Brad Miller

Voting: Meaningful Exercise in Civic Duty or Self Indulgent Dillusion?

In Liberty, True nature of the State on March 6, 2012 at 2:12 am

Vote Or Die.

Just kidding. I don’t buy into that. In fact I wish fewer people would vote. Because if you don’t vote according to what you believe you are expressing the ideas of others through action and violating your first basic duty as a Rational Human being ,which is to think for yourself.

That being said I did think for myself and actually voted early the other day Republican Primary. I have to say it felt good to cast my vote for Ron Paul. Now is this self-delusion or am I actually making a difference in the world?

I’ve voted in the past and have compromised my beliefs in order to do so. My two Senators from Georgia are anything but advocates of Liberty. They were the lesser of the two evils I believe at the time. But how terrible a system does it have to be in order for that to be a comforting type of rationalization that I used to justify my violating what I belive? They support Big Government Programs like TARP and National Defense Authorization Act and most of the other nefarious Government expanding programs. I didn’t vote for my current Representative who is a full-blown collectivist but he has a lot more in common with the Two Republican Senators then most folks think.

Government is the problem; Liberty is the answer.

I will  vote straight Libertarian from now on or not vote at all. I don’t believe voting is the best way to change the world by any means.

The only reason I will choose to do that is to maintain the integrity of my own mind. I’m tired of the argument of choosing between the least “evil” option. Both parties are really one party, The Big Government Party.

The whole amount of attention given to politics is really a lamentable fact in America today. I love when the politicians say it shouldn’t be about politics when discussing an issue, or that the other side is playing politics. When in reality politics is the “theory and practice of government”. So everything a politician does is by default “Political”

Anyway I look forward to a day when every American can go about their business and not have to be concerned at all with what the Federal Government is doing at home or abroad. Not because individuals choose to be voluntarily ignorant or choose to hide their heads in the sand but because the Federal Government is so small it doesn’t interfere with the peaceful transactions of individuals who are pursuing their definition of happiness.

It did feel good to vote for Ron Paul as the candidate for Republican Nominee. But somehow it feels like a hollow victory. The whole two-party system, the Federal Reserve, the 16 trillion-dollar debt, the endless wars overseas, the militarization of the police at home, the ever expanding wars at home against Drugs and imaginary terrorists made me think that punching a button for a candidate makes zero difference in reality.

When I think that I tell myself that is totally wrong. (I talk to myself a lot btw.) . Every thought you have, ever action you take matters. In the grand scheme of things sure, no Federal Election has ever been decided by one vote. Your vote matters because it is like any action you take. It should be one in which you don’t compromise your principles. It is an act of the will.

Emerson has a quote that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately : “Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind”.

That sums it up. Your vote should be an extension of that thought. In fact every action we take should be one in which you pay homage to the “sacredness” of the integrity of your own mind. That is the litmus test for all action.

Too often I’ve compromised in my life. I’ve not gone after what I desired because I didn’t think it mattered or I didn’t have the confidence in myself to obtain it. Emerson’s quote really brings into stark relief what is truly important against the back drop of all the  things that do not matter in  this world.

I am responsible for myself and the integrity of my own mind. Integrity is defined as a state of being whole.Your sacred duty is to maintain the “wholeness” of your mind. That is the path I believe to Happiness and isn’t that what we are all truly seeking?

: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony”. Gandhi

That is what I’m working towards in my life. Another way to say that is that I am looking for resonance in my life. That sounds like a new age term but in practice it is simply brining into agreement your thoughts and actions. This is the process of creating the external world according to the pattern of your internal thoughts.

How can I possibly have resonance in my life if  I vote for anyone who doesn’t believe that every individual on Earth has God-given Natural Right to their LIfe, Liberty, justly earned Property and the Pursuit of Happiness? The answer is I can’t and I won’t. Not because I believe it will change the external world in any significant way but because if I didn’t it would change my internal mental world in a significant way.It would be a violation of my “integrity”. How many people even talk of integrity any more? I know that is a daily challenge for me.

And with voting at least  I can say with certainty I will not be a party to “compromise” any longer.

Some Libertarians and Radical Individualists eschew voting all together. I can see that. But I also know I live in a world in which I must breathe, and eat and trade with others. There are things beyond my control and I must live within the world. That being said how I live in this world is totally my choice. I did seriously think about not voting this year. I would say if Ron Paul and Gary Johnson were not running I probably wouldn’t have voted unless there was another candidate who believed in Individual LIberty as they do.

I personally don’t believe Ron Paul will win the Republican Nominee for President. Instead I think he will be more like Obi Wan Kenobi. The Empire will think he has been “struck” down but he will only become more powerful outside of their reality. The State only sees force and power. They want us to believe we as individuals are weak and need to “collectivize” with them in control in order to live. That is false and Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are carrying the mantle of Liberty for us today. It is our job to do so in our own mind first then share that glimpse of the truth we’ve seen with others.

You matter. Your thoughts matter. Your actions matter. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that they don’t.

So to answer my own question do I think Voting is a meaningful Civic Duty? No. Because I abhor the State and any credence we give to “civic duty” is anathema to individualism and Natural RIghts. That being said I don’t think it is self-indulgent delusion either. Thoughts are the most powerful force on Earth. For my money the most powerful thought held in the mind of man is that we are all individuals granted by our Creator with Inalienable Rights. So when we vote as an expression of that idea we are carrying on the battle of  a long line of champions of Liberty stretching back through the centuries. And every Vote for Ron Paul and Gary Johnson is in some way keeping alive the best of what humans can conceive and accomplish, because it’s an expression of the thoughts of Liberty held in the minds of individuals.

The world is changed by ideas and the actions expressed based upon those ideas. That is why I am working to reach 2.3 billion people and help them each spark their own personal revolution. The kind of personal revolution I’m advocating for is one in which the individual understands that he is in control of meeting his needs and fulfilling his dreams. And more importantly that he is capable of doing so. I believe Collectivism grows because of a lack of self-confidence in individuals.

If  a third of the world is confidently pursuing their passion with a faith in their own personal power the shackles of the Collectivists will fall away.A personal revolution of thinking must occur before the external peaceful political revolution can occur.  I get the 33% figure from the fact that only a third of the Colonists wanted to secede From England, a third didn’t care and a third were against it. A majority is not necessary to stop the Collectivist Train.

I believe that once individuals again strive to have as Kierkegaard wrote “perfect faith in themselves and God” we will see an external peaceful political revolution in which Liberty is the norm and any form of government coercion is the aberration. When I talk about God, I refer to not only the deity, how every you define Him, but also to Providence or the Working of the knowable Universe. That is the belief and faith that everything that we desire and work persistently toward we can obtained because the Universe Contains everything we need to meet our needs and fulfill our dreams. Life is awesome. I know too often I’ve lost my awe of this Universe. But I would advocate for everyone to pause during these crazy times and really dwell upon the vastness and interconnectedness of this Amazing Universe we get to call home for only a blink of an eye.

It is enough that people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything.” Joseph  Stalin

The Government that people vote for is  just an expression of their internal thoughts. I choose to spend my time in first clarifying for myself why Liberty is so important and then day by day trying to figure out how to think and live as a free man and then help others to do the same.

“Let him who that would move the world first move himself.” Socrates

So when there are enough individuals who care about their own Individual Liberty and believe and live by the creed of “I can and I will be self-responsible” the Joseph Stalin’s of the world will have no power and there will be no position for them to be in to decide anything for anyone ever again.

Brad Miller

AdvocateofLiberty, Living in Awe and Embracing Life

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