Horwitz on Voting

Economist Steve Horwitz has this to say on his Facebook page,

I’m willing to bet my time spent writing and lecturing has turned dozens of people into libertarians, and some or many of whom actually vote. If so, then my time spent not voting and influencing ideas has an effect on the world of ideas and this election far greater than my own vote, or yours. So that is what I will do today instead of voting.

To be clear, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with voting. I just think there are far more effective ways of being an engaged citizen and protecting oneself and others against the foxes. Voting is neither the only nor most effective form of engaged citizenship. I will continue to teach, write, and speak, especially to public audiences, all of which are also ways of generating political change and guarding the henhouse from the foxes.

This relates to our perennial concern over the pre-political. Dr. Horwitz has a far greater influence over what people think and how they act–and therefore how they vote–because of his social and academic activities apart from casting his one vote, which he chooses not to do. John Adams would have called him an “aristocrat” in the sense that he exerts disproportionate but salutary influence on the society around him. Society, according to the conservative, needs such people to shape the pre-political toward ends that make good politics possible.

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Categories: 2012, Cultural renewal, Libertarianism | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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