To those who didn’t vote: We are the 46.9%.
And I’m going to state the obvious today: Not voting is not enough.
(And on the flipside, if you did vote… it’s still not enough.)
Not voting, for me, is a statement of nonviolent resistance.
Sure, lots of people didn’t vote out of sheer apathy. But to me, it’s an evolutionary (not to be confused with revolutionary) statement. It’s a statement made out of principle.
But, again, it’s clearly not enough.
There are three “stages of awakening” when it comes to refusing to participate in the current statist quo. Each one is valid. But all three are necessary for true change to occur.
For one, not voting is a way to say you fundamentally disagree with the idea that any mob has the right to violently and mercilessly thrust its will upon a group of people as punishment for being the minority.
If you believe violence is a barbaric way of solving human problems, it’s very understandable that you would choose not to consent to said violence.
“Democracy,” Dan Sanchez wrote recently, “is war by other means. Superficially, it is waged with ballots instead of bullets. At the end of the day, those ballots become bullets. Elections load real guns and aim them at real people. If you disobey the commandments handed down by elected officials, beefy men with shaved heads and Ray-Ban sunglasses will come to take you away. If you resist them, hot lead will fly. Elections are scrambles for control over the service weapons that propel those rounds. In such contests, every faction is trying to point the gun barrels at someone else.
“In this war, all sides are net losers, save one: the government.”
The second stage of awakening is understanding that a vastly better and much more practical and sustainable world is truly possible. And that more violent power is not the answer.
Not voting can also mean that you believe there’s a better way. You see that the system is broken, that it is corrupt beyond repair and you choose not to play by the Old Guard’s rules or feed into the system any longer.
You realize, though, that simply disagreeing is not enough.
There’s a rule I heard someone mention last weekend at the Voice & Exit conference in Austin, Tx. Though I’m paraphrasing here, it was something to the effect of: It’s not enough to simply disagree with an idea. If you’re going to disagree with it, you have to have a solution. Otherwise, it’s just mental masturbation. You’re not contributing anything to the conversation, in fact you’re only depriving it of potential and constructive resistance.
Nothing changes by simply negating an idea. In fact, without a solution it can cause negative resistance, causing people to become more irrationally devout to their old ways of thinking and doing. The common ground we all have are solutions.
The third stage of awakening is action.
If you are of the 46.9%…
By opting out of the system, by not voting, I hope you’ve also made another pledge: You’ve chosen to give your energy to something far more important than this year’s election and the current status quo.
Want real change? Find a problem you think could be easily solved and start solving it. Start small. Make tiny, incremental steps to the solution each day.
Change comes with constructive, generative action. With cooperation. Not bickering. Not hate. Not riots.
So, with those three stages of awakening in mind, here are four actionable ways to build a better, freer world which incorporate all of them.
1.] Stop consuming negative programming, especially the mainstream news. Seriously. Stop it. Not only will you be happier, but it’ll also free your mind from the possibilities the media want you to consider. If you’re still consuming the thoughts and ideas that statist quo wants you to consume, even if you disagree with them, your mind is still riding along the very wavelength which keeps this world stuck. Break free. Pledge to instead read one uplifting thing each day. Meditate on peace, prosperity and freedom. See the freedom that already exists all around us. What does the new world look like? How can we expand on that freedom? Bring it down to Earth. Set a firm intention to help build this new world. That is the first step.
2.] Raise your emotional intelligence. Not only is high EQ a much more reliable indicator for success than IQ, it’s crucial for the liberty movement. During my travels, I meet and talk to far more non-libertarian types than I do libertarian types. One thing that keeps popping up is that, plain and simple, libertarianism lacks emotional intelligence. For a while, I denied it and believed the problem was people simply didn’t understand libertarianism. Now, I can see that I was wrong. There’s a messaging problem. And I’ll be the first to admit that I need to change the way I frame liberty. If I cannot frame it with the average voter’s concerns in mind, my message and purpose will continue to fall on deaf ears. Emotional intelligence begins with us. Here’s a good article to get you started.
3.] Criticize by creating. Michelangelo said it. Voice & Exit uses it as their motto. Find a problem which angers you to no end. You’re probably angry because the solution is so obvious, right? Well, while it’s obvious to you, realize that it’s certainly not obvious to most people. Otherwise, it would probably have already been made manifest. This could be accomplished by doing something as simple as downloading the Cell 411 community emergency app and responding to help when someone calls. It could be by teaching someone how to use bitcoin and sending them a little bit so they can use it. It could also be by finding someone who is building the solution already and offering up your unique skills. Take action. Time is precious.
4.] Realize you are not alone. As Terrence McKenna was fond of saying, “Find the others.” And not just online. You won’t have to — and will not be able to — do it on your own. There are more like-minded individuals out there than you think. A lot more. And our numbers are growing. The “others” may even be in your neighborhood. Actively seek those people out. They, too, want to live in a freer world which works for the many and not the few. And they are looking for the others, too.
Not voting is not enough. Taking away your vote from the Old Guard does nothing to stop it. Frankly, it doesn’t care if you don’t vote.
Again, 49.6% of Americans didn’t vote in what’s meant to be an election based on collective consent. And, guess what, nobody didn’t win.
Unfortunately, that’s not how it works…
It takes much more than inaction to change the system. Let’s get to work.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
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