Cenocracy: A New Government Perspective
Is It Rational To Vote
Julia Maskivker

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The present article was culled from the Aeon website under this title: Given how little effect you can have, is it rational to vote? It was edited by Nigel Warburton.

It is placed here not with an attempt to plagiarize, but to offer a means by which readers who come to the Cenocracy.org site might have another flavor of the difference in opinions with respect to the rationale of "to vote or not to vote... that is the question." It is gathered that the author is basing her argument on the justification for voting by way of an analogy which clearly misses the objective be expressed by those who think voting under the current frame of government is a waste of time. The act of non-voting for many is a means by which they can acquire, even if by illusion, some semblance of being in control of their vote that is taken from them and tossed into a trash can when a collective vote of the people can be dismissed because of the Electoral College practice in the United States. Participating in a system that is clearly rigged, is absurd. Voting within the current parameters of the government is little more than giving in to a regime that needs to be replaced. And this "replacement" is not to be by the currency of musical chairs being played out. Changing one person for another such as a woman for a man, a black for a white, a Moslem for a Christian, an Hispanic for a White, a Native American for a Latino, a Socialist for a Democrat, a Communist for a Socialist, etc., does not solve social problems when the problems are endemic with the type of phony democratic system being used. It is an appreciable hypocrisy to persist in the practice of a voting game that is rigged and the government is not itself altered to be more responsive and responsible to the citizenry. To argue for a continued participation in such a rigged system suggests the author is participating in her own type of political maneuvering so that she might profit by effecting ulterior motives that are not beneficial to the people in either the short or long run.

Her Analogy is a convoluted way of using intellectualization to rationalize an irrationality in an effort to defend a position akin to those in the distant past who used various techniques in proving the guilt of a person declared as a witch, by way of an institutionalized "official" Inquisition by a titled church figure who found only innocence in those who died under torturous circumstances in a given era. Instead of using physical apparatus to evoke some compliance of those in authority, many of those in authoritative positions today seek to get compliance by making their views a requirement for receiving an acceptable (favorable) commendation. Ms. Maskivker is using the same type of twisted mentality assumed to be an irrefutable logic amongst her peer group, like a doctrine of infallibility once embraced by the Catholic Church. By adopting a dichotomous perspective to an obvious blunder of interpretation and analogical explication, she in effect projects the image of a rebellious teenager's advocacy linked to the hubris of an immaturity by way of a lack of experience affected by a judgment lacking in the necessary wisdom acquired by many in their own respective scholarships, representing a mediocrity of intelligibility commonly known as having the mindset of a herd follower.

For far too long, the accepted wisdom among scholars of politics has been that the interests of the individual and the interests of society are not in harmony when it comes to voting. The American economist Anthony Downs, in his foundational book An Economic Theory of Democracy (1957), argued that a truly rational individual, who knows that her vote is highly unlikely to tip the outcome in favour of her preferred candidate, should not bother to cast a ballot. On this view of human rationality, an independent action that carries no instrumental value for the person who acts is essentially foolish, justifiable only by he sense of pride or communion with others that it creates in her.

his is fine, perhaps even compelling, as an esoteric argument. But taken to its logical extreme, this classical account of rationality would imply that nobody should ever vote. This outcome would gut democratic governance of its central regulating mechanism. Society would be left worse off, even if each citizen were spared the apparently pointless expense of time and energy involved in a trip to the ballot box. Two facts are missing from the classical view: that elections are ultimately cooperative ventures, and that the rationality of participating in them depends on more than an individual-level cost-benefit analysis of the effort involved in each pull of a voting-machine lever or crossing of a ballot paper. An individual's true interest in voting is inextricably intertwined with the interests of the polity as a whole.

In this, voting is not fundamentally different from many other actions. Failure to participate in a collective endeavour is fundamentally irrational whenever it risks contributing to outcomes contrary to our own basic interests. We rely on cooperation to solve a range of pressing challenges, from global warming and extreme poverty to preventable disease. Few question the rationality of minimising our individual carbon footprints, for example, or individually deciding to boycott companies that rely on child labour. No one person who engages in such behaviour will individually solve the climate crisis or eliminate the exploitation of children. But it is still rational to undertake individual actions that contribute to a collective effort likely to have desirable effects for humanity as a whole.

Date of Origination: Sunday, 2nd February, 2020... 4:33 AM
Date of Initial Posting: Sunday, 25th August 2019... 7:25 AM
Latest Update: Monday, 3rd January 2020... 6:01 AM