Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 686, September 2, 2012

"I believe there is a reason for that."

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An Anarchist Runs for Office
by Paul Bonneau

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

I just thought of a way for an anarchist to run for office, while simultaneously not violating his principles and while also performing a useful public service. Here's how it would work.

It's been noted by many that governments do not like having a "None of the above" option on ballots, which would tend to challenge their legitimacy as it would be a very popular choice. Needless to say it's a long row to hoe trying to get the legislatures to allow this on the ballots. However, it can be done by an individual anarchist.

All he has to do, is legally change his name to "None Oftheabove" or "Smash Thestate" or "Down Withgovernment" or "Government Sucks" or whatever strikes his fancy. Then he simply files to run for office, on the R or D ticket (of course he must register as such). His name must then appear on the ballot!

Of course, being an anarchist, his platform is simple: he promises never to attend any session of the legislature, and never to accept any favor or money due to his position. This way, he avoids violating his principles. He never violates NAP.

Nothing else needs be done. Oh, he may agree to be interviewed by the local Ministry of Propaganda, which would be a good way to get the word out. Or they may ignore him altogether. Either outcome is fine, because he doesn't care! He's not going to do anything with the office even if he is elected. He's got nothing invested in it, emotionally or otherwise. It might become huge fun to watch the contortions the system would go through to beat this tactic.

If someone did something like that, I might have to make an exception in my determination not to vote for anybody.

Perhaps this has been thought of before, although I have not seen it. There's nothing new under the sun, after all. This idea is simply presented for your amusement.

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