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+1 vote
I was wondering what the 'average' anarchist would do when there was to be a federal election?
Would they vote, for the best alternative to the power at the time? Or would they boycott the election altogether?

3 Answers

0 votes
Best answer
voting is a controversial topic for many anarchists.
some draw the line at voting for local initiatives and representatives (ie voting in areas and on topics that are locally determined, and not voting in state or federal elections). other anarchists vote in any elections, for exactly the point you make, "best alternative to power at the time."
other anarchists never vote, are anti-democracy, anti-representation, and anti-reform, and see voting as conceding to the status quo no matter what form.

if you go to and look under topics for anti-voting, there are a number of historical arguments against it. the argument *for* it just seems to be "doing something is better than doing nothing".
by (53.1k points)
–7 votes
i think most anarchists would vote libertarian for an election, because if there are some libertarian innovations in the social system it would help form more orginazation based on those veiws. then anarchists could have thier imput in the social system and create new ideas for our economic system, progression as one would say. when a system is large the only thing you may do is change it with progression , revolution is good for a smaller community or issue based in the local area.
personally i would vote if there was a libertarian, i dont agree with all they have to say but atleast its better then having a corperate fascist or a liberal who wants to sugar coat everything.
by (130 points)
Can you give an example of a libertarian that you could vote for?  Is Bakunin running for office now?
well i dont really support a specific person but more of the group in general, we need more then protests we need to reform the social system. while i see i have a few critics online i belive it is a good idea that should be atleast thought about.
Anarchist reject the idea of reform as an end goal.  Anarchist reject Ron Paul style libertarians because what they advocate for is unbridled capitalism and direct corporate rule.  As the state is the sole owner of legitimate violence, Ron Paul Libertarians wish to reform the state away so that corporations are never restricted in their application of violence against who ever they wish.  Anarchist want to see violence be diffused throughout society, as a tool that anyone can use when necessary.

I reject your ideas about the impossibility of revolution.  I reject your narrative of progress.  I don't know what libertarians you are speaking of, but I can only assume you are talking about people like Ron Paul.  If that's the case, please get the fuck off this site.

We don't need to reform the social system, we need to destroy it.
in europe there are some leftist ecologist parties that are for legalization of drugs and other nice individualist liberties in issues of sex while in economic issues they advocate decentralist forms of socialism, more community centers and more things being free such as education  and advocate getting tougher on corporations than the socialdemocrat ruling parties. And well after all in the US Jello Biafra is a self-described anarchist who ran for president. If Jello Biafra runs for president i might vote for him if he promises to legalize drugs but no human being can expect me to help in an electoral campaign.

As far as the US system it is almost a fascist dictatorship since both parties more or less are financed by the same corporations so there is no real choice as far as economic matters. In places like europe you can at least vote for the green party or the communist party and expect it to have some representation in congress so it will control corporations and defend workers rights.

Personally though i declare myself an opposer of personalist electoral  democracy altogether. In fact the "founding fathers" of the US were inspired in the role of the monarch when they decided to create the  office of "president".
+1 vote
vote if you want, it only takes about five minutes and it makes absolutely no difference.  Most anarchist are smart enough to reject the idea that lots of people not voting will make voting lose legitimacy, as less than half the US population votes as it is.

Whether or not you vote is irrelevant.  Anarchist have no faith in the state or voting.  Anarchist struggle for the abolition of the state and its bizarre ritual of voting.
by (1.7k points)
yes but you need to progress to subvert the state. we need a solid plan if now a few. if more people knew what we support they wouldnt fear chaos, and we could look forward to the change for the better. its not what we advocate the state or a rebresentative because not one person could  represent the people but we have to face we are in this untill we know a way to win the game.
I don't want to subvert the state, I want to smash it.  I have never seen any evidence that "progress" has led to revolution, and I don't see why it would.

We do need to propagate our ideas, and engage in struggle, and form bonds of solidarity.  This to me seems like a much more effective path to revolution than voting libertarian and hoping for progress.
But all things considered, I think it is useless to argue strategy and tactics with you, since we seem to have very different goals in mind.