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Free Minds & Free Markets

Why You Don't Need To Vote

Perhaps there are more meaningful ways to spend your time.

If you want to alienate almost anyone, no matter their politics, tell them you're not voting tomorrow.

Your friends will gasp. Celebrities will judge you. Your mother might still love you—grudgingly. The very concept of democracy depends on it, they'll say. And don't you care about America?

Don't accept the guilt trip. Not voting can be an equally legitimate and moral choice. Here are four of the most common myths used to shame nonvoters.

'Your Vote Matters'

As Reason's Katherine Mangu-Ward has often pointed out, you're not going to sway a major election. Your chances are vanishingly small of affecting a race at the state level, and a single vote has decided precisely zero federal elections in more than a century. A comprehensive review by economists Casey Mulligan and Charles Hunter looking at tens of thousands of races since 1898 unearthed just a single federal race that hinged on one vote—but a recount revealed the final difference to be much larger.

Voting is like playing the Powerball. Punch your ticket or don't, and your life will stay exactly the same.

Yes, if a million other people think the same way, then the result could shift. But this is about you, and whether or not you cast your one vote. It simply won't affect the outcome.

Not if you live in a swing state. Not if the Electoral College were abolished. Not even if you're in Florida and your chad is hung like a moose.

'If You Don't Vote, You Have No Right To Complain'

Only about half the voting age population makes it to the polls, and groups including young people, the poor, and the disabled are underrepresented in voter rolls. Do they not deserve a voice?

The act of voting doesn't a good citizen make, and it's actually one of the least effective ways to contribute to the American experiment. Most social and cultural change happens outside the political sphere, and that's a good thing.

Rather than follow the latest horse race, you could tweet, blog, buy, donate, or activate. You might spend your scarce time exposing corruption, developing a new vaccine, or microwaving a burrito. Any of these things can have a more tangible impact on the world than your vote.

'It's Your Civic Duty to Vote'

Generations of brave Americans have fought for your right to vote—and for your right not to. In fact, you can choose not to vote because you love your country.

Maybe you don't feel educated, or at least not enough to fill out your ballot and cancel out the vote of your well-informed neighbor. That's OK, and really quite moral.

Besides, even the most knowledgeable voters can't predict what a candidate will do in office. Remember when Obama was going to rein in W's foreign adventuring? It was about 10 years and one drone kill list ago.

'If You Don't Vote, You're Just Lazy'

A principled citizen might actively avoid a two-party system that systemically silences alternative voices. You could decide that, by design, it doesn't represent your interests, and that voting for the lesser of two evils only helps the fat cats in Washington maintain a smoke screen of legitimacy.

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  • Azathoth!!||

    Man, they really don't want people voting.

    Scared, liberaltarians?

  • lap83||

    They just don't want the members of the Ignorant Republican Bitter Clinger Bigot Society that makes up so much of their readership to vote. The educated, tolerant Democrats should obviously still vote. /Rev

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I encourage everyone to vote.

    Bigots and authoritarians have rights, too.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "Bigots and authoritarians have rights, too."

    Lefties are sure to vote.

  • ThomasD||

    Yeah, Secular Heaven forefend my vote cancelling out the desires of a committed statist.

    The horror!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Fuck all those celebrities. Fuck Dane Cook in particular.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    I always figured he would perish in a freak fleshlight accident.

  • CE||

    This seems like a Koch Brothers plot, for what I'm not sure.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    "Scared, liberaltarians?"

    Scared? Dude, we've been living with your political choices for our entire lives. I think you Trump-humpers are the ones who are a bit nervous.

  • Azathoth!!||

    I have to admit, I'm glad you Democrats, progressives, and other leftists have insulated yourselves so completely.

    It keeps you safe and snug in a cocoon of ignorance.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    I don't think in my 30+ years of voting I've ever voted for a Democrat. But go ahead and convince yourself that everyone who doesn't think like you is a progressive.

    Cocoon indeed.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    That's probably a solid read on the situation.

    I don't know anything about this Justin Monticello dude, so there's certainly a chance he could actually be a real libertarian, but around here these days it's definitely highly unlikely.

  • ThomasD||

    It's the Shaker approach to Libertarianism.

  • Eddy||

    Is not-voting the new "I don't even own a TV"?

    (Now that non-TV-having is becoming more common with all these iThingies everyone carries around all the time)

  • Jimothy||

    I don't even own an iThingie.

    (Okay, I lied. I just want to be cool again. Or for once).

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Does Jassie run to Jommy when you fall down the well?

  • Nardz||

    "(Okay, I lied. I just want to be cool again. Or for once)."

    You could start by spelling your name with a fucking 'T'
    We're trying to have a civilization here!

  • Jimothy||

    Don't be tealous!

  • DiegoF||

    I think the actual, real cool hipster kids are going back to feature phones. It's such a trend that Nokia, their best manufacturer, has brought back a classic throwback. Privacy nerds of course never switched away, so it's the ideal type of hipsterism for a libertarian.

  • CE||

    the real cool kids are wearing analog watches

  • ThomasD||

    Automatic analog watches.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I have an iThingie, but only because I can't buy a Nokia with real buttons. Every new electronic device that I buy is worse than the one before. I bought a new computer with Windows 10, and it doesn't even have a Media player or Word. Microsoft "Help" said to just download a free one and use Googledocs. I'd rather pay a few bucks more for software that is integrated, works and is included in the expensive shitware that Microsoft sells, after wasting hours and fucking up my computer. Fuck it. I found a site in China, and I can watch any movie for free. By the way, people in China only pay US$3 for the same software that Americans pay hundreds for. I hates Bill Gates.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    A friend of mine did that too. Then his identity was stolen and all his electronics had malware in them.

    Good luck.

  • CE||

    or a smart phone

  • Daniel||

    Can people that don't have a TV but stream Netflix, Amazon, Playstation Vue, or whatever to a mobile device even make that claim?

    "Well, I don't even own a TV......"

    "But you just masturbated to 4 seasons of Orange is the New Black...."

    :|

  • Nardz||

    Another "don't vote" article!
    Must be bad for the Ds... or at least someone at Reason HQ thinks so

  • Sovereign||

    Why do I feel like this translates to "Dead God I hope the dems don't lose by 3% and the libertarian candidate pulls 4% we are gonna catch hell!"

  • Sovereign||

    Why do I feel like this translates to "Dead God I hope the dems don't lose by 3% and the libertarian candidate pulls 4% we are gonna catch hell!"

  • dpbisme||

    It is depressing when Reason posts something this stupid.

    So your choices are not always good and you have to pick the lessor of two evils, grow up Man-Boy.

    Trump might have won because Blacks did not vote in mass the last election, that tells you that Your Vote Matters.

    As an Example: If the Democrats try to take away our Second Amendment lots of people will resists and lots of nice People doing their jobs will be hurt.

    Those people being hurt might not have been were people will to stand up to those that would take away our freedom by voting.

  • Remember to keep it all polit||

    Flunked math, did you? Not much concept of big vs small?

  • CE||

    people won't even bother to vote, and you expect them to offer armed resistance?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Better off stockpiling ammo, food, and precious metals (including copper pennies and lead) and be ready to offer armed resistance to anyone that comes to take them.

