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A Defence Of Voting?

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Evilsceptic Posted: Wed, Dec 7 2011 4:26 AM

Does anyone know of, or can offer, a good defence of voting as a practical way to undermine the state? 

 

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bbnet replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 6:18 AM

Voting legitimizes the state. If no one voted, there would be no state.

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 6:24 AM

"Voting legitimizes the state. If no one voted, there would be no state."

Complete bs. Monarchy... so LOL to that notion.

To answer the OP - Yes... and it's Rothbard's. Stephan Molyneux (one of the prime advocates of non-voting.. changed his mind after a discussion with Wendy McElroy, I believe this is the position she advocates).

 

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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boniek replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:28 AM

Conza88:

"Voting legitimizes the state. If no one voted, there would be no state."

Complete bs. Monarchy... so LOL to that notion.

I agree that monarchy is form of the state but how monarchy is revelant here? Obviously he meant democratic state. You have no option of voting in monarchy. I agree that non-voting itself does not mean no state. It may mean people want the state but not current people in charge. Non-voting and voluntaryist philosophy are foundations of no state.

Conza88:

To answer the OP - Yes... and it's Rothbard's. Stephan Molyneux (one of the prime advocates of non-voting.. changed his mind after a discussion with Wendy McElroy, I believe this is the position she advocates).

I agree with Rothbard that voluntary disobedience is ultimately futile. I agree with him that we are all living in consequence of state actions. I agree that voting itself does not constitute state (after all if I voted by myself in my neighboorhood to elect myself a local president it would be comical to say at least). All of this however does not imply that political action is the most efficient way or way at all to abolish the state. There is no argument here only jumping to the conclusion.

What I also found funny is argument about trying to stop status quo by voting libertarian.  First just by virtue of voting you implicitly agree to rules of the game. Rules are: whoever gets most votes wins and gets to rule everyone else by force. It doesn't matter whether you voted for libertarian or not. By voting you agreed to the outcome anyway. That is why I think the biggest losers are those voting for candidates that lose. The point is, if libertarian candidate has no chance of winning why vote for him? It will not change anything and all you are doing is giving your support to the winner per rules of the game you yourself agreed to. Voting for candidate that will lose is not trying to stop status quo - it is empowering it. If libertarian candidate has enough support to win then why use political system at all? We win!

I assume you are anarcho-libertarian and not minarcho-libertarian.

"Your freedom ends where my feelings begin" -- ???
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MaikU replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:44 AM

Conza88:

"Voting legitimizes the state. If no one voted, there would be no state."

Complete bs. Monarchy... so LOL to that notion.

To answer the OP - Yes... and it's Rothbard's. Stephan Molyneux (one of the prime advocates of non-voting.. changed his mind after a discussion with Wendy McElroy, I believe this is the position she advocates).

 

 

would like the proof of this outrageous claim :D (half joking). Any links?

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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z1235 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:49 AM

boniek:

What I also found funny is argument about trying to stop status quo by voting libertarian.  First just by virtue of voting you implicitly agree to rules of the game. Rules are: whoever gets most votes wins and gets to rule everyone else by force. It doesn't matter whether you voted for libertarian or not. By voting you agreed to the outcome anyway.

Praxeologically nonsensical. You've agreed to anything as much you are agreeing to it without voting. You've agreed to nothing. Where's the contract?

That is why I think the biggest losers are those voting for candidates that lose. The point is, if libertarian candidate has no chance of winning why vote for him? It will not change anything and all you are doing is giving your support to the winner per rules of the game you yourself agreed to. Voting for candidate that will lose is not trying to stop status quo - it is empowering it. If libertarian candidate has enough support to win then why use political system at all? We win!

You must start with education, illumination, and changing the perception about how widespread your philosophy is (becoming). Polls, voting, and people like Ron Paul are essential for this. People see other people supporting something. They get curious. Blogs and media cover it because of this. Then more people learn about it, and a positive feedback loop (avalanche) in interest develops. Then you may have enough power to change the status quo. Are you advising to only join this process (vote) conditionally after all of this has been achieved without your participation? 

Stop being a purist, blaming the world for how it is every morning you wake up. Start changing it. Not only vote, but donate $, or help Ron Paul's efforts in any way you possibly can. 

