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'Lesser Evil' Voters: Stop Enabling Your Abusers (part 2)

By Mickey Z.

08 September, 2012
World News Trust

Photo Credit: Mickey Z.

“I think it is dangerous to confuse the idea of democracy with elections. Just because you have elections doesn’t mean you’re a democratic country.” --Arundhati Roy

(Read part 1 of this article here)

A liberal and a progressive walk into a restaurant called Democracy.

The sign outside promises, “Exercise Your Freedom of Choice with Our Varied Menu.”

Here’s what that menu offers:
Double Cheeseburger Deluxe: $100
Double Bacon Cheeseburger Deluxe: $100

Liberal: I don’t even have to look. I already know what I’m getting.
Progressive: But…
Liberal (to waiter): The usual, please. Just make sure none of that evil bacon touches my less evil meat and cheese.
The liberal and the waiter share a chuckle.
Progressive (to waiter): You got any vegan options?
Waiter: Well, we’re working towards that, you know, one baby step at a time. Be patient but of course, keep hoping.
Liberal: Change takes time. Lots and lots and lots of time.
They all nod solemnly.
Progressive: I was really hoping for a salad.
Liberal: Let me guess, a green salad?
The liberal and the waiter share a loud laugh.
Progressive (to waiter): Can I order a salad?
Waiter: Oh, you’re free to order anything you want here. This is Democracy.
Progressive: Okay, cool. I’d like a salad. (to liberal) Democracy is swell.

The waiter soon returns with a single plate upon which sits a greasy, oozing, bloody-rare double cheeseburger on a white flour roll alongside a deep-fried batch of GMO potatoes. The liberal’s eyes light up before taking a big, drippy bite.

Liberal: Mmmm, not a hint of bacon. Tastes like progress to me.
Progressive: Where’s my salad?
Waiter: We don’t serve salads here.
Progressive: But you said I was free to order anything.
Waiter: Sure, you can order whatever you please, but the only people who get to eat in Democracy are those who pick something that’s on our menu. (pause) And by the way, your hypothetical Green salad costs $150.
Progressive (takes out credit card): Oh well... I guess I’ll try again in four years.

Um, we don’t even have a “second” party...

“We must no longer have the illusion of acting through the action of a politician. In the spirit of Emma Goldman, we must wake up, we must become daring enough to demand our rights collectively.”

--Nicole, The Funky Revolutionary

The electoral system -- as it stands today -- is utterly rigged yet, the liberals and their ilk still cry: “We must vote. People died for that right.”

While I’m not really clear what that debate point even means, I do have a far more urgent question for the “vote or die” crowd: What about the people (and all forms of life) dying right fuckin’ now precisely because of how we choose to vote?

Whether we select Democrat or Republican, the global carnage continues. So, let’s save the melodramatic homilies and accept that there are far, far better ways to express dissent than taking part in an explicit farce.

After all, if so many of us agree that the current model of human culture is a living nightmare, then why do we even participate? More specifically, if we recognize the need for urgent and radical change, why do we willingly and enthusiastically partake in blatantly fraudulent elections?

At this point, I can hear the two-word liberal chant: Supreme Court.
You can also cue the two-word progressive chant: Third Party.

Mic Check: Don’t you mean second party? (insert rimshot here)

Hey, I would love to find a way to embrace this approach -- really, I would -- and I will admit to a teeny/tiny smirk when Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein says stuff like this: “Under the Democrats, the ship won't go down quite as fast, but a sinking ship is still a sinking ship. Your objective is not to get onto another ship which is going down a little bit less quickly, this doesn't get us out of there alive.”

Liberals: Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court.
Progressives: Third Party. Third Party. Third Party. Third Party.

I will even own up to moments of weakness when I’ll indulge this flight of fancy: If everyone who wants change but is still planning to hold their nose and pick Obama simply opted for Stein, we’d find ourselves in a situation that even the puppet masters might not be able to smoothly manipulate.

Then, reality begins to sets back in: The system is rigged. The game is fixed. The house never loses. The time has long passed for us to give up the charade of playing their games by their rules.

Third (sic) parties do not challenge the power structure. Third (sic) parties validate the power structure by accepting and conforming to its repressive rules and suppressive structure.