  • vek||

    I know several people who don't bother to vote, but are SUPER down for "participating in the political process" when it comes down to a shootin' war!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    There is something to be said for 'settling accounts'.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Why deal with the lessor of two evils, when you could buy instead of leasing?

  • geo1113||

    I am voting so I can vote against Elizabeth Warren. Voting for Shiva, the real Indian.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Is the Hindu god of destruction really that much better? Besides, I doubt he's running.

  • geo1113||

  • CLM1227||

    Meet the God of destruction.

    I actually hope he wins, lmao

  • Eddy||

    I was hoping for something cooler

    Is this Kali or Shiva?

  • Eddy||

    But that candidate? He does nothing for me.

    "I am become meh, the destroyer of coolness."

  • Nardz||

    "I was hoping for something cooler"

    Ahem.
    Ganesh would like a logos.

  • Eddy||

    How many human heads does *he* wear around his neck?

  • DiegoF||

    I love the slogan but somewhat dislike the fact that Mr. Fran Drescher here is certifiable cray cray. I am sure he sucks like every other Masshole Republican (by their standards Weld really is awesome), but I think I'd vote for whoever their guy is if I lived there.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Robert Oppenheimer?

  • ||

    Jesus Christ these celebrities and Obama.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Punctuation, please. It's hard to parse that.

  • walkaway_nov6||

    It's not hard at all. Most people with a functional level of intelligence can figure it out.

  • Trainer||

    People with a functional level of intelligence would have used proper punctuation so that other people were clear on what they said instead of having to figure it out.

  • walkaway_nov6||

    It's not hard at all. Most people with a functional level of intelligence can figure it out.

  • ThomasD||

    ,,,,,......;;;;!!!!!!????::::

    You ask, I deliver.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You'd like that, wouldn't you, Reason?

  • Bearded Spock||

    Reason: You don't need to vote, it's not a big deal, it has no real effect whatsoever.

    Also Reason: Why the hell can't Libertarians break more than 1% of the vote? The deck is stacked against Third-Party candidates!

    Between Shikha and Robby and this story, it's like reading the old National Lampoon.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Once again, Bearded Spock can't seem to grasp the concept of individuals.

  • Nardz||

    It seems our most collectivist-minded posters, such as NPC baculum here, are prone to this vapid observation.
    Sad.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    I've noticed that. He's sarcastically responded to a couple of my posts and completely missed the mark, like he just skimmed the comment and picked up on a couple of key words.

  • Deconstructed Potato||

    Although I wouldn't call him an NPC by any stretch. He seems like a pretty easygoing fella who tends toward dismissing/misreading/assuming, which I'm sure most commenters are guilty of to some extent.

  • Oli||

    omg, different opinions on MY NEWS SITE?!

  • Bearded Spock||

    Except this isn't a news site: it's an opinion site, supposedly dedicated to advancing the cause of libertarianism by discussing subjects near and dear to the hearts of libertarians.

    If you actually want libertarian policy positions enacted into laws, then you need to elect candidates who support those positions. Telling a website full of your supporters that their not voting for anyone isn't a big deal certainly is the wrong way to do it.

  • Bearded Spock||

    It kind of reminds me of that Simpsons episode where there was a ballot initiative to legalize pot in Springfield, but the potheads were all too stoned to vote for it and it went down to defeat.

  • Trainer||

    Unless, of course, the ballot doesn't even list your party's candidate and even if it did, they have no hope of winning a contest rigged against them. That's why not voting doesn't matter and working on other things does. Voting is not going to libertarians or any other third party at this point. Working the system can have more of an impact on ballot access and other issues.

    I told my "blue wave" friend who was horrified that I wasn't encouraging others to vote (for the record, I voted from Ukraine) that if she went to polls had to choose between Cruz and Trump for office, she would probably not vote for that office. That's how I feel many times walking into the voting booth.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    "Yes, if a million other people think the same way, then the result could shift. But this is about you..."

    Thanks for writing this article just for me, and not for a mass audience. Because if you had written it for a mass audience, and they all took your advice, "then the result could shift."

    Perhaps there are other more meaningful ways to spend my time. And I'm already in the hole for wasting time reading this piece and writing this comment.

    There are expensive propositions on the ballot in my local jurisdiction. I'm voting against them.

    Libertarians are always complaining about fallacious zero-sum categorizations. Voting only takes a couple of minutes. I can still do other meaningful things and vote. If I must subtract my voting time from some other activity, it will be from putzing on my phone, not from saving the world or handing out blankets to the homeless.

  • CE||

    Well technically they're right. Whether or not I vote doesn't matter, at all.

    But publishing a story convincing a half million other people that voting doesn't matter just might have a non-zero impact.

  • ThomasD||

    "...convincing a half million other people..."

    Was this published somewhere else as well?

  • vek||

    With the number of people who comment being fairly modest, I have actually wondered how many people merely READ the drivel Reason publishes nowadays. I mean some stories come up in searches, many probably read but don't post. I fell into that category for a long time.

    But I do wonder...

  • Doug Heffernan||

    "Yes, if a million other people think the same way, then the result could shift. But this is about you..."

    Thanks for writing this article just for me, and not for a mass audience. Because if you had written it for a mass audience, and they all took your advice "then the result could shift."

    Perhaps there are other more meaningful ways to spend my time. And I'm already in the hole for wasting time reading this piece and writing this comment.

    There are expensive propositions on the ballot in my local jurisdiction. I'm voting against them.

    Libertarians are always complaining about fallacious zero-sum categorizations. Voting only takes a couple of minutes. I can still do other meaningful things and vote. If I must subtract my voting time from some other activity, it will be from putzing on my phone, not from saving the world or handing out blankets to the homeless.

  • Just Say'n||

    I was a fan of your show back in the day. Your wife was hot

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Thanks. She has some miles on her now, but at least she has renounced scientology.

  • DiegoF||

    And she is into the darker meat too; that part of the show accurately portrayed real life. I think this is why she may have been into Zack Morris back in the day; she knew he was secretly Indonesian.

  • CLM1227||

    Your chances are vanishingly small of affecting a race at the state level, and a single vote has decided precisely zero federal elections in more than a century.

    The problem with hyper-individualistic thinking is that you tend to lose sight of the value in teaming up for something.

    No, one person won't make much of a difference, but if 1 million individuals decided they don't make a difference, they actually DO. Ask Romney and the boycott of the 2012 election.

    I believe Romney lost because enough people decided not to vote. Remember remember how you screwed Ron Paul?

    Some guy, Dr. Salerno, in some interview (with Cato?) Posits that nationalism is the means by which the individual secures his rights. While the individual value, needs, and rights are important (individualism), no man is truly an island.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    It doesn't even take a million. Monticello just has to convince thousands in order to have an effect.

    The probability of any one voter's vote (or non-vote) having an effect is small. But Monticello's singular "vote" to write this piece has compound potential. Maybe more when combined with the efforts of the purple-haired girl.

    I assume that Monticello and the purple-haired girl want smaller government. How will that ever happen if he convinces an increasing number of libertarians not to vote? If the libertarian party somehow gets close to a critical mass over the next decade, lets see if Monticello keeps up the drumbeat not to vote.

