Friday, 4 May 2012


        Over the years there have been pickets and attempted boycotts of multi-nationals because of some aspect of their business, recently it was Holland & Barrett because of their embracing the workfare scheme. What were we trying to do? Get Holland & Barrett to be a more compassionate capitalist, or trying to shut it down? Do we want a more compassionate capitalism, or can we shut it down? Were we capable of imposing a boycott and to what effect? When is a boycott not a boycott, and when is it a valid tactic?

This from Profane Existence:
          It really pisses me off when I hear some punk kid or anarchist claim they are boycotting Nike (or whichever other giant corporation). Not because I think they should be supporting Nike, but simply because it shows a lack of any understanding of what a boycott is. And if we desire to be effective, we need to have a clear understanding of what different tactics and strategies actually are.
          Boycotting is a non-violent consumer tactic which is based on withdrawing support (usually financial) as a way to force ones enemy/oppressor into a compromised position in which they must negotiate with you or meet your terms in order to regain your support. So simply not participating is not the same as actively boycotting. Thus going Vegan is not a boycott of the meat and dairy industry for example.
          There are many problems with the idea of some patched up crusty claiming to be engaging in boycott tactics against major corporations. The first of which is that in order to take part in a boycott, you must first have support to withdraw, meaning you need to be a client or customer of the target company who financially contributes to them. Even further, you need to be open to reinvesting that financial support one the target has complied with your demands. This differs greatly from the DIY punk ethos of making our own shit rather than giving them our money, which is actually more about creating an alternative economy, or perhaps an alternative to economy.

ann arky's home.

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