Voting is violent. Not that there is anything essentially wrong in that. It is just strange that we are more encouraged to use the state to force our opinion on other people, than we are encouraged to figure out the best policy or find compromises together. Ok, maybe not so strange.
Let me rephrase and explain: We are encouraged to form a trenchant opinion, to form an identity with a divisive frame on society, rather than create or synthesize the different. We are made to think that taking a generic and shallow position on society—one which can fit into the demographically polarized niches that are used to corral us into irreconcilable positions—and then “participating” by using the State’s monopoly on violence to force our side on the other, is equivalent with having a say in how society functions.This is done by appealing to our animal instinct and mistaken belief that violence, that is, forcing our position on someone else or the world, is how change happens.
As I argued in my recent work, while violence may be part of all change, the violence of creative differentiation and individuation is what can actually change things. We are not taught how to do this. We are not shown how to actually conceive and produce the different. Instead of being taught to think, we are encouraged to form judgments on everything. To classify everything: good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, do we identify with A or with B? Do you support/ believe so and so or do you not? Then we are told we are being good boys and girls if we make the right judgement, but more importantly that we just form some judgment. We are dissuaded from suspending judgment and made to feel guilty if we are unsure or have nuanced thoughts that make trenchant judgment difficult or reveal it to be a childish lie.There is very little emphasis placed on understanding, not only opposing opinions, but even one’s own. Voting is a religious ritual. No one cares if we actually understand what we are doing, just as long as we believe or pretend to believe we are a sovereign agent acting out of our own free-will and free-thinking . You would think if we actually cared about this process that there would be more emphasis on helping people understand the complexity of issues rather than training them to conflate judging, choosing and identifying, with actual thought and effective participation.