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δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people"

02/11/2014

By voting I express my consent to be governed. Thus if I wish to withhold my consent, then I must withhold my vote. Their is no other choice in this matter, so there can be no harm by not voting, but if my abstinence succeeds in delegitimizing a government which neither represent its constituents and is hostile to its constituents, then it can only do good. Not voting is a passive, non-violent, individual statement that is immune to the provocations that are used to deflate the impacts of protests or strikes or other public actions. It doesn’t require some hot-button issue that can be bandied about to divide the people.

We should take a cue from ancient democracies: voting was only used in referenda (“direct democracy”) and to elect to offices that required specific skills; all other public officials were chosen by lot. What we call representative democracy was considered aristocracy or oligarchy, depending on whether candidates were drawn from the nobility or not. The ancients were absolutely correct. If you want to change things, get out the Don’t Vote.

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