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Voting As "Harm Reduction"?

Much stock is put in voting since the "democratic" claim of many states in the capitalist world rests on the franchise; the ability of the population to vote for representatives that will then staff the state apparatus. Achieving the franchise was a hard fought struggle by many groups who were marginalized by states, thus not considered "full citizens". The centrist liberalism of the 19th century held that such rights and enfranchisement should be meted out very slowly and only to very specific recognized status groups. Thus the struggle for the vote has been a long one that the victims of capitalism have been historically faced with. Most people in democratic states would probably assume that they have some amount of control over state policy because of their right to vote. In the United States it is often seen as one's "civic duty" and most of those active in politics view it as the primary mechanism of political change.

However, beyond being a demo…

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