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Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

I asked my ridiculously well informed friend to write this article for me according to this prompt:

"David, no one gives a fuck about voting. So what the hell do you tell someone? I know I could rave on about women's rights/human rights and issues pertaining to that, but what the hell do you tell some overprivileged, unaware, probably half-drunk probably white probably male college kid who has probably never had to work or earn his way... how do you stoke something in that person, to vote?"

This is what he so eloquently replied with: Read the full reply...

see related articles: [ Why I'm not voting for Emily Reilly I Anyone going out on Nov. 3rd? I Liberation News Voter Recommendations I FRSC and Critical Mass Radio Network - sElection 2004 I Election Special: Behind California's Proposition 66 I Old Enough to Care, Too Young to Vote I Mark Fogel hates the homeless I Dump the Kennedy Council I City Council candidates interviewed on FRSC! I 16 propositions, 1 ballot. Confused? Last-minute links and info for voters. ]

Say you want a revolution! David Boxer

There is no reason why I should even be writing this. Seriously. According to The Gallop Corporation, you don’t matter. Not only do you not matter, you might as well not even exist. Sure, you might an unintelligible utterance every once in a while; something about the WTO, the IMF, maybe even about a little conflict in desert two oceans away. But why should I care? You don’t matter to me.

That is, unless you want to matter.

Fewer than 30% of young people 18-24 vote. So why should anyone care about you? You’re statistically irrelevant.

But that’s a load of shit; you know that and so do I.

The same people who don’t vote are some of the people most affected by the political process. The vast majority of the 12,000 casualties of the War on Terror are under the age of thirty. In the event of a national emergency, we are going to be asked to defend this nation, since all young men in this country are eligible to be drafted into the military.

The same people who don’t vote are going to be paying down the federal deficit.Currently it stands at 7.418 trillion dollars, which translates into about $25,200 per person. Why should you care? You should care because the only way this can be paid for is by raising taxes (like your tuition) or by cutting services (schools, public health services, funding to local artists). Unless you vote to change this, the government will continue to take your money.

But why even vote?

One vote has never made the difference in any election in our history. Even if the difference was 537 votes in Florida in 2000 or 16 million in 1984, your vote wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the election.

There are many reasons to vote. Some will cite civic duty, but that is only a good answer if one actually understands the issues. Others will say one should vote because we have the right too. However, that argument is also flawed because we also have the right not to vote.

You should vote because you care about yourself. You should care about your country because you live here. In all likelihood you will work here, pay taxes here, and, know at least one man or woman who has gone off to war to honor the sacrifices of those who fell before them. Your kids will go to school here and eventually you’ll get social security checks from the government.

If you don’t care about any of that, stop reading. But if you do have an interest in that, make sure you protect it. Ultimately it’s not how much money you have, who you know, or what you did: all that matters in the end is who has the most votes.

If you surrender your voice because you don’t see the relevance, then you will cede control of your destiny to someone who, truly, has no reason to care about you.


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Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

I think the problem is, you are coming in with an assumption that a vote for Kerry is better than a vote for Bush.

The latest articles coming from the right-wing are praising Kerry as being more Neo-conservative than Bush. Kerry wants to increase (not decrease) the number of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, wants to offer even more military aid to Israel, and wants to add more money to plan Colombia and Plan Pueblo Panama.

The truth is, Democrats have always had worse foreign policy than Republicans. Remember how many Iraqis died under Clinton? 1.5 Million according to Unicef's reports on the impacts of the sanctions that Clinton extended during his administration.

This logic of anybody but Bush is outright ridiculous. I have a news flash for you folks, Hitler wasn't Bush. Would you vote for him, if he was alive, and spinning all the same crap he did in the elections in Germany in 1932? Because believe me, Hitler sounded like a compassionate liberal then... and look what happened.

Vote for an Anti-War Candidate: Particularly in California

JohnBrown's comments make a lot of sense.

Kerry has California sewn up (though he's probably blown the general election with his waffling, pro-war positions). Vote for Nader or another anti-war candidate here. And--most important--get out on November 3 with direct action to Stop the War.

Also vote against the Kennedy Council (anyone but Primack, Porter, Reilly, and Kennedy). And, of course, write in Robert Norse and Coral Brune!

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

I am voting even though the choices are lousy because Susan B. Anthony , Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and thousands of unknown women fought for the right to vote.
**It took them 75 years of struggle.
When my mom was a girl, women couldnt vote in the US! The men in power regarded women (and still do) as some sort of sub human breeder-servant incapable of having the intelligence to vote! Our job is to mass produce consumer/worker/breeder/units for the war economy.

How sad that the system is now so rotten that many young women dont vote!
VOTE ANYWAY!!! Dont let 75 years of womens struggle be in vain!

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

say you want a revolution? voting is showing your compliance to the system. how is that in any way revolutionary? you cant vote for revolution. its an oxymoron.

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

You can vote for revolution. Historically it is not unprecedented for revolutionary parties have been elected to political offices before leading the revolution.

