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November 14, 2013

The Dangers of Voting and Campaigning

By Rob Kall

Voting is bad news if people think that all they need to do is vote. Voting is bad news if people think that all they need to do is vote. There are many ways to change things, to fight the machine, the system, besides voting. Those ways are essential. If people who vote think they are doing enough, then voting itself becomes dangerous.


Voting is bad news if people think that all they need to do is vote. 

There are lots of other ways to vote-- with our wallets, in particular. 

There are many ways to change things, to fight the machine, the system, besides voting. Those ways are essential. If people who vote think they are doing enough, then voting itself becomes dangerous. 

More and more people are calling for people to intentionally withdraw from the voting system. "Stay home and boycott the vote," they say. Many who say this do so because they believe that the system is broken or bullshit. They believe that the answer to fighting the machine is to disengage from it, and that includes not voting. 

Disengaging from the system is a major way to fight the system. I believe we need to have that conversation here. To me it is essential. I don't agree that the answer is to not vote. I vote, but I don't expect much to come of it. Most of the time I vote against worst choices and end up voting for lesser evils. Sometimes I vote for third party candidates, in the rare cases where that's even possible. I'll continue to do that. We need a lot more third parties and third party candidates. And don't tell me Ralph Nader cost Al Gore the election. That has been totally proven to be false. 

I am moving more and more towards believing that the electoral system is mostly broken-- not to the extent that people should not vote, but that voting by itself is totally inadequate. We desperately need to wake people to realize that they're not doing enough if they just vote, or even just work for candidates. What we really need is to disrupt, sabotage, undermine and radically change the system using approaches outside of voting. 

From http://www.flickr.com/photos/53301297@N00/8173723309/: A Polling Place

We need to make it clear to people that voting is not even a bare minimum when it comes to making change happen. Voting and campaigning for candidates are dumping one bucket of water out of a flooding raft that is going to sink. . Campaigning in the electoral system is not enough. It is essential to get people to realize that the system is broken. Democracy is an illusion. The two party system is a fraud. Perhaps what we need are yard signs to be posted at voting locales, literally telling people that they are not done, that just because they voted, they still have a lot of work to do.

The challenge is, "how do we build robust organizations that support non-electoral change?" How do we get people to develop regular relationships with organizations and organizers that/who engage in non-electoral change on a long-term systematic basis. How do we get them to keep working after they're finished supporting a candidate, after the first week of November, or the spring voting. We need perennial activists, not seasonal voters. 

The occupy movement is doing it in many ways, helping victims of foreclosure, helping Hurricane Sandy victims. 

But we need to get people who vote to become aware of non-electoral approaches to changing the system. 

The machine-- the system that gives power to big corporations and plutocrats-- that must be brought down. Changing it won't work. It is, at it's core, driven by evil, sociopathic values and policies. It takes waking people up to get them to realize the ways the system works to keep them living within the illusion that all they need to do is vote. 

I've reprinted, with permission, Keith Farnish's 100 Ways To Undermine The Machine  which led to him writing his must-read book Underminers, A Guide to Subverting the Machine.  

I'd like to see more writing on t his kind of thinking. To be clear, I'm talking about articles discussing non-electoral approaches to change. I'm  not that interested in articles that strictly call for not voting. We've published plenty of them, even though pretty much all the senior editors disagree with the idea. We need alternative solutions, not just the  idea of not voting.

Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.