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Forum Post: Boycott Corporations!

Posted 2 years ago on Jan. 13, 2012, 4 p.m. EST by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

In 1773 Boston patriots threw tea overboard, a boycott to protest the tax on tea. In 1930 Ghandi led the "salt march", a boycott to protest the tax on salt. In 1955 Montgomery residents stopped riding the buses, a boycott to protest segregation. Each sparked much greater and successful movements. They did not wait for legislation to be passed because governments don't listen to protest, they listen to dollars!

Don't give them your money! It is the most effective lever to pry loose corporate control of government. Boycott corporations!

73 Comments

73 Comments


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[-] 2 points by wiernser (4) 2 years ago

NIce info!!!

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Sure, but let´s eventually go further: dismantle corporations.

We need to work for a free, non-hierarchical, just and democratic society:

Anarcho-Syndicalism / Libertarian Socialism:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1317735903_chomsky_explains_libe.html

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

We should take this difficult step first before contemplating another.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Sure, but we have limited time. this global State-Capitalism we have now is not sustainable, it causes a lot of harm to the planet and its inhabitants. It must be replaced soon

yours s sff http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I don't think the solution lies in the form of government, but instead the human race. We are a selfish and corrupt group. I would rather see humanity changed instead of government.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"I don't think the solution lies in the form of government, but instead the human race"

It lies in both. We need a new society:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1320873951_the_society_we_should.html

And we need a changed way of thinking:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YftlB3AxBws

"We are a selfish and corrupt group"

That is artificially constructed. Human nature allows for lots of behavior, but our core nature is best suited The society we should strive for: Libertarian Socialism:

http://struggleforfreedom.blogg.no/1323868733_human_nature_and_libe.html

[-] 0 points by TIOUAISE (2526) 2 years ago

"We are a selfish and corrupt group."

LOL You sound like Saint Paul or Calvin...

The Buddha, by contrast, believed in the "basic goodness" of all beings. And in the famous "Sermon on the Mount", Jesus said to the people assembled at his feet: "You are the light of the world... Let your light shine!".

And yet so may of us wallow in self-contempt because false religion sold us that!

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I look at my actions and those around me and see theft, war, crime, injustice, and poverty. I am in contempt of all of those things.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

What word(s) could you use besides "sustainable"? That word is getting way overworked in all of these forums.

Life itself is not sustainable you know. If life is not sustainable, how can anything else be sustainable??

[-] 1 points by debndan (1145) 2 years ago

so what your saying is... that the sustainability of the word sustainable is ..well... unsustainable.....

I hope we haven't reached peak usage of sustainable........

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Awesome, rad, far out, cool, SUSTAINABLE.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Most importantly, sustanable in the sense that we make sure the further survival of the human species..

[-] -1 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

A very noble goal BUT you have about as much power to make sure the further survival of the human species as does your dog. We can put our efforts towards this one thing or that one thing, but any measurable impact will be seldom realized.

And in my larger scheme of things, I can only ask the question, what real difference does it make whether the human species survives or NOT?? Can you answer that question - what is the purpose of the further survival of the human species??

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Don´t you want your children, grandchildren, nieces etc to survive..??

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Answering a question with a question is the EASY way out. My question still stands - what is the purposeof the further survival of the human species??

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

I thought itwas pretty obvious what I ment..

Because I think it´s morally right that our children and grandchildren should have a decent life.

Do you want your family - your children, grandchildren, nieces etc - to survive?

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6587) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Agreed. Already doing it. And it hasn't negatively affected my standard of living one bit.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

Great!

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'm as anticorporate as anyone, but the problem is we live inside a corporate culture. To really effectively boycott corporations we would be homeless and in short order starve to death. That is exactly how pervasive corporatism is in our culture. Boycotting specific corporations is easier, but still no simple task given how well integrated the corporate economy is. Finally, boycotts are ultimately individual moral existential choices, not political choices.

