I had hoped my essay on the limits of politics would provoke reactions, and I was not disappointed. But the most intense response has been aimed not at cyberspace, seasteading, or libertarian politics, but at a commonplace statistical observation about voting patterns that is often called the gender gap.
It would be absurd to suggest that womenâ€™s votes will be taken away or that this would solve the political problems that vex us. While I donâ€™t think any class of people should be disenfranchised, I have little hope that voting will make things better.
Voting is not under siege in America, but many other rights are. In America, people are imprisoned for using even very mild drugs, tortured by our own government, and forced to bail out reckless financial companies.
I believe that politics is way too intense. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m a libertarian. Politics gets people angry, destroys relationships, and polarizes peoplesâ€™ vision: the world is us versus them; good people versus the other. Politics is about interfering with other peopleâ€™s lives without their consent. Thatâ€™s probably why, in the past, libertarians have made little progress in the political sphere. Thus, I advocate focusing energy elsewhere, onto peaceful projects that some consider utopian.
Seems pretty reasonable to me. Though I disagree with Thiel that voting is unhelpful for making things better, I can understand why he thinks that democracy can have negative effects on freedom. Look at the recent passing of the homophobic Prop 8 in California. Minority rights should not be contingent on majority opinion.
Another example would be that a majority of people support the Drug War, while the Drug War is clearly a failure.