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Indeed, voting for somebody or something is no affirmation,
that is a spin put out by those who are the direct benficiaries
of voting.

Perhaps in small groups, voting has merit but it almost none
at all in giant populations where there is little contact between
voters and the voted for.

Study the history of voting to see how a tipping into misconception
occurs when the voting group enlarges beyond direct, frequent
contact with the voted for.

Voting as part of a large group is a distancing from responsibility,
by voters and by the voted for. Not for nothing do most potential
US voters don't bother -- there's no there there.

This is not to suggest that large-membership NGOs are free
from this consequential evasion of responsibility, shiftlessness
is not limited to politicians and their avowed supporters.

Briefly, now and then, there is interest in direct democracy, but
customarily the advocates of that are corrupted by success at
gaining overmany adherents -- too many to meet face to face, to
get to know, to argue with, to listen to and learn from, to understand
and partly surmount one's ignorant isolation, to discourse with in
the best of times, to ass-ream when vainglorious arrogance arises,
to re-enthuse when the political task seems thankless and hopeless
and futile, to laugh at when ridiculosity gains hold on the ones
you once believed were most trustworthy, and, well, now this
is verging on diagnosis of the apathetic, most regrettable, demise
of Spoons, a time for sorrow and much delayed appreciation for
that valiant effort of people I know only slightly, and never voted
for but blamed for my ill temper regularly, devotedly encouraged,
neigh, nay, seduced by their high-minded masochism.

 


At 06:10 PM 11/29/2004 +0100, you wrote:

 >>>>Subject: Re: [a-g] tourist
 >>>>Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2004 09:50:45 +0100 (CET)
 >>>>
 >>>>This make NGOs so problematic for me. Greenpeace, Amnesty etc.
 >>>>They have no roots, nobody has voted for them, but they have a
 >>>>voice.
 >>>>Why french nuclear tests, why Pinochet, who is the next hostis
 >>>>humanitatis?
 >>>>
 >>>>You can misuse everything.
 >
 >>
 >>I have to say I strongly disagree here. By 'roots' do you mean a
 >>sovereign state? And, if so, why is that system of 'rootedness' more
 >>legitimate than a non-governmental one? There are any number of
 >>possibilities for rootedness that do not rely on state-based
 >>sovereignty, thus the very idea of a non-governmental organization.
 >>
 >>Further, sure, nobody voted for them - but nobody voted for Kafka to
 >>write *Der Prozess*, nobody voted for Don Delillo to write
 >>*Underworld*, nobody voted for Derrida to focus so intently on
 >>Rousseau, etc (at least to my knowledge). And yet those people have
 >>'voices'. Kafka, in fact, was at least reasonably rootless, and he
 >>received no votes to become a writer - should we stop republishing
 >>him? By your criteria: 'He has no roots, nobody has voted
 >>for him, yet he has a voice.'
 >>
 >>This would actually seem to be half the beauty in reading him. This
 >>would seem to be half the beauty in a group like Amnesty
 >>International.
 >>
 >>It would seem, in fact, that waiting around for other people to vote
 >>for whether or not you can speak is not a very productive way to spend
 >>time.
 >>What's wrong with making your voice heard without others' approval,
 >>without their 'vote'? If you don't like what Greenpeace is saying,
 >>after all - ie. 'Why french nuclear tests'? - just start your own
 >>group. You don't need my vote; or, conversely, you already have my
 >>vote simply by default. That's the beauty.
 >>
 >>Speak away.
 >>
 >>The other danger is what just happened in the United States: so US
 >>liberalism doesn't have the right to a voice now? It wasn't 'voted
for' in the States, at least in sufficient numbers and in possession of
 >>sufficient corrupt voting machine manufacturers; and so, according to
 >>your email, if I'm reading it correctly, US liberalism should not have
 >>a voice.
 >>
 >>No one voted for you to send your email (as far as I'm aware); and I,
 >>for instance, received no votes at all in the US presidential election
 >> - should I not be allowed to speak now? Because I'm rootless?
 >>
 >>One would actually think that rootless nomadism outside the system of
 >>imperial permissions would be precisely where the real critiques could
 >>come from. 'The avant-garde', almost by definition, is operating
 >>beyond the need for the general public to vote and/or sanction its
 >>activities; and this is not a problem.
 >>
 >>But perhaps you really do have to be inside, to be an apparatchik to
 >>get things done. Perhaps you really do have to sit around and wait for
 >>peoples' votes - just look at John Kerry. He'll get a lot done now.
 >>
 >>Until that question can be answered for sure, however, let's hope we
 >>can all continue with voices - and organize and introduce new events
 >>into history, whatever that may be - without having to wait for the
 >>imperial vote. Without having to wait for any vote at all.
 >>
 >>That would even seem to be one of the criteria for 'being
 >>avant-garde'.
 >>
 >>This, indeed, raises a whole host of further questions: what is the
 >>relationship between the avant-garde and democracy? Where, between
 >>those two terms, does action fall? How deep does democracy need to go
 >>to be *total* - ie. can I get another cup of coffee now, or do I need
 >>your vote? At what point does total democracy - ie. no, you cannot get
 >>more coffee now without the public's vote; or, no, Herr Kafka, you
 >>must stop writing now, we have voted against you; or, no, Greenpeace,
 >>you must stop your activities, Bush and Ashcroft have voted against
 >>you - turn into totalitarianism?
 >>
 >>What is the relationship of the avant-garde to this precise transition
 >>point?
 >>
 >>Is Amnesty International, by default, a member of the avant-garde?
 >>
 >>What is the role of state-based sovereignty in the pursuit of a
 >>non-democratic voice? Is the avant-garde related to piracy?
 >>
 >>Etc.
 >>

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