Category Archives: Don’t Vote

The end of authoritarianism

The end of authoritarianism.

It’s coming sooner than you think. Larken Rose says

Growth and progress often require experiencing discomfort, even pain. This is true of both physical and emotional growth. Often the things that grow people are pretty horrendous, and naturally people usually try to avoid them. There are exceptions, however. For example, a lot of people PAY a personal trainer to push the person to work out so hard that it hurts, during the work out and the next day. Of course, they do this for the long-term benefit (unless they’re just masochists). There is even an intellectual equivalent, where people PAY to have someone teach them difficult concepts that require serious mental effort to learn and understand, which along the way often involves mental exhaustion and discomfort. Again, people do this for the sake of the long-term results.

When it comes to philosophy, however, not many people ask someone else–much less pay someone else–to mess up their comfortable paradigms. The main reason is because, unlike with a gym membership or a college course, they don’t know that there is a positive outcome to be had. For someone to question what he knows and believes about truth and morality feels inherently scary and wrong. It basically amounts to hearing, “Consider accepting and embracing ideas that you now think are stupid or evil.”

The best solution I can see to this, when it comes to voluntaryism, is for anarchists to continually assure the statists they talk to, “Yes, I know it feels weird and uncomfortable thinking about a stateless society–I’ve been there myself–but you really will be glad you did in the long run.”

In short, the “Red Pill” needs a better ad campaign.

Yes, the “red pill” (or, in Not A Party‘s case, the “blood orange pill”, needs better marketing. And Larken Rose is leading the way. He’s actually doing a whole lot more than just continually assuring statists with the above one-liner. He’s organising and running a series of two day workshops called Candles in the Dark.

“Candles in the Dark” is a two-day event designed to teach voluntaryists/anarchists how to be far more effective in talking to their statist friends, co-workers, family members, etc., using techniques that, by taking into account the quirks and complexities of human psychology, give a far better chance of getting others to understand and accept the concepts of self-ownership, non-aggression, and a stateless society, and a far better chance of helping others to escape their own authoritarian indoctrination.

The first Candles in the Dark Seminar is in Phoenix, Arizona on the weekend of 6-7 May. You can register here. Larken Rose is the biggest voluntaryist activist out there, but of course he needs money to live and make it his full-time job to spread the word, so please consider registering to go along if there’s a seminar near you. Or buy his book, The Most Dangerous Superstition.

(Or you can simple download a copy for free here. There is no copyright on anarchist literature. You don’t need permission to copy Larken’s work. Or to copy my work. Or any anarchist’s work. But don’t be a dick. If you can afford it, try to flick us some koha. Always give due acknowledgement and attribute your source. And try to notify peeps that you’ve copied their work. They’ll be flattered.)

How the Ruling Class Stays in Power

If a person is slapped awake for even the briefest of moments they might come to look around and ask why a parasitic class of politicians wields power of life and death over them despite a total lack of historical evidence that they are wise enough for the responsibility or even intelligent enough to comprehend that it exists.

The truth is that the ruling classes maintain their position in every time and place in the same simple way, and have done so ever since the first chimpanzee established a dominance hierarchy in the primeval jungle: by taking rights away from the people they rule, and then giving some of them back in exchange for submission.

This essay will describe the method of enslavement known as “democracy” – a method that has reached acute levels of sophistication in the modern West.

As described above, the essential pattern is bipartite: first, take rights away from the people; second, promise to give some of those rights back to the people in exchange for their submission.

What’s crucial to understand is that the relationship described here is that of the rulers towards the ruled. Which flavour of political party the rulers use to swindle the rights of the ruled away from them is not relevant, as all political parties are tools of the ruling class.

Any political party is capable of taking rights away and giving rights back, because in a democratic system the masses have submitted to the rulers of that party. All that matters is that more rights are taken away than are given back.

This can be seen when the National Party takes away people’s rights to use medicinal cannabis, but gives them back some of their right to keep the money they have earned.

The Labour and Green Parties, by contrast, will promise to give you your rights to use medicinal cannabis back, but they will take away some of your right to keep the money you have earned.

And both parties will team up to give you back your rights to have sex with people of the same gender as you, but will team up to take away your rights to recreational use of tobacco and alcohol. At least today – it was the other way around 80 years ago and probably will be again in 80 years’ time.

The trick is that as long as both wings of the political machine take away more rights than what they give back, the machine itself can stay in power forever, because there will always be an unjust deficit of rights somewhere and therefore always grounds for a politician to come in and start promising things.

Helen Clark, for example, knew that she could not make any progress on cannabis law reform between 1999 and 2008, because then the Labour Party would not be able to gain votes by promising to look at reforming the medicinal cannabis laws in 2017.

