Why not to Vote
I draw your attention to the term “group theory:”
"Neither individuals nor whole societies are significant political actors. The actions of groups in pursuit of their various interests are the sources of policy and the substance of politics."
Quantity over quality. Not 'what are they saying,' but 'how many are saying it?' Politics is rule by a tyranny of group. This accounts for the morbidly low voter turnout in America, where “group theory” took over long ago. An individual is not a “significant political actor.” Also, the “American people” do not get what they want. They are too large a group, too large because within that group people can be individuals. The power groups are the smaller groups like the ACLU. A group is an “It,” a one-way machine. I envision a huddle of a thousand people violently trashcompacted together between two converging walls. CRUSH! When the walls retract the human corpses are all stuck together into a slab of flattened body parts—the group. The individuals are dead but the It is alive. It is spun out into orbit in political space. It now has the power to destroy. The bigger your blob looks, the more it will frighten politicians into listening up. But how many of us are willing to submit to this smash?
The voting numbers (less than half) tell us most of us are not group people. We don’t have the strong political grouping instinct, the need to huddle, to “work together.” We realize politics is a group game dominated by group people. Thus to an individual an election is an alien process, which has no meaning. He knows his vote is merely to determine which person will cave to the powers of which misdirected group. Opposed to the individual, the grouper is a dependent. He is unsure, motiveless, yet driven (by an awareness of lack). He joins the group in exchange for a secondhand personal propulsion.
Voting is the public occasion for this clash of personalities—groupers vs. individuals. Never mind the psychological motivations which call each type into question, if the clash is only one of appearances, that is still a clash. The strategy of the individual is to simply not vote. By not voting the individual seeks to strip politics of its importance. The individual says: voting is pointless. The two party system is corrupt and wasteful, but it is also self-regulating. I am free whether I vote or not. To not vote is thus the ultimate act of freedom. Voting is not necessary in a land of freedom. Let the groupers handle it.
Be encouraged by low voter turnout, because it means America is still the land of individuals, a land where people can understand what voting is—a false comparison…of two groupers.
Copyright 2006, by Christopher Duckett