I would, however, be in favor of a demand to confiscate all corporate resources and assets and reorganizing them democratically in the interest of the vast majority.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6587) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

I don't believe the OP means every corporation on the planet, only specific ones. Besides, we (meaning Americans, not necessarily OWS) wouldn't have to boycott all corporations to get the message across. If the bottom line of a number of big corporations was negatively affected, it would empower the consumer and most or all the other big boys would undoubtedly notice. For example, if, say, Wal-Mart took a billion dollar hit this year and if they knew it was a deliberate act by the consumer for specific reasons and not, say, a downturn in the economy or some other outside force, word would begin circulating among the CEOs as they hob-nob at their fucking country clubs. It would not be ignored, I guarantee you.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The purpose of this boycott is not to put the corporations out of business, it is to put the corporations out of government!

[-] 0 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Maybe you think that you can successfully put corporations out of government without putting them out of business. Personally, I think that is a delusion and ultimately the only way to control corporations is to get rid of them altogether.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The Montgomery bus boycott did not put the bus company out of business. The boycott of stores having segregated lunch counters did not cause them to go out of business.

The boycotts ended when the cancerous growths of tyranny and oppression were cut off. Do not kill the whole when only a part is corrupt.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

That's why OWS is a much more radical movement than any in living memory. Conscious of it or not, its whole approach stands in opposition to the entire social system, not just this or that aspect of it. Just read the hard copy on the home page of this very web site. It says that we do not need Wall Street or politicians to build a better world. What are we to make of that except that OWS is a movement so revolutionary that it is beyond the comprehension, not only of the 1% and the news media, but even of many of its erstwhile supporters.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

OWS is opposed to the corrupt parts of our social system. Their message is that it is up to the people to decide our way of life, not government or corporations. It is radical but not new. A similar message was said in 1776. Please read what Thomas Jefferson and others said. You will be amazed how many things they said over 200 years ago still apply today.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I didn't say that the ideas of OWS was new. What I said was that OWS is the most radical social movement that the nation has seen in living memory. The last time that the US has seen a movement so comprehensive in its radicalism is probably back in the early days of the Socialist Party in the first two decades of the 20th century or perhaps even before that with the Populist movement in the last two decades of the 19th century. Subsequent social movements, essentially all civil rights movement: for minorities, women and even labor, have been much more narrow in their focus.

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

Confiscate private property? Go back to Russia thief.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

I'm 100% American and couldn't conceive of living anywhere else. I love American culture, American music, American movies, American scenery, American cities, and most of all the American people. What I don't have much use for is the American state. A state, which, BTW, confiscates property all the time. It's called eminent domain.

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

You said you would be for confiscating all corporate resources and assets. Thatt is called thievery. It is also immoral. Reorganizing them democratically? How about I come to your abode and confiscate whatever the hell i want, and get the neighbors together and decide democratically how to divvy up your shit? Like the sounds of that Red?

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Corporations steal our labor every day. What we produce every day is worth a good deal more than what we are paid. That strikes me as thievery. It's not about moral categories, about what is good or bad, what is moral or immoral. It's about political and social categories. The fact is that the interests of the 1% that rule society are antithetical to the interests of the vast majority.

I don't own much and I don't even lock my front door as I don't have much to steal. But there is a world of difference between corporate wealth and personal wealth, including the vast personal wealth of the 1%.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6587) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

You should lock your front door, RJ. It's just simple insurance against someone stealing the one thing you can't replace.

[-] 0 points by Kirby (104) 2 years ago

No one forces you to work for anyone. If you are being cheated go work for someone else, or yourself. If you agreed to work for a certain wage and benefits, why do you think you are being cheated? I say we confiscate you and all your shit.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 2 years ago

Of course no one forces anyone to work, excepting if you don't work you will not be able to buy food, clothing, shelter and the other necessities of live. So, unless they have inherited wealth or are part of the 1%, everyone has to work for someone. And the system is rigged against the vast majority. That's why it's called wage slavery.

Back in the days of chattel slavery there were kind slave owners and mean slave owners but the problem was the system as a whole, not the behavior of individual slave owners. And what did the United States government do? It confuscated their property and their were former slave owners and the off spring of slave owners that complained about that for 100 years in terms not all that different than what you are using.

