We’re having an election in Australia and I’m finding it pretty hard to care.
More and more it seems that voting is not merely futile but counter-productive. We all know that whichever way we vote it’s not going to make a difference. When we vote we’re like the gambler who knows the game is rigged but he plays anyway because it’s the only game in town. We know we can’t win but we can’t give up that illusion that maybe this time it will work. This time it will make a difference. This time we won’t get betrayed. But we get betrayed anyway.
The futility of voting is not the problem. We do lots of things that are futile. The problem with voting is that we’re not making a choice Party X and Party Y (which are both the same anyway). What we’re doing is casting a vote in favour of a corrupt system. What we’re doing is lending legitimacy to a system that has no actual legitimacy. It’s a system that was never intended to be anything other than an illusion, a way of making us think we had political power when in fact we don’t. When we vote we are in effect saying that we’re satisfied with the system. We’re happy to continue to live in a world of illusions.
We convince ourselves that by voting we can somehow change things for the better, even if only in an infinitesimally small way. But we are actually making things worse, no matter which way we vote.