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MaikU replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:55 AM

z1235:

boniek:

What I also found funny is argument about trying to stop status quo by voting libertarian.  First just by virtue of voting you implicitly agree to rules of the game. Rules are: whoever gets most votes wins and gets to rule everyone else by force. It doesn't matter whether you voted for libertarian or not. By voting you agreed to the outcome anyway.

Praxeologically nonsensical. You've agreed to anything as much you are agreeing to it without voting. You've agreed to nothing. Where's the contract?

 

if there is no contract, voting is fool's game anyway. It's illegitimate without the written consent. It's forced association. I agree with boniek on this.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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z1235 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 8:04 AM

MaikU:

if there is no contract, voting is fool's game anyway. It's illegitimate without the written consent. It's forced association. I agree with boniek on this.

Define "fool's game". IMO, denying that voting (yours or other peoples', with or without a contract notwithstanding) has any impact on your life whatsoever fits the term better.

Whatever floats your boat. I'm just saying that if everyone waited until their act could meanigfully change the status-quo, no status-quo would ever change. Think about it. 

 

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boniek replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 8:57 AM

z1235:

Praxeologically nonsensical. You've agreed to anything as much you are agreeing to it without voting. You've agreed to nothing. Where's the contract?

Well my bad. I can play the game without agreeing to its rules - it's true, but game can't be played without players and me agreeing or not to the imposed rules does not change the outcome I described earlier.

z1235:

You must start with education, illumination, and changing the perception about how widespread your philosophy is (becoming).

I agree with this. But how is this necessarily tied with voting?

z1235:

Polls, voting, and people like Ron Paul are essential for this.

You are jumping to the conclusion here.

z1235:

People see other people supporting something. They get curious. Blogs and media cover it because of this. Then more people learn about it, and a positive feedback loop (avalanche) in interest develops.  Then you may have enough power to change the status quo.

Hey! I agree! But how is this necessarily tied with voting? What's more, to me at least, being more consistent will convince more people. Ron Paul is not consistent.

z1235:

Are you advising to only join this process (vote) conditionally after all of this has been achieved without your participation? 

No. I advise to completely ignore voting.

z1235:

Stop being a purist, blaming the world for how it is every morning you wake up. Start changing it. Not only vote, but donate $, or help Ron Paul's efforts in any way you possibly can. 

Whole bunch of baseless assumptions and unwarranted labels. Ron Paul by becoming part of the problem is not solving the problem. He could do all that education thing with bonus of not compromising his consistency outside of electorial process. I mean if he is that good at it he sure as hell doesn't need to be subsidized by taxpayers.

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z1235:

Stop being a purist, blaming the world for how it is every morning you wake up. Start changing it. Not only vote, but donate $, or help Ron Paul's efforts in any way you possibly can. 

Now I don't see my self as a purist. I think Ron Paul's a great guy, and if I was an American I would find it hard not vote for him; after all how many chances do you get to vote for a Rothbardian?

I also have no problem with the ethics of the situation. By voting your are not implicityly accepting the social contract, but you are (maybe sub-consciously and/or unintentionally) reinforcing the idea that the state is a real thing, that those laws that come out of congress or parliament hold some special power outside of the guns they use to enforce them. This is even more true if the candidates are constitutionalists. The constitution might be better than what there is now, but in the long run we would like to shred it. Constitutionalism further mystifies the state and will make it harder to convice people that the state is evil.

Another issue is the opportunity costs of voting. Supporting Ron Paul might advance libertarian ideas, but what about the other forms of activism out available? Why not campaign for the abolishion of the state? or use the money you were going to donate to the Paul campaign and buy some anarchist literature and distribute it?

Conza88:

To answer the OP - Yes... and it's Rothbard's. 

On the Rothbard letter you linked to- Yes I agree  with every word of it, but I am really looking for a practical defence of voting.

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Kakugo replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 10:19 AM

I haven't voted since 2003. But I don't make a pretension my insignificant gesture can change things. The choice was in part usual non-voter (it's a waste of time) and partly dictated by the fact I don't want to legitimize the same people that will rob me blind, with or without my consent.

It's not much but it helps me sleep at night.

Together we go unsung... together we go down with our people
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bbnet replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 12:01 PM

One can vote in self defense but I doubt that voting could ever undermine the state unless the vote was held in a public manner with complete transparency.

