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Is Voting a crime?

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AnonLLF Posted: Mon, May 24 2010 10:49 AM

In Causation and Aggression Stephan Kinsella discusses crimes having the features of intention,means and ends.

What if that's applied to voting?

Could we say a statist voting with the intent to use the means of government/government intervention to achieve their desired ends in terms of a vision of society, are crime by collaborating in use of aggression?

Would that even make sense?

is this consistent with Kinsella's theory? My understand is that this is implied.

Furthermore,what about Libertarians voting?

True enough Libertarians often only vote to free people.What about the case of a Libertarian who votes this way while knowing their candidate will also enforce a certain vision on society? are they a collaborator in aggression?

Is there any other cases where Libertarians vote where this could apply?

 

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bloomj31 replied on Mon, May 24 2010 10:51 AM

You mean like....a legal offense?  Or a moral offense?

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Mtn Dew replied on Mon, May 24 2010 12:09 PM

I would say so.

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AnonLLF replied on Mon, May 24 2010 3:27 PM

bloomj31:

You mean like....a legal offense?  Or a moral offense?

 

 

Both.

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bloomj31 replied on Mon, May 24 2010 6:25 PM

Well, as far as I know, voting is not illegal.

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AnonLLF replied on Tue, May 25 2010 3:09 AM

I meant in the libertarian sense of a crime being a violation of rights via aggression.

 

 

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The action of voting is neutral. You could vote to take someone's wallet. Strange but possible and would constitute a property rights violation. However if you vote about who likes cake or pie, I don't think there is a rights violation therefore not a crime. Now whether it is immoral or not is another discussion. 

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Mtn Dew replied on Tue, May 25 2010 8:15 AM

"You could vote to take someone's wallet. Strange but possible..."

I think that's exactly what happens in every election.

"Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods"  - H. L. Mencken

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bloomj31 replied on Tue, May 25 2010 10:07 AM

"I meant in the libertarian sense of a crime being a violation of rights via aggression."

Yeah I guess so.

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Spideynw replied on Tue, May 25 2010 11:02 AM

No, voting is not a crime.  That's like saying "speeding" is a crime.  There is no victim in either case.  However, I do think voting is generally stupid.  Why anyone would want to be ruled is beyond me (unless you are voting for someone that wants to let you opt out of taxes, then I don't think it would be stupid).

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Mtn Dew replied on Tue, May 25 2010 12:11 PM

I would say voting for a candidate to impose a crime is in itself a crime. Or, in a direct democracy, voting for a policy such as the Holocaust (hypothetically) would be criminal in the libertarian sense.

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Not only is it criminal, it's secretly criminal as it's done by a secret ballot. Spooner examines this in "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority".

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Sieben replied on Tue, May 25 2010 1:18 PM

What if there were a third option on the ballot that said: Disband the institution of government at the expense of the aggressors.

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'I think that's exactly what happens in every election.

"Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods"  - H. L. Mencken'

Ok but are we just talking about political voting or voting in general?

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Spideynw replied on Wed, May 26 2010 10:22 AM

"Not only is it criminal, it's secretly criminal as it's done by a secret ballot. Spooner examines this in "No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority"."

How is writing someone's name on a piece of paper criminal?

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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@Spideynw, you're voting for someone who plans on committing a (philosophical) crime.

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What is a "philosophical crime"?

It's an unethical act and does little for the cause of liberty, but I don't see how voting is a crime. Forcing people of a given area to conform with the rulers which voting yields is a crime.

Democracy means the opportunity to be everyone's slave.—Karl Kraus.

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@E. R., I was contrasting it with a crime in the legal sense. Spooner also compared voting to an act of self defense. It seems it can be either, depending on who you're voting for.

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AnonLLF replied on Wed, May 26 2010 11:15 AM

Mtn Dew:

I would say voting for a candidate to impose a crime is in itself a crime. Or, in a direct democracy, voting for a policy such as the Holocaust (hypothetically) would be criminal in the libertarian sense.

 

 

That's exactly my argument.Thank you for the clarification.I'm sorry if I wasn't so clear.

 

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Yes, voting is a crime. And it doesn't matter who you vote for.

If you voted against Hitler you are still part responsible for everything Hitler did. Cause you have accepted and participated in this system of violence.

If we take a voluntary association this becomes more clear. Say we have a non-profit organisation helping the homeless or whatever and you are part of this group. Now suddenly they put on white capes and start killing homeless that are of the wrong color.

