Re: POL: Extropianism and Politics

Michael S. Lorrey (
Fri, 19 Mar 1999 13:44:52 -0500

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" wrote:

> 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.

That is why there is space to write in your candidate. You don't "have' to choose the explicit choices on the ballot.

If you think its important enough, run for office yourself. Look, for example, at what Vermont farmer Fred Tuttle did. Fred had been the star of a local indie film called 'Man With A Plan', which recently aired nationwide on PBS, which is about a retired Vermont farmer who needs money to care for his own father, so he figures running for congress will get him in the money pit without needing prior experience. The film was made several years ago, but last year a 'carpet bagger' from out of state moved to Vermont and in one year filed to run as a Republican against democrat Senator Patrick Leahy. This incensed Fred and his director, so he decided to run for the Republican nomination himself. Fred won the nomination (on a campaign budget of $16.00, versus his opponent spending several hundred thousand dollars) and Fred immediately announced that he was going to vote for Pat Leahy himself in the election and hoped his supporters would too. His election campaign budget was, as I recall, $256.00. Senator Leahy's campaign commercials showed him napping in a canoe on Lake Champlain, waking up and saying,"I love Vermont." Leahy won, but Fred Tuttle still got 36,000 votes....

> 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.

Voting for the lesser of two evils only makes you slightly evil. It does not make you good.