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bbnet replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 12:15 PM

Which reminds me of something Lysander Spooner wrote in No Treason:

"... without his consent having ever been  asked,  a  man  finds  himself  environed  by  a  government  that  he  cannot  resist;  a government that forces him to pay money, render service, and forego the exercise of many of  his  natural  rights,  under  peril  of  weighty  punishments.  He  sees,  too,  that  other  men practise  this tyranny  over him  by the use of the ballot.  He  sees  further that,  if  he  will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting  them to his own. In  short, be  finds himself,  without  his  consent,  so situated
that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave.  And  he  has  no  other  alternative  than  these  two.  In  self-defence,  he  attempts  the former.  His  case  is  analogous  to  that  of  a  man  who  has  been  forced  into  battle,  where  he must either kill others, or be killed himself. Because, to save his own life in battle, a man attempts to take the lives of his opponents, it is not to be inferred that the battle is one of his own choosing. Neither in contests with the ballot --- which is a mere substitute for a bullet --- because, as his only chance of self-preservation, a man uses a ballot, is it to be inferred that  the  contest  is  one  into  which  he  voluntarily  entered;  that  he  voluntarily  set  up  all  his own natural rights, as a stake against those of others, to be lost or won by the mere power of numbers. On the contrary, it is to be considered that, in an exigency, into which he had been forced by others, and in which no other means of self-defence offered, he, as a matter of necessity, used the only one that was left to him. ..."

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Conza88 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:47 PM

"I agree that monarchy is form of the state but how monarchy is revelant here? Obviously he meant democratic state. You have no option of voting in monarchy. I agree that non-voting itself does not mean no state. It may mean people want the state but not current people in charge. Non-voting and voluntaryist philosophy are foundations of no state."

You gave the reason for it's relevancy. Yes, and a democratic state is merely one form of state. The point made - VOTING IS A RED HERRING. Btter yet, in some democratic states you don't have the option of not voting. "I agree that non-voting itself does not mean no state", great so you agree with my point. Voluntarism is the foundation of no state, voting is a red herring however.

"All of this however does not imply that political action is the most efficient way or way at all to abolish the state. There is no argument here only jumping to the conclusion."

Everyone has their own take on strategy and what the best method is. The answer is that of ‘guerrilla warfare’: the more strategies the better; education, secession, civil disobedience, seasteading etc. Although some are far less likely to be fruitful than others; for eg. the lawyers who try argue within the system for liberty (no chance). How do I think this could happen? If the Ron Paul supporters/free staters directed their efforts to ‘taking over’ local governments would be a great start.

  • “Hans-Hermann Hoppe has discussed in several places the possibility of ‘taking over’ city governments through the current political system and seceding on the municipal level.  He gives several advantages to such a strategy, but it seems the largest advantage is the fact that this is a possibility. A well-run campaign could take over a city government and enact many key reforms that, once successful and recognized as such, would lead to more anti-statist reforms.  There would soon exist in the United States a functioning and legitimately sized an-cap society that would prove to Americans across the nation that the state is unnecessary.”

  • "But what then? Everything else falls almost automatically from the ultimate goal, which must be kept permanently in mind, in all of one's activities: the restoration from the bottom-up of private property and the right to property protection; the right to self-defense, to exclude or include, and to freedom of contract. And the answer can be broken down into two parts.

    First, what to do within these very small districts, where a pro-private property candidate and anti-majoritarian personality can win. And second, how to deal with the higher levels of government, and especially with the central federal government. First, as an initial step, and I'm referring now to what should be done on the local level, the first central plank of one's platform should be: one must attempt to restrict the right to vote on local taxes, in particular on property taxes and regulations, to property and real estate owners. Only property owners must be permitted to vote, and their vote is not equal, but in accordance with the value of the equity owned, and the amount of taxes paid. That is, similar to what Lew Rockwell already explained has happened in some places in California." - What Must Be Done, HHH
  • "...The third basic insight is that a democratic protection monopoly in particular must be rejected as a moral and economic perversity. Majority rule and private property protection are incompatible. The idea of democracy must be ridiculed: it is nothing else but mob rule parading as justice. To be labeled a democrat must be considered the worst of all possible compliments! This does not mean that one may not participate in democratic policies; I will come to that a little bit later.

    But one must use democratic means only for defensive purposes; that is, one may use an antidemocratic platform to be elected by an antidemocratic constituency to implement antidemocratic - that is, anti-egalitarian and pro-private property - policies. Or, to put it differently, a person is not honorable because he is democratically elected. If anything, this makes him a suspect. Despite the fact that a person has been elected democratically, he may still be a decent and honorable man; we have heard one before."... ~ What Must Be Done, Hoppe.

