The globalist juggernaut is turning the United States into a two class society of the obscenely wealthy and the struggling workers. When the top one percent of a nation own as much as the combined total of the lower ninety percent, that nation has reached a crisis point.
American workers face a ruling plutocracy which has bought most of the federal and state politicians, taken its factories to whatever countries provide the cheapest labor, paid little or no corporate income tax, and has the gall to steal our hard-earned tax dollars when it fails in its domestic and foreign investments. Thinking American workers are slowly awakening to this new feudalism, even though the plutocracy-owned news media have worked hard to keep the scandal hidden.
But perceiving the cold-blooded devastation of American workers by the "people of wealth," is no longer enough. American workers must create viable new strategies in their struggle against globalist capitalism.
When we consider what power we have in our struggle, our options narrow down to a precious few. No intelligent person would consider trying to use violence, since the ruling plutocracy has a monopoly of military, police, and litigation force. The days of the citizen warrior struggling against a weak government is two hundred years behind times. Writing to congresspersons who've been put into office through corporate donations is a futile gesture. Trying to launch a new populist party, even if you have the wealth of a Ross Perot, is fruitless. The penetrating exposés of globalist capitalism by such writers as Noam Chomsky, Alexander Cockburn, William Greider, and others, help us understand what's wrong but provide no strategy for righting the wrongs.
Meanwhile, American workers have totally overlooked the one power they have - their purchasing power. And the sensible deployment of that power is through the strategy of boycott.
The United States was, in part, created through the use of consumer boycott. From 1765 to 1775, colonial nonimportation associations were organized by Sons of Liberty and Whig merchants to boycott English goods and force British recognition of political rights. We are now heirs to the success of that struggle.
Boycott as a modern strategy, however is not a simple one. To launch a consumer boycott movement requires sustained, broad-based commitment and a carefully planned general strategy.
The Sons and Daughters of Liberty were convinced that their situation, vis-à-vis their British rulers, was so intolerable that it was worth dedicating a large portion of their time to mount boycott offensives. Ultimately they decided that it was necessary to risk their lives in an armed revolution against Britain. We have to ask ourselves today whether we judge our plight, vis-à-vis our plutocratic rulers, to be so intolerable that we're willing to spend a great deal of time and effort to struggle for radical change. It appears that most Americans are answering no to that question--at least their indifference to the depredations of the moneyed interests would indicate this.
The question then becomes: how bad does the plight of the workers have to get before they realize they're being destroyed and fight for their very lives?
How much worse does it have to get before the American workers wake up and begin to fight for their economic and political rights?
When we do begin our struggle for survival, we must decide just what it is we're attempting to realize through our boycott efforts. We shouldn't be content to merely stop a particular company from despoiling the environment or ravaging the American workforce through relocation of factories to third world countries. We must work for systemic changes in America's political, economic, legal, military, and social structures--so this grinding of the poor by the rich can't recur.
We must determine how our American boycott will relate to other nations and their people. We don't want to create an unthinking jingoist movement, but we must begin here in America to protect the rights of our own workers.
Some of the specific objectives we should work for include:
How do we achieve this?|
UK Brands to Boycott |
2 Maxwell House
10 Walkers Crisps
25 Republican Party donors (1999-2003) |
with global consumer brands
1 Altria (formerly Philip Morris) $6.5m
2 AT&T $5.36m
3 Microsoft Corp. $5.12m
4 United Parcel Services $4.48m
5 MBNA $4.38m
6 Citigroup $3.93m
7 Pfizer $3.9m
8 FedEx Corp. $3.4m
9 Bristol-Myers Squibb $3.4m
10 GlaxoSmithKline $3m
11 Wal-Mart $2.85m
12 General Electric $2.58m
13 ExxonMobil $2.35m
14 AOL Time Warner $2.31m
15 Anheuser Busch $2.23m
16 ChevronTexaco $2.2m
17 PepsiCo $1.9m
18 Schering Plough $1.8m
19 Archer Daniels Midland $1.8m
20 Wyeth (formerly American Home Products)$1.74m
21 Alticor Inc. $1.7m
22 American Airlines $1.62m
23 Ford $1.52m
24 BP Amoco $1.25m
25 Disney $1.25m
| All calculations taken from
the Center for Responsive Politics at www.opensecrets.org|