It is astonishing the number of individuals readily brandishing the banner of some presidential candidate believing them to be the arbiter of hope and freedom when, in fact, the defense and restoration of individual liberty is the antithesis of any prudent presidential candidate’s platform. Liberty and freedom, as defined by Ludwig von Mises in “Human Action” are, “terms employed for the description of the social conditions of the individual members of a market society in which the power of the indispensible hegemonic bond, the state, is curbed lest the operation of the market be endangered.” Ludwig von Mises, the father of Austrian economics, bore witness to the tyranny of government interventionism and socialism during the interwar period of Austria (between WWI and WWII). It was an era of collectivist sentiment and growing socialist tendencies, not dissimilar to the United States of today.
One need only consider Mises’s previously mentioned definition of freedom in order to realize the folly of such idolatrous support for politicians whose very careers rest upon the legitimized theft of citizen’s property. In the words of Mises, “a man is free as far as he can live and get on without being at the mercy of arbitrary decisions on the part of other people.” Does not every candidate advocate the hegemonic subjugation of one group or another to the “mercy of arbitrary decisions on the part of the people?” How can anyone, believing him or herself to be free, voluntarily cast a vote for a ready purveyor of shackles in the form of regulatory measures in the economy? If individuals are unable to engage in free mutual exchange between equals unmolested by government intervention then they are by definition servants to the authority of the state. If the aforementioned principles are to be taken as a metric, no candidate can be justifiably supported unless the voter’s willful intent is the forfeiture of liberty in exchange for redistributed property.
Who then are individuals to vote for in the coming election? The answer is indeed quite simply don’t vote. When faced with the turpitude of any number of candidates how can one, in good conscience, advise the support of any of these evils lesser or otherwise. To refrain from voting is to expose the illegitimacy of the system in question. One cannot expect positive change within the void of ignorant acceptance, instead raise your voice in candid support of individual liberty, cast aside the dogmatic allegiance to the two-party system and the ballot box and invest in the governing of yourself through knowledge and prudence. How can Americans be free individuals if all their appropriable time is consumed determining who will rule them when they have yet to realize that they must first rule themselves?