Why voting matters
16 november 2023 | Vincent Vos
Elections are coming up again in the Netherlands. On 22 November, everyone can go to the ballot box to vote in the Dutch parliamentary elections. With confidence in politics plummeting at a rapid pace, more and more people are deciding not to vote. While it may sound sympathetic that the system has legitimised itself so much that people choose not to participate in it anymore, not voting has major negative consequences which paradoxically legitimise the system itself.
The paradox of controlled opposition
When it comes to decreased trust in our system as a reason for not voting, people have many arguments. It starts with simply just not participating in the voting process in elections and ends with people who have deluded themselves into believing that they are no longer citizens of the Netherlands, and therefore do not have to meet the obligations that citizenship entails.
Support for the system is twofold. On the one hand, these people support the current political order by actively not voting, which proportionally helps the largest system parties the most. Not voting means acquiescing in the status quo in which the cartel parties remain in power. So this is disadvantageous for a fundamental opposition party like FVD.
On the other hand, these people also legitimise the liberal lies of the system: by claiming that a government acts illegally, you hold on to the liberal idea that governments act on the basis of law. As a citizen, you have rights. Rights function in modern liberal democracies only as a means of giving people the illusion that they should be taken into account. However, the opposite is true. For those who really wake up from the matrix, the realisation descends that a government acts only from power. Thus, by definition, a government cannot act illegally because it ultimately determines what rights will be respected. Laws and rights have value only when they are enforced. The Covid era showed us in a very harsh way that those people who are expelled from society have no rights at all.
The most extreme cases of people not voting are people who have declared themselves "autonomous". Among these people, there is even the illusion of some kind of voluntary membership of the Dutch state. Individuals would have an opt-out choice of no longer being a citizen of the state with all the proposed benefits.
Scammers were quick to capitalise on this. These included people offering diplomatic passports and suggesting to others that they would no longer have to wait at the airport for customs. These passports cost several hundred euros. Needless to say, these people using this service are stopped at the airport. Others believe they no longer have to pay taxes. As a result, the government takes everything from these people with fines and lawsuits. After all, you can no longer want anything to do with the government, but the government still wants something to do with you.
Some theories even go so far as to make people believe that when they have unwound themselves from the Dutch state, there is a sum of several million reserved for them in a Swiss bank account.
Not only has the scammer industry used this phenomenon, the government is also doing the same. In shielded Telegram groups and on other social media, there are large accounts everywhere calling for people to stop voting. People should not give away their vote according to such accounts but keep it for themselves.
Still, the drive for freedom and the militancy which comes with it is not a lost cause. While the focus may be in the wrong place now, this energy can be transformed into something fruitful. After all, political struggle does not just take place once every four years. On the contrary, politics is about so much more than just voting. In this area, we can learn a lot from the Left. For they know what meta-politics is and apply it successfully on a daily basis.
As mentioned earlier, politics is so much more than just voting once every four years. The Left has understood this very well. The Left has discovered that in the modern world, political change can happen only through socio-cultural change. Contrary to the liberal illusion in which we are led to believe, most people slavishly follow the reality presented to them by the dominant culture, and therefore the reality presented to them by the dominant politics. The cultural hegemony of the current political order therefore ensures that our current political parties remain dominant. Politics can only change when this cultural hegemony, or false cultural consciousness, which our social institutions project onto us, changes. This can only happen when the people who have woken up from the liberal dream actively work to influence society in such a way that the consensus moves their way. The Left has done this with the march through the institutions. We can do this too.
A dominant political culture is embedded in interpersonal relationships everywhere, in both the workplace and everyday life. These are things that the ideologically active individual can directly influence. If everyone does his bit, we can influence society. However, it is also important to keep one foot within the system. Our system works the way it does now, so representation in parliament is definitely needed to keep the stage set, to keep telling the truth and thus to normalise our ideas for a wider public.
Waking up to reality requires waking up from the liberal dream
After all, we are dealing with a reality that we now have to work from. Yes, it is true that liberal democracy no longer works in this century. Yes, it is also true that the government is not moral, but nothing is going to change that if people continue to believe in the illusion of the system.
To approach the world as a place in which influence and power are the most important things is to see the world as it currently works. This awareness is something that makes a person truly free. Be aware of power relations, know what influence you yourself reasonably have on others and then use this influence to change society. FVD leads the way in this, but we cannot do it without all the enthusiastic people who follow us and make a difference in their own lives and by voting for us. THAT is how you really pull a society your way. THAT is real power.
You don't just get change. You force change by making yourself heard. It is time for us to apply this trick of the government ourselves.
Be the change in your own environment, stand up for your ideals and above all VOTE!