November 8, 2011
If you’re a voluntaryist, like myself, I’m sure that you’ve had some person at one time or another say to you, “If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain.” But that person’s logic is backwards. If I don’t accept something to begin with (in this case, the institution of government), what logic would it be on my part to have any sort of association and/or dealings with it that perpetuates its legitimacy—and then complain about it? If I don’t like Chinese food, I don’t go to Chinese restaurants. (And since the owners of the Chinese restaurants can’t come after me to force me to patronize their businesses, then there’s no need for me to complain about Chinese food.)
But if you do associate and/or have dealings with something, then there is a tacit understanding that you have accepted its conditions. For example: If you are a left-winger who believes in government and voting—but obviously didn’t vote for Bush—then when Bush was elected you had no right to complain; you’ve already agreed to the condition that you will accept the results of the election regardless of who wins. (Of course, a person can complain about certain aspects of the government in the same way that I can complain about some of the food in a restaurant that I do patronize.)
On the other hand, since I (as a voluntaryist) don’t accept the legitimacy of (nor even the need for) government to begin with, I have every right to complain about this inefficient, corrupt monopoly forcing itself on my personal being when I don’t even want the services that it provides.