Principia Consumerismo

Posted: July 6, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

From my previous blogs, you may have gathered my contempt for the way in which large swathes of the British population seem to engage with demagoguery like no other form of control. These same folk may gnash their teeth at universal injustices and corruption, but, like an incessantly growling dog that’s all bark and no bite, they roll on their backs and wait for their bellies to be tickled at the first sound of the dog whistle of scapegoating.

Demagoguery is of course the fine art of playing to a populace’s prejudices, rather than their aspirations; ironic when you consider it seems to be the sole tactic of the Conservative party, supposed party of the ‘aspirational striver’. No need to labour the point, if you forgive the pun, for I’d rather discuss the hypocrisy and self-defeating ardour this tends to inspire.

Despite the more sceptical of us knowing full well it was a cesspit of corruption, it was revealed recently that *shock!* *horror!* Barclays, as well as potentially other, as yet unnamed institutions, indulged in interest rate manipulation to maximise profits. Pantomime villain Bob ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ Diamond finally fell on his sword like a true Samurai, only it was a metaphorical one, and Samurais don’t normally demand their weight in gold for doing it. Does anyone really believe that Diamond won’t walk into an equally bulging salary at some US corporation a few weeks from now?

Meanwhile, otherwise rational people hear of record numbers of disabled people abused in the street, some unable to afford medicines or other essential items to get by because of a farcical universal reduction of benefit levels, and justify it unthinkingly with ‘the problem is the people on the fiddle’; as though they themselves would accept a significant reduction in their salaries because some staff are not as productive.

The pattern that seems to emerge when you speak to anyone about this is that there is unquestioned anger at both scenarios, yet a resigned acceptance that little will ever be done to quell the greed and criminal activities of those at the top of the economic tree. “They’re all in it together” is an ironic refrain. But if our elected officials will not deal with the problem, what hope is there?

A lot, actually. It is all about communication and mass action. Unregulated, corrupt and hand-in-hand with governments they may be, but banks, as well as other corporations, are still beholden to the one God they never cease to worship: money. Much money comes from individuals. One person’s money may be a drop in their ocean of capital, but take a thousand people organising the closing down of their accounts with the same bank on the same day, and suddenly the shareholders demand action. This is the one small weapon with which to hold megalithic corporations to account. Small, but effective in great numbers.

Don’t like how Tesco removed all diversity from your high street? Then don’t shop there. No excuses about proximity or convenience please. Principles aren’t formal clothes you wear solely to impress people at public events. They are solid foundations that hold you together. Is your laziness good enough reason to shrug and let the exploitative system continue to thrive? You wouldn’t grab the first man off the street to look after your child because you couldn’t be arsed to hire a babysitter, so sloth, or lack of imagination, must not be an excuse to trade in these ethics.

Without rigorous frameworks of regulation to prevent a plutarchy, we must, more than ever, flex our fiscal muscles, especially in the forms of movements. By all means support civil disobedience and visual protest, but one does not have to risk arrest and assault on the street in order to try and change their world into a more diverse and less corrupt one. One must start by making ethical consumer choices, and sticking to them regardless of convenience. And tell a friend. And contact other likeminded souls and spread the word. Consumer power is the only unfettered power left in the hands of some. Pay no attention to the advertising or branding, just do a little research and draw your own personal conclusions.

Ethical shopping may well be the new voting.

Advertisements
Comments
  1. Much money comes from individuals. One person’s money may be a drop in their ocean of capital, but take a thousand people organising the closing down of their accounts with the same bank on the same day, and suddenly the shareholders demand action. This is the one small weapon with which to hold megalithic corporations to account. Small, but effective in great numbers.
    Do you think so really? I hope you’re right. When Move Your Money day was declared here in the US, I dutifully moved my accounts from B of A to the credit union. I later read that the large banks were actually glad to be rid of the small-money accounts. Too time-consuming to service. I wrote a blog on that, on my experience moving my money. Got some comments that maybe I did B of A,
    and Wells Fargo, a favor.
    I got excited about UK uncut when I first heard about it. Hope it gains strength.

    • Sorry to hear that you got an unexpected response, though i’m not entirely surprised. Banks of course did thrive before investment and savings arms were foolishly amalgamated. The savings people i.e. people like us, are probably viewed with contempt by those at the wheel of these institutions, but the fact remains that while the two sectors (investment banking and high street retail/savings) are not separated entirely, we (as a collective) have power, however small. If we didn’t, then why were the two sectors merged in the first place, if not to increase the pool of capital?

      I’m also excited by UK Uncut. I have contributed financially to their cause, but i live a little far from London or the big cities to be able to be directly involved in their activities, though i hope this can change soon. In the meantime, we can all further the movement by simply spreading awareness. Because the mainstream media sure as Hell won’t help us out with that.

  2. By the way, my first paragraph was a quote from you — I guess you knew that. I thought I
    had indented it, but my effort to do that didn’t work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s