New Problems in Other Directions

How long have people been voting “for” one candidate, for the sole purpose of voting against another one, while saying, “at least it’s a step in the right direction”? I’ve even seen some people who call themselves anarchists doing this. But no, it’s never a step in the right direction. At best, it’s a step in a different wrong direction.

Take the example of Ronald Reagan. Of any president elected in a very, very long time, he was the most openly anti-“government.” In his first inaugural address, he famously said, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” How could that not be a step in the right direction? But what was the real-world result of the election of the most (supposedly) pro-freedom, anti-“government” president for many decades? A vast increase in “government” powers, via the “war on drugs,” and a vast increase in militaristic war-mongering. Some might say–and I sort of think this myself–that Reagan in some ways was a troublesome puppet for the puppet-masters. I think he probably actually believed a lot of what he was saying. Nonetheless, if there is even one way in which some elected “official” would want to use the “Ring of Power,” that is where “government” will grow. “Government” power and control in one direction might not grow, but “government” power in some other direction will. In other words, a step in a different wrong direction, instead of a step in the right direction.

It’s human nature to be most concerned with whatever disaster, problem or injustice you see happening right now. And that makes it tough to be objective. If your house was on fire, it’s likely that your only concern would be to put out that fire. But if you did that by dropping your house into a lake, you would quickly learn that there are other problems just as bad as fire. And that is the best that voting ever is: replacing one problem with a different problem. Usually, it’s not even that good. Usually it’s leaving the old problem where it is, while adding a new problem in another direction. It’s not a “step in the right direction.” Ever.

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Larken Rose is an anarchist author best known for challenging the IRS to answer questions about the federal tax liability of citizens, and being put in prison with no questions answered. He is the author of The Most Dangerous Superstition.