  • 0x1000||

    Government has generally been growing for longer than Monticello has been alive. Vote if it makes you feel better, but the trend will continue regardless. And maybe even by way of the guy you voted for.

  • Doug Heffernan||

    You're probably right. But if the argument is that libertarians should be fatalistic about any chance for smaller government, then more than just voting is pointless.

  • Trainer||

    I'm not fatalistic and I do vote but I also know getting my candidate on the ballot and leveling the playing field is much more important than voting for a D or an R. Voting should be the last step of our political involvement, not the first or only. That's how we got into this mess.

  • vek||

    Probably? Until it collapses anyway. Or we kick over the apple cart in some other way. But there's maybe a 10% chance people will get sick of shit and we'll turn things around. Hell, perhaps technical innovation alone lowering the cost to deploy something close to current levels of welfare nonsense will reduce the proportional burden.

    Whatever the case, how far and how fast it slides MATTERS. I would still live in the most beautiful place in America, Northern California, if more conservatives and libertarians had bothered to vote there, hence keeping the laws more sane. But now I live in a shittier place, and am planning on moving to an even shittier place to run away from the statists and their bullshit.

    What laws get passed matters. Hence voting matters.

  • Myshkin78||

    "I assume that Monticello and the purple-haired girl want smaller government. How will that ever happen if he convinces an increasing number of libertarians not to vote?"

    If nobody votes then we'll have no elected officials, hence smaller government. Duh...

  • Tell It Right||

    If weed isn't on the ballot so called "libertarians" don't care about confiscatory tax hikes, making women share restrooms with men, due process being undone, or even that our election results are honored.

    Weed is to "libertarians" what abortion is to "democrats" -- it's all that matters to them and nothing more.

  • Eddy||

    Tell it, Mr. Tell It!

  • Homple||

    Be fair now. Assex, Mexicans and foodtrucks matter to Libertarians as well as pot.

  • Benitacanova||

    And "sex worker" rights. Don't forget about that.

  • Homple||

    Libertarians: standing on the sidelines pretending its the high ground.

  • DiegoF||

    Then loudly declare it's the high ground, then slice all your limbs off and walk away as you beg for the mercy of death, citing the NAP.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    For all the complaints from conservatives about how liberals have replaced the God of the bible with the God of government, they sure like to worship at the same altar.

  • CE||

    compared to progressives and Trumpites, it IS the high ground.

  • Moo Cow||

    Yes, all H&R commenters should stay home and not vote. I agree!

  • DiegoF||

    Moo, Mr. Moo Cow!

  • Moo Cow||

    Moo to you, too, sir!

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Knock, knock!

  • Nardz||

    You are neither intelligent nor funny, NPC baculum.
    Perhaps you might find a crowd closer to your pace - maybe stick to Facebook

  • ThomasD||

    PSA: Moo cows and Muumuu cows are categorically different.

  • DiegoF||

    It is of course not particularly smart--very clearly so for anything the size of a Congressional district--to vote unless you enjoy it or consider it a civic duty.

    More importantly, I want these inane "nonpartisan" publicly funded get-out-the-vote propaganda campaigns to stop. (I even want to keep these measures to make voting easier out of my state--a desire that will shatter tomorrow when the Democrats finally take the state senate--but that's a little too ambitious.) I don't want any of my money going to convince citizens with no great information, desire, or inclination to vote, to do so. I don't even think it's particularly desirable that they do so in the first place, and don't know how we allowed the weird notion that it is to enter "common sense." Encouraging people to vote should be a political strategy for parties to undertake, not some sort of civic good. Make it reasonably feasible for anyone who wants it--as it already is without early, mail-in, or whatever--and make sure everyone knows the date. That's it. We don't need a million-dollar Benneton ad of cunts waxing poetic about "making your voice heard." (In NYC they even list the issues, which always sound a bit proggy like the rest of the aesthetic.)

  • DiegoF||

    ...For that matter, I don't know where we got this infantile business about how it's important for young people to "get involved" and "speak out" and "be active." How about a campaign to "be informed" and "know what the fuck you are talking about"? And the importance of doing that before anything else? Plenty of time for the latter. In any case I guess it was just a short step from praising the young for speaking out, to perversely declaring that we listen to them and grant them actual deference and even power, or even that they possess a wisdom (and moral stake in the future) that their elders do not.

    Also, Obama has praised Australia for punishing its citizens for not voting. That sounds a bit intrusive and authoritarian, so I doubt he really thought it through. Likewise it seems like something you might say if you hope to gain an edge from low-information or -enthusiasm voters, and he is a principled guy you have to give him that so I doubt he really meant it. At any rate I am sure he would never suggest we copy Australia in any measure that would constitute an intrusive violation of longstanding and cherished Constitutional rights, if implemented here.

  • vek||

    Yeah, I do wonder how much Get Out The Vote things encourage the very stupidest, and least informed to vote versus people who actually know their ass from a hole in the ground.

    Universal suffrage, and that as being a positive ideal, are when this country went wrong. The founders, wisely, placed restrictions on who could vote. I would suggest different particulars than they had, but the general idea is sound. Prevent full on idiots from voting, and only allow people that are more likely to be informed to vote. If we could raise the voting age, and put in almost ANY kind of standards on who could vote, this country might actually get fixed. But it'll never happen.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If we could raise the voting age, and put in almost ANY kind of standards on who could vote, this country might actually get fixed. But it'll never happen.


    You might pull off raising the voting age, but beyond that? Yeah, no, this country has too bad of a past with "standards" for that to ever be a good idea.

    Or to put it another way... in an ideal world, sure, I could see some sort of standard requiring people to actually be informed on voting. But in the real world, those "standards" are far more likely to be corrupted to partisan/racial/class lines then anything morally acceptable.

  • DiegoF||

    Most of those people telling me to vote were way better looking than Justin Monticello so I think I will listen to them.

  • DiegoF||

    It is a bit weird that Reason, which is as popularized, mass-market, pragmatist, and Beltway as you can get, suddenly goes all Mises Institute for this particular issue and it alone. Blithely unafraid to suppress turnout on Election Eve among its own readership, caring more about speaking pure truth than actually wielding immediate influence on the political status quo.

  • David Nolan||

    Good point in general, but not near as crazy as the Miseans.

  • ejhickey||

    If I don't vote, I am going to miss the bake sale at my local school.

  • DiegoF||

    Hopefully banning bake sales is not on the ballot.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Or baked sales, held by head shops.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I think I am gonna go just to get the sticker, but not actually submit a ballot.

  • Nardz||

    Nobody cares

  • A Thinking Mind||

    Aw crap, you mean that fifteen minutes I spent at the polls on Thursday, when I was already in the area, might have been wasted? I could have been back home watching Netflix!

    Curse you, politics!

  • Just Say'n||

    Netflix and chili

  • Just Say'n||

    Or chill, if you prefer. Netflix and chili is pretty good too

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I thought you meant Netflix and chill with 2-chili.

  • DiegoF||

    Wait would he be into that? I thought that was more Shackford's bag.

  • CE||

    as long as it doesn't have beans

  • DiegoF||

    Beans in chili is a perverse abomination! I wonder who invented it.

    I say this even though I greatly enjoy "vegetarian chili," as that is not chili at all but just spicy bean stew which is a delicious concept; and even though I enjoy meat and beans together in innumerable other contexts.

