It is a waste of time and that’s what is so tragic about it.
Apathy is not the fault of the apathetic. Apathy is a response to a system that cannot be effected in a meaningful way.
A large crux of this issue is we don’t have terms and concepts to really understand what is happening. If you have a system of moving parts that interact with each other… there are certain rules about that. It’s strange but there are fundamental concepts that arise when you increase somethings complexity. The weirder thing is that it doesn’t matter the particulars about how a system is moving, just that it is and has reached sufficient complexity. What I mean is water isn’t really water until enough of it is gathered together. The difference conceptually between a half dozen water molecules and a half trillion is immense.
This is all very abstract I know but its really part of why voting is so damn worthless. It is simply not a sufficient means of participation, the entire reason we vote representatives in is because at the time of creation there was no feasible way to get all interested parties together to cooperate. I mean logistically it would have been insane with the technology to even fathom doing it any other way.
Representatives worked when we were much less connected and much much smaller. The issue with representatives is not that they wield their power poorly. There is way too much fucking power. The average citizen has never been so worthless. Human labour is barely worth anything. Our governments are bigger and represent a larger number of people than ever before.
Voting worked when the orders of magnitude were lower. There was good reasons to implement it at the time. Take a step back and try and see history through a lens that recognizes nations as very new and not overly tested. Why do we have the current economic system we do? Because 500 years ago the resource and technological stage was set for insane expansion. The first nations to tap those undiscovered powers had an entire planet to try and conquer. The exact size wasn’t known. We like to think of story as this narrative, that the glorious or horrifying english sailed around purposefully conquering the planet. However they were merely the eventual biggest ones to stumble successfully onto the right combination of actions to fit their environment. They didn’t come to dominate the world with anymore purpose than the shark species chose to dominate the ocean niche.
So our current way of existing has a lot more to do with how a bunch of apes with new boom sticks and choo choo boats acted, and a lot less to do with science or rational thinking. Nation states are a concept born out of a time where various interested parties were zipping around trying to secure resources for very rich people. They have never ever ever been about people gathered together for each other, that has simply happened because its what people do.
So the entire system is a waste of time for representation. As a design its fucking hilarious, if it didn’t control my life I would swear it couldn’t maintain itself… which it can’t in the long run, nothing can. I do believe we are actually witnessing the death throws of some of these concepts. Again not because of the concepts themselves but how they fit in the greater workings, they do not work with the new niches that are emerging. The world is no longer a disconnected wilderness where you can pay top dollar to bully for new territory, territory stopped trading hands majorly long ago. Then it was about economics and abstract concepts. Now in the connected world we live in, its much much harder to hate someone from another country when you can play starcraft with them. What’s the point to war if it does not change territory, ideologies, or economies? I haven’t heard of a war that does anything but destroy those things for a long time. Prior to the world wars but that was prior to the second stage of nationalism as well. (I think the world wars have more to do with todays economic climate than we discuss)
The term democracy is meaningless. If a term can mean anything it also means nothing. So lets not view our collection of people through that lens. Lets ask ourselves if people can have an effect on their lives and the lives of those around them. Is a communities immediate surroundings more controlled by them or by groups of people miles away? Can someone who may be unskilled but willing, able to participate in some meaningful manner (accounting for socio economic barriers)? Over and over I cannot see a way in which people can participate in the country democratically.
Voting does not make a difference because it cannot make a difference, the rules have changed and we have not kept up with it “democratically”. Every Canadian except those at the top should be very interested in having a conversation about moving well beyond our current government setup.
The size of this system makes it absolutely impossible to police using conventional means. No watch dog group or privacy advocates will ever be able to shine enough light. Then the issue is made worst by obfuscation, the tendency for people with exclusive information to obscure that information so that their own value is increased relative to the information. Corruption is caused by a lack of transparency, the size of the system ensures that within the system there cannot be transparency because the system cannot support it. It’s a paradox, you could never pay for the amount of transparency in a capital system to keep it from becoming corrupt. Because as you pay for things you introduce money into the system, the money itself is the system so the act of enforcing transparency makes it less transparent. Because the lack of transparency comes from issues with the size of the system so increasing the system makes it worst.
Since I’ve written all of this out I’ll give an off the cuff method of maintaining privacy that could actually work in this technological market. There needs to be a system that has complete transparency, which up until recently has been absolutely impossible. Now however we have the internet, giving all of us access to one source of information. Think wikipedia, human knowledge with one consistent source. I’m sure you’ve already spotted a flaw. If you ran a government where any citizen could participate, how could you prevent power users and coalitions from not just taking over, changing things and controlling the servers to cover it up. The one difference it would need beyond wikipedia is a backup policy. Everything that is done is recorded as per usual, however any citizen can also download a current copy of the data. Meaning that no one can ever be quite sure who has what data from what days. If you tried to do something and cover it up there would be no way to ensure that someone, somewhere did not have a previous version. It’s not free from abuse but the transparency is a different concept entirely.
We have the ability to do it now, yet we don’t. We don’t because before we were born something was set in motion and it has just kept going. Help make that change, stop voting and stop thinking that people who don’t vote are doing something morally wrong. Voting is consent, it sends the message that you believe on some level change can come from this system. It absolutely cannot for the reasons I listed above. Therefore the better choice is to join in the silent majority who already know what bullshit all of this is. We cannot make change while we cling to the status quo.
TL;DR Voting might not be so hot for complicated reasons, sorry for the word vomit.
It is a waste of time and that’s what is so tragic about it.