Why are taxes compulsory, but voting is voluntary?
A democratic state has two things that make it or break it: common wealth and common will. Even communist states were self entitled democratic, people’s democracy meant that it was assumed that there was a common will.
However, what is strange is that everybody cares about the money much more than about the beings. I mean, if I fear the state for not paying my taxes, why does the state let me, the citizen, be completely uninvolved civically and politically?
Right now the democracies of the world try hard to build their common wealth but lack common will. US, UK, Western Europe, Eastern Europe everywhere you look there is one pattern: a complete split of opinion and a divisive discourse from representatives.
In my democracy, the participation to the common will should be as compulsory as taxes.
And, while tax evasion is punished by fines and jail, civic evasion should be punished by exclusion from any kind of support from government. That means no free social, medical or special assistance, no free support from the state whatsoever for unmotivated failure to cast a vote once every two years. I am open to ideas about what should be the best way to punish against failure to vote, but there has to be one.
Basically we’re all complaining that “those stupid ignorant simpletons”, who are never us, have hijacked our democracies and dictate who runs the joint. However, may I ask, who teaches them? Do you think it is a natural reflex to read on wikipedia? I can assure you it is not.
How come the educational system is so little concerned with teaching and explaining how the state works? Why is it such a secret? Why do we need to be college educated to be presented with a clear picture of the games we’re born into? People have no clue how a country exists, how money exist and so on.
Yet all we care about is the cash. The hard cold cash from the hard cold taxes. No one cares if you sleep your way through the world, pay the state the money it asks and make as little change as possible. One is born into a never ending stream of work that will effectively rip off the all too touted humanity and leave behind a predator with a constantly tickled survival instinct but numbed down in actions by cultural brainwashing. With this conditioning we get productivity, and after the economy game drained any trace of participation, the tax system drains any trace of independence.
You are forced to participate for the creation of only half the system, the material part. However, where the interesting part starts, were the power is created, well, no one encourages you to do participate. And I don’t mean campaign calls for electorate to go out and vote, that’s zero.
I mean actual education for participation and legislated obligation to participate. But the ruling class is very happy with voter apathy, even when their faction loses.
Another proposal: in order to dismantle this ruling caste that is now effectively chocking almost every democratic system, we should lobby and picket for free paid civic leave. Civic leave should be paid time off for civic activities: attending city council, civic volunteering, civic learning systems, confronting authorities, checking with representatives and so on.
Because we need to understand, the ruling class is not a conspiracy, it is a group of people united by the conjuncture of sharing the big pot of power. What they care for first is not more power, but preserving the access to power. Only after that is safeguarded, do they make any effort for accessing more of it.
That is why democracy seems to fail so hard with Brexit and Trump. In my country everyone is blaming the old for voting the corrupt, and the young for not voting. My opinion is that not voting is worse than voting for a bad idea. But we need to counter this by the way of flanking: make voting compulsory and encourage citizens to participate to democratic life outside of the voting process.
Everybody talks about the stupid idea of direct democracy. This idea is stupid. It clearly is wrong to have nationwide voting for every single problem, not to mention the overhead of having to campaign every single lawmaking action.
Instead, we should talk more and act on encouraging participation. We need to incentivise learning about how the world works. We need to have people feel in control and decide in an informed manner their future, because, after all, that’s what democracy is for: crafting a collective future.
Do you agree with compulsory voting? How about social penalties for failing to vote? Should the state make private enterprise pay the people for civic involvement?