    Chili with corn chips, on the other hand, like the Texans do at high school football games, is ingenious. I don't like chili to be ladled out every which way in every context, like on hot dogs and nachos and so forth; that is a bit much and gross that's just me. I just like it over the corn chips.

  • 0x1000||

    Eh, most of the business end of government is hired or appointed anyway. Can't vote that away.

  • Cloudbuster||

    The "your vote doesn't matter because the election won't hinge on one vote" argument is the most insultingly lame argument I have heard every year since I was ok enough to pay attention to such things.

    Nobody cares if their vote will swing the election. Everyone knows we're engaged in an aggregate effort. But if sufficient numbers of people who would vote the same as us are successfully demotivated, THAT will swing an election. That's why it behooves us to take the responsibility seriously if we care about the outcome.

  • Cloudbuster||

    ^old enough

  • Doug Heffernan||

    Cloudbuster nailed it.

    Monticello's argument (and that of the purple-haired girl) may produce some clicks, but I can't imagine that it is good for recruitment for reason or libertarianism.

    And neither Monticello nor the purple-haired girl take the argument to its logic conclusion.

    Do they want no one to vote? Do they want to ditch democracy in favor of something else? What sort of government do they propose as a replacement?

    There are plenty of libertarian arguments against democracy. Jason Brennan is a big fan of killing it off or only allowing the educated to vote.

    And this argument from "meaningfulness" is too normatively prescriptive for a libertarian. Libertarians should let individuals sort out their out path to meaningfulness, even it that means life choices entirely comprised of choices purposely selected for their lack of meaning. If I want to party like it is 1999, a libertarian should say "whatever dude", but not "perhaps there are more meaningful ways to spend your time". Monticello is practicing theology here.

  • TLBD||

    Purple hair isn't actually a libertarian, but an anarchist. I'm fine with our ideological cousins hanging around and contributing their ideas, but I find it incredibly dishonest when they claim themselves to be libertarians, and even more so when they are running the most influential libertarian magazine.

  • BLPoG||

    Anarchists are the consistent libertarians. All you folks that claim to have figured out just the right length for your chains are making the same mistake as the devoted central planners.

    If government is bad at making cars and food, why would they be any better at making law?

  • TLBD||

    It isn't a question of whether gov is good or bad, it is whether it exists or not, whether it is part of human nature or not. Libertarians then work with what we have, within the confines of human nature to maximize liberty.

    Sure, anarchists are consistent. Consistently unrealistic. Consistently ignorant of reality in deference to their fantasy utopia that. will. never. happen.

  • prolefeed||

    It isn't a question of whether gov is good or bad, it is whether it exists or not, whether it is part of human nature or not. Libertarians then work with what we have, within the confines of human nature to maximize liberty.

    Sure, anarchists are consistent. Consistently unrealistic. Consistently ignorant of reality in deference to their fantasy utopia that. will. never. happen.

    Same guy, circa 1775:

    It isn't a question of whether monarchy is good or bad, it is whether it exists or not, whether it is part of human nature or not. Subjects of the king then work with what we have, within the confines of human nature to maximize our kingdom's power.

    Sure, the colonists are consistent. Consistently unrealistic. Consistently ignorant of reality in deference to their fantasy utopia that. will. never. happen.

  • vek||

    Yup. Just as pure communism can never work due to human nature, so too pure libertarianism AKA anarchism, can never function in reality.

    The founding fathers got about as close as is realistic in actual reality. At least as far as the general framework. Particular laws could have been better of course. But teeny tiny federal government, and then more local control, and all strongly limited by a constitution. That's as good as it gets. It could be taken a bit further than them, but only a bit when one looks at how small the federal government REALLY was in the early days.

  • ThomasD||

    I do not think 'pure libertarianism' is anarchism. If only because - as the name of this publication implies - reason dictates otherwise. Utopia being a wholly unreasonable and unrealistic goal.

    Libertarianism is more realistic and less religious in nature.

  • ThomasD||

    "Anarchists are the consistent libertarians."

    No. Anarchism is Utopian. The ideal state you seek will never be realized on a planet chock full o' humans.

    Libertarians recognize that, as the Declaration of Independence notes, governments exist to secure liberty, because absent government it is inevitable that the stronger will seek to oppress the weaker.

  • BLPoG||

    Anarcho-capitalism is not Utopian by any stretch of the imagination. A major component of the anarchist view is the recognition of inevitably imperfect institutions. The idea is to replace worse ones with better ones, and to have meta-institutions that better allow for that.

    I am baffled by the anti-anarchist contingent in Reason's comments sections, since they so frequently declare things about libertarianism and anarchism - with great confidence - that make it painfully clear that they've never read the works of the major libertarian theorists.

  • ThomasD||

    Anarcho-Capitalism is not Anarchism. That is largely an oxymoron is also not coincidental.

    Anarchism is Utopian.

    If you didn't mean anarchism, then do not say anarchism.

  • ThomasD||

    Oh, and lame appeals to authority are lame.

  • BLPoG||

    Appeal to authority has nothing to do with it - the charge is that you haven't taken the time to learn information relevant to the discussion, and are speaking from a position of ignorance.

    In the context of discussing libertarians who self-describe as anarchists on the website of a libertarian magazine, anarchism absolutely is anarcho-capitalism unless otherwise explicitly specified.

  • ThomasD||

    If you have specific information you wish to present or discuss then cite it.

    Otherwise talking about what authors anyone may or may not have read is very much an appeal to authority.

    That you do not cite anyone by name makes it really lame.

    Arguments about self description are meaningless.

    Anarchism is a word with specific meaning. Capitalism likewise has specific meaning. It's a term defined by Karl Marx, and it expressly requires the presence of a state. Therefore it is not Anarchism.

    Never mind that you said anarchism and only back tracked to anarcho-capitalism when challenged.

  • BLPoG||

    What kind of anarchist do you think KMW is, exactly? A leftist bomb-throwing cartoon?

    The conventional 20th century definition of capitalism used in economic discussions was private ownership of the means of production, which does not necessitate a state.

    You have never read a single page of text about polycentric law. That is the point of saying that you haven't read the great authors, because if you had, then you probably would not demonstrate such profound ignorance with such confidence. I could say "any," but the most well-known ones should be the charitable minimum bar, don't you?

    For a New Liberty, The Ethics of Liberty, Power and Market by Rothbard, The Machinery of Freedom, Law's Order by Friedman, The Problem of Political Authority by Huemer, and many more books and articles by other libertarians.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Who knows what kind of Anarchist KMW is. Anarchists try and hide and some hide among Libertarians. They dont discuss their positions in any detail. Not on Reason anyway.

    I suspect it is because Anarchism is fringe, utopian, and utter rejected by the smart open minded Libertarians partly because Anarchists tend to be all talk.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarians fundamentally support small and limited government under Rule of Law.

    Anarchists dont want any government. They want volunteer groups. Government has police powers hopefully limited by a Constitution or some other supreme law. Anarchists hate the US Constitution as it gets in their way to have Anarchy-Land.