200 years ago most people thought human slavery to be quite reasonable. Of course we have evolved beyond that, but not all at once, and many people were literally dragged kicking and screaming to a position in opposition to human slavery. I think the same is true of corporate power today. Opposition to it is growing and at the root of corporate power are its resources.

Every worker produces considerably more than what they are actually paid and the difference is what is stolen from us as wage slaves.

I don't have much "shit" as you put it (excepting in the literal sense) and I leave my door unlocked. Property is theft. I try to give at least a couple of bucks every day to the homeless I see hanging around the bus station (I don't own a car).

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The less money we spend, the less the corporations get. We must put them on a diet. Buy used, buy local, buy in bulk, make or grow yourself, are all effective ways to reduce spending. This reduces corporate sales and decreases the prices they charge. If all Americans switched to 4 cylinder cars today, gas prices would drop dramatically tomorrow.

In each of the three examples above, they were able to find an alternative. Instead of tea, they switched to coffee. Instead of buying salt they made their own. Instead of sitting in the back of the bus, they refused to ride the bus. Each boycott was effective.

You can give a thousand reasons why it won't work, but it has worked in the past, and will work now. If you lived in Boston in 1773 would you be able to see how effective a boycott of tea would be. It helped spark the revolution that overthrew the British.

The corporations have now become the kings who rule us and they must be overthrown as well.

[-] 0 points by toonces (-117) 2 years ago

Oddly, all those boycotts were against governments, not corporations

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The Boston tea party boycotted tea imported by the East India company, because of the British governments unfair tax. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was against the Montgomery public transit system, because of society's imposition of segregation. No matter how intertwined a corporation, or society, or government is, we must fight against all agents who perpetuate injustice.

[-] 0 points by FarIeymowat (49) 2 years ago

Do you grow your own food? Do you spin your own yarn?grow your cotton? Shear your own sheep? Tan your own leather for shoes? Grow your trees so you can cut your own lumber? Build your own house? Make your own glass for windows? Drill your own well for water? Do you use outhouse to shit? Do you go in the bushes, or use the public sewer system? On and on. You love and depend on corporations.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I am a willing purchaser of a corporations goods and services until the price becomes too high, either monetary or the byproduct of corruption.

[-] 0 points by pullmyfinger (-6) 2 years ago

Yea...start with Apple. Nobody purchase their computers, I phones or I Pads. Then we boycott Starbucks...then Birkenstock..

Let's show those..."corporations"

You fucking idiot loooooozers.

[-] 0 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

The Boston tea party boycotted tea imported by the East India company, because of the british governments unfair tax. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was against the Montgomery public transit system, because of society's imposition of segregation. No matter how intertwined a corporation, or society, or government is, we must fight against all agents who perpetuate injustice.

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[-] -1 points by capella (199) 2 years ago

the above mentioned boycotted govts. not corporations.

[-] -1 points by wigger (-48) 2 years ago

Seriously, we could try voting. There's a lot more of us than them so we could maybe vote for people we like instead of the people there now who are bought and paid for by the evil corps. Ever think about trying something like that?

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

We have voted out the corrupt for decades. More corrupt ones take their place. Something more effective needs to be done.

[-] -2 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

Go ahead - a great idea. My small business is not incorporated so I will not worry - you do need to know, through, that all the new stuff we buy to resell - we purchase from corporations.

Do you really think that you will have any effect trying to boycott corporations when you can really get ONLY one degree away from them any way that you look??

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

See reply above.

[-] 0 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

YEAH YEAH YEAH

All I have heard are a lot of "have toos" There is a great difference between three ships and a few hundred patriots.

What we have today is 30,000 corporations and a few hundred people with nothing but words.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

300 million people divided by 30,000 corporations =10,000 people per corporation. If just 10% of the population joined in a boycott, there would be change.

You're a business owner. If 10% of your customers boycotted your business, would you reconsider the way do did business?

