Statist (il)logic: Don’t complain if you don’t vote


Bill Nye gave a speech the other day where he said if you don’t want to vote, shut up.  It’s a pretty common sentiment repeated by statists to justify their system of “democratic” control over the populace.  Their point is that since you had your chance to have your say during the vote, you waive your right to complain if you didn’t participate in the decision-making process.

Now there is debate among the libertarian community on whether you should vote or not.  Despite the general agreement among libertarians that the state’s voting system is illegitimate, there are good arguments coming from both sides of the debate.  This part of the discussion however is largely irrelevant to the point that the statists are trying to make.

With elections, there’s really not that much of a choice.  People are usually only left with two viable options to choose from since third party candidates almost never have much of a chance to win an election.  Furthermore, matters of policy are usually not voted on directly by the people, but instead are decided by the elected officials.  The voters are forced to choose between two people the one who is most likely to represent their most important interests.

In other words, it’s a crapshoot and any choice you think you have is a façade .  Not only that, the individual’s vote is statistically insignificant.  When libertarians think that’s a crazy and impractical way to make decisions and decide not to participate, but are forced to deal with the consequences anyway, they’re told they cannot complain?  But the people who agree to this process are “allowed” to voice their discontent?

How does that make sense?

Let’s say I’m with some friends and we decide we want to eat at a restaurant.  There are two restaurants where we can eat, and we all agree to vote on which one we patronize.  If someone on the losing vote starts whining and complaining, the rest of us don’t look very kindly on him, which would be a reasonable reaction by the group.

But the statist logic is this: if you choose not to participate in the dichotomy that is set up for you, just shut up and deal with it.

They sound like nice people, don’t they?