So you keep paying you membership fee? Go to group meetings? Vote in there elections? No, ofcourse not that would make you complicit in the crimes. What you do is to withdraw from the organisation, if you don't you are a criminal.

The same basic case can be done for the state but it is by no means as black and white as this example. There are many extiniuating circumstances that can be applied because mebership in the state is forced upon you.

For instance one could argue that one voted in self-defence. This doesn't really hold in a large group but consider you have 2 Nazis and 2 Jews voting on the holocaust. If it is a tie nothing happens. In this case it is clearly self-defence for the Jews to use there vote. But for millions this doesn't really work as individual votes mean nothing and the outcome is not as predictable. Still you could feel forced to vote and if you do something in response to treat it can be an extiniuating circumstance to some degree.

On top of that one could argue ignorance and the complete insignificance of indivial votes as extinuating circumstances.

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AnonLLF replied on Wed, May 26 2010 11:39 AM

Andrew Cain:

The action of voting is neutral.

It's never neutral.However you vote you vote for government ,for someone to be in government.

You could vote to take someone's wallet. Strange but possible and would constitute a property rights violation.

Exactly.This is what all political voting constitutes.

 

 

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AnonLLF replied on Wed, May 26 2010 11:47 AM

 

"No, voting is not a crime. "

 It contains all the elements of crime.

Intent- voters at very least statist ones( not sure about libertarians) vote with the intention to use government/government intervention (the means) to achieve their desired ends(e.g. minimum wage laws etc)

It is surprising because libertarians tend to think of crimes are direct physical aggression but remember a terrorist posting a letter bomb which the courier delivers which then explodes and kills someone, is still a criminal aggressor even though they are distanced from te aggression but time and location.

 

"That's like saying "speeding" is a crime."

Speeding isn't a crime because there's no victim,no aggression or rights violation, no intent to aggress or violation rights,no use of means to do so and no end goal e.g. rape.

"  There is no victim in either case. "

 The victim/s are those who are directly aggressed against by the voter's act of voting for minimum wage laws say.

"(unless you are voting for someone that wants to let you opt out of taxes, then I don't think it would be stupid)."

True,I agree however knowing the nature of the state that'll never happen.

 

 

 

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AnonLLF replied on Wed, May 26 2010 11:48 AM

Snowflake:

What if there were a third option on the ballot that said: Disband the institution of government at the expense of the aggressors.

 

 

Never gonna happen but then it wouldn't be criminal to vote infact it would be highly moral.

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AnonLLF replied on Wed, May 26 2010 11:51 AM

Andrew Cain:

 

Ok but are we just talking about political voting or voting in general?

 

Political voting.

Voting in general is innocent though in some cases immoral or aggression.

I think referendums are more preferrable to voting since it's giving the choice of do you want minimum wage laws for example or not and so you can make a chose that would be non aggressive in some cases.You never get that sort of choice in voting and I don't buy the voting in defense argument.

 

 

 

 

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@E. R., I was contrasting it with a crime in the legal sense.

Skyler, I don't understand the word in any other sense, except maybe like with the "fashion police". Democracy's days are numbered. Yes, I personally find it to be "going out of fashion". That it doesn't achieve the desired effect ("putting the people in power" or whatever) means there is nothing else to do but try anarchy or continue living in a perpetual state of war.

If you voted against Hitler you are still part responsible for everything Hitler did. Cause you have accepted and participated in this system of violence.

HK, this isn't true. Responsibility ends at the people who administer government hegemony of activities that would be legitimate in a free market (letter carrying, health care, etc.) or down to the individuals committing the actual crimes (murdering brown people for oil).

Intent- voters at very least statist ones( not sure about libertarians) vote with the intention to use government/government intervention (the means) to achieve their desired ends(e.g. minimum wage laws etc)

Scott, both libertarian-ish and leftish voters don't see what they are doing as tacit acceptance of a system of institutionalized violence. They are convinced otherwise to the level of religious indoctrination. I'm quite aware of threats constituting aggression. In analyzing this problem, we must become aware of another sub-category of aggression, pedagoguery (ex. X politician preaching that "Health care is a right.")

If voting were a crime (and there is no way it is), this lack of intention would eliminate half of the "teeth" portion of the allowable punishment.

It is surprising because libertarians tend to think of crimes are direct physical aggression but remember a terrorist posting a letter bomb which the courier delivers which then explodes and kills someone, is still a criminal aggressor even though they are distanced from te aggression but time and location.

Comparing ballots to letter bombs is a material fallacy.

