What happened to “You’ve Got to Stop Voting – by Mark E. Smith”

There was a post by … I think her name is terri (, and she posted an article on firedoglake that was “You’ve Got to Stop Voting” by Mark E. Smith.  This was posted on yesterday or the day before.  I commented.  And when I went back there to check up on it, it’s vanished: (

So what happened to it?  Why was it removed?  Can anyone please explain this?

Any real info would be appreciated.  And if any FDL staffer who knows what happened, can you please explain?


So, the original article is at

I think it’s worth talking about. I believe it’s worth the discourse.  You don’t have to feel the same way, but there’s no harm in reading it.

The most common activist strategies, such as street demonstrations, protests, etc., rarely seem to bring about any change in government. There is only one nonviolent tactic that has been proven to work. Recently I asked the new president of a local activist group that had banned me from speaking, if I would be allowed to speak under the new leadership. I explained that I’m an election boycott advocate. The reply I got was:

“So my question is – how does NOT voting change anything? I can see actually writing in someone you believe in – but not voting simply is giving up.”

I decided to answer the question as thoroughly as I could. Here’s what I wrote,

Next is info that I was not aware of and which I thought was interesting.

South Africa endured many years of violence under the Apartheid regime. Many people and countries worldwide boycotted Apartheid, but the US government insisted on supporting the Apartheid regime, saying that while the US abhorred Apartheid, the regime was the legitimate government of South Africa. Then the Apartheid regime held another election. No more than 7% of South Africans voted. Suddenly everything changed. No longer could the US or anyone else say that the Apartheid regime had the consent of the governed. That was when the regime began to make concessions. Suddenly the ANC, formerly considered to be a terrorist group trying to overthrow a legitimate government, became freedom fighters against an illegitimate government. It made all the difference in the world, something that decades more of violence could never have done.
In Cuba, when Fidel Castro’s small, ragged, tired band were in the mountains, the dictator Batista held an election (at the suggestion of the US, by the way). Only 10% of the population voted. Realizing that he had lost the support of 90% of the country, Batista fled. Castro then, knowing that he had the support of 90% of the country, proceeded to bring about a true revolution.
In Haiti, when the US and US-sponsored regimes removed the most popular party from the ballot, in many places only 3% voted. The US had to intervene militarily, kidnap Aristide, and withhold aid after the earthquake to continue to control Haiti, but nobody familiar with the situation thought that the US-backed Haitian government had the consent of the governed or was legitimate. 

Boycotting elections alone will not oust the oligarchy, but it is the only proven non-violent way to delegitimize a government.

Now this is interesting.  At least to me.  It does bring up interesting ideas of why not to vote and the effect it could have.  And frankly, this may the only real way to de-legitimize this wholly corrupt government.  Because I would not bet on any of the other ways that have been tried so far.  Occupy only highlights the rampant corruption and destruction of civil liberties, but what change did it have?  What substantial effect did it have, ie. did it make anything better?  THe corruption is still fully entrenched and only getting worse.

The writer than goes on to discuss the common arguments to the idea of not voting and I believe this is also informative and worth pondering:

Here are some of the most common canards that political party operatives use to argue against not voting:

1. Not voting is doing nothing.

2. If we don’t vote the bad guys will win.

3. If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

4. It is a citizen’s responsibility and civic duty to vote.

5. Your vote is your voice in government.

6. Just because things didn’t work out the way we wanted last time, and the time before that, and the time before that, doesn’t mean that they won’t this time.

7. If we don’t vote, the Tea Party, the Breivik-types, and all the lunatics will, and they’ll run the country.

8. You don’t have the numbers to pull off an election boycott.

9. People who don’t vote are apathetic.

10. If you don’t vote, you’re helping the other party.

11. If we don’t vote, our votes will never be counted and we’ll have no leverage.

12. The choice is bullets or ballots, so it’s a no-brainer.

13. Evil people are spending millions of dollars on voter suppression to deny minorities the vote, and people have fought and died for the right to vote, so the vote must be valuable.

Each of these topics is covered in sufficient detail, and I hope people go read it fully.

I did like this comment (Obama is today’s King Leopold Submitted by folkie on 1 January 2012 – 12:23pm.) from the site:

The US government is fully owned by the big multinational private corporations that fund it, and no matter who is in office, will continue to do the bidding of the wealthy global elites intent on continuing to murder millions of innocents and polluting the entire planet for profit. The profits involved are so enormous that they are almost impossible to imagine, but those profits all go to the wealthy elites and their puppets, with ordinary people in Africa never seeing any benefit and ordinary people in the US being taxed to pay for the troops and mercenaries that are committing these genocides on behalf of private corporations.

Yes, we do need a new system. This one isn’t just broken, it is killing humanity and destroying the planet.

Many people in the US are afraid of change or afraid of different political parties or candidates because they believe that other systems were worse, so let’s compare our system to others:

The old Soviet Union, fascist Italy, and Nazi Germany are good systems for comparison. Stalin, Mussolini, and Hitler were all elected, just like US presidents, and their elections were rigged, just as ours are.  They all started or took part in wars of aggression just as the US does under every administration. They all denied basic human rights just as Obama does with his drone bombs and his assassination hit list, as Bush did with torture, and as previous US Presidents did by installing brutal dictators favorable to the US who tortured and murdered their own people with US training and support. They all spent more money on guns than on butter, just as this government does. They all governed for the benefit of private profits just as the US government does. They all made extensive use of prison or slave labor just as Obama does and previous US Presidents have done. None of them allowed public opinion to influence their policy decisions and neither does the US government.

That pretty much says it all.

Well I hope people read the original, because it’s definitely worth the read.

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