Mark Twain Was Right: If Voting Mattered, They Wouldn't Let Us Do It
There's only one way to make your voice heard (and it's not by protesting)
Democracy is in major trouble.
For the 15th year in a row, global freedom continued its steep decline, which Freedom House says includes “guarantees of free and fair elections, the rights of minorities, freedom of the press, and the rule of law.”
In other words, we’re at the start of an unstoppable great reset to serfdom.
And it’s not like voting will fix things.
Because voting is a complete waste of time.
Voting is nothing more than an elaborate charade to give the brainwashed masses the sense that they have a real choice.
But it’s a false dichotomy.
You can either have the right-wing Republicans or the right-wing Democrats.
As Charles Spurgeon said:
“Of two evils, choose neither.”
So vote third party?
You’re not listening.
Voting won’t solve our declining freedom problem.
Because Mark Twain was right:
If voting mattered, they wouldn’t let us do it.
Here’s the major problem with voting:
It only works if you live in a democracy.
What is a democracy?
A democracy is a nation where each and every single citizen gets one (1) equal vote on every (every) issue.
And no nation has come even close to democracy.
Athens only let about 20% of their richest men vote.
The Roman “Republic” was ruled by a dozen or so rich Senators at its best, by two consuls at the median, and by tyrannical Caesars at its worst.
America wasn’t a democracy when Blacks were considered three-fifths of Whites, when the female half couldn’t vote, or while the electoral college exists alongside ongoing voter disenfranchisement and unlimited corporate campaign finance.
Over in the UK, the wildly-corrupt Windsor family has used an anti-democratic medieval mechanism called Queen’s Consent to block or change more than 1,000 Parliamentary laws in the past fifty years alone.
Don’t even get me started on how anti-democratic Canada is.
It’s almost as if elites actually hate democracy… and want the people to hate it too.
Sadly, it’s working extremely well.
Pretty much everyone hates democracy.
People on the right are terrified that 51% of the population will take away their guns and force their daughters to believe they are boys.
People on the left are terrified that 51% of the population will force them to keep their babies.
People on both sides are worried that 51% will legally steal all their stuff.
So everyone sticks with the status quo — letting a handful of hyper-wealthy corporate elites rape the commons in exchange for preventing open civil war.
Corporatists are perfectly happy to let these mass delusions continue to spread unchecked by the reality that democracy would actually be awesome:
No more corrupt politicians… no more divisive political parties… an accountable bureaucracy to execute the will of the people… a charter of rights and freedoms to protect individuals… and a democratic judiciary to enforce said charter.
It’s ironic that we’re at a point in history where right-wingers think democracy is communist and left-wingers think democracy is fascist.
That’s why real democracy is ideal — everyone will hate it equally.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Chris Hedges is right:
“There is no way in the American political system to vote against the interest of Goldman Sachs. It’s impossible.”
He’s right. Anything outside the corporatist viewpoint is considered unsensible, unacceptable, radical, or unthinkable.
After all, nearly everyone in America works full-time for corporations— they work grueling day jobs for corporations so they can pay rent or interest to banking corporations and buy food and overpriced energy from monopoly corporations and hope that their investments in those same corporations via their pension funds will allow them to cease toiling in the weakest years of their miserable corporate-controlled lives.
So why bother with the charade of campaigns and elections?
Because the adorable, ever-hopeful, starry-eyed masses somehow still believe they’re “making change.”
Because the trappings and rituals of voting and elections give the corporate oligarchy the veneer of legitimacy.
We need to get this into the heads of every single American: The United States is not a democracy. It is a dictionary definition corporate oligarchy.
And when you understand that having your voice heard in a corporate oligarchy is different from having your voice heard in a democracy, you can actually start to make some real progress for the first time in a generation.
How to actually make your voice heard
Corporations don’t vote.
Corporations can’t vote.
Because they don’t have arms.
They don’t protest, either.
Because they aren’t humans, despite the fact that the wildly corrupt Supreme Court says they are entitled to “free speech” in the form of unlimited campaign contributions.
So if corporations can’t vote in elections, how did they come to rule the nation and the world?
Simply: They learned to vote another way.
Corporations vote with money:
They sponsor corrupt political parties who will later do their will
They bankroll election campaigns for corrupt politicians who will later do their will
They invest heavily in lobby-bribing politicians once they’re in office
They spend heavily on fake grassroots organizations to sway public opinion (looking at you, Airbnb)
They buy media outlets and cultural institutions to tilt culture to their conversation
That’s how you have a voice in a corporate oligarchy. Like everything else in late-stage capitalism, you simply pay for it.
You can’t buy power in a democracy.
But in an oligarchy, you just have to be the highest bidder.
United we stand, divided we fall
But of course, dear reader, you see the problem with re-capturing our common sovereignty from our corporate overlords within an oligarchy.
You have to be able to outbid the oligarchs for power.
It costs roughly $5 billion to win an election in America and hold it for four years — chump change when you’re a trillion-dollar monopoly.
Far harder when you’re one of the millions making the $7.25 per hour minimum wage, or the 116,317,170 renters getting fleeced by land-lorders, or the tens of millions of homeowners trying to pay off $18 trillion in bankster mortgage debt.
That’s why we have to bid for power together.
Beating the oligarchs requires a two-pronged strategy:
Collectively bankrupt the corrupt powers. This will mean a nationwide boycott of all corporations that sponsor parties, bankroll politicians, lobby Congress, start fake grassroots organizations, or monopolize media. This will mean only shopping locally, from individuals or cooperatives or not-for-profits or for-benefits.
Collectively purchase governmental power. This will mean personally and regularly donating to a new democratic party, collectively bankrolling new pro-democracy politicians, lobbying said politicians to work themselves out of a job by implementing real democracy, and democratizing all media.
Monopolists and anarcho-libertarians hate both of these ideas, of course.
Welcome to the free market, corporate elites.
Democracy is the only true free market — it’s time we destroy Earth’s supply of corporate tyrants and increase demand for widespread human freedom.
Jared A. Brock is an award-winning biographer, PBS documentarian, and the cell-free founder of the popular futurist blog Surviving Tomorrow, where he provides thoughtful people with contrarian perspectives on the corporatist anti-culture. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Guardian, Smithsonian, USA Today, and TIME Magazine, and he has traveled to more than forty countries including North Korea. Join 21,000+ people who follow him on Medium, Twitter, and Substack.