The government with Only One Law
by Ronn Neff: conclusion

The most precious right

Throughout the election season of 2000 we heard over and over what a precious right voting is. Yet there is probably no one who would not give up that precious right in exchange for not having to pay income tax ever again.

And to whom is that right so precious? Apparently not to about 50 percent of qualified voters, who, election after election, do not go to the polls.

Voting is not a natural right; it is a civil right. It exists only in the context of a state: the state creates it, the state defines it, the state determines how often and on what issues it may be exercised, the state profits from it, the state claims legitimacy on the basis of it. Is it not clear? Voting is indeed a precious right: It is precious to the state.

Yet it is in the exercise of that right, so called, that we are to imagine that the usurpations of the state can be rolled back and then restrained. Whenever a Libertarian insists that it is through voting and partisan politics that our dreams of liberty are to be realized, whenever he insists that his strategy, at least, holds out the hope of liberty, whereas we anti-voters have nothing to offer, he is saying that in the struggle for liberty, voting is indeed the most precious right.

The Libertarian actually believes that without the vote, we have no weapons. He actually believes that we are doomed to being subjects of the Permanent Regime if we eschew this civil right. He actually believes that we are to roll back the state by using a tool fabricated by the state, a tool of which the state is the primary beneficiary.

I do not know how we can best oppose the Permanent Regime. For that matter, I doubt that even the best opposition can overthrow or defeat it. That, of course, does not imply that we should not oppose it as best we can.

What I am sure of, however, is that our opposition must be based on the exercise of our natural rights. It must be tied to the nature of liberty, which is to say that it must be tied to the market, to the bonds of friendship and family, and to the principles that define and justify it.

The tactics of free men are to be found there. Is there anyone who will cease working in the state's arena of electoral politics and join us in looking there?

Posted December 28, 2001.


© 2001 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

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Related articles by Ronn Neff:

• Jacob G. Hornberger and Mr. Neff's exchange on five questions about libertarian electoral activism posed by Mr. Hornberger. (February 2002) (Reader response.)

"Why I am not a Libertarian." (November 2000)

To the Ronn Neff contents page.

Related article by Nicholas Strakon.

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