This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

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Voting for Hitler

There’s another objection to voter abstinence that goes something like this: “What if you could cast the deciding vote against Hitler? Would you vote then?”

This is one of those “Gotcha!” scenarios people love to use, but the scenario itself makes little sense. First, it seems to imply that we, in this imaginary situation, already know what Hitler is going do once he has power, which is impossible. But let’s play along anyway…

If I found myself in a situation where Hitler was about to be voted into power, and where I also knew what was going to come of it, the proper solution would not involve voting. It would involve a bullet to his head. There’s certainly no moral problem with that course of action, and it actually seems to me like the safest bet. Why risk half-measures at a time like that? Moreover, shooting him would not require that I sacrifice my principles in any way.

Then the person will probably say something like, “Okay, but what if you couldn’t get to him?” and bla bla bla, and things may continue on in this way forever, because there is, as they say, no limit to the imagination, considering this is an impossible scenario.

The problem with these fantastical devices is that they are designed to limit your possible actions to one option only, and then you are supposed to draw a morale out of that rhetorical trap. But in real life, there are always choices. Usually there are a lot of them, as long as you aren’t so stuck in a specific mental paradigm that you can’t see them.

Additionally, it would be very easy to turn this whole thing back on the other person. After all, the scenario as presented is actually the best possible refutation of voting that anyone could ask for. After all, they just admitted a scenario where Hitler is about to be voted in and where it is apparently known that he will do horrible things. A system that allows Hitler to be voted in is already a refutation of itself. This isn’t a proof that voting is necessary; it’s a proof that voting is dangerous.

The frightening part is that this never seems to occur to the voting advocate. They never make the connection between their regime and Hitler’s. They aren’t identical, granted, but there are distinct similarities.

Voting advocates always take the legitimacy of the voting system for granted, regardless of what sort of monster it is capable of producing. It doesn’t matter that the system can create–and in fact has created–an Adolf Hitler. The only real way to prevent dictator-maniacs getting into power is not to vote against them. It is to undermine the very system that is capable of producing them.

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