Tuesday, 14 July 2015

The Lesser Evil

Tonight, boys and girls, I shall explain - in terms anyone, no matter from which country , should be able to understand - why voting for the "lesser evil" is not just mindless idiocy, but is a clear trap:

Let's take this sequence, in which A is (by conventional standards) the least evil and Z represents the maximum evil:


We have, or pretend to ourselves that we have, two options to vote for: X and Y. Let's say X says his policy is A and Y says his policy is B. As the lesser of the two evils, you vote for X, who says he stands for A. Once in power, X actually gives you, in the manner of politicians, C, but you persuade yourself that Y would've given you D, so you were right in voting for X. So next time round, X offers E, Y offers F, and you vote for X because E is better than F. This time X gives you G, while Y foams at the mouth yelling about how without H the world will end. So you of course vote for X again. Right?

Perhaps, along the way, a third potential option appears – someone, let’s call him σ, who loudly reminds everyone that the original choice was between A and B, and you are now getting to choose between P and Q. σ promises to go back to A if you elect him. Whether he’s sincere or not, you’ll reject him without second thought, because you’ve convinced yourself that the choice is between X and Y. In fact, not only will you reject σ, you’ll be furious at him for potentially reducing crucial support from X, without which Y might win.

Suppose, despite all, it looks like σ will actually get substantial support. All X has to do at this stage is throw a few sops around, perhaps even retreat from P to O1/2, and you’ll go right back to voting for him – because he’s the better option than Y, dammit. As for σ, he’s thrown by the wayside, forgotten forever.

And this is the way it continues until you find yourself voting for X, who now stands for W, so as not to have Y, who promises Z.

Am I clear? In order not to have B, you've just ended up voting for W. Because you chose the "lesser evil" instead of using your brains. 

Obviously, in this situation, X and Y will be working together – because their agenda is precisely the same, which is to steer you directly towards Z from A. And since you do exactly as they want you to, they both win and you lose. 

And you will continue to lose as long as you refuse to use common sense. 

That is your lesson for tonight.

You're welcome. 

Image source


  1. I have issues with Chomsky, but he talks about this a lot, and about how debate is allowed and encouraged within a very narrow spectrum of opinion, and that parameters of permissible positions are set for us.

    It seems to me it's worse in a system like the US has than it would be in a parliamentary system. The ballot access laws, for example, are rigged up in most states so that two parties have a monopoly. One or the other of them is going to win. They split up all the seats between them.

    When one "side" messes up so badly that it can't be defended, the other "side" is there to take the reins for a while, until it messes up too badly to explain away.

  2. As somebody who was born, raised, and still lives in the US of A, in my opinion for the past few decades our election choices have been the evil or two lessers. I'd rather we had more options at every election, we don't just need a third party, I seriously think this country could do with 4 or 5 political parties.
    Of course this country was never set up to be a real democracy. The founders feared true democracy which is why at first only white, male property owners were allowed to vote. At best the US of A was, operative word was, a democratic republic. Now days, I am not so sure just what the hell we have. What I am certain of is that we have two wings of the war party. The elephant wing and the donkey wing, both nearly totally beholden to Wally Street/City of London and various international banksters and of course the military/industrial/security complex.
    One further note about 'Merikkka today. What in hell do we need with Homieland Insecurity? I thought we had the US military to defend the country and various police agencies to prevent crime/catch criminals. Also, to call this country the "homeland" pisses me off to no end, too much like Hitler and the "Fatherland" or Stalin and the "Motherland". When I was a kid, my parents and grandparents just called it America or the US, it was never the "homeland" and to me it never will be.


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