Likewise, Andrew Little in 2017 knows that, if he is to be elected to power, he must make the smallest possible amount of progress on the issue.

This is why he only makes vague mumblings about sorting out medicinal cannabis, but will not under any circumstances discuss the incredible success of the Colorado model, and how adopting it in NZ would save us $400,000,000 per year.

That is something that has to be left to Jacinda Ardern’s Seventh Labour Government in 2035 or so. If the Labour Party gave too many rights back to the people too quickly, they would lose the leverage that they are currently exploiting to stay in power.

Unfortunately, New Zealanders (like voters everywhere) reward this kind of carry-on by continuing to vote for whichever of its number the ruling class puts forward to rule them that electoral cycle.

After all, it doesn’t matter which party a politician claims to represent – as long as they are from the ruling class, nothing will change.

It can confidently be predicted that many New Zealanders will vote for the Green Party this year for the sake of relief from cannabis prohibition, and that little thought will be given to the people who will lose rights under a Labour-Greens Government – namely, taxpayers.

And it can be confidently predicted that the National Party will rely on the outrage of taxpayers to get back into power in 2026.

Likewise, it can be predicted that any rights that Kiwis can claw back from the ruling class regarding the use of cannabis will be outweighed by the loss of rights to access alcohol, tobacco, and other recreational alternatives.

As before; so after – the Hermetic axioms apply to time as well as space.

How the Ruling Class Stays in Power

Victory For NAPathy!

MEDIA RELEASE
Not A Party

9 March 2017

Victory For NAPathy!

Hey look. Another landslide win for Not A Party (NAP). A 70% non-turnout. Who could have ever predicted it?

The official results of the Mt. Albert by-election were announced by the Electoral Commission today. On hearing the news of Not A Party’s second major coup, NAP candidate Simon Smythe responded, “What happened? Oh right. Makes sense. I’m thinking of making a nice roasted vegetable salad for dinner. Who wants some?”

The Saturday before last 13,763 voters went through the motions of Active Participation Fantasy Syndrome in the Mt. Albert by-election. NAP did its best to come last, but says thanks to the 19 cards who did vote for them as it resulted in a small trouncing of some communists. What hasn’t been mentioned at all is how 31,125 registered non-voters came out in support of Not A Party and steered clear of the polling booths altogether, exercising their democratic right to do whatever they wanted instead. Once the 19 votes for NAP were added to the 31,125 non-votes for NAP it made very little difference. Such is the process of voting.

Just as it was in Mt. Roskill last year, so has this been a delightful encouragement for proponents of a post-democratic New Zealand. The people of Mt. Albert have stayed home in force and conscientiously shunned the endorsement required to validate this “safe Labour seat”. How promising it is to see so many enlightened free thinkers non-voting for what they believe in. The future might not be all doom gloom and ginger ale after all. Hazzah!

If we look at the 13,763 who did vote and compare them to the 60,531 who live in Mt. Albert, there’s your representation right there folks. What kind of mandate is that for the pen and sword wielding ruling classes to continue darkening our lives with their Roman attitude towards population control? Long may the avalanche of sensibility and the fine show of being excellent to each other continue and be present at the upcoming general election in September.

NAP would also like to congratulate Hacienda Ardennes on her new job with the United Nations.

ENDS

What’s the best place for a guerrilla soup kitchen?

Having a by-election so close to an election stabs a thorn in my side every time. Can’t we just let everything slide in the interim? I don’t see any panic in the streets of Mt. Albert from constituents running around crying out about how everything is coming to a grinding halt without a colossal in charge. Have you been to Spain lately? Surprise! It’s still there.

But anyway, it’s happening. So here’s my bile-election promise. If I’m elected I’ll gut the electoral office and turn it into a soup kitchen. Not A Party are great at deconstruction.

If you don’t like this idea, don’t get mad. Just don’t vote for it. However, if you vote against it by voting for someone else, you should do so with the understanding that you helped legitimise something you didn’t want. That’s the beauty of democracy.

Why a soup kitchen?

Because cooking a feed for the local hungry folk is respectable, compassionate, and most of all, it’s achievable. And before anyone tries to get all governmenty about it, know this. Any talk of means testing for a toasted sandwich will be met with a well earned clap of derisive laughter. If anyone’s hungry enough to walk through the shame cloud entrance of a begrudging government soup kitchen, they already passed the means test. Do we think people are going to say they’re hungry when they’re not hungry? If they do they are obviously suffering from mental illness and should be offered a food immediately. Pakoras and sabji stat!

What’s in it for me if I’m not hungry?