  • BLPoG||

    Libertarians fundamentally reject the initiation of force. Any government is fundamentally at odds with that. The anarchists around here don't spend a lot of time telling all the minarshists around to settle your cognitive dissonance and stop being a hypocrite, but when you lot tell us we aren't libertarians and proceed to demonstrate total ignorance of libertarian anarchist work, sometimes we need to point out that ignorance and hypocrisy. I'll invoke Mises' memorable phrase: "You're all a bunch of socialists."

    Government has police powers hopefully very obviously not effectively limited by a Constitution

    FTFY.

    "But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case it is unfit to exist."

    ― Lysander Spooner, No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority

  • ThomasD||

    "Libertarians fundamentally reject the initiation of force. Any government is fundamentally at odds with that."

    Wrong.

    1. Because "...Governments are instituted among men to secure these rights..." is not at odds with rejecting the initiation of force.

    Libertarians are not pacifists in the face of oppression.

    2. Because, - by your assertion - anyone who is not opposed to any and all government (ie. an anarchist) is therefore not a libertarian. You simply cannot square your two sentences any other way.

    Maybe you've read some of these "major libertarian theorists" but you sure have not thought much of it through.

    But yes, I'm still telling you anarchists are not libertarians. Minarchists are libertarians, But the difference between minarchists and anarchists is as great as the difference between being pregnant and being not pregnant.

    Same goes for the difference between capitalism and private property.

    Words have meaning, and they are often not interchangeable.

    Anarchism is Utopian. It can never happen in the real world. That's what makes it not libertarian.

  • ThomasD||

    Should I add some citation to Antigone in order to prove that I'm learned? That I'm quite familiar with the concept of adherence to higher law? Maybe note the 'poly' common to both Polynices and polycentric law?

    Get over yourself, and get a clue.

  • ThomasD||

    Better yet, why don't you explain to me how the 'rules' that may govern any polycentric legal jurisdiction would differ in substance or effect as compared to the internal rules particular to any sort of Edmunde Burke 'little platoon?'

  • BLPoG||

    Should I add some citation to Antigone in order to prove that I'm learned? That I'm quite familiar with the concept of adherence to higher law? Maybe note the 'poly' common to both Polynices and polycentric law?

    This sequence is a marvelous representation of the point I've been making this whole time.

    If anyone with the misfortune to read this exchange can offer an explanation of the connection between Antigone and the conversation, I will be very impressed.

  • BLPoG||

    It's amazing that you accused me of an appeal to authority when you are using a quoted assertion as a proof on the grounds that it comes from a document that you respect. The assertion is not a proof, but an ahistorical justification, and a poor one, because while it might secure some rights, it necessarily violates others.

    I never claimed libertarians were pacifists. Maybe we can just add that one into the pile of "things no libertarian anarchist would claim" that you think they would since you don't really know much of anything about their thought.

    I'm also not claiming that the non-anarchists are not libertarian. Some would make that claim, but I think it's unfair. I'm claiming that they fall somewhere on a continuum of crappy libertarians, with greater inconsistency and greater divergence from non-aggression being generally coincident with higher crappiness.

    Maybe you've read some of these "major libertarian theorists" but you sure have not thought much of it through.

    Are you for real, dude? For someone so obsessed with sticking to your definitions of words, you might want to check out the origin and spread of the word libertarian, particularly as it developed in the 20th century American context.

  • ThomasD||

    "I'm also not claiming that the non-anarchists are not libertarian."

    Yet you expressly asserted that when you said:

    "Libertarians fundamentally reject the initiation of force. Any government is fundamentally at odds with that."

    Those two sentences, taken as a whole, mean libertarians fundamentally reject government in any form beyond 'self' governance.

    Your words.

  • BLPoG||

    only good libertarians, qua libertarianism

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You cannot be an Anarchist and reject coercive government and say that your are a Libertarians who is fine with coercive government that is to be limited and small under Rule of Law.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Founders voluntarily gave up certain natural rights to form the USA.

    Everyone who wanted to stay in the USA signed on too. If your family moved to the USA and became citizens, they signed on too.

    You anarchists always think patriotic Americans are living under duress of the Constitution. Simply not true. I am fine with paying taxes and all the other things listed in the Constitution or I would change them, die, or move. I do not like how far the USA has moved from Constitutional principles and push to get us back.

  • Weigel's Cock Ring||

    and even more so when they are running the most influential libertarian magazine.

    Gillespie and Welchie Boy are NOT anarchists; they are Obama/Soros left-liberals.

  • ThomasD||

    That ostensible 'anarchists' perpetually rush in to defend leftist statists should not be mistaken for a motte and bailey tactic.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Either way, they cannot get what they want unless the USA and its Constitution are destroyed.

    Anarchists want Anarchy-land out of the ashes.
    Lefties want the 4th Reich out of the ashes.

  • BLPoG||

    Anarchists want Anarchy-land out of the ashes.

    This comment is another perfect example of what I'm talking about with respect to profound ignorance regarding anarcho-capitalist beliefs. You won't ever understand why unless you stop treating them as caricatures of your own creation and read an actual book on the subject.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Then why dont Anarchists pool their money and buy a country and start Anarchy-Land?

    Anarchists dont want the US Constitution nor our Constitutional Democratic Republic but they refuse to leave the USA and start their own Anarchist commune or whatever.

    There is literally no way an Anarchist can function in the USA without caving on their principles.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    They can go buy an island somewhere. They can take Little Lefty, Sarc, and that whole gang.

  • vek||

    Yes, if we're going to have voting, which we should... We should limit who votes based off of some criteria that tilts it in favor of only non idiots being able to vote.

    In the modern world something like an IQ test, history test, civics test, or things along those lines would be decent. Perhaps only net tax payers too, because that was one of the main reasons land ownership was what the founders used, as that paid much of the taxes originally.

    But whatever ones chooses, it would be better than letting any moron off the street vote. That is THE single thing that has destroyed this country IMO. 50 year old burger flippers who get all their news off Facebook SHOULD NOT be able to vote.

  • CE||

    Monticello?

    Does this Candian wannabe think we'd be free if Thomas Jefferson hadn't voted?

  • David Nolan||

    If my choice to vote is based on whether my vote will change or influence an election, that makes me authoritarian, not libertarian. This is why a Cato survey, conducted by a top independent pollster. found the libertarian label rejected by 91% of libertarians

    The movement has become a cult. Over 20 years ago.
    But goobers always be goobers.
    Even when they bellow!

  • TLBD||

    If my choice to vote is based on whether my vote will change or influence an election, that makes me authoritarian, not libertarian.

    That is a convoluted way of saying that voting is authoritarian. Only an insane person, one very detached from the workings of reality, could come to that conclusion.

  • TLBD||

    Hihn and his friends split for a pizza. They decide to vote on what kind to get. Hihn realizes his vote would be intended to influence the outcome of what type of pizza they get, so he abstains from voting, because he isn't an authoritarian.

    LOL. Cray-cray.

  • David Nolan||

    Hihn realizes his vote would be intended to influence the outcome of what type of pizza they get, so he abstains from voting, because he isn't an authoritarian.

    I don't know who Hihn is, but you've already made a total public ass of yourself .. so you choose to be even crazier!

  • prolefeed||

    If the politicians on the ballot are all authoritarians -- and they all are -- then, yes, voting in that context is authoritarian.

    It's also authoritarian if you're voting because you want to rule, via proxy, over all those progs/bitter clingers.

