Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Fallacy of Democracy

In honor of election day, I present to you this post that I originally wrote for Dismantle Civilization:

The Fallacy of Democracy

In America, there’s a lot of hoopla going on right now about the upcoming election. American citizens are given several choices for a presidential leader, and must choose the one that they feel represents them the most. Then a new dude gets elected and we’re all happy and get on with the next four years of our lives.


Democracy is one of the biggest delusions we have been taught to believe. You want to know why? First of all, the elections are controlled by the people already in power. The people who have the most access to campaign resources (and the most money to buy them) will obviously have the most successful campaign. Second, we are given two choices for a leader. Two. Yes, I know there are a whole list of independent candidates on each ballot, but election propaganda sets up political freedom as an either/or choice; You pick this guy because you hate that guy. And since the majority of Americans vote for one of the two main candidates, even if you do support a minority party, your vote pretty much doesn’t count and usually ends up working against you in the end.

And the more subtle fallacy at work? A president is not elected based on popular vote. It’s electoral votes that count. So it’s easy for the people in power to do their research and figure out how they can manipulate the votes in certain areas and get a chosen candidate elected. And if that doesn’t work, then they can just “lose” or “misplace” a few thousand votes and call it good.

Of course, there is still a bunch of red tape rigamaroll invented to trick people into thinking their votes are very important. Voters must be registered. All votes are anonymous. Voters must go to the proper precinct to vote. All of this crap, and the president isn’t even chosen by us! Not to mention that the current voting process makes it impossible for low-income individuals to vote. How do they know where to get their registration forms if they don’t have a phone or internet access? How do they pick one up if they don’t have a car? How do they vote if they have to work a 10-hour shift that day, and don’t have the postage to send in an absentee ballot?

But I digress. I’ll lay my cards on the table and admit that I’m planning on voting on November 4th, and I’m really excited about the idea of having Barack Obama as a leader. But on the other hand, I know that nothing I think or say or do matters when the same old boys club is going to be reigning in the White House until the end of time. And I wish everyone else could see that too. Some do, but they still allow elections to divide them and break them down. Can’t we start believing in something other than the republic? How about ourselves? Or our communities? Or anything else that hasn’t already become corrupted by out-of-control, unbridled power?

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