With the 2016 presidential election looming in the United States, it’s getting to be the time at which many anarchists get stuck participating in frustrating conversations about the current election, elections in general, and the act of voting. As anarchists, our position on elections and politics is clear – we reject them. However, for many folks we may come into contact with, these critiques are new and/or are not clear.
The zine “Voting vs. Direct Action”, written by Crimethinc, has served us well over the years in changing the nature of conversations around voting. While there are lengthier and more comprehensive critiques out there, this pamphlet does a good job of offering an accessible argument against voting. Along with rejecting elections, it argues in favor of direct action as an alternative.
At just a few pages, it’s easy for people to pick up and read. It’s been a helpful title to have on hand when tabling in a variety of settings where we encounter folks new to anarchy.
Here’s a short excerpt:
People in the U.S. are preoccupied with voting to an unhealthy degree. This is not to say that everyone votes, or thinks voting is effective or worthwhile; on the contrary, a smaller and smaller proportion of the eligible population votes every election year, and that’s not just because more and more people are in prison. But when you broach the question of politics, of having a say in the way things are, voting is just about the only strategy anyone can think of—voting, and influencing others’ votes.