Monday, November 03, 2008

I can voetz now?

"So corrupted indeed and debased was that age by sycophancy that not
only the foremost citizens who were forced to save their grandeur by
servility, but every exconsul, most of the ex-praetors and a host of
inferior senators would rise in eager rivalry to propose shameful and
preposterous motions. Tradition says that Tiberius as often as he left
the Senate-House used to exclaim in Greek, "How ready these men are to
be slaves."

--from The Annals by Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Book III

As someone who is of the NO VOTE mind (and truly, there are precious few of us), I thought it might be beneficial to expound a bit on the subject. While I don’t realistically expect to change anyone’s mind so close to such an “historic” election (aren’t they all?), I do hope that it will get a few thinking in a different direction and perhaps provide some food for thought going forward as the Next Chosen Savior/Leader inevitably fails to magically deliver the goods on a myriad of ambiguous and unrealistic promises. The following should not be mistaken for a directed attack against anyone, as it is intended to be a short discussion of personal principles regarding the general notion.

So ends the qualifier portion of this entry.

Over the last few weeks there has been the predictable building of fevered crescendo toward The National Elections, and with it various incarnations of the You Must Vote drumbeat, replete with massive “Look at the increased turnout!” and Rock the Vote or Die media and campaign festivities of the day/week/month. After all, it is said, this is our responsibility as democratic citizens, our Sacred Right. Those who do not use this tool (which is imbued with all of the magical properties of Thor’s hammer, to hear some tell it) consequently have no right to speak and will not be heard. They will be treated with general derision as ne’er do wells who don’t want to be “part of the solution” and don’t want to “effect change” by joining their democratic brothers and sisters in the booth. Incoherent, Impractical, Not Pragmatic, Unserious, and many other terms are passed from the talking heads down to the great unwashed who dutifully parrot the same. Everyone keeps everyone else in line and all are reminded to keep their eyes on the ball, as it were. A great many claim to shudder at the very thought of the NO VOTE, and are resigned to doing their Sacred Duty for better or for worse. Indeed, the forms may be many, but the overall message is the same: Your vote is the most precious and valuable thing you have and you MUST use it.

The thing left unsaid (but relentlessly implied) in this message is that while you must use it, it’s only value lies in using it within the given confines of the presented “choices”, and further, within the confines of the system in which those choices reside.

In the area of the two “choices” presented, well, that’s not really a choice, is it? Both marquee candidates will continue the War Machine, both think the idea of domestic spying and retroactive immunization of the corporations that aided in the same is just dandy, and lest we forget, both were/are in full favor of robbing you and several more generations of large gobs of money to bailout the International Banks (oops, I mean, Stabilize the Economy), in spite of the loud and unequivocal “No” issued forth from the majority of citizens in this “democracy”. Of course this is only the very abridged, very short summary version to point out for the nth time that the only Change We Can Count On will be the exact opposite of what many people have fooled themselves into believing.

And the cry goes to the heavens, “But there are still third party candidates to support! You shirk the Sacred Duty!”

This was certainly considered until thinking about it within the larger context of the system in which these choices reside.

Apart from the ridiculously poor choices presented to us as the Serious Candidates, there is this additional issue of the voting system itself having become compromised outright by “faulty” optical scanning equipment, electronic voting systems which are ridiculously easy to hack (physically and remotely) as well as mass voter disenfranchising (which, imo, is simply a divide and conquer distraction to take away from a more widespread and in-depth discussion and understanding of the aforementioned electronic fraud machines).* It didn’t take long for UltimateBet’s thoroughly compromised system to come to mind. Regardless of how many soothing PR releases are issued with thumbs-up, stating “We’ve got it fixed now! You’re safe, the game is fair, we swear it!” I don’t think it’s too far afield to say that any person choosing to play there in spite of this knowledge is a willing sucker who leaves their self wide open for more of the same.

Know what I’m sayin’?

The system has been and is demonstrably co-opted and corrupted. Taking part in a system giving such a blatantly false choice is certainly no way to foster real Hope, to say nothing of effecting positive or worthwhile Change. This system that rules us is utterly vile, corrupt, and murderous as it heaps insult onto injury by paying nothing but lip service to anything good, right, or true. It makes a mockery of all things thoughtful and having conscience. I refuse to take part in such a system, to the extent that I possibly can, any longer.

I’m tired of being told I am rich by same people who empty my pockets. I’m tired of being told how free I am while more bureaucracy and technology are levered in a concerted effort to dictate my every thought and move. I’m tired of my seeing fellow human beings debased in every way. I’m of the slogans and badges and bullshit in general and I’m tired of hearing people who ought to know better tirelessly following the same.

Not voting is voting. It's a vote of No Confidence. It is the realization that the only positive and real Changes I can effect are those that I make manifest in my individual thought and deed. I believe that when those individuals who instinctively understand that something is very, very wrong and desire to take back their individuality, intelligence, and conscience truly realize this and begin reclaiming these things for themselves, then we may indeed see the beginnings of Change for the Better that is, for once in our short lives, something more than a mirage.

In the Articificial Age, Hope that is given by others can only be suspect. Hope found in ones self is one of the last real things remaining.

(cross-posted at Verbosities)