Today’s politico-ethical question is easily answered. Yes, science fiction author John C Wright should be allowed to vote in whatever nation he chooses to live in, because people who are held accountable to laws should have a say in those laws AND also the legitimacy of government should derive from the broad consent of the governed.
Well, that was a short post because I couldn’t think of any counter arguments. Sorry, if you were expecting something longer or more argumentative.
OK, maybe I could find some straw-arguments from somewhere that offer a different position? As per Galileo, I’ll put the arguments in the name of Simplicio and show why they are inappropriate. Yet who could come up with a bunch of silly arguments for restricting the franchise? Aha! How about noted science fiction author and part-time reactionary John C Wright! Of course: http://www.scifiwright.com/2020/10/it-is-time-to-reconsider/
Simplicio: the author is prone to bouts of emotionalism and so it is less worthwhile to consult with him over the conduct and control of public business.
Camestros: lots of people are emotional and politics in general is often a matter of great emotion. I cannot see what the supposed connection is here? Is it that decisions motivated by emotion are less sound? I see no clear evidence for that. Emotion motivates decision making. People will be emotional about issues that matter to them. If there is a sound argument here against giving this author a vote, you have not yet stated it Simplicio.
Simplicio: The author does not show any particular manly or masculine virtues which would entitle them to a say in the public business, if stoicism, reason, and virtue were preconditions for the franchise.
Camestros: Again you introduce unexplained premises but at least here you clarify them a little. Are stoicism, reason and virtue masculine values? Let us put that aside as I think it is a red-herring in your argument. Is the author lacking in these virtues? Judging by his columns, yes I can see a lack of stoicism, I can see poor reasoning and I can see a lack of strong virtues such as charitable thoughts to others who differ from him. Yet even un-stotical, un-virtuous, poor thinkers are subject to the demands of government and as such they too should have some say in the laws they are subject to.
Simplicio: Your argument for voting is as a peaceful substitute for revolution, wherein the less numerous party, seeing himself outnumbered, agreed without bloodshed to abide by the vote of the more numerous. The author, being largely less ready, willing, or able to take up arms than most, has no place in these military questions.
Camestros: You badly misunderstand the nature of revolutions. To resist a government that does not have the consent of those it seeks to govern, is to take up a struggle but that struggle is not just the force of arms. It lies also with each and every person willing to withdraw cooperation from the government and those in power. It can be in the form of strikes, civil disobedience or even small (perhaps covert) acts of disruption. Look to the protest in Hong Kong or the USA in which the government throws the quasi-military force of the police at its own citizens. You will see people of kinds of physical capabilities resisting not just the old-fashioned stereotype of the able-bodied man.
Simplicio: A corollary argument is that the author, being immune from the draft because of age and physical health, should have no say over such questions as whether to enact a draft or when and how to conduct a war.
Camestros: A war that would result in a draft impacts far more people in the nation than just those drafted. A war of such magnitude would impact everybody in the nation and of every age. Further, since the Twentieth century at least (and in fact far earlier) the nature of war has been that the civilian population is also likely to face attack. War is a poor argument against limiting the suffrage as war is as profound an example of an event that affects everybody as you can find.
Simplicio: Another argument against him having the vote is that experience over the last few years shows that author’s suffrage erodes the willingness and ability of the author to engage in productive writing, instead leading him to write poorly reasoned arguments about contemporary politics.
Camestros: The author in question should be free to do with his time what he chooses within the limits of his general responsibilities to others and the law of the land (assuming they are just laws where he lives).
Simplicio: Moreover, women becoming less feminine as a whole become less happy, which makes men, as a whole both less masculine and less happy.
Camestros: I’m sorry but what did you say? I’m not sure of the relevance of your point. Are you saying that the author is unhappy because he falls far short of some masculine ideal? If so, that is his business and if he chooses to make himself unhappy that is also his business. None of this seems pertinent to the question of whether he should vote. Try and stay focused!
Simplicio: What I am trying to say is that authors like this one, when they intrude into positions of political power make self-centered and highly emotional decisions.
Camestros: “Intrude” is begging the question. You have yet to show that the presence of an author like this in politics IS an intrusion. Now I will grant that his political writings are self-centered and often highly emotional (histrionics over two characters holding hands at the end of a kid’s cartoon for example). He certainly wouldn’t be my choice for somebody to hold political office! Yet these are questions about the suitability of candidates and it is a cheap-shot to say about any politician that they are ‘self-centered’ or ‘highly emotional’ (and when a politician is so unemotional that such a charge would fall flat, their detractors will say that they are ‘cold’ or lack passion). So I won’t credit this as an argument. It is too close to the kind of absurdities people throw at women politicians for example — indeed women politicians often get accused of being both cold and over emotional at the same time! Look at some of the absurd arguments thrown at Hillary Clinton!
Simplicio: My argument is that chivalry, good sportsmanship, and grace toward an opponent are personality traits not shown by this author, but are needed in any vocation both more ruthless and requiring greater diplomacy and willingness to compromise than everyday public life.
Camestros: Yet your arguments (which you have not substantiated and simply assume) are arguments against voting for the author as a particular candidate. They are not arguments for restricting him from the franchise. If your argument was sound as a general principle then you would only allow people who show chivalry, good sportsmanship and grace towards an opponent. How would you go about evaluating people en-masse by such standards! Even if you could then why would the disenfranchise be under any moral obligation to follow the law that they are excluded from? Your position makes so little sense that I fear I must have misunderstood it.
Simplicio: So your argument in favour of universal suffrage is that since anyone, male or female, living within the nation and paying taxes both affects and is affected by the public business, therefore she should have a say in the matter, by simple justice?
Camestros: “Paying taxes” is a little assumption you sneaked in there that is not mine. However, the general point is correct and one I believe the author in question may have reached himself (or is close to) despite setting some strawmen in his own path. Indeed, the argument is so clear then I question what is served by disputing it, other than for you, Simplicio, to throw out character attacks against this author.
Simplicio: Ah, you have seen through my gambit. Yes, I was following his lead where he uses strawmen arguments to outline his dislike of women in general and then conclude that despite their unworthiness (in his view) that they should still be permitted to vote.
Camestros: Ah, I see. A demonstration of a lack of chivalry, good sportsmanship and grace? That seems cruel to say that about a given person. Surely that is a an attack on the author’s character?
Simplicio: Perhaps but then how is it worse to attack the character of one man than to attack the character of billions of women?
Camestros: It seems you have bested me in argument after all Simplicio!