I would like to say that it seems unnecessary to set out an anarchist position on voting, as the standard arguments are well rehearsed, but it often happens that the excitement of the spectacle overtakes even those who have taken care to maintain a position of thorough integrity. In spite of my own deep cynicism, I awoke this morning with a visceral feeling of excitement. I wasn't sure at first what it was, then I remembered the great national spectacle that was to take place today. The frantic atmosphere of ritual participation had affected me at a physiological level. Fortunately I have developed at least a rudimentary awareness of the connection between my bodily sensations and thoughts, so I did not become unreflectively involved in the thought-complex that could have been generated from the intrusive feeling in my abdomen.
Participation in the voting spectacle is one of the great shibboleths of bourgeois conformity. It involves a wilful vacuity and a vicious pigheaded bloodymindedness that remind me of the state of mind of people who make a point of giving to charity or voice their support for, or equivocation over, the latest imperial war in the name of universal values. I have found that expressing my refusal to participate often results in a look of shocked and hurt betrayal from electoral enthusiasts. It reminds me of the period of hypnotised mania leading up to the election of Obama. Someone asked me what I thought of him and I said I thought he was a politician. The response was a great onslaught of whining naivety in which I was accused of taking away her hope. I can only reflect that I was right, and that disillusionment from hope in politicians can only be beneficial.
It pleases me to believe that what the electoral spectacle enthusiasts call apathy is actually a healthy cynicism and a quite correct realisation that the whole thing is totally illusory. It's a filthy business and I will not disturb my mental balance by getting involved with the corrupt way of thinking that it entails - wouldn't it be just a little bit better if...? The act of voting is an acceptance of the entire pre-formed mindstate of the war machine. Conscious withdrawal of oneself from it, like withdrawal from the mental poisons of the television and newspapers, is a great step towards a self-sufficient engagement with reality and a step away from sacrificing one's independence of thought to the illusory and deadly security of the mass.