Speeding isn't a crime because there's no victim,no aggression or rights violation, no intent to aggress or violation rights,no use of means to do so and no end goal e.g. rape.

Voting isn't ordering any certain action. This is very similar to the type of conflict created by advocates of intellectual property "rights", in a way. Based on a faulty perception of the chain of causation, you are multiplying responsibility to include those not directly involved. Imagine that I only cast one vote ever, and it was for some dude who died the first day in office and never did anything. It seems like that, by your reasoning, this would still be a crime.

I know that some of you are going to continue to disagree with me, so I am making an appeal to pragmatism. Who would you rather first apprehend for crimes of statism, those who I outlined as guilty or "every voter"? This reminds me of pseudo-libertarian forum member Spideynw insisting that parents have the right to rape or murder their own children. I rigorously proved this to be false, but one has to wonder if he thinks that arguing for such things advances the cause of liberty or, more likely, paints all libertarians as nutjobs.

If you haven't read Mises' works, or Kinsella and Block on proportional punishment theory (plus other stuff really), you have exactly zero credibility in my eyes on what is or is not a crime. Rothbard said that punishment theory is underdeveloped and I agree with him. There's yet to be written an extension of Hoppe's argumentation ethics in Misesean terms. Once you get attuned to thinking praxeologically, why the mere act of voting is not a crime will be apparent to you.

 

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scineram replied on Wed, May 26 2010 7:47 PM

Democracy's days are numbered. Yes, I personally find it to be "going out of fashion". That it doesn't achieve the desired effect ("putting the people in power" or whatever) means there is nothing else to do but try anarchy or continue living in a perpetual state of war.

Tuesday I went to the uni to grade exams. As I was walking through Budapest I saw it was in a state of perpetual war. There were minefields, dead bodies, tanks stuck in trenches and all that shit. Everything was devastated. And so was I.

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Tuesday I went to the uni to grade exams. As I was walking through Budapest I saw it was in a state of perpetual war. There were minefields, dead bodies, tanks stuck in trenches and all that shit. Everything was devastated. And so was I.

You are an unemployed, Canadian college dropout and have never been to Budapest. See how fun lying and making crap up is?

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Conza88 replied on Wed, May 26 2010 8:14 PM

No.

Voting is not a crime.

Unless you are the individual who is a "representative", and vote to increase the size of the state - then you become a criminal and liable for the damages you cause (if the bill passes).

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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@E. R., though voting yourself wealth (redistribution) or the abridgment of someone's freedom to associate with certain others is not against the laws of the land, a crime, it would be a "crime" under libertarian philosophy. That is all I meant.

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@E. R., though voting yourself wealth (redistribution) or the abridgment of someone's freedom to associate with certain others is not against the laws of the land, a crime, it would be a "crime" under libertarian philosophy. That is all I meant.

Sorry but that is not a crime in any way, shape, or form.

I completely disagree with "redistribution", but saying, "that would be awesome if you go grab that old lady's purse" is not a crime in and of itself.

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@E. R., I'm not sure how that equates with voting for someone whose intentions to commit theft are advertised and the motivation behind their receiving your vote. Hoping someone would perform a crime and enabling them (on purpose) to do it is the difference. One is criminal, one is not, under libertarian philosophy.

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Spideynw replied on Thu, May 27 2010 10:13 AM

How is writing someone's name on a piece of paper enabling them to do anything to anyone else? 

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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Sieben replied on Thu, May 27 2010 10:22 AM

Spideynw:
how is writing someone's name on a piece of paper enabling them to do anything to anyone else?
So consent is the crime?

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@Spideynw, really? You don't know how voting works? Obama's in office with the power to do all sorts of things to all sorts of people because others "wrote his name on a piece of paper".

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Voting in a govt election is akin to hiring someone to commit an act of theft or violence.  And I think that it's a double-edged sword for those who attempt to vote in self-defense.

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Spideynw replied on Thu, May 27 2010 11:37 AM

"@Spideynw, really? You don't know how voting works? Obama's in office with the power to do all sorts of things to all sorts of people because others "wrote his name on a piece of paper"."

Why do you think I don't know how voting works? 

Does voting endow people with power over others?  I would hope you understand that of course it does not.  Do people expect the person they vote for to do things to other people?  Not necessarily.  Do most people support politicians harming others without consent?  Yes, and that is the crime.  But if I vote for someone, with the full expectation that the person I vote for will only rule over me and anyone else that votes for that person, how is that a crime?

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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@Spideynw, now you've qualified the question beyond it's original intent.

