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A Voter takes Direct Action (1987)

Papers with these sentiments were substituted for ballots and pushed into the ballot box, July 1987 Federal Election. Later, the ballots were ritually burnt.

This rejection of the parliamentary process is a part of a long tradition of anti-parliamentary activism by libertarians and anarchists. While many anarchists reject participation, some do caste a vote by the choice of the lesser evil and argue for the need for greater democracy in our lives. But of course, evil is still evil.

Takver - October 2001          

Democracy: from the Greek 'Demos' meaning 'the people'. Democracy, then, is the equal participation of people in making the decisions affecting their lives. Everyone takes a direct share in social decision-making. How can this be done in Australia? Democracy is not representative government of the size we have at present. True democracy, as in the Greek city states, can only function on the local level -in neighbourhoods, through neighborhood meetings. The Greeks had also a council to make decisions between meetings of the polis. Individuals were selected by lot to serve on this council. Certainly this would encourage all members of the community taking an interest in political affairs, while being an effective barrier to people serving their own interests and appetites, and in curtailing corruption and bribery.

This form of political organisation would also entail a change in economical and social organisation to a much smaller scale. This would have very great beneficial ecological effect Social organisation based upon the bio-region--distinct biological/geographical areas autonomous in meeting all basic needs without exploitation and depletion of the local eco- system. Each bioregion may have one or dozens of neighborhoods The administration of the bioregion would be in the format of a confederation of neighborhood councils or meetings, and would be strictly limited in its power and accountable to the neighborhoods, through strictly mandated neighborhood delegates (perhaps chosen by lot). Neighborhoods would have the power of recall over these bioregional delegates. The confederations would have no power of themselves, but should be a subordinate in function to the autonomy of the neighborhoods.

The voter is a person who comes where s/he is summoned one day like a flunkey, to one who whistles for him/her as for a dog trained to obey, who comes on the said day only and not on any other day. S/he is a person who comes when authority says:

    The moment is here to sanction one more time a system established by others and for others than yourself. The moment is here to choose those who will be part of this system with or without the intention of modifying it; to choose those who, for contributing to the functioning of the machine that crushes the weak, will be paid in silver, in influence, in priveledges, in honors. The moment is here to put aside one more time the idea of revolt against the organisation that exploits you and to obey its authority. The moment is here to vote, that is to say, to make an act which signifies: I RECOGNISE YOUR LAWS.

It follows that any voter is a conservative, since the result of his/her vote is to contribute to making the system function with vigor.

Paraf Javal, The Absurdity of Politics - 1904

Experience shows in effect that everywhere and at all times the government - however popular it may have been at its origin - is ranged on the side of the most enlightened and richest class against the poorest and most numerous one; that after proving a few times that it is liberal, it becomes little by little exceptional, exclusive; finally, that, instead of sustaining liberty and equality amoung all, it works obstinately to destroy them, by virtue of its natural inclination to priveledge.

P. J. Proudhon, The General Idea of the Revolution in the Nineteenth Century - 1851

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Last modified: October 4, 2001

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