Good question. Glad you asked. When a grimy footpath reprobate asks you for change, you can direct them to the soup kitchen instead of giving them money. Money that you’re worried they’ll only spend on drugs … because that’s probably what you would do if you were living on a footpath.

Why a “guerrilla” soup kitchen?

Because regardless of our commitment to serving  fresh food cooked with safe handling practices in a clean kitchen, we refuse to pay any tithes to the local protection racket, aka Auckland City Council. Threats of being stood over by the latest stand over gang should never be complied with. Cowering only encourages them.

It’s long past time politicians started serving the people. Not A Party are here, happy to oblige.

NAP during the race again!

Hello New Zealand.

My name is Simon Smythe. I put the myth in blacksmith. And the sigh in the unquestioned acceptance of a centralised government. Putting myself forward as the NAP candidate (Not A Party) in the upcoming Mt. Albert by-election happened yesterday about 4:20 pm in the convivial atmosphere of the Manners Mall Electoral Commission Office.

My motivation for hurling myself into the bi-elecectory stoplight comes from my humbly magnanimous sense of community spirit when it comes to reminding people of their democratic right to not vote if they don’t want to.

We hear whisperings on the winds that enough is enough. Which is true in itself because enough is neither too little nor too much. But let’s not go crazy and fool ourselves into thinking that voting will have any effect on this phenomenon of enough being enough. The sentiment leads to other sentiments like… ‘somebody should do something!’ and… ‘who let this happen?’

When we vote we let this happen.

The platform I’m campaigning on (with Richard Goode aka Agent Orange as my invaluable campaign manager) is all about representing the accused and maligned among us who are so often dismissed, called apathetic, and snidely looked down upon because we actively decline that most generous of invitations to vote.

As a dedicated and responsible non-voter I stand, with the rest of the NAP squad, at the vanguard of a serious and compassionate movement to illuminate and eliminate the irrational attacks of sanctimonious guilt and shame so often aimed at today’s forward thinking non-voter. The youth of today are just slackers. Somebody should make them do something.

Seriously though. The truth is, if you do vote you have no business complaining after the fact when your team lost. That’s just bad sportsmanship.

So basically our message is this:

#DontVote2017. Voting is NOT a victimless crime. And have an A1 day.

Your Representative: Simon Colin Smythe.

The Fallacy of Pre-Emptive Violence

At a march in Washington D.C. this week, accused neo-Nazi Richard Spencer was kinghit from the blindside by a mystery black-hoodie-clad protester. Footage of the incident was the most viral meme of the entire Inauguration period, trumping even anything the U.S. President said. The reaction of the Internet, predictably, was divided.

One part of the viewership was appalled by the purposeless attack on the sacred value of free speech; another part was excited to an almost sexual state of arousal by the sight of a Nazi getting what they thought he deserved.

Justification for the latter reaction began almost immediately, and was earnest, although convoluted. The basic premise, however, was eerily familiar: Spencer was a Nazi, Nazis want to violently take over the world, therefore they can essentially be attacked at any time in pre-emptive self-defence.

On the face of it, it’s hard to argue with that line of reasoning. The excuse that “I just got the bear before the bear got me” was after all, the excuse George W. Bush used to invade Iraq and kill a million people � and he completely got away with it.

There’s one glaring problem with the Bush Doctrine though, especially when it is applied to blindsiding people in the street for their political opinions: the potential excuses that a person might make to conduct ‘pre-emptive’ violence against another is limited only by human ingenuity.

In the same way that conservatives delude themselves into believing they are compassionate, liberals delude themselves into believing they are tolerant.

For a start, the logic that any violence against Nazis is justified because Nazism is a supremacist political movement also justifies violence against any of the Abrahamic cults, as they are also supremacist ideologies.

It would then be legitimate to beat the shit out of any Christian or Jew one met on the grounds that their holy book contains a command from God to kill homosexuals. One could also conduct pre-emptive violence for a number of reasons against any Muslim you met.

Any American could be dealt to under the logic that American imperialism is one of the prime threats to the stability of the world order, and any European could be shown some fist on the grounds that prior imperialism suggests a high likelihood of future imperialism. Any Chinese or Indian could be bashed because their massive populations threaten the viability of the biosphere.

If someone calls you a Nazi, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Nazi’ at ever-increasing rates � it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the right of the speaker.’

If someone calls you a Commie, whether you are one or not, that could be an excuse for pre-emptive violence on the grounds that the epithet is generally only levelled at people who are murderous totalitarians and therefore should be killed with extreme prejudice. And people are being called ‘Commie’ at ever-increasing rates � it’s almost become synonymous with ‘to the left of the speaker.’

