As an Anarcho-Capitalist, I’m frequently informed by my social peers that voting is wrong, as it is just the majority imposing their will on the minority, and therefore just civilized violence.
One of the cornerstones of the Libertarian Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is the right of self-defense. That is, if someone is trying to steal from you, or make you to comply with their will using force, you have the right to defend yourself and your property.
If that’s true in the individual sense, is it any different in the collective sense?
If a plurality of voters is seeking to either pick my pocket or restrict my liberty via the ballot box, isn’t that just not another form of violence? And do I not have the right (even obligation) to defend myself?
I may-or-may-not derive some supposed benefit from the legislation, but it’s always asserted that “society” will certainly prosper! But this pre-supposes an outcome that is rarely measured, and the long-term effects which are never considered.
Let me give you an example from our most recent ballot, City of Tacoma Proposition 1.
The proposition would raise sales taxes a mere .1%, raising $5 million over a period of 7 years that would be devoted to spreading benefits focused on arts, culture, science and heritage programs. These would be primarily targeted towards creating public school programs, and weighted in proportion to students receiving free and reduced lunch (58% as of 2017). Sounds good, right?
Keep in mind that all these areas of instruction were commonly available in schools prior to No Child Left Behind. Another federal program with good intentions (and funding) that forced conformity across the nation and was eventually replaced with one slightly less restrictive, but the damage was done. Now class time is predominately devoted to increasing scores in reading, math, and science, to comply with state and federal guidelines to the neglect of all the soft-skills which they are only now acknowledging as truly important to childhood development.
So, now the City is trying to rectify a problem that they themselves created due to being incentivized by the all-mighty state and federal dollar, and doing so at additional cost to the taxpayers. Now multiply this type of problem across thousands of cities, each voting on dozens of initiatives every year, and you begin to see that it’s become nothing more than institutionalized theft. But it’s for the children!
1% tax hike here, another 2% there. The cost of a cup of coffee here, the price of a movie there. Surely it’s not too much of a sacrifice if it’s “justified” for safety, security, children, culture, and health. When does the forced fleecing end? When you are naked and freezing on the side of the road? (But you’ll get “free healthcare” so it’s good for you!)
In the past, I did end up voting for the legalization of marijuana and the removal of the monopoly on alcohol distribution by the State of Washington, but both those came with onerous taxes that serve to strengthen the state bureaucracy by feeding it tons of cash. I figured restoration of liberty even with a level of servitude is better than nothing. There are a lot of businesses prospering and people staying out of jail because of it.
Your best bet, and the only one that is fair and consistent with the NAP, is to vote against any incursion by legislators or bureaucrats that takes your money by force or fraud, and curbs your natural rights.
Here’s what you should be voting against in the Washington State and Pierce County November, 2018 General Election:
- Initiative Measure 1631 (Carbon Tax) – a horrible piece of regressive taxation that will have no measurable improvement on emissions, but will create a huge cash cow ($2,305,470,073) for bureaucrats to buy influence and votes.
- Initiative Measure No 1639 – another horrible piece of legislation that will make the majority of gun owners into felons if they don’t comply. Redefines a standard semi-automatic rifle as an “assault rifle”, and requires gun registration with local law enforcement.
- City of Tacoma: Proposition 1 – Tacoma Creates
- Pierce County Rural Library District: Special Election Proposition 1: Levy Lid Lift
- Town of Eatonville: Advisory Vote No. 1 – Recreational Marijuana Businesses
- Gig Harbor: Special Election – Proposition 1 – Sales and Use Tax for Transportation Improvements
- Bethel School District No. 403 – Special Election Proposition No. 1 – General Obligation Bonds $443,000,000
- East Pierce Fire & Rescue – Special Election – Proposition No. 1 – General Obligation Bonds $80,000,000
- Fire Protection District No. 6 – Proposition No. 1 – Six-Year Levy Lid Lift
- Fire Protection District No. 17 – Proposition No. 1 & No. 2 – Six-Year Levy Lid Lift