|If You Do This, You Still Put a Dent in Consumption of Sweatshop Produced Goods
||[Nov. 23rd, 2006|07:00 pm]
The Anti-Sweatshop Community
I would, but those two days are my birthdays.
Wow, that makes ladyfest's market stall bad timing! I'll give my zine away free to anyone who knows what day it is, play it both ways.
Support Ladyfest, if that's your thing. It's a good cause. They're timing is fortuitous, since this is the biggest shopping day of the year. People are already in the mood to spend money, they might as well be doing it for the right reasons.
Boycotting sweatshop labor on one day only doesn't do anything.
I really hate this "Your activism doesn't work" sentiment. It's really discouraging and negative. You know, you just don't know what activism is "going to work". And you also don't know what effects you have. I am sure people thought the Miss American protest in 1967 and 1968 was "stupid" and "pointless", but in a lot of ways, it was a catalyst for radical feminist activism later down the road, which lead to the legalization of abortion, close call passing the ERA, and a lof other feminist activist victories.
Activism also transforms that climate of culture, and it also provides regular participation opportunities and objects of discussion and community building among activists.
I really don't want to hear anymore defeatist, negative, and nihilist stuff in here.
I think "buy nothing" day is ONLY one day, but it gives a point of alliance between people trying to end sweatshop labor + anti-consumerist activists.
I didn't say "your activism doesn't work". I also don't like defeatist attitudes, but that doesn't mean I'm going to be a pep rally for ideas that don't accomplish very much.
Buy Nothing Day doesn't accomplish anything, except making consumers feel a little better about what they do the rest of the year. It doesn't harm unethical companies because they are so large. It *does* have the potential to harm smaller ethical companies from loss of business. It doesn't help exploited workers. It doesn't encourage a reevaluation of spending habits--because it isn't calling for a change in spending habits.
Plus, Buy Nothing Day is a "voting with your dollars" style of activism. It is more accessible to people with class privilege.
Now, don't get me wrong here. I support ending sweatshop labor AND I'm an anti-consumer activist. But Buy Nothing Day has struck me from DAY 1 as nothing more than a feel-good operation whose only accomplishment is that it makes those participating look like social drop-outs. It's hard to change culture from the outside.
2006-11-24 10:24 pm (UTC)
New to these concepts
What is an "anti-consumer" activist? What are the principles behind anti-consumerism when you live in a capitalist society?