31 March 2006


Listening to Brian Lehrer's segment on The Blue Book. The book provides details on corporations to help the consumer buy within their political and moral beliefs (think Target and their jackassery with allowing pharmacists to pick-and-choose on prescriptions). Anyway, one of the reviews of the book at Amazon pointed to a Daily Kos article outing the publisher of the book as a possible thief, stealing information and methodology from BuyBlue.org. Not sure what's true, but I think BuyBlue.org will be my first stop. Oddly, the two negative reviews on Amazon referencing the conflict have been voted as non-helpful (4/14 for the one-star review and 7/25 for the three-star review). An issue definitely worth consideration.

Brian Lehrer did not discuss the publishing controversy (I emailed him the info, not wanting to call while I'm here at work), but a caller on the show brought up questions on the appropriateness of personal boycotts--some questions I've also been thinking about. If companies are working within the law, why demand more? Well, government is slow, so--as with the examples given on the show such as Apartheid and Kathy Lee's sweatshops--it's the consumers' responsibility to act their morals. However, at some point we get to a masses-make-right morality which, let's face it, can go horribly wrong: slavery, Japanese internment, good-ole-boy racism, and glass ceilings. The Target example is a good illustration of the problem. I'm boycotting for an action whose opposite others boycott against. Those others without question are wrong of course, because I'm right of course, but our actions are otherwise equal. The act of boycotting is belief--and truth--agnostic.

At its heart, boycotting is a method to effect change, but I think ultimately you do it to obey your personal beliefs. If the world ultimately agrees with you, great. If not, you've at the very least acted appropriately to your own system of morals.

[ posted by sstrader on 31 March 2006 at 11:27:12 AM in Culture & Society ]