When people ask me what we would do if we got rid of democracy, it never fails to stump me. Is this a trick question? It’s like wondering what would we do if we got rid of white men raping African women on a systematic basis. It’s offensive even to ask the question. Just stop the behavior. Begin making amends. We don’t need a more humane way of raping. Just, stop.
Does no one read history anymore? The level of forgetting and denial when an American asks the after-democracy question needs to be seen for what it is, a falsely naïve stance. When I was a kid, even schoolchildren knew that American democracy began with compromises about who got to rape whom, for how long, and with what level of impunity. Yes, there’s a quiz. And no, I’m not giving the answers. Look them up yourself.
The tens of millions of us who don’t participate in this system (by a strange coincidence, many of us are poor, black, and female) are tired of you voters dragging us through the muck of your foolish innocence, as if 40,000 children dying each day in a world bastioned with, and carefully overseen by, 700 immense fortresses of the American empire, backroom deals ongoing with every old-man dictator you can afford to keep propped up with your propped-up dollar, as if all this had nothing to do with your slick filthy work in the voting booth.
Democracy begins in slave nations like Greece and America because it is slavery. This is so evident it’s actually a tautology—you can’t be free if you aren’t free, and how can you be free if someone else is telling you what to do? Stand up on your own hind legs. As democracies get bolder they ship their overt forms of slavery elsewhere so that the citizenry, grown fat on nuke-powered electric cars and self-congratulation, can still waddle over to the booths to dump their horrors onto the world. You have the ethics of your new leader, who gets off on using Predator and Reaper drones to kill Pakastani children. Why is it always killing at a distance? If you like killing children so much, why don’t you do it yourself?
Go away. You’re destroying the world. Find another planet to wreck, and you can spend all day voting for each other, or vote by proxy, as you do now, for Chinese dictators. Go to the asteroid belts. Or to the suburbs, which were made for ruin and democracy and cars.
Time for action. The strongest action is to resist the clamor of the crowd for the booth, its cheap allure, its glory-holes for ejaculating onto the world. Steady yourself amidst the multitude. Hold fast. Do nothing.
After this one powerful action, actions follow. I was looking at treehugger this morning, admiring the electric cars they were touting for the city, and wondering if there’s a good way to short-circuit them, like the way you could stick sugar in gas tanks in the old days—not that, for legal reasons, I know anything about that—and I saw a picture I recognized, of some parkour traceurs leaping in the city. Well, if it wasn’t our very own Actions. Bunch of practical things you can do in the city. It’s a whole installation at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. Wrote the parkour thing myself, and I got to tell you, they paid a hell of a lot more than CounterPunch ever does. But still, after the full disclosure and all, it’s a remarkable set of actions, each of which could keep a person out of the voting booth for a long time.
DAVID KER THOMSON wrote “La Belle Epoque: love and YouTube in parkour city,” for Actions: What You Can Do with the City, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. His last anti-democracy piece for CounterPunch was “The Hard Question.” He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org