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News :: Environment
Anarchists Debate National Election Voting at Ohio Conference
16 Aug 2004
Modified: 11:20:25 PM
(Yahoo News; Aug 16, 2004) ATHENS, Ohio - A group of anarchists is taking an unusual step to make its political voice heard — going to the polls.

Note: While anarchists oppose voting on principle, anarchists also hold individual liberty and working class self-interest as first and foremost and some anarchists may from time to time choose to vote under specific circumstances after reasoned debate weighing the pros and cons of such action. It is never the official policy of anarchists to defer authority to government officials, but it is sensible to make the best of a bad situation.
Anarchists generally pride themselves on their rejection of government and its authority. But a faction of them fed up with the war in Iraq (news - web sites) say they plan to cast anti-Bush votes this fall.

The voting debate was just one of the topics explored at the three-day North American Anarchist Convergence, which brought about 175 participants to Ohio University.

Some attendees rejected the voting proposal.

"Ultimately, those who are voting are either bad anarchists or not anarchists at all," said Lawrence, a "Californian in his mid-40s" who declined to give his last name. "No one can represent my interests. We reject political professionals."

Others said they are embracing their right to engage in the political process, and plan to vote for John Kerry, Ralph Nader or anyone who can underscore their opposition to the Bush administration.

Susan Heitker, 32, of Athens, believes that the U.S. government is neither legitimate nor democratic, but she still plans to vote.

"To me, at least, it's important to vote," she said. "There was a time when I was not going to vote, but I really dislike Bush."

Howard Ehrlich, of Baltimore, also embraces his right to "engage the political system."

"I will certainly vote against George Bush because he is leading the nation to further violence and eroding civil liberties," said Ehrlich, who is editor of Social Anarchism, a 3,000-circulation magazine.
See also:
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=8&u=/ap/20040816/ap_on_el_pr/anarchists_vote

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Re: Anarchists Debate National Election Voting at Ohio Conference
16 Aug 2004
This is a story off yahoo news, can it be trusted to represent anarchists accurately??? Was anybody in Boston aware of this conference, was anyone there? Anybody know anything about this?
Re: Anarchists Debate National Election Voting at Ohio Conference
17 Aug 2004
It seemed to be accurate enough, so I reposted it with the note added. It gave the views of anarchists like Lawrence, who feel that anarchism is completely incompatible with voting. Other anarchists, obviously, are going to choose to vote if they feel the outcome of the election is important enough to their interests, and they will do it even if they have to keep this fact secret. Sometimes mass anarchist organizations choose to boycott elections, and othertimes they do not. Obviously an election and politicians are not the focus of anarchism, and there should never be anarchist political candidates. (There can be working class friendly political parties perhaps.. but never anarchist political parties.)

If you were to ask some working class anarchists what the government could do for them, the best answer would doubtlessly be to be left alone. So long as the government is the one least likely to interefere with the interests of the working class, the poor, and indiginous people - and keave us to solve our problems on our own, then it's the "best" government anarchists could hope for.

Who is more likely to screw with the working person more - Bush or Kerry? Who si more likely to remove a woman's right to choose to have an abortion? Who is more likely to pass draconian laws, throw poor people in jail, send orginary women and men off to war to kill other ordinary women and men and be killed by them?

Anarchists couldn't care less about Democrats or Republicans, but if the current president is closer to being a dictator and a war monger, some highly independant people may decide to take some actions (like voting) that they normnally would not, purely as a strategic, self-preserving. measure.

In case any non-anarchists are reading this, don't you go off saying that anarchists are "for voting" or "support political parties"... because we do not at all. Political parties suck. Anarchists favor neither the Socialist, the Republican, the Democrat or the Libertarian Parties... these political parties and and the representatives they appoint serve the interests of nationalism, corporate businessmen and statist authority. They do NOT speak for us. The least they can do is not throw us all in jail simply for thinking for ourselves, or get us killed in their wars or working us to death. We can solve our own problems, as working class people, thank you very much.
Re: Anarchists Debate National Election Voting at Ohio Conference
18 Aug 2004
Anarchist (n): An unkempt and ill-mannered liberal.
Re: Anarchists Debate National Election Voting at Ohio Conference
09 Sep 2004
Republican (n): A closet fascist.
It makes sense for anarchists to vote.
09 Sep 2004
"It seemed to be accurate enough, so I reposted it with the note added. It gave the views of anarchists like Lawrence, who feel that anarchism is completely incompatible with voting. Other anarchists, obviously, are going to choose to vote if they feel the outcome of the election is important enough to their interests, and they will do it even if they have to keep this fact secret. Sometimes mass anarchist organizations choose to boycott elections, and othertimes they do not. Obviously an election and politicians are not the focus of anarchism, and there should never be anarchist political candidates. (There can be working class friendly political parties perhaps.. but never anarchist political parties.)"

If they dont work within the system, the system will control them. They have no choice but to use the system to make progress. The only other way is to wait for the occasional riot or natural disaster which creates VERY short lived anarchist situations...only to quickly be neutralized by the natural settling back into an orderly hierarchial, civilized situation.