This means that anyone can find a reason to attack anyone else pre-emptively. It’s just a simple matter of knowing if you are doing it because your target is a Nazi or because they are a Commie.

As anyone who walked the streets of Weimar Germany could tell you, National Socialists and Communists are just ready made for fighting, like the yang and yin of violence. Their natural instinct is to go each other like two stags in rutting season.

Perhaps the best course of action for reasonable people is the Churchill Doctrine that served Britain so well in World War II: just stand back and let them kill each other.

The Fallacy of Pre-Emptive Violence

How Low Does Turnout Have to Get Before Voting Loses Legitimacy?

The obvious smartarse answer is “It never had legitimacy”, but this merely ducks the question. The question of when a democracy can lose enough of the perception of legitimacy that it stops working, not by being usurped by authoritarians but from the populace simply not caring about it enough, is worth exploring.

The logic goes something like this. It’s reasonable to assume that if no-one voted at all, not even the politicians themselves, then no-one would care about democracy. So there is a clear limit case as votes approach zero.

If everyone votes (or at least everyone eligible), then it stands to reason that democracy has the biggest possible buy-in. Probably in a culture where 100% of the population votes there would have to be an exceptionally unusual degree of philodemos – a degree never seen in practice.

If a hypothetical democracy starts with 100% participation and this falls over time towards 0%, at some point along the line representing that descent the democracy will fail.

But where exactly?

The most recent American presidential election does not have an official turnout rate yet, but BetFair appears to be sure that it will be somewhere around 58%. This is low by the standards of Western democracies – but there appears to be no way to tell how much of this is due to disenfranchisement and how much is due to people seeing through the system and protesting by not voting.

This already highlights a problem with democracy – bombs dropped by American forces do not do 58% damage, and sentences for non-violent drug offences are not 58% as long as they would otherwise be. No matter how much the population wants democracy, they will get it good and hard.

Not even 58% buy-in is necessary in any case. Adolf Hitler’s NSDAP won the 1933 German Federal Election with under 44% of the vote, and this was enough to get rid of the Communists and pass the Enabling Act which paved the way to total fascism.

You could even argue that – if you take the example of the United States in its infancy, where only white male landowners could vote – even with support for democracy in single digits, it can still function as long as all other possible organisational approaches are prevented from taking form.

The tricky thing is that this line of reasoning exposes the truth at the bottom of the political system: the plebs were never in charge and any impression given to that end is simply a useful illusion.

Ultimately it’s whoever controls the loyalty of the Police that is in charge, because then anyone who disagrees that they’re in charge can be taken by the Police and put in a cage (replace Police with Army in many non-Western countries). This was all that Hitler needed to ensure to take power in Germany.

One has to then ask, if the ruling classes just took all the ballots and dumped them in the ocean, invented some election results that both sounded plausible and ensured the interests of said classes were protected, and then divvied up the remaining jobs among themselves, how much wiser would we all be?

Because the ruling classes doing so wouldn’t even be much different from the way the con is already played.

We can take heart that not all New Zealanders have fallen for the ruse – 63% of the electorate did not vote for a politician in last week’s Mt. Roskill by-election, which means that 63% of potential suckers did not give their power away to a shyster by consenting to the democratic charade.

Indeed, Dr. Richard Goode of Not A Party successfully claimed victory in attracting the non-vote, declaring himself Not A Member of Parliament for Mt. Roskill. This obligates him to not attend Parliament, which means that he is not responsible for levying taxes to spend on flag referendums, and nor is he responsible for putting non-violent drug users in cages by setting the Police on them.

I think we can all agree that this is a better deal than what we are getting from our current crop of MPs.

Faith in democracy will, however, have to get much lower before philosopher-kings such as Dr. Goode can be returned to their true position in society.

How Low Does Turnout Have to Get Before Voting Loses Legitimacy?

Goode, not Wood!

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MEDIA RELEASE
Not A Party

7 December 2016

Goode, not Wood!

The Electoral Commission’s preliminary count shows that Not A Party’s candidate in last Saturday’s long since forgotten Mt. Roskill by-election didn’t even come last. Richard Goode received 40 votes, just 8 votes ahead of the lowest polling candiate. “Saturday’s show of electoral support is like big government,” says Goode. “I didn’t really want it but the voters gave it to me anyway.”

But when you add the non-votes to Goode’s tally, it’s clear that Goode, not Wood, is the electorate’s choice by a landslide! Goode graciously accepts the endorsement of the electorate and declares himself the Not A MP for Mt. Roskill. “I will faithfully represent the 63% of Mt. Roskill electors who didn’t show up to the polling places by not showing up to Parliament,” he assures.