If libertarian candidate has enough support to win then why use political system at all? We win!

Completely delusional. And you critcise other points made for "only jumping to the conclusion"? Hypocrite.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Conza88 replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 7:48 PM

would like the proof of this outrageous claim :D (half joking). Any links?

I already gave it.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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Neodoxy replied on Wed, Dec 7 2011 9:00 PM

There is no defense of an individual voting for the sake of th vote in any but very localized elections, there are many defenses of fairly large groups voting. The fact is that if one can vote in a politician who will minimize state intervention so long as this is not offset by ideological backlash over time.

Activism and education (I.E the promoting of the masses to vote and change their opinions) is a much more affective tool. This is a way that voting, conducted in large groups, not from an individual standpoint, can hope to increase liberty as opposed to its absence without another viable alternative.

At the same time I am a very ardent believer in 'be the change you wish to see in the world' be this voting for Ron Paul or explicitly not voting for anyone, even Ron Paul.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Conza88 replied on Thu, Dec 8 2011 4:44 AM

"On the Rothbard letter you linked to- Yes I agree  with every word of it, but I am really looking for a practical defence of voting."

You'll have to expand on that, because seperating theory from practice is fallicious. If it's good in theory, it's good in practice. Bad in theory, bad in practice. There is no good communism etc. in theory.

Perhaps, you're looking for empirical examples? In the above mentioned Hoppe quotes; he mentions as Lew Rockwell mentions in California.. so look there I guess?

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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z1235 replied on Thu, Dec 8 2011 8:30 AM

z1235:
Praxeologically nonsensical. You've agreed to anything as much you are agreeing to it without voting. You've agreed to nothing. Where's the contract?

boniek:
Well my bad. I can play the game without agreeing to its rules - it's true, but game can't be played without players and me agreeing or not to the imposed rules does not change the outcome I described earlier.

You seem to be implying that by not voting you're not playing "the game". You don't pay taxes, or they are not part of "the game"?

z1235:
You must start with education, illumination, and changing the perception about how widespread your philosophy is (becoming).

boniek:
I agree with this. But how is this necessarily tied with voting?

Changing people's perceptions is your end. Voting results are means toward changing people's perceptions.

z1235:
Polls, voting, and people like Ron Paul are essential for this.

boniek:
You are jumping to the conclusion here.

How so? Are you claiming that polls, voting, and Ron Paul do not affect people's perceptions and have no effect toward your end of education and illumination?

z1235:
People see other people supporting something. They get curious. Blogs and media cover it because of this. Then more people learn about it, and a positive feedback loop (avalanche) in interest develops.  Then you may have enough power to change the status quo.

boniek:
Hey! I agree! But how is this necessarily tied with voting? What's more, to me at least, being more consistent will convince more people. Ron Paul is not consistent.

Who do you think has convinced more people, your consistent self or Ron Paul?

boniek:
Ron Paul by becoming part of the problem is not solving the problem. He could do all that education thing with bonus of not compromising his consistency outside of electorial process. I mean if he is that good at it he sure as hell doesn't need to be subsidized by taxpayers.

As I said, good luck simply waking up to your perfect world one fine morning. In the meantime, don't bother acting at all lest you compromise yourself by giving legitimacy to the imperfect reality unworthy of your interaction with it. 

 

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I do think it would be technically possible to infiltrate the state with a specific ideology, if you had enough money and could convince enough people over a long enough time frame.

We are at a very unique situation where the state is very large and it seems unlikely that it could be curtailed. There is so much vested interest in the state being large that it is practically impossible to reduce the size of it. Especially when the alternative to a large government might mean the end of free stuff for a lot of people and loss of jobs.

This is why I offer a simple solution to democracy that ends the conflict of interest, The only people that should be able to vote are tax paying, direct country born residents, private sector working individuals. All public sector workers and recipients of welfare should not be allowed to vote.

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The same defence that can be given for anything:  If it feel good, do it.  After that let the consequences sort themselves out as they may, and go from there ; as all situations and circumstances are - unique.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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bbnet replied on Thu, Dec 8 2011 4:01 PM

Jack Roberts wrote:
"...  The only people that should be able to vote are tax paying, direct country born residents, private sector working individuals. All public sector workers and recipients of welfare should not be allowed to vote. ..."