  • ThomasD||

    What if you are voting for the people who want to reduce government?

    Isn't that David's real argument? The only 'authoritarians' that worry the left are the ones who want to use their authority to shrink the state.

  • David Nolan||

    Isn't that David's real argument?

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

    The only 'authoritarians' that worry the left are the ones who want to use their authority to shrink the state.

    That may be even more retarded than your original babbling.

  • vek||

    What if you're voting on a particular initiative? Like the insanely bad gun law I just voted against? Or the really stupid carbon tax I just voted against?

    VOTING MATTERS. And even a lesser of two evils candidate will get you less evil than the more evil candidate.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You're in WA too, right? It really is becoming a game of wack-a-mole with all the bad west side initiatives at every election anymore, isn't it?

  • vek||

    Late reply, but yep.

    I can't believe that nut balls gun bill passed... I really gotta AT LEAST get out of western Washington...

  • David Nolan||

    If the politicians on the ballot are all authoritarians -- and they all are

    Now TWO retarded goobers!!

  • David Nolan||

    If the politicians on the ballot are all authoritarians -- and they all are

    Now TWO retarded goobers!!

  • David Nolan||

    hat is a convoluted way of saying that voting is authoritarian.

    WHOOOOOOOOOSH
    It's the exact opposite. But your ilk is kinda daffy

    >Only an insane person, one very detached from the workings of reality, could come to that conclusion.
  • David Nolan||

    If my choice to vote is based on whether my vote will change or influence an election, that makes me authoritarian, not libertarian.

    That is a convoluted way of saying that voting is authoritarian.

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

    Only an insane person, one very detached from the workings of reality, could come to that conclusion.

    We agree on your lack of sanity, goober .

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    "The movement has become a cult. Over 20 years ago. But goobers always be goobers."

    You're just dumb. Go back to painting your miniatures.

  • David Nolan||

    whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh

  • Widhalm19||

    The real reason not to vote is to recognize that both political parties are based on collectivism and obedience to the mob. Neither party believes in liberty nor the sanctity of individualism. The State is evil to it's core.

  • El Oso||

    out of Principle I don't vote. Voting? Where we have a chance to decide which mafia family gets to extort us for several years?

  • Tony||

    There's no such thing as not voting. There are almost always only two choices. Refusing to fill out a ballot is a vote. If one candidate (or referendum measure) is even microscopically more distasteful to you, not voting is essentially to vote for that one.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Who watches the watchmen?

    Apparently, no one should as "... that it's a symbolic act that's unlikely to tangibly help your family or community,..."

    Libertarians are the only political group I see that actively preaches to their choir to not vote.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Reason staff are mostly Anarchists and Lefties, so you can see why they dont want the Libertarians hanging here, to vote.

  • Antilles||

    I no longer vote because I live in California and my thoughtful, informed votes always get buried by all the clueless imbeciles who live here. It's like buying a lottery ticket for over 30 years and never getting a single number. It's a waste of my time and energy.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    That is truly depressing. To live in a place that is overwhelmed with feelz who vote according to their sentiments. I could not live like that.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    You do live like that - it's just that where you live, the feelz are more evenly split between D and R.

  • BigT||

    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."

    ― H.L. Mencken

    A minuscule chance of affecting the outcome is still greater than zero.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    You buy lottery tickets too, I assume.

  • BigT||

    It worked for the Shakers!

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    All these pro-voting comments are proof that government schools have done their job. (Also correlates with how bad Americans are at math.)

    After the results are published, take a look at the numbers and consider if the results would have been any different if you had died on the way to the polls.

    Wear your little sticker proudly.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Of course the results would be different.

    There'd be one vote less.

    It's always amusing when an ignoramus suggests that others are bad at something when their entire premise rests on the idea that they can't tell that one vote less is a result that's different from one vote more.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The polls have been open for an hour or two in many states.

    Too early to call the House for Democrats?

    Too early to discuss how a wave of new Democratic governors will frustrate Republicans' gerrymandering efforts?

    Enjoy your election day, clingers.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Not at all, say it loud. Tell your fellows that they've already won, no need to bother going out and voting.

    Hey everyone, the NPC media has called the election for the Democrats. What a relief.

    #bluefartbubbles, #netflixandchilltovictory, #wealreadywon, #noneedtoactuallyvote

  • Tony||

    These arguments are infused with irrelevant narcissism. No, your individual actions on election day don't matter in a vacuum. But if you have an attitude of apathy, that could mean that such an attitude exists "out there" in numbers large enough to swing elections. Not only is it narcissistic to assume that it's only worth voting if you personally can make a difference, there's the other dimension of narcissism that assumes that only you have had the brilliant insight that your vote doesn't matter.
    An individual vote may be irrational, but people behaving irrationally in large numbers has real consequences.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Well, you are one of our resident narcissists, so I suppose you would know.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Even poor GOOGLE switched it main page doodle to "Go Vote".

    Its gonna be a Democrat bloodbath this election.

  • Tony||

    You mean Democrats are going to cause a bloodbath?

    This is the first real opportunity for Americans to correct the fascist pussy-grabbing embarrassment they inflicted upon themselves in 2016. Who do you really think is more motivated? Is it really the people who believe a few hundred refugee women and children are going to bring smallpox to our shores? Are there enough of them?

    Or could it be the people who've been watching a head-smacking shitshow on TV every day in the form of an orange daughter-fucking dementia-addled racist traitor? Do you useless rednecks never get ashamed of having women clean up your shit after you?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I forgot about Democrats wanting to bathe in the blood of children after you sacrifice them at the altar.

    You people do want to cause a bloodbath, you sick Commie bastard.

    Tony, did you pick up your meds so you can calm down the inner dragon after Democrats lose big at the voting booths?

  • Tony||

    Did you pick up your paycheck for this last round of trolling, or do they pay you people in borscht?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony's got helpers to keep his account humming along today.

    It will be hard for him to type with all his tears blurring his vision.

  • Tony||

    My garden is a mess. I don't know how my library will get dusted. But it's just one day and my illegal servants can only vote so many times.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Democrats want black slaves again Tony.

    Dont you know your own Lefty ideology.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Tony would love him some young black boyflesh to play with.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Look at Tony trying to stave off the Democrat losses.

    We knew the left trolls would be here today until election results came in later that hurt Lefties. Then they will disappear for a day or two.

  • Tony||

    That's it, I'm voting at least twice today, and I'm telling my illegal immigrant staff to do the same.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I called ICE on all my neighbor's illegal field workers yesterday.

    Less illegal voters to cancel out you illegal voting.

    They should be in some Obama construction ICE detention center right about now. I wonder when the buses take them across the US border?

  • Tony||

    I suppose you better hope your neighbor isn't as psychopathic and paranoid as you are. Watch your back!

    As long as we're pretending that you've ever set foot in the United States.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony thinks having laws enforced on everyone equally is psycho.

    So much for that Lefty ethos of equality.

    Hey, Tony, I got illegals deported.... haha. MY vote does count! My vote to deport illegals.

  • Tony||

    Ruining other people's lives without realizing they're people is called psychopathy.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony, you're a psychopath because YOU are a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.

    psy·cho·path
    /ˈsīkəˌpaTH/
    noun: psychopath; plural noun: psychopaths
    a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Makes sense that Tony so hates the USA, that he considers law-abiding citizens the people with the problem.