Only a few months old, we are small but growing. We encourage all people who are concerned with stopping the growing corporate influence of our government and restore democracy by the people to join us.

[-] -1 points by ronjj (-241) 2 years ago

How about being realistic for a change and making some sense out of your comments. YOU DO NOT have 300M people supporting you and what you want to see happen.

Lets be realistic and assume that YOU have 100 very competent, very well educated and very wise people with you - WHAT exactly would you do.

This entire OWS fiasco has been built on such exaggerated figures that no one wants any part of it. Just be realistic for once and say something that the average American citizen can get their mind around. The more you folks continue to exaggerate, the less credibility any of you have.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

I did not say 300 million support us. That is the US population. The 10,000 people per corporation number shows that the people are much larger than the corporations. I said if 10% of the population (30 million people) would boycott, change will occur. We are not up to that number yet, but this movement is still young.

I don't want to put the corporations out of business, I want to put them out of government.

Don't we both want the same result?

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[+] -5 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

Yeah guys boycott corporations. Don't buy their products. Then they will lay off even more people, may be shut down altogether. Even more people will be on the streets with you. Awesome idea.. Mind blowing.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

An obvious conclusion. But is it true? Does the corporation only have one choice, lay off workers? They have a second choice too, cutting dividends to the shareholders. They also have a third choice. Stop contributing to elections. If you were a CEO facing a boycott, wouldn't you make the less costly choice?

[+] -7 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

You obviously do not understand the concept of shareholders then. The CEO (and the managers down to the janitor) are agents of the principal, the principal being the shareholders. The CEO does not own the corporation, the shareholders do. In fact in most cases the CEO does not hold a lot of shares, he is a minority. So if the CEO even thought about cutting dividends the shareholders would boot him/her out and install someone else who would be more complaint. So the only choice the CEO can make is whether he/she wants to quit the job or not. The CEO is just the agent. He does take day to day decisions but decisions like cutting dividends, the CEO wont even dare.

[-] 5 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

While it is customary for the responsibilities of an organization's CEO to be set by Board of Directors, the CEO is often Chairman of the Board of Directors.

A majority of shares is often held by the board and management (insiders), especially shares that have special benefits such as more voting rights.

Thus a small majority that includes the CEO can - and often does - easily control all aspects of corporate finance for their own benefit.

And that is the difference between concept and reality.

[+] -6 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

I so dearly wish, for the sake of OWS squatters, that you were right. I mean doesn't it suck to be collectively ignorant on so many issues? For starters you could pick any of our favorite publicly listed company and look up it's share holding pattern on Yahoo Finance. For your ease (I am nit sure if people with sub 100 IQ can successfully google that info), here is the link about Apple's shareholding http://finance.yahoo.com/q/mh?s=aapl

If I memory serves me well (and it does), correct me if I am wrong, Apple's removed Steve Jobs, then installed and removed a couple of more CEOs and then again Jobs. Yahoo's board itself removed a couple of CEOs including founder Jerry Yang and more recently Andrea Jung.

So no, CEOs mostly aren't the majority share holders. Could be with family owned businesses or a few founder-CEO companies. But mostly, it's not so.

And that, my dear friend, is the difference between ignorance and reality.

On a personal level I could tell you that if any CEO (or managers) decided to screw the investors that my firm represents, we would skin them by their ass, before summarily firing them.

[-] 4 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

More misdirection.

I did not say that CEOs mostly ARE the majority share holders. I said that CEOs are often chairmen as well as CEOs, giving them far more authority to control corporate finances than you seem to think possible, and that various stock ownership classes ("A" shares, preferred shares, etc.) can give them majority or near majority voting voting rights, especially when combined with other insiders.

And unless you are on the board of directors, you do not have the ability to fire the CEO.

Do you have any idea at all what you are talking about? (FYO, that was a rhetorical question.)

[-] 4 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

Meaningless link attributed to Practising Company Secretary, Past President, The Institute of Company Secretaries of India

LOL! I almost fell out of my chair laughing - thank you!