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

"You can't vote for revolution," you say? Wouldn't a massive turnout for someone like the Libertarian be a revolution? What if we all decided to vote for not-Bush and not-Kerry, just to see if the electoral system was working? Wouldn't that be a revolution? What if all the people who voted that way wore a left-over item from Halloween to let others know how many supported the idea? A jack-o-lantern pin, perhaps, or a pair of devil horns, a pair of black-cat earrings, a ghost medallion, etc.? If you saw a lot of that kind of thing, you'd expect to see a corresponding surge in the not-Bush, not-Kerry vote, wouldn't you? And what would you do or think, if you saw everyone wearing some form of Halloween leftover, but the reported Bush/Kerry vote were high and deadlocked? Maybe then it might be time for a REAL revolution, wouldn't you think?

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

great. so was the author of this author trying to imply that we should all vote libertarian and have a libertarian revolution? (or some other third party) i think they were insinuating that voting for kerry is somehow revolutionary. even if some third party got elected, you'd still have some other shmuck ruling you. i dont know about you, but i certainly dont need to be led.

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

"i dont know about you, but i certainly dont need to be led."

If you are aware of what is needed and take action, you are leader. From what I am hearing “@? you may be playing your own small part in keeping the current pro-capitalist anti-people "leadership" in power, if in no other way by default.

On another question, I was curious as to why the displayed link next to this one: "Liberation News Voter Recommendations", is not working except in the side columns.

i don't understand the tech question

scimc (at)

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

I didn't explain it well. What I meant to say is that the featured "Liberation News Voter Recommendations" link is not working. I've now sent that to scimc (at), thanks.

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

i refuse to be led. i refuse to vote for my own oppressor. i have nothing in common with john kerry, george bush, ralph nader, or any other candidate. No individual other than myself can represent me. voting in itself upholds the status quo being led by those in power. voting itself is showing my support for someone else to rule my existance. can i vote against democracy? even if i could, would it make a difference?

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

"@" I don't support any of the candidates you've mentioned either, but I still voted.

One of the fundamental problems of political anarchism is that, in general, it does not seek to build a political alternative to the government in power, but instead seeks to influence that government by scaring it to the left through street actions. This produces a political vacuum when faced with any real struggle, a vacuum that ends up putting many anarchists in one of the camps of the oppressors rather than building a political alternative. This could be seen in this last election with the large number of anarchists that supported Kerry. It is also a trend that can be seen going back to the beginnings of the anarchist movement.

In 1873 Friedrich Engels polemicizing against the Spanish anarchists said:

“As soon as they were faced with a serious revolutionary situation, the Bakuninists had to throw the whole of their old program overboard. First they sacrificed their doctrine of absolute abstention from political, and especially electoral, activities. Then anarchy, the abolition of the State, shared the same fate.... They then dropped the principle that the workers must not take part in any revolution that did not have as its aim the immediate and complete emancipation of the proletariat, and they themselves took part in a movement that was notoriously bourgeois. Finally they...sat quite comfortably in the juntas of the various towns, and moreover almost everywhere as an impotent minority outvoted and politically exploited by the bourgeoisie.?

The goal, in my opinion, must be to build a political alternative to both the Democrats and Republicans that is capable of transforming our entire society. Of course that is much harder work than declaring our independence, not voting, and letting those in power keep their power.

Liberation News:

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

Steve, your argument is that the problem with anarchists is that they are anarchists (they don't build a political alternative to the government). That's fine if you feel that way, but don't insist on evaluating anarchist principles in terms of success in creating something (a new state) that they want to destroy. You seem to to think that anarchists wish to "scare" the government to the left. I hope you can realize that this is an absurd misrepresentation of anarchist goals. Your insistence on a "political alternative" leads me to believe that you don't even desire communism, or an end to class society. State capitalism is NOT communism. Anarchists are anti-political because they are for people's direct control of their living activity (sometimes referred to as communism, the absence of alienated labor). Your absurd notion that you can vote for revolution because revolution is embodied in the party which represents the people disgusts me. Anarchists tend to call that counter-revolution, since the Party which represents the People must of necessity turn against many of those people and imprison or kill them in the name of their revolution. I don't really feel like we have all that much to discuss, since you seem to identify with a tradition (or at least share the same principles and goals) that sees anarchists as the enemy since they cannot be brought under the control of any Party, whether "revolutionary" or not. If you are interested in the writings of communists who do not identify with the anarchist tradition but who genuinely want a classless, non-bureaucratic society without wage-labor, check out and especially, which has an essay called "What is Communism" or "Capitalism and Communism." The writnigs of the Situationist International, especially Debord's Society of the Spectacle would fit in this category as well. adios.

Re: Say You Want A Revolution! East Side, West Side: Logic on Why One Should Vote

Nothing will change until all woman on earth have reproductive rights and are not controlled by men. Every woman must be free to live her life as she sees fit. Capitalist, socialist, and tribal patriarchy (male domination of women) must all be eradicated. Women worldwide live in occupied patriarchal terrirory and cant even walk the streets or hike alone without fear of rape. Until this is no longer true, there will never be world peace.


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