To effect change, we must work within the systems that exist and support individuals who can affect the change I want to see. As a libertarian anarchist, I believe in the decentralisation of political and economic power and the minimisation, and eventual elimination, of the state. This is why I’m a member of the Conservative Party and work in right wing political circles, as I see these movements as the best way of minimising the state and developing a truly free market. This is also why I’ll be voting for my local conservative candidate, as he believes in localisation and a smaller state. The more candidates of this type that can be elected means the more libertarian principles can be instituted in the country and even the world. However this doesn’t mean I simply follow party propaganda or am in anyway a fan of all Conservative Party policies. On the contrary, I hold my own ideas that I regularly vocalise in political circles, and I am very critical of the current Conservative leadership, who have racked up debt, maintained corporatist policies, centralised healthcare, started new wars and expanded state spying and infiltration of UK citizens. However, within the Conservative Party, there are many who have ideas similar to mine, both at the grassroots and in parliament, with great MPs such as Bill Cash, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Steve Baker, Owen Paterson, John Redwood and Zac Goldsmith (to name a few) who represent policies and ideas that support liberty and free markets. These are the Conservatives that I identify with and that libertarians and anarcho-capitalists should support, as they are pushing against the state and in favour of economic freedom.
However, there are Conservative MPs who have a corporatist, state-centric view of society, supporting measures such as the living wage and continued membership of the European Union. This political ideology is found mainly within the Conservative government and loyal backbench MPs. Thus in the case of these MPs, I would advocate voting for a more libertarian alternative. The main alternative that comes to mind is UKIP, who have a large cadre of libertarian(ish) candidates, such as Douglas Carswell and Tim Aker, and libertarian policies, such as lower tax rates and the bringing back of some gun rights in Britain. Further, they recognise issues, like the destruction of working class communities all across the UK, the casualisation of employment and wealth inequality, that many libertarians fail to recognise as serious socio-economic problems. By supporting some candidates from UKIP who hold such values, I believe libertarian principles can be pushed through more effectively, turning the tide against the current statist political paradigm.
Overall, I believe that voting can influence change in the direction libertarians and anarcho-capitalists want to see. Whether that be voting for the Conservatives or UKIP is irrelevant, so long as principles of economic freedom and equality of opportunity are believed in by those candidates. However, if we don’t vote, or vote tactically and without principle, we cannot possibly push such ideas and policies into parliament, leaving them in the minds of backbench politicians and non-voting libertarians who cannot affect serious change. As the old saying goes, ‘you can’t complain if you don’t vote’ which to some extent is true. We can all as libertarians and anarchists sit and complain and create plans that have no impact outside our living rooms and internet forums. But we can also use our vote to push forward libertarian principles that fight back against the interests of big business and big government. Because of this, I will be voting, using my vote for a candidate who believes in the individual, not the state.