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Spideynw replied on Thu, May 27 2010 11:49 AM

You don't think intent is taken into consideration when talking about a crime?  Saying "voting" is always a crime is like saying "killing someone" is always a crime.  Neither statement is true.

If you are saying, "voting to decide who gets to harm others is a crime", I would probably agree, since they would then be considered accomplices.

At most, I think only 5% of the adult population would need to stop cooperating to have real change.

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@Spidernw, this was the original question of which I am referring, "Could we say a statist voting with the intent to use the means of government/government intervention to achieve their desired ends in terms of a vision of society, are crime by collaborating in use of aggression?"

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AnonLLF replied on Thu, May 27 2010 5:26 PM

 

"If you voted against Hitler you are still part responsible for everything Hitler did. Cause you have accepted and participated in this system of violence."

"HK, this isn't true. Responsibility ends at the people who administer government hegemony of activities that would be legitimate in a free market (letter carrying, health care, etc.) or down to the individuals committing the actual crimes (murdering brown people for oil)."

I disagree.I think you are part responsible if you wanted to use Hitler and his rise to power to achieve the ends which he claimed to set out to do.

 

 

 

 

 

"Scott, both libertarian-ish and leftish voters don't see what they are doing as tacit acceptance of a system of institutionalized violence. "

 

I didn't argue that voting implies acceptance of the system only that it means the voting is collaborating in the evil of the system by the act of voting when they vote with the intent to have a candidate enforce x unlibertarian law or policy.

 " we must become aware of another sub-category of aggression, pedagoguery (ex. X politician preaching that "Health care is a right.")"

I disagree that is aggression.

 

"If voting were a crime (and there is no way it is),"

 I have outlined how it could be.

"this lack of intention would eliminate half of the "teeth" portion of the allowable punishment."

It's undeniable that at very least statist voters(not sure about libertarians who vote) vote with the intention of using it to pass laws/policies they favour .It's undeniable that voters act with intent to vote to use the means of government to achieve the vision of society they want.

 

 

It is surprising because libertarians tend to think of crimes are direct physical aggression but remember a terrorist posting a letter bomb which the courier delivers which then explodes and kills someone, is still a criminal aggressor even though they are distanced from te aggression but time and location.

"Comparing ballots to letter bombs is a material fallacy."

While there is alot of difference in some ways they are quite similiar .The voter is distanced from the violence of government(similiarity) but acts with intent to use government to achieve their ends(collaboration with the state .The state is to the voter the equivalent of the courier however  the state also uses violence so it's one person pretty much asking government to do evil(that government has convinced them is a good idea) that government wants to do.The fact that voters intent to use government to impose ends and have been tricked deceived and brainwashed into believing this is good and necessary in no way negates their responsibility or makes their intention any less real.

 

 

"Voting isn't ordering any certain action."

Your voting for x candidate who aims to do x  ,say enforce minimum wage laws(I'm deliberately picking a promise a politician would keep).

Your voting for candidate(means) who is aiming to be in government(means) who will use government intervention(means)to impose mimum wage(ends) so those under  paid a certain wage  forced by law  to get get a certain pay(end) .

 

 Imagine that I only cast one vote ever, and it was for some dude who died the first day in office and never did anything.

I would say in this case that yes ,you probably are innocent. 

"If you haven't read Mises' works, "

not in depth I must admit.

 

"or Kinsella and Block on proportional punishment theory "

I had read Kinsella on this plus causation and aggression as mentioned above and Block on punishment too except punishment for working for government,I haven't read that and digested it's truth's yet.

 

"you have exactly zero credibility in my eyes on what is or is not a crime."

I've read most of what you've stated here and yet we disagree so either one of us misunderstood it or one of us sees the implications or non implications of it while one doesn't. 

I would say this view I advocate does appear to follow from Kinsella's reasoning.He even mentions voting in passing though not saying it's a crime or aggression though it appears to be implied.

 

"Rothbard said that punishment theory is underdeveloped and I agree with him. "

Well it's true,it's not completely figured out but I think Rothbard,Kinsella and Block have advanced it pretty far.

 

There's yet to be written an extension of Hoppe's argumentation ethics in Misesean terms.

I'm not sure what you mean.the only areas argumentation ethics misses out misesean concepts is intention,means and ends I think.correct me if I'm wrong.

 

"Once you get attuned to thinking praxeologically, why the mere act of voting is not a crime will be apparent to you."

I'm not sure I agree.In causation and aggression,Kinsella's whole argument is praxeologically based and so is mine's here.

 

 
 

 

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