this one….

    …and I agree.

    Somehow I don’t think democracy was meant to be a centrally dominant corp, a thousand or more miles removed, taking trillions of dollars and issuing rules and regulations so far removed from the individual. Federalism is what a sizeable portion of the founders feared for the very reasons we see today here in the US. Calling this democracy is a disservice to the word. It is an exercise in superstition.

    Does anyone see a problem when the furthest level of government commands 60%+ of the taxation structure and the local government get 6-8%. Not exactly tuned to the individual.

    Democracy should allow each individual to live their lives as they see fit. Binding 290 million people together into one basket creates maximum marginalization of the individual. That may not be a problem for the superstitious majority, who crave a disconnect between cause an effect, but this brand of democracy steam roles the minority who wish not be bound by others’ grandiose schizophrenia. People are admitted into hospitals every day for exhibiting the inability to discern cause and effect normally, but every four years or so millions turn out to punch a chad and truly believe they are having an effect on the central bureaucracy that is Washington DC.

  • VoterBob

    Perry whilst I agree that a ‘NON OF THE ABOVE’ would be wonderful option as it currently doesnt exist its better to vote than to abstain (IMO).

    If 50% of the elegable population vote and there is a 2% advantage to the victor (very hypothetical figures!!) then the 50% abstainees really must consider what impact they had. In a democracy those elagable have a responsibility to vote, its the only way democracy amy be maintained. An apathetic population who just accepts what the have leads to tyrany – just look at the UK today!

  • All this crap about democracy being dead in the U.S. is just that. We’re expecting record turnout – maybe 60%+ of registered voters. (The Dems will also have a lot of unregistered voters, dead people and housepets voting, but we will endeavor to not count them.

    The problem the Yurpeon Elite has with democracy in the U.S. is not that it’s dead; their problem with us is that it’s too alive, and our leaders are painfully aware of that fact. Those bastidges answer to We, the People. Sometimes We is a damn fool, but by God, We get Our way. This makes Olde Yurpeons teddibly nervous – can’t have the rabble deciding whether we need the death penalty, three strikes rules and gun ownership; or for that matter whether Kyoto is a good idea. Nope.

    So we get a great run of “Democracy is Dead” articles. Dead, schmed, I say. It’s doing just fine. We the People appear to be suffering from some cognitive impairments, but democracy itself still works about as well as when it was introduced in limited form 4500 years ago.

  • SteelCoder

    According to the voting card for President/Vice-President, I (if I could vote) have 7 choices…

  • Of course democracy is not dead… quite the contrary, it is expanding in the USA and Britain as the state tries to take more and more aspects of life out of the realm of civil society and make them political in nature… and that is a very bad thing indeed.

    Sorry to sound like a broken record but voting for the lesser evil just guarantees the perpetuation of evil.

    Stay at home and do something important.

  • limberwulf

    While I see your point Perry, staying at home also seems to guarantee the perpetuation of evil. I hope whatever you are doing with your extra hour is important enough to counter that, else your argument only holds appeal to the lazy or disinterested.

    Maybe Im just too young and optomistic, it wouldnt be the first time I have been accused of it. It may be that in about 4 or 8 years I will be right there with you. I hope not, but I also respect you enough to know your cynicism is not without reason, the same goes for Toolkein. Untill then however, Im voting third party, or in this state’s case, the lesser of 4 evils.

  • Andrew Robb

    Perry,

    I hate to get all movementarian on you but if the system is as bad as you say, and I agree that it is, why not try to change it?

    I’ve been telling everyone who will listen about my veiws. I’m respectful of their veiws even when I’m trying to explain why they lead to the problems we have today. I can’t say I’ve got many converts but at least the Idea is out there, further spread amoungst the populace.

    Perhapse in four years, when the choices are worse than they are today, a few of those people will vote third party, or vote against some awful state or local law. Maybe they’ll tell a few others why and then those few will……etc. etc. snowball cliche’s are in order.

    May not work, probably won’t work since I can’t afford mass media brainwashing to get my message out. But at least I’m doing something.

    Perry contributes to this blog, which is great, but how many statists find their way here? Those that do will find it easier to disregard a blog than a human, right there in their face, showing them the errors of our current system. Other than that I have no idea of what you do so I won’t claim that you are doing nothing. But I have been encoraging others to vote, and to vote smart. I tell them to read, and not just the traditional press, about everything they vote on. I do this in the hope that they might one day vote as individuals and not parties.

    Speaking of which, it’s time I went to the polls.

    See you all tomarrow after the continuing of the cowering old world.

  • Rebecca

    I take my cue from the Afghan women who took ritual baths and said prayers for meeting death before they walked an hour to vote in their first election ever, knowing there were men out there who wanted to kill them for doing it.

    So, I strolled into my nice, safe, well-lit local library, chatted with other people in line, and cast my vote. It is my right, my privilege, and my duty. And I owe it to people like those women in Afghan.

    Anybody who says different is a ridiculous, self-important jackass.

  • R C Dean

    Voting for the least bad candidate is the least bad alternative, which is all you can hope for in this world.

    Not voting guarantees that, whatever change in direction might occur, it won’t be what you want except by sheer accident.

    Toolkien’s complaint has less to do with electoral democracy, that (necessary but not sufficient) component of a free society, and more to do with federalism and devolution/dispersal of power. Both are good. Saying we don’t have enough of the latter doesn’t detract at all from the value of the former.

