Politics

One of the recurring discussion topics common in libertarian circles concerns the question of political action. To some anarchists, in particular, politics is strictly forbidden. Arguments for this range from the lack of feasibility for achieving change to the assertion that attempting to vote amounts to violence; a vote for a candidate, policy, or other action inevitably brings the force of government to bear on others.

As we live in a world where political systems exist and are accepted by the vast majority of people, I see no way to exclude politics from any attempt to bring about a free society. The political arena is, at the very least, a place where new ideas and approaches can be communicated to a more willing audience. Absent the air of politics, few people appear receptive to challenges of their social beliefs.

Concerning feasibility, this argument is akin to sour grapes. Seeking a goal is valid regardless of the fruitfulness of the effort. If this were how all innovators thought, where would ever innovation occur?

With regards to the understanding that political action must result in government force, Murray Rothbard had this to say:

I see no other conceivable strategy for the achievement of liberty than political action. Religious or philosophical conversion of each man and woman is simply not going to work; that strategy ignores the problem of power, the fact that millions of people have a vested interest in statism and are not likely to give it up…

So, while politics may perpetuate violence against individuals, it is but one of the ways to move us ultimately toward liberty.

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