A relative in Singapore called and said “Happy Election Day.” Somewhat in jest. I have relatives and friends begging me to vote this time–Republican of course–”to kick those Marxists out of office.” Yes, to replace them with the Republicans, who a few years ago started two wars, added Medicare Prescription socialism, and began the Bankster Bailouts. Yeah.
Last year I took my 6-year old with me to the polls and let him watch me cast a blank ballot. But a friend on Facebook recently admonished me:
Any participation in the voting process, even casting a blank ballot in protest, is acknowledging, perpetuating, and giving legitimacy to the state and its system.
Withdraw from the state. Don’t vote at all. Embrace agorism. Spread freedom like a virus.
And of course the anti-voting position is common among many anarchist libertarians. I’m still not completely convinced that it’s immoral or unlibertarian to vote–especially just casting a blank ballot–but I’m leaning in that direction; and I certainly think there is no duty to vote. One libertarian I know thinks that while it’s problematic to vote for a candidate for a given office, it’s less problematic to vote on a ballot measure or law itself (like legalizing drugs or lowering taxes). Not sure, but I don’t think I’m going to vote today.
The great Liberty magazine, edited by R.W. Bradford from 1987 to 2005 and since then by Stephen Cox, has decided to abandon paper and become a completely online journal. This is a harbinger of things to come, as the publishing world adapts to the advent of the Internet and digital information. My own journal, Libertarian Papers, was founded in 2009 as an online journal; and, perhaps presaging things to come, Liberty‘s entire archive was recently put online on Mises.org. Cox himself, a brilliant writer, is also the heroic co-editor (with the brilliant Paul Cantor) of the critically acclaimed Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture–published in free online epub and pdf formats by the Mises Institute. The November 2010 issue of Liberty contains the following editorial:
From the Editor
I want to make an announcement about an important change in Liberty. After our next issue — December 2010 — Liberty will cease to be a print journal. Thereafter it will appear online, in a free, fully revised website that will carry features, reviews, reflections, comments from readers, and a complete archive of all the issues we have published since our founding in 1987.
This is a big change, and it brings both happy and unhappy thoughts. Unhappy, because we all value the printed word and the familiar appearance of Liberty. Happy, because online publication will enable our authors’ contributions to appear more frequently, and closer to the events on which they comment. And I predict that an online site will bring us more readers.