    Tony must have no idea that he has mental defects.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Psychopathy? Tony, you're soaking in it.

  • vek||

    d00d! I hope you really did. I've been tempted a few times when I've been pissed off by illegals for various reasons, but since I wasn't 100% positive that the no English speaking latin folks were illegals, and since I'm in a commie ass area I never went through with it... One of these days though.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    My Lefty neighbors from California brag about how they hire illegals to work their fields.

    I have a direct line to an ICE agent.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    You should wear a wire and get them arrested by the feds.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    My company gets work visas for all my workers.

  • Trainer||

    I never checked the status of my employees and no one seemed to care. Like so much else, it's all political theatre.

  • CGN||

    Another puzzler from Reason. If my vote doesn't count, whose does? SOMEBODY'S vote causes a politician to be elected (or not)! Yeah, perhaps my SPECIFIC vote doesn't make or break a candidate, but a lot of folks are voting just like me, and the group as a whole has ENORMOUS power. How does Reason think Hillary won the popular vote, by NO ONE voting? Perhaps what Reason means is that the Electoral College is dominant, not your single vote, and if this is what they mean, they are right, but they didn't mention it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Every vote counts or no vote counts.

    The percentage of impact just depends on how many other people are voting.

    Reason staff and Lefties dont want Libertarians to vote because it changes the impact of their votes and they are really going to need a Cosmo party after this Democrat bloodbath.

  • tlapp||

    Vote for the libertarian, not a wasted vote. Getting a larger percentage approaching 5% would get libertarian positions into the debate. Staying home and have it be around 1% leaves libertarian beliefs as an issue to be ignored.

  • Tony||

    The 500-year plan!

  • vek||

    Yup! I voted for mostly Libertarians on my ballot, because the Rs didn't even bother to run opposition in several races. I voted Republican for a few too. But every vote for a Libertarian at least pokes the 2 party system in the eye a little bit.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    MAGA! MAGA! MAGA!

    Its raining here so all the lefties will be scared to go vote, as they will melt in the rain.

  • ThomasD||

    Is there a libertarian in existence who does not see government excess in some form or another?

    The only peaceful way those concerns get addressed is via the ballot box.

    (If you think the courts are the better option then you really need to rethink what it means to be libertarian.)

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Libertarians are fine with small and limited government.

    The ballot box is a way for American Libertarians to keep that small and limited government in line or get rid of them when they abuse the Libertarian basics.

  • ThomasD||

    To be clear:

    Courts adjudicating disputes between individuals is libertarian.

    One facet of government dictating what another facet of government may or may not do is not libertarian. Fundamentally because that facet is declaring itself the authority on the issue. It's permissitarianism, not liberty.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Having a separation of powers for government is perfectly Libertarian.

    The US Constitution is in keeping with Libertarian principles. (After slavery was prohibited).

    Courts relying on law (or custom) to resolve disputes is also Libertarian.

  • vek||

    Seriously guys... Da fuk.

    Everybody knows no individual vote matters... But collectively they do.

    Voter turnout ALONE could swing ANY state in the entire country. If the US is split around 50/50 left/right, and it more or less is if you count people that lean one way or another more or less... And less than half of eligible people even vote... That means every center-right + person in California voting, could in fact make California a conservative state again in an election.

    Think about that for a minute.

    Now 100% turnout is obviously not gonna happen, but turnout does vary a lot from race to race.

    This is why in states that are ACTUALLY close to 50/50, who is more enthusiastic tends to swing elections back and forth.

    If saaay 25% more conservative/libertarian leaning people showed up and voted every election, every single state in the country could be taken in a smaller government/lower taxes direction overnight.

    Getting people THAT fired up is REALLY what libertarians need to figure out how to do, not telling people to drop out.

  • ThomasD||

    Votes matter incrementally, not collectively. At least in any place where ballots are cast individually in private.

    Absentee ballots I'm not so sure about.

  • The Firebrand||

    I wish Reason wouldn't run pieces like this. Reason readers are the only people who I want to vote.

  • EscherEnigma||

    If voting mattered so little, we wouldn't have so many people trying to convince us of that.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    +100000

  • Spiritus Mundi||

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

    Small things make a big difference.

  • WoodChipperBob||

    One of my favorite things is people who are all fired up about everyone voting, but are proud of the way they dodge jury duty.

  • The Firebrand||

    Excellent point. However, my vote (or, really, my opinion) didn't really count the only time I served on a jury.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    No unanimous verdict required, I take it?

    In Georgia, unanimous verdicts are required in criminal AND civil jury trials.

  • The Firebrand||

    It was a civil trial. We were in disagreement, so we split the amount of the settlement. Juries scare the hell out of me.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I love being on a jury. I bug my jury selection office every year to make sure that I dont get left off the jury pool.

    I refuse to let some asshole juror convict someone when the state does not prove its burden. I held out for 5 days one time and the asshole foreperson caved and voted not guilty. The Sheeple followed along.

    I followed the defendants civil lawsuit and turns out his DNA did not match the perps DNA. He was actually innocent. It was early years for DNA. I just refused to vote guilty based on the shady evidence and the cops were refusing to look at any other suspects.

  • The Firebrand||

    If all non-voting libertarians decided for a given election, just this once, to vote, would anything change?

    I'm serious.

    BTW, my local bakery will give me a free brownie today when I show them my "I Voted" sticker.

    Mmm...brownies!

  • Curt||

    "Voting is like playing the Powerball. Punch your ticket or don't, and your life will stay exactly the same."

    Don't just turn your brain off and quit there; follow through with the thought that you started. You choose to compare voting to the lottery. That is one of those stupid celebrity tweets that's been floating around this year. So, actually compare the two.

    What are your odds of winning lottery vs deciding the election? Calculating odds of winning the lottery is easy, but doing that for deciding the election is more difficult. But historical election results should make it pretty clear that you're more likely to win the lottery. So what about the effect? Winning the lottery jackpot will definitely change your life. Victory for your preferred politician is likely to only make the tiniest difference in your life.

    Plus, even if you do end up voting in a race that comes down to one vote, chances are still 50% that your preferred candidate would've won without your help.

  • Rorschach||

    Wow; you're arguing for wasting money on a lottery ticket and against voting on a ballot that doesn't cost any money at all. You're also contending that elections don't have consequences and individuals' actions never affect collective results. You must have scored a negative number on the math portion of your SATs.

  • Curt||

    Money: the time that I spend waiting in line to vote is worth far more than the two dollars that I spend on the lottery ticket.

    Elections do have consequences. But whether my district elects someone from Team Red or Team Blue is only going to have a very minor effect on my life. Particularly in comparison to winning a couple hundred million dollars. The outcome of that election doesn't necessarily sway the balance of power. Even if did, it doesn't necessarily sway the resulting legislation. Chances are that awful regulation will still be generated and approved regardless of who wins.

    I make no assertion that individuals' actions never affect collective results. In fact, I would argue that if I made a whole bunch of political posts on FB, it would have a much larger effect on the outcome than my vote. But, yes, whether or not I show up to vote today makes no impact whatsoever on whether or not others show up to vote.