If we have to ask (petition, beg) the 1% to modify a singular aspect of their reprehensible behavior -- in this case, electoral monopolies -- we are acknowledging and accepting that the possibility of change is their choice and we thus authenticate their freedom to exercise their power over us. (Plus, of course, the 1% long ago figured out that offering the occasional minor concession further reinforces this tacit arrangement.)

Liberals: Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court.
Progressives: Third Party. Third Party. Third Party. Third Party.

“Not voting is a protest vote,” writes Phil Rockstroh. "Voting with one's feet i.e., walking away from the sham.”

Choosing not to vote is not a passive move. Not voting is not the same as doing nothing. Participating in an overtly counterfeit arrangement does not grant you the moral high ground -- especially not when the global stakes have reached now-or-never status.

I promise you this: The human beings (and all living things) that come after us won’t be remotely impressed if you helped Stein get 5% of the vote in 2012... if they have no clean air to breathe, no clean water to use, and are stuck on a toxic, virtually uninhabitable planet.

They’d probably just want to ask us this: Why did you even bother with rigged elections while everything was being consumed or poisoned or destroyed?

Occupy Beyond The Vote

We will ask nothing. We will demand nothing. We will take, occupy.

(Paris graffiti: 1968)

The 1%-dominated system (and that includes both wings of the one corporate party) is built on the insane premise of unlimited growth and cannot be “reformed.” Hence, the "problems" now being widely exposed by Occupy Wall Street (OWS) are not merely flaws within a basically fixable system.

Each day on our beleaguered planet, 25,000-30,000 children under the age of five die from preventable causes while 2,660 U.S. children are born into poverty. This is not because of a minor glitch in an otherwise workable system.

Eighty percent of the world's forests are gone, 90 percent of the large fish in the ocean are gone, and 200,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed every single day. This isn't some bewildering defect in the well-oiled global machine.

Economic inequality isn't a hiccup.

Epidemics of preventable diseases are not an anomaly.

Institutional racism, sexism, speciesism, homophobia, and patriarchy are not systemic blind spots.

Capitalism -- hell, all forms of industrial culture -- cannot be tenderly reformed into sustainability.

Let’s return to the Democracy Restaurant and recognize that what we want -- what we need -- is not on that menu, no matter how many minor tweaks and modifications they promise us. (As Jason Sayre sez: “Believing a candidate campaigning for election is like believing a man with an erection.”)

What we’re fighting for will never appear on their menu; they don’t even have the ingredients to make it if they tried.

Note to the “work within the system” crowd: You’re chasing a well-constructed lie. The dominant culture only offers the illusion of incremental reform to keep us from seeing and challenging the big picture.

Question for the “work within the system” crowd: Even if gradual change could happen, how much time do you think we have?

To vote for either Obama or Romney is to become a willing accomplice to myriad global crimes. To vote for any presidential candidate within a system so corrupt and so lethal is -- at best -- self-soothing denial.

Choosing instead to opt out of a profound deception allows us to abandon our illusions and accept that big change -- frighteningly big, from-the-ground-up change -- is our only chance... and it’s our job to make it happen.

If the system cannot be altered, it must be dismantled…before it dismantles itself. Either way, we must work together to create a softer place to land -- a place outside the mainstream paradigm.

The predictable -- yes, frightened -- response to this holistic and radical approach goes a little something like this:
"You gotta stop dreaming. Get realistic and learn how to play the game."
"Don't you understand that things just don't work like that?"
"What you're talking about is Utopia."
Blah, blah, fuckin' blah...

Mic Check: Mutual aid, cooperation, and a focus on local/downsized/sustainable communities aren't utopian. They are our last best chance.

Let the dominant hierarchy drown in its own hypocrisy, fear, and greed while we stop enabling our abusers and instead use our energy and passion to create -- and occupy -- a whole new model.

May the revolutionary menu never stop evolving...

Please read and share part 1 of this article:
“Lesser Evil” Voters: Stop Enabling Your Abusers (part 1)

For more context on the two-party farce, please read and share my two other articles:
"Occupy the Conventions - BOTH Conventions"
"De-Occupy the Two-Party Fraud”


Boycott the 2012 Presidential Election


Mickey Z. is the author of 11 books, most recently the novel Darker Shade of Green. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on an obscure website called Facebook.

© WorldNewsTrust.com



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