Imagine you're living in a community in which criminals are poisoning the water supply and basically own the police force. Naturally, they're dealing drugs and are responsible for most of the "organized crime" in the community. Also imagine that (like their television caricatures) they like to see themselves as "businessmen". Indeed, most of their income actually does comes from businesses like grocery stores, fuel companies, clothing stores, and maybe advertising on local television stations.
In short, in this fantasy community "organized crime" is thriving, even though the citizens of the community have lost nearly all of their civil rights, (remember, the criminals "own" the government), and have no political representation. Their financial lives continue to get worse and worse (many families now have three jobs and vacations are a memory), and the feeling of hopelessness is like smog of despair that poisons every aspect of the community.
And oh yes, most of the churches are worse than useless since they're either sucking up to the criminals, or they condition their followers to escape into psychotic fairly tales in which the world in going to go boom any day now. Sigh!
Politics is much worse since (big surprise!) nearly all the politicians are at the hog trough provided by the criminals for their obedient political monkeys. Are you listening, 2006 “Democratic” Congress?
So, what does the average citizen (American) do in such a living hell?
Boycotts, what else? What else CAN they do? Boycott the grocery stores, fuel companies, clothing stores, and television stations that sing the praises of organized crime.
Of course, this is simply a hypothetical community, but, as the mathematicians would say, the point is to EXTRAPOLATE our story to our dying country (and make not mistake, it IS dying!) at large.
We need to "think big" here, because IF these folks, these consumers (these AWESOMELY powerful consumers), DID boycott the criminal businesses of these killers of decency, rationality, and the very Earth, it would very quickly (how shall we put it?) draw blood.
Corporate fascism (America's current government) may look fierce on the outside, but it has a very soft and vulnerable economic underbelly.
If MILLIONS of Americans boycotted, say, Wal-mart (that archetypal trash heap for American workers), and started now, right before Christmas, that corporation would find out at the speed of light that a new force is loose in America! And this force would have nothing to do with politics (that dem/pug outhouse in Washington). That's the beauty and the power of it, because this force would be the very heartbeat of Democracy at its best: POWER OF THE PEOPLE.
There are lots of other things we can do besides boycotts. Our magnificent constitution, for example, permits us to have ENORMOUS influence on the dynamics of our country via petitions and referendums. Now these are things we don't have to check out with our one party dem/pug system. We wouldn't have to talk to Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reed first. Ugh!
These are things we can do ALL BY OURSELVES as American citizens. Strikes are another, nationwide or otherwise.
It can't be said strongly enough that all these things are POWER OF THE PEOPLE THINGS. We don't have to "go though" establishment politics -- which means we don't need the support or approval of people who are grunting and slobbering at the reality (not fantasy!) hog trough created by the elites (with a millionth of their wealth).
Of course such activism could be both/and with doing everything possible to resurrect the FDR Democratic Party. Indeed, these two activisms would run parallel and be mutually constructive.
Successful, national boycotting would dramatically help liberalize the Democratic Party and VISA VERSA. What we're talking about now is all win/win.
OK, time to be personal. I see my role in this as a barking dog, trying to get the attention of my American brothers and sisters that BOYCOTTS CAN SAVE AMERICA AND SAVE THE EARTH. To me, this is an absolute certainty.
I wish I had the eloquence of Martin Luther King (God bless him!), but I'm going to have to settle for being one American patriot talking over the fence to his neighbors. If the passionate Dr. King were saying these things I know more people would listen, but at least I can bark.
May I try to sum all this up?
There are two or three things to get clear here. The first is these POWER OF THE PEOPLE strategies are basically "independent" of politics -- which is freeing almost beyond belief. These are things WE can do, all by ourselves as American citizens and voters. And also please note that these apolitical strategies and activisms are completely peaceful and legal.
Secondly, the tragic irony is that the single biggest enemy to nationwide boycotts is us! The temptation to discount boycotts as (1.) they've been tried before, and (2.) such small scale actions aren't going to change anything, is the kiss of death.
OF COURSE they've been done before but never before with the backing of the internet! You see, that's our trump card; that's the difference. With the internet, we can synchronize and orchestrate boycotts on a truly national scale (best of all INTERNATIONAL scale!). Will it be easy? Certainly not; it will be devilishly difficult to get this all pulled together, but at least we can see in outline what must be done.
We obviously need some kind of national centralizing agency. Perhaps a site where people can vote for the "top ten" targets, i.e., those corporations which are the most destructive to the Earth and Democracy.
Organization, here, is all, because without a VERY organized central agency, boycotts are moot. However, to think positive, WITH a very organized central agency (perhaps supported and promoted by some high profile and nationally respected individuals, e.g., Jimmy Carter?), the sky is the limit.
WE ARE THE CONSUMERS and fascist corporations need us much more than we need them! Indeed, we should think of this as the empowering "axiom" of this piece.
Clearly, "organized crime" in our pretend example equals the Bush/fascist/elites. But, you know what, these scum need our money! Duh. And if we don't GIVE them our money (e.g., stop buying gas from corporations raping and killing Mother Nature, stop Christmas shopping at anti labor stores, and refuse to buy products of companies advertising on fascist media sites, etc., etc.), they are going get hurt financially beyond their wildest dreams!
However, the point really isn't to "destroy" these corporations (however tempting that might be, assuming we could) so much as simply "get their attention". We need to prove to them that "fascism doesn't pay" and if they want to stay in the economic game, they better start taking Mother Nature and our Democratic Republic (beginning with the Constitution) about 300% more seriously.
So I guess this is my dream and I'm hoping Dr. King (and Gandhi too!) will be there for it spiritually.
Lastly, this dream needs all the nitty gritty technical, realpolitik expertise it can get, so this is also a cry for help! It’s suicidal for us to consider these matters “academically”, since the clock is running and Democracy and Earth are dying as we speak, so the time for nationwide boycott activism is NOW. Even two or three months from now may be too late, so internet brainstorming may be our salvation.