  • Rorschach||

    Funny, I spent no time at all standing in line, unless you count the two minutes where I was signing in with the poll workers. You must be living in some kind of urban hellhole. Also, it seems to me who gets elected to positions both local and nationwide and which referenda get passed (or fail) will have a lot more influence on things like my taxes and finances and liberties and life and limb than will buying a lottery ticket with a tiny fraction of a percent of the chance of winning that any of the third-party politicians I saw on my ballot today when voting had.

    Of course, considering what a sucker tax lotteries are on absolutely everyone involved in them, your mathematical illiteracy should come as no surprise, I guess; mathematical illiteracy such as yours is what keeps those scams going.

  • Curt||

    Sorry, but the mathematical and literal illiteracy here is all yours. I don't keep the lottery afloat because I know it's a sucker's bet and I don't buy tickets. I'm just saying that voting is a bigger sucker's bet.

    Your statement is correct, but irrelevant. You're comparing the impact of government actions (payout) to the expected value of a lottery ticket (payout * probability). You've chosen to ignore the odds of your vote making a difference in the outcome (lower than winning the lottery).

    If you want to vote, do it. But don't kid yourself or others about the importance/value of doing it.

  • Rorschach||

    Nope. You're clearly the illiterate on both counts. After all, you're the one who pretended that who gets elected will have less impact on your life than the near-certain waste of a dollar or two on a lottery ticket:

    Elections do have consequences. But whether my district elects someone from Team Red or Team Blue is only going to have a very minor effect on my life.

    All available evidence shows that Team Blue election victories are far more likely to lead to your taxes being raised (to name just one issue) than are Team Red victories; and that will certainly lead to a far greater waste of money than a lottery ticket would (though notably, that dollar or two is indeed a sucker tax that gives your politicians that much more money to spend on making your life miserable if they so desire). Also, lotteries are nowhere near as scalable as voting: in local elections and referenda, the value of my vote increases dramatically, whereas the odds of hitting the jackpot by buying a lottery ticket always remain roughly the same as the odds of my being hit by a meteorite.

    Also, ironically, if mathematically illiterate suckers like you fail to vote, that further increases the value of my vote; whereas if you don't buy lottery tickets, my odds of hitting the jackpot are still as abysmal as ever. Clearly, voting has far more value and effect on my life and yours than buying a lottery ticket.

  • Curt||

    You continue to argue against points that I haven't made and you continue to demonstrate that you don't know how to do math.

    I don't pretend that who gets elected has less impact on my life than the near-certain waste of a dollar or two on a lottery ticket. I've clear pointed out that the impact of that election is worth less than the impact of winning the lottery. Also, that the chances of your vote changing the result of the election are less likely than the chance of you winning the lottery. But, you continue to ignore the chance that your vote affects the outcome.

    You further prove that you don't understand math with your last paragraph. Yes, if I don't vote, it increases the value of your vote. But, also, if I don't buy a lottery ticket, it increases the expected value of your lottery ticket (by reducing the chance that you share the jackpot). In both cases, it's only by the tiniest fractions of a %.

    I'm done here.

  • Rorschach||

    You continue to demonstrate not only mathematical illiteracy, but your intellectual dishonesty by pretending not to have made the points you very definitely did make every time I refute them. When I refute your points about probabilities, you pretend to have been talking about payouts. When I refute your points about payouts, you pretend to have been talking about probabilities. Way to engage in special pleading and move the goalposts, liar!

    It's not just winning or losing that affects an election's outcome, but the margin of victory as well: a landslide convinces everyone the winner has a "mandate" to do whatever he promised to do that brought him so many votes; a squeaker convinces the winner either to broaden his appeal to his constituents or plan on retiring at the end of his term; and, of course, it also affects how the media will spin it. The odds that my vote will "affect" an election however slightly are therefore 100%, whether my preferred candidate wins or not. The odds that buying a ticket will "affect" you beyond costing you a dollar or two are, again, roughly those of being struck by a meteorite. Since the "expected value" of a ticket is the odds of winning multiplied by the jackpot minus the price of the ticket, that value is negligible regardless of how many other players there are; half or double of nothing is still nothing.

    Yeah, you are done here, loser: I've discredited you completely.

  • Rorschach||

    Hey, Curt, I bet you and a few of the other mathematical illiterates here are wishing a few dozen people in Wyoming's District 55 had wasted a few minutes of their lives voting for Team Losertardian over Team Red now, eh? Ha ha ha!!!

  • DataDriven||

    I get the concept.
    But can we submit these article to say, the DailyKos or Fox News instead of one of the largest libertarian websites?

  • DataDriven||

    Ayn Rand: "I care about politics so that one day I won't have to."

  • Tony||

    "Now I'm dead, despite the Medicare."

  • Rorschach||

  • Rorschach||

    Well, yes: you fools who run this Democrat stalking-horse propaganda publication and pretend to be even remotely libertarian while championing baby butchery, presumption of guilt, and the re-institution of slavery through the fags', dykes', and trannies', "anti-discrimination" laws definitely shouldn't vote. All you self-proclaimed "moral superiors" should definitely leave the voting to "bitter clingers" like yours truly; the less you fools dilute our votes with yours, the more our votes count.

  • Dillinger||

    fuck off I voted.

  • Mr. Dyslexic||

    I voted early so double fuck the fuck off.

  • Truthteller1||

    Who is this guy and why is this important enough to take up bandwidth?

  • Truthteller1||

    Who is this guy and why is this important enough to take up bandwidth?

  • CDRSchafer||

    Took me five minutes. I've spent more time this year washing my windshield.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Took me 10 minutes because the Georgia ballot this year had so many things on it.

  • EWM||

    The voting booth should reconfigure the ballot lever to a dildo and require the Helots to use their mouths to make the selection of their next master, it also provides a keen preview of things to come for the voter.
    You can't eradicate cannibalism by eating the cannibals; there is no better analog for what voting is.
    "A ballot is just a substitute for a bullet. If your vote isn't backed by a bullet, it is meaningless. Without the bullet, people could ignore the election outcome. Voting would be pointless. Democracy has violence at its very core!" ~Muir Matteson, "The Nonviolent Zone"
    "An election is a moral horror, as bad as a battle except for blood; a mud bath for every soul concerned in it." ~ George Bernard Shaw
    "Free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves." Herbert Marcuse
    "Working within the system means to become a part of the system. When you go into the voting booth, the only meaningful significance that your action will have is to show that one more person supports the state". ~Mark Davis
    "Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." ~ Oscar Ameringer
    "If the right to vote were expanded to seven year olds ... its policies would most definitely reflect the 'legitimate concerns' of children to have 'adequate' and 'equal' access to 'free' french fries, lemonade and videos." ~ Hans-Hermann Hoppe

  • snowhawk||

    With the cost of an election thoroughly out of reach for all but the extremely wealthy we're allowed to vote for those the extremely wealthy decide to invest in. It's those willing to make that deal with the Corporate Elite and their Media that will end up on the ballot.

    Trump saw what was going on with the gap between the Extremely wealthy and poor growing ever greater by the day and stepped up with his own money to affect change for We the People. His time in office so far has been spent in all out war with a Corporate bought majority in Congress (both Parties) and their owned Media.

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