It’s a very commonly heard opinion from anarcho-capitalists that because laws are enforced through aggression, therefore libertarians cannot in good conscience vote and must use other means to achieve liberty. While I wholeheartedly agree that voting is an ineffective means of furthering liberty and I don’t plan to ever do it, it’s completely wrong to say that it’s against libertarian principles, because there’s such a thing as voting against a new law or to repeal one, or for a candidate who wants to pass markedly fewer laws than his opponent.

Let’s say you can prevent a Nazi from killing an innocent person by forging orders from their Nazi commander telling them not to. But you can’t use Nazi authority to achieve liberty! Sure, it gets them to not kill someone for the wrong reason, but obviously that’s still better than not attempting to stop them at all.

I don’t see why so many Ancaps think voting is any different. Some have objected to me in the past that at least in the case of voting for a candidate, I can’t know than he’ll pass less laws, but that’s just a perfect solution fallacy. Just because I can’t know someone else’s intention for certain in no way means that I can’t justifiably act on the belief that he’ll be less harmful than someone who is open about planning to do horrible things to innocent people.

Even if I do end up electing, let’s say, a Libertarian Party candidate, and he passes a single new regulation despite repealing many others, it would not be sound to argue that I’m responsible for the aggression committed to enforce this law. The elected candidate is responsible for the violence (as well as the police who carry it out), while a voter who only cooperates with it to prevent far more aggression from occuring is not responsible.