Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Depressing Day

Not only because one of those presumptuous scoundrels will fulfill his dream of being "commander in chief," but because the airwaves and cable channels are rife with media talking heads discharging their self-appointed duty of re-legitimizing the state. The last few days especially have been devoted less to partisanship than to praise of both "courageous" candidates for their service and dedication. In the end, for these windbag commentators what counts most is the process, i.e., the state's continued legitimacy. Nothing disturbs them more than discussion that undermines The Consensus. All underhanded campaigning can be forgiven in light of the larger mission, the collective choosing of a Leader, which can be used ultimately to absolve the state of its crimes. Nothing, therefore, is more sacred than the ritual of voting. Or so the media talkers would have us believe, as they rhapsodize about "caring" and "participation." In truth, getting out the vote is a way to get everyone's hands dirty enough that they can't regard the state as an external villain, an occupying power.

Anyone who points out that this process is based on fraud and coercion would be dismissed as a cynic or a nihilist. But no need to worry. No one who would point this out will be invited to comment in the first place. Can't have the purity of the moment sullied by the truth. The media are safe for Peggy Noonan, David Gergen, and the rest of the state's cheerleaders. No one will say what should already be obvious to any thinking person: the electoral process is a distraction, a massive effort in misdirection to keep our minds off what is really going on. The illusion of popular power hides the fact that real power is securely beyond the people's reach.

"If voting could change things, it would be against the law." No wiser words ever graced a wall.

11 comments:

Tim Stonesifer said...

I find it depressing-- or maybe even disgusting-- people will line up at dawn to choose whom they'd like to have insult their intelligence, take their money, screw their economy, and infringe on their freedoms for the next four years.

Do they really think who's in the suit matters?

Mimi said...

Hey, murder in our names, aka preemptive war, has got to lead the list of horrors by the state. However, I did vote--as a gesture--for Nader, the only candidate I can respect.

AzraelsJudgement said...

"I find it depressing-- or maybe even disgusting-- people will line up at dawn to choose whom they'd like to have insult their intelligence, take their money, screw their economy, and infringe on their freedoms for the next four years."

My thoughts exactly

Capt. A. said...

Sheldon,

"Sometimes TIME spent trying to change something is TIME best spent looking for something you don't have to change."

Harry Schultz, Harry Browne, et al., mentors that convinced me to take "action." I did. I left the U.S. nearly 30-years ago, effectively rendering the American system moot. Don't talk, don't hope, and don’t wish. LEAVE. Live the only life you will ever have. Do not allow ANY government to live that life for you. There’s only ONE way you should VOTE: With your feet. All the rest is talk.

Accept my condolences on the loss of your cherished friend, Mr. Marshall Fritz.

Capt. A., A Sovereign Individual
Principality of Monaco

Sheldon Richman said...

Thank you, Capt. A.

Jimi G said...

"If voting could change things, it would be against the law." No wiser words never graced a wall.

Emma Goldmann was on to something there.

But in the pastI have proposed a corollary -- if not voting could change things, it would be against the law.

For, you see, it is universal refusal to vote that would truly expose the sham of democracy and reveal the dictatorship beneath the disguise.

Sheldon Richman said...

Interesting thought, Jimi. (Pardon the inadvertent double negative: "no ... never..." It's fixed now.)

Bob Murphy said...

Good post, Sheldon. What's funny is how many arguments I get from fellow libertarians who can't believe I spend all this time writing articles and then don't won't to "put them into action" by voting for Barr (or whomever).

Bob Murphy said...

* typo "won't" = "want"

Glen L Johson said...

When I read your last comment that if voting could change things it would be against the law I laughed and at the same time agreed with you. Great post.

Glen

Noah "Nog" M. said...

Great post. Few things annoy me more than "get out the vote" campaigns about voting for its own sake.

However, I don't see a completely persuasive case against either the utility or the morality of voting. The following seems to be a standard argument used by non-voting liberals:
"it is universal refusal to vote that would truly expose the sham of democracy and reveal the dictatorship beneath the disguise."

No doubt, if everyone stopped voting or if turnout dropped dramatically, the government would be shown as a sham. But this seems to be a utopian dream more than a practical solution. Won't we liberals be more successful going after changes at the margin than by abstaining in hopes of some revolutionary change?

And further, I don't know if logic pertaining to voting on individual candidates would apply to voting on ballot measures, like bonds and taxation proposals.

-Noah Meek