Voter turnout is the second lowest of recent by-elections (in the past 10 years). “Will the current trend continue? The way things are going, I’d say yes,” says Goode optimistically. “Your non-vote counts. But only if you’re registered to not vote,” he adds. “Now is as good a time as any to check that you’re on the electoral roll.”

Vote or don’t, he confidently predicts a win for a Labour-led left bloc at next years’s general election. “History gets repetitive after a while. Since the First Labour Government was elected in 1935, it’s been left, right, left, right … National, Labour, National, Labour … New Zealand’s democracy is a long march in a pointless two-party political parade.”

“It’s time to call a halt to the charade,” he concludes. “DON’T VOTE 2017.”

ENDS

Not A Party (NAP) predicts success in Mt. Roskill by-election

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MEDIA RELEASE
Not A Party

29 November 2016

Not A Party (NAP) predicts success in Mt. Roskill by-election

Richard Goode, Not A Party (NAP) candidate in the Mt. Roskill by-election is predicting his candidacy will be a resounding success when the votes are counted this Saturday 3 December. “My message to voters is to stay home, enjoy your Saturday and refuse to participate in the circus being orchestrated by ringleaders Wood and Parmar.”

“This by-election has been dirty so far with allegations of National Party candidate Parmjeet Parmar’s supporters throwing horseshoes at their enemies and Labour’s Michael Wood threatening his National opponent’s husband who made derogatory comments about Wood’s wife at a public meeting. In short, politics as usual.”

This is why Goode is encouraging people to avoid feeding the politicians by taking no part in the process at all. “Mt. Roskill voters have a golden opportunity in this by-election to opt-out of the whole charade. Politicians behave the way they do because voters indulge their own fantasies of wielding power over others by voting for them.” Goode advises, “Live dangerously, not vicariously. Sort yourselves out, don’t expect politicians to run your lives for you.”

“Once the votes are tallied, the largest group of voters in this by-election will be the group that voted for nobody at all,” predicts Goode. “If we truly live in a democracy, shouldn’t we respect the wishes of the majority and leave the seat of Mt. Roskill vacant?”

“My message to voters is just don’t. But if you really must vote then vote for Not A Party (NAP). I pledge that if elected, I’ll be a no show. If elected, I guarantee Mt. Roskill residents a happy new year living in a politician-free zone.”

ENDS

Not A Party (NAP) predicts success in Mt. Roskill by-election

What’s with the NAP?

claytons

MEDIA RELEASE
Not A Party

17 November 2016

What’s with the NAP?

Last week Not A Party (NAP) announced Richard Goode as their candidate in the Mt. Roskill by-election due to be held on Saturday 3 December. Since then the most commonly asked question has been, “What’s your agenda?”

Our agenda is straightforward. We are here to mobilise the non-vote in Aotearoa New Zealand. And to end the divisive guilt associated with not voting.

When asked if he was even serious about not voting, Goode said, “Yes, I am serious. Political jokes are not at all funny and I certainly don’t condone voting for them.”

The thought of not voting can come as a shock at first. But voting is not the holy grail of civic duty our decision makers would have us believe. Being allowed to be part of the decision making process every few years is nothing more than a Claytons involvement in politics.

Every election we are being persuaded to maintain the belief that not voting is a form of civil disobedience. But it isn’t even. In this country we cherish the democratic right to not vote.

“The insidious maligning of non-voters has gone on long enough,” says Goode. “And I say, stop it. If it helps, I will say this, and I’ll say it right to the cameras. Stop it.”

Ridiculous claims have been made. Goode refutes them thus:

# If you don’t vote you have no right to complain

“This is flat out wrong and back to front. If you vote, you are accepting the outcome of the election whoever wins and you have no reason to complain when your chosen party or candidate loses the personality contest.”

# People who don’t vote are apathetic

“How could this ever have happened?” Goode laughs. “Could it be that they’ve become disillusioned by past voting experiences? Apathy about the graciously provided three yearly opportunity to participate in the voting bonanza doesn’t mean people don’t care about the political direction of this country. It means they care enough not to validate the tyranny and oppression by voting for it.”

# A non vote is a vote for the other guy

“Really? Which other guy? If you do the math I think you’ll find that the people responsible for voting in [insert perceived enemy here] were the people that voted for them. Not the people that didn’t.”

“The gangs that run our country, whether they’re in power or waiting their turn, are having a fine time enjoying the baubles of office at everyone else’s expense.” Goode concludes, “It’s time to think about how we can put an end to unnecessary central government and run our own towns and communities without lavishing huge sums of money on these leeches.”

ENDS

http://www.nap.org.nz/whats-with-the-nap/ ‎