Stop your preaching about voting – it relegates real struggle while supporting a sham that is destroying the world

There is a world beyond the ballot boxOne Glasgow AFed member writes:

Am probably not voting today. And I dare a single one of you to *seriously* tell me that’s because I don’t engage in politics. I might go along and chuck the greens a vote, but very firmly with my nose held and purely just to add to the proportion tallied against vaguely progressive politics. Elections are a sham and what we do in our every day life is a million times more important. In fact some argue that that elections act to entrench a system that I believe to be a part of why this world/society is such a frigging inhumane hole. So maybe not voting will be a more significant tally – of those disenfranchised from representative bollocks. And no, Labour winning is not progressive or better in any meaningful way. Though at least those who are gullible enough to vote for them are probably doing it for nice reasons. Unlike what an absolute selfish, heartless, stupid arsehole you’d have to be to actively vote Tory.

The thing that pisses me off most is those who tell me that I’m obligated or guilty if I choose to abstain from it. Some of those even acknowledge that the system is rigged, and yet still say we should engage! Just read a great comment on that : “If a race was rigged, you wouldn’t run it in the hope that you might make the organisers feel bad about illegitimately disqualifying you; if a game’s rules were unfair you wouldn’t play it and complain about how unfair it was. you find a different game, or you change the rules of that one.”

There’s a thing that happens when you’re vegetarian or vegan. You quietly order your dinner and don’t comment on anybody else’s, but anyway the meat eaters at the table start to chime in. Some of them are obv attempts to be friendly/assauge shame “I eat meat but I really enjoy vegetarian food too and have cut down on my meat consumption” whereas others (in my experience this is the absolute majority of comments) “I couldn’t give up meat. I love it too much. Vegetarians are so preachy.” And I try and ignore this and get on with my personal ethical choices, and wish they’d stick to theirs, or if they feel that guilty and defensive about it, try and get their absolution elsewhere. Because really, if you feel a nagging guilt that what you’re doing is wrong, and yet still do it just because you enjoy it, that’s pretty fucked up. Something is oppressive or not. Its fine to talk about how choices are compromised under capitalism – I would totally agree with you, and have similar qualms about not being vegan. But in that case don’t start pushing your meat into my face and telling me that its all ok. And if you’re fine about it, then why did you feel the need to bring it up with me in the first place?

Feels similar at election time. I don’t think I have a go at anybody about their political inaction for the 1824 days when there’s not an election. So why suddenly do I get all this bullshit around election time? This constant noise around the importance of voting plays just one purpose; it relegates down all the actual constructive politics people do in favour of something that is useless in ever effecting change.

Vote or don’t vote. I don’t care. But preaching about how important it is to keep the tories out, or how not voting is irresponsible is actively harming real moves to make actual progressive change. So STFU.

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