Re: POL: Extropianism and Politics

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 11:30:42 -0600

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> Failure to vote--to use the only tool the system allows--makes
> one morally complicit in whatever atrocities are committed by
> the government agents you failed to vote against.

On the contrary. The only thing that can make me morally complicit in *anything* is giving my consent to it. If the government offers me two candidates, Adolf Hitler and Michael Dukakis, my voting for Dukakis doesn't make me liable for whatever portion of the national debt he runs up. Nor does my refusal to vote entirely make me liable for Hitler's actions.

A vote is just the degree of control the government has decided to allow you over it. It doesn't signify your acquiescence to the actions of the government. If I'd signed the Constitution, it would, but I didn't, so it doesn't. If I do my best, through voting, to minimize the national debt, there is no action on the part of others that can make me morally liable for what's left. Others have no power over my moral responsibility; nor can they force me to accept liability by making it the lesser of two evils. The ONLY thing that can make me liable is my SPECIFIC CONSENT. The theory of implied consent through ANY action (or inaction) is hokum.

--          Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Disclaimer:  Unless otherwise specified, I'm not telling you
everything I think I know.