[+] -6 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

If you would care to read it, you would realize that it does not do either. It neither entirely supports your view that CEOs can get away with whatever they want and neither does that say that the board will always prevail. As long as investors remain vigilant (which most institutional investors are) and care to put a proper board structure, the CEO can hardly ever get away with his/her whims and fancies. And remember, the board can always remove the chairman.

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

Hahahahaha, and on top of that you don't even read my posts!

1 points by nucleus (2638) 53 minutes ago

... And unless you are on the board of directors, you do not have the ability to fire the CEO.

You're so stupid, you actually think you're smart!

[-] -3 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

Oh I get it now, this was about my comment that about my firm firing the CEOs, isnt it? I see. Okay I will explain for your benefit, a hedge fund like the one where I work represents investors who are our clients. So we manage their investments. Hence, when I said about firing CEOs it would be on behalf of my clients. Frankly, I did not realize you would misunderstand this. Then again, I ought to realize what forum this is. My mistake entirely. I 'misunderstimated', to borrow a word from Bush, your intellectual capacity. Sorry. I should have been more considerate of the intellectually disabled..err..challenged..err differently intellectually abled. Political correctness.

[-] 3 points by CurveOfBindingEnergy (165) 2 years ago

You said

"On a personal level I could tell you that if any CEO (or managers) decided to screw the investors that my firm represents, we would skin them by their ass, before summarily firing them."

Then you said

"And remember, the board can always remove the chairman."

So you can't really fire them then. I guess nucleus is right and you are talking out of your ass. So much for smart capitalist.

[-] 0 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=919881

Might help you understand provided you can understand

[-] -2 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

Dear genius. I (or my firm) is not a board member , we represent investors, shareholders. So while these shareholders may not sit on the board themselves, they firm (or fund) would have a significant enough stake to affect decisions. Pretty much in the way Mitt Romney is now being accused of firing people during his time at Bain. Need more explanation?

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

You said your investors would fire a CEO who screwed them, after skinning him alive. Now you're arguing with me because I said only the board of directors can fire a CEO, which you agree with!

Since clients are not the board of directors, the only logical conclusion is that you are full of shit.

[-] -1 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=919881

here... hope it can penetrate that thick skull of urs

[-] -2 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

Not in the mood of giving you a lesson on corporate governance right now.

[-] -3 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

"... And unless you are on the board of directors, you do not have the ability to fire the CEO." - Isn't that kind of obvious? Can you just walk into a office and fire the CEO? I mean seriously man, what are you?

[-] 2 points by nucleus (3291) 2 years ago

Do you even remember writing "And remember, the board can always remove the chairman." ? It's only 3 posts up, and only 30 minutes ago, and repeats what I wrote in this thread, in response to you, an hour ago.

If there is one thing you've proven here, it is that it is utterly impossible to have a rational discussion with an idiot. You misdirect, avoid the question, and are unable to follow a logical chain of progression or thought.

smartcapitalist is most definitely an oxymoron.

[-] -3 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

Yes the board can remove the chairman. What issue do you have against that? Are you brain dead?

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

http://seekingalpha.com/article/315168-annaly-still-a-buy-after-dividend-cut

Companies raise and lower dividends depending on how well business is. Stockholders realize that distributing a high dividend when business is low jeopardizes the health of the company by reducing it's capital, the very basis for it's existence.

[-] -2 points by smartcapitalist (143) 2 years ago

Yes, when business is not all that good companies usually 'plow back' earnings into the business. But they NEVER give a raise to their employees. In fact, Microsoft paid dividends for the first time ever in 2003 while it had a IPO in 1986. So why did investors buy and hold on to MS stock? Because they 'plowed back' money into the business, the share price rose consistently and handsomely. Most investors dont give a damn about dividends as long as their share price is rising because if the investor really needs money he/she can simply sell off the share and cash it. But 'plowing back' money into the business is an investment while giving all your employees are pay raise is an 'expense' and a huge one at that.

By the way, for the first time ever someone here has referred to a decent site, a site I respect, seekingalpha. Good going