Title: When someone invites you to vote, JUST SAY NO!
Author: anon.
Date: 1992
Notes: Fifth Estate #340, Autumn 1992

They’re hee-ere! Yes, folks, it’s the quadrennial electoral charade where power-seeking charlatans attempt to craft tricky speeches and programs designed to convince people to abandon common sense and reason and elect them to political office.

Although one of the fast-talking money boys glad-handing the populace will eventually attain the position of chief executive officer of the Empire, he will attain this status only through the participation of a minority, one growing smaller with each election.

In the primary elections in our country earlier this year, only a minuscule 15% made it to the polls, but still the media trumpeted the results hoping if they blew hard enough no one would notice the declining participation. Will it finally fall off to zero before they admit the degree of apathy and disgust for the electoral process present amidst the population?

In the last presidential election, Bush was touted by the media as having won in a “landslide,” yet he received only 28% of the possible votes since over 50% of the potential electorate didn’t bother to leave their homes on election day. It is possible that even fewer will go to the polls this year.

Identical Corporate and Imperial Imperatives

It certainly would be gratifying to see the grotesque Bush go down to a richly deserved defeat given the enormity of his crimes, but a Clinton presidency would ultimately give rise to the same features as currently exist. Both major party candidates represent identical corporate and imperial imperatives and neither has the slightest intention of altering the basic definitions of the state and capitalism, nor for that matter, even dealing with the current surface mess of the system. Previously, the political apparatus functioned as the administrative arm of the capitalist class, catering very specifically to its needs. Now, the system is so corrupt, the candidates so craven and opportunistic, and the economy so beyond the control of its handlers that both Bush and Clinton have no real program other than their desire to be elected.

Many people understandably long for the end to the string of hideous Republican administrations, but it can easily be forgotten that the seemingly mild presidency of Jimmy Carter began the austerity cutbacks and military buildup the Reagan-Bush regimes continued with a vigor. Carter also re-instituted the military draft registration program and committed the U.S. to a first-strike nuclear capacity. Similarly, Clinton can be expected to do his damage to people’s desire for economic justice, peace and ecology just as have his predecessors in both parties.

Many people contend that Clinton is a necessary choice if for no other reason than the election will determine who will appoint the next Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court as they decide such crucial decisions as abortion. However, it should be remembered that what has stilled the hand of those who would end a woman’s right to reproductive freedom is the mass-based pro-choice movement. The first reason the Justices cited when they voted to not overturn Rowe v. Wade this year was that to do so would “bring discredit upon the court.” Legal precedents be damned, they knew a shit storm of political fury would descend upon them if they overturned the 1973 ruling.

Bread and Circuses for the Masses

All of the power of the ruling class resides in extra-parliamentary forms and so should ours. The rulers know voting is a sham—bread and circuses for the masses—and that their real power is exercised within the corporations and the banks, the security apparatuses and the military, institutions which allow solely for elite control and in which democracy is a laughable slogan fit only for mass consumption.

Our power is in disrupting those institutions by confronting them directly in the streets, in our propaganda which exposes their malevolent character, and in our communities of resistance which subvert loyalty to the dominant institutions and myth, and which envision new ways of life which would bury the state and capitalism.

So, fuck voting; we’ve got better things to do!


1. He thinks Bush is too soft on Castro.

2. He thinks Bush is too hard on the Israelis.

3. He supports Bush on Iraq.

4. He wants 100,000 more cops.

5. He supports the death penalty.

6. 70% of his campaign is financed by big corporations.

7. He smoked pot, dodged the draft and isn’t proud of it.

8. He is the darling of the garbage and toxic waste incineration industries.

9. His running mate’s wife supports rock and roll censorship.

10. He wants business as usual for the Empire.


1. He slaughtered hundreds of thousands in Iraq for oil.

2. He slaughtered thousands in Panama after his drug running cohort no longer served his purposes.

3. He supported and armed Saddam Hussein and Manuel Noriega along with other wretched dictators to support U.S. interests.

4. He and Reagan slaughtered hundreds of thousands of peasants in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980s.

5. He and Reagan looted the poor, workers and middle-class to enrich the already wealthy.

6. 70% of his campaign is financed by big corporations.

7. He wants Constitutional amendments to abolish abortion and to allow prayer in schools.

8. He and his party cater to the country’s most vicious homophobes, racists, religious fanatics and woman-haters.

9. He is a millionaire.

10. He wants business as usual for the Empire.


1. If voting could change anything it would be illegal.

2. Voting only encourages power seekers.

3. Voting is one of the few official acts that is not required.

4. “The voter is a man who comes where he is summoned one day like a flunky, to one who whistles for him as for a dog trained to obey, who comes on the said day only and not on any other day.” —Paraf-Javal

5. Picking one’s rulers is humiliating.

6. Voting means you consent to being ruled.

7. Voting even for the “lesser of the two evils” still means voting for evil (or the evil of the two lessers!).

8. No matter who you vote for, government always wins.

9. The cops can never be voted out of office.

10. Voting means business as usual for the Empire.


1. Dream.

2. Play.

3. Sleep.

4. Read.

5. Write.

6. Love.

7. Listen.

8. Talk.

9. Walk.

10. Stop business as usual for the Empire.