    I have yet to be talked out of my position that electoral democracy as an institution is a necessary component of a free society, or that electoral democracy can fulfill its function unless people vote.

  • veryretired

    It was gray and rainy here this morning when I went out to vote. There was no crowd, and a nice elderly lady checked off my name, inspected my driver’s license, and gave me a slip to get a ballot at the next table. The lady at the ballot table took the blue slip and handed me a ballot. She made a point of telling me to fill in the oval completely so the ballot would count properly.

    I went to another room in the school basement, went to one of the voting cubicles, and looked the ballot over. President, representative, state representative, numerous judeships, and three races for the local soil and water commission. ( I don’t know much about these folks who care enough to run for a soil and water commission, but I’m glad there are such people who will take the time to do it.)

    I marked my choices, put the ballot in the scanner, and got a little red sticker that said “I Voted” from the nice young lady at the exit door. A quick walk to the car, and off to the grocery store.

    I am a free man— free in a way, and to an extent, that only a tiny fraction of the billions of human beings who have lived on this planet have had any chance to experience. To paraphrase MacArthur, if I failed to participate in this vital expression of my freedom, the ghosts of those millions who had pledged their lives and sacred honor to secure this right would rise up to chastise me.

    I realize, perhaps more keenly than some here, how flawed these candidates are, how flawed the government is at all levels, and how much work needs to be done to correct the massive errors that the philosophy of statism has caused. I vote, not because the system is perfect, but precisely because it is badly flawed, and in need of serious reform.

    Just like the old house my family lives in, there is ample room for renovation and improvements on every level. I find it more effective to work inside the house, fixing the problems as best I can, rather than stand on the lawn and throw rocks at the walls until they fall down.

    You must choose your own path. (Superfluous Star Wars reference)

  • I am a free man— free in a way, and to an extent, that only a tiny fraction of the billions of human beings who have lived on this planet have had any chance to experience. To paraphrase MacArthur, if I failed to participate in this vital expression of my freedom, the ghosts of those millions who had pledged their lives and sacred honor to secure this right would rise up to chastise me.

    You’re free to take your neighbors things and force them to live their lives as you please. They are free to do the same to you. That is democracy.

    You’re right, most of humanity never did have the chance to equally violate each others’ rights. It used to be only the alpha-male and his friends got to do that. Now you have a say also. Congrats on your freedom.

  • Andrew Robb

    Jonathan Wilde –

    Read your blog. You wouldn’t happen to read Ken MacLeod would you?

  • veryretired

    Jonathon—you seem a little testy. Did you fall and skin your knee at recess?

  • Andrew Robb

    Jonathan-

    I thought so. MacLeod’s vision of anarcho-capitalism is extreamly vivid and beutiful but, alas, it is only fiction.

    Most of the failings of government, be it communist, democratic, facist, or other, are brought about by failings of human nature. The multitude of anarchist philosophys are not immune from this. A government, or lack of one, is only perfect if everyone plays along.

    Pitons firmly hammered into the slippery slope, I present you with the opinion that having a system of written laws, carefully drafted, which protect the great majority of freedoms granted to me by mere existance is better than trusting the asshole down the street from me to keep his hands off my stuff.

    And no, I don’t think the threat of violence against his person will help either. Most criminals believe the won’t be caught.

  • MacLeod’s vision has not been of particular influence on me. I simply enjoy his novels.

    Regardless of the Founders’ intentions, modern day democracy is not the Republic they intended. We were never meant to vote to decide for each other what the ‘correct’ price at which to buy our goods is, nor whom to buy them from. Nor were we to vote to decide which types of marriages we could form. Nor what kinds of medicine we should treat ourselves with.

    The guys in charge are not playing by the rules. There’s no need to play by theirs. Voting today is a scam.

  • Andrew Robb

    My apologies for the assumption and I agree with your evaluation of our modern government. But without voting or seeking to influence the vote of others, how do you plan to improve anything?

  • You can do lots of things – from influencing politicians, their friends, their advisors, to influencing public opinion, to creating alternatives that compete with government for patrionage. I posted some here and my co-blogger posted some here. But voting is simply an exercise in futility.

  • Andrew Robb

    I see the concept of influencing politicians and voters when you yourself don’t vote as being at least vaugely hipocritical if not outrightly so. I feel you would have more success in influencing public opinion if you did vote. Or even, as some other readers of this blog do, actually work from inside the system.

    But since I agree with the rest of what you have to say, I’ll beg off and wish you good luck. We have the same goals I think, just differing execution.

  • I see the concept of influencing politicians and voters when you yourself don’t vote as being at least vaugely hipocritical if not outrightly so. I feel you would have more success in influencing public opinion if you did vote. Or even, as some other readers of this blog do, actually work from inside the system.

    It’s hypocritical to complain when you sanction the outcome. That is sending the wrong message. I am more consistent in complaining and not taking part. I don’t agree with what’s going on, and therefore I cannot participate.

  • Andrew Robb

    I see myself as more likley to succeed and this argument as splitting hairs.

  • Shawn

    Rebecca is spot on.

    I would add that a ‘None of the Above’ vote at a time of war is is an abdication of moral responsibilty, and a good example of why liberatrians increasingly look like spoilt children.