As voters we should vote for putting the current welfare reciepients into gas chambers, problem solved! Furthermore we should force all public sector workers to double their hours and half their pay to reduce our 'national' debt and work on lethal border lasers to fry those wetbacks.

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MaikU replied on Thu, Dec 8 2011 4:23 PM

Jack Roberts:

I do think it would be technically possible to infiltrate the state with a specific ideology...

 

Then it would be way easier to infiltrate Mafia and change it into Charity organization. No one has done that, as far as I know...

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Dec 8 2011 6:39 PM

"Then it would be way easier to infiltrate Mafia and change it into Charity organization. No one has done that, as far as I know..."

And why on earth would anyone need to? Hence be bothered enough to try.

My 'lord'... seriously. Critical thinking, not simply parroting Stefan's "religious" fear mongering on this issue.. it's the exact same with claims / FEARS about if RP is elected and shit his the fan, Libertarianism will be dealt a letal blow.. lmao, delusional. Go try make the case..

Furthermore as was mentioned earlier, Lew Rockwell has an example of Hoppe's microsession.. to a large degree.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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I'd like to thank z1235 and Conza88 for completely blowing my concerns about voting out of the water. I will no longer be voting for Ron Paul with a twinge of guilt as I do it.

Check out my video, Ron Paul vs Lincoln! And share my PowerPoint with your favorite neo-con
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Conza88 replied on Fri, Dec 9 2011 3:37 AM

^ Well yeah.. as Rothbard put it, it's more about who & what you support. Voting is largely a red herring.

Personally, I'm all about voting for someone like Ron Paul... who is worthy. [Rand Paul I more than likely wouldn't]... he's not as radical or principled, maybe he'll improve - hopefully.

But I'm against voting 'against candidates', i.e you a bunch of clowns and no-one like RP in the field, because that way when you vote against the turd sandwhich, you're implicitly voting for the douchebag... so I'm not going to care about analysing who is 'the least bad', and I'm all for no-voting campaigns in that regard. Lesser of two evils, is still evil. And it can be good to point that out.

I'm forced to vote where I live, down under. Since there is no-one worthy.. [voluntarists] I write anti-state quotes, lewrockwell.com and mises.org on the ballot.

Ron Paul is for self-government when compared to the Constitution. He's an anarcho-capitalist. Proof.
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MaikU replied on Fri, Dec 9 2011 9:24 AM

Conza88:

"Then it would be way easier to infiltrate Mafia and change it into Charity organization. No one has done that, as far as I know..."

And why on earth would anyone need to? Hence be bothered enough to try.

My 'lord'... seriously. Critical thinking, not simply parroting Stefan's "religious" fear mongering on this issue.. it's the exact same with claims / FEARS about if RP is elected and shit his the fan, Libertarianism will be dealt a letal blow.. lmao, delusional. Go try make the case..

Furthermore as was mentioned earlier, Lew Rockwell has an example of Hoppe's microsession.. to a large degree.

 

sure, to a pragmatist this is a no-argument. I'm principled anarchist, though, that's why Stef's argument made sense to me. Maybe, if I become older, I'll think differently, but now....I WANT THIS RED BUTTON!

So as long as I am not forced to vote (under the threat of violence) I won't.

 

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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Why not?  Do you not use public roads, or any public utilities you may have available?  Do you not pay any taxes?  Then you are already sacrificing principles for practicality.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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MaikU replied on Fri, Dec 9 2011 11:06 AM

if I am forced to do something, I don't sacrifice principles. There is nothing "practical" though about trying to live as long as possible without being killed. It's human nature. Self-preservation.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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That seems rather practical to me.

Patrick Henry:
"Give me Liberty, or Give me Death!"

 

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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MaikU replied on Fri, Dec 9 2011 2:04 PM

To me it's human instinct.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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z1235 replied on Fri, Dec 9 2011 2:24 PM

Anarcho-libertarian:

I'd like to thank z1235 and Conza88 for completely blowing my concerns about voting out of the water. I will no longer be voting for Ron Paul with a twinge of guilt as I do it.

You're most welcome. Thx for the nice note.

 

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To me, I see no difference.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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MaikU replied on Fri, Dec 9 2011 3:19 PM

To me, I see no concurrence.

"Dude... Roderick Long is the most anarchisty anarchist that has ever anarchisted!" - Evilsceptic

(english is not my native language, sorry for grammar.)

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I thought you were a self-ownership guy.

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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"The people who cast votes decide nothing. The people who count votes decide everything."
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