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Forum Post: Using iPhones and Macbooks?--Is OWS being hypocritical? Where do we draw the line on corporations?

Posted 10 years ago on Jan. 19, 2012, 6:14 p.m. EST by owstok12 (0)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

A big media criticism of OWS has been protesters’ use of the products from major corporations such as Apple. They state that if the message of the movement is anti-corporation and in some sense anti-overconsumption, it is hypocritical for protesters to be using expensive electronic goods from the very source they are protesting. Furthermore, when Ben & Jerry’s announced their support for OWS, it was received with heavy criticism in the press which stated that it was once again hypocritical for the movement to accept support from a brand that is under the control of major international corporation (Ben & Jerry’s is operated by Unilever).

This issue of modern consumerism in connection with the OWS movement has raised many questions for me:

Is this reliance and use of goods produced by large, international corporations currently inevitable and if so, is there any chance of this changing in the future?

Is there something about these companies (specifically Apple) that makes it okay for us to use these goods as opposed to another corporation, say Sony?

And I guess on a larger scale, are we opposed to large corporations in general or just corporations that are “too large” or known for unethical practices?

I think is certainly an important issue of OWS that needs to be clarified so that the movement’s message can be spread more effectively. Feedback is much appreciated.



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[-] 2 points by jpwebb (19) from Brooklyn, NY 10 years ago

Making the generalization of OWS people as Mac users is really very passé and basically moot.

The idea that it's hypocritical to be anti-corporation and buy a laptop is myopic. Computers are an infinitesimally small cost compared to the billions being made by corporations and Wall St. fat cats at the deliberate expense of others.

Being able to quickly and freely spread ideas and news, document the realities of police brutality and show evidence of the corporate fascism in our country far outweigh the minor ethical price one's conscience must pay to justify the purchase of some decent computer and video equipment regardless of how trendy a brand might be.

Right now whether we have the technology or not, we are not done using fossil fuels, so there's not much point in beating yourself up about buying a computer if it's part of what helps your life and the movement.

I think it would only be obvious to say that ideally we won't have such an oil-centric consumer-centric socioeconomic model and I think that day could come, but we're not there yet, and there's only really one thing that will get us there which is the end of greed and there's really only one way to end the greed which is to expose it - this requires free communication and computer and telecommunications infrastructure is currently best suited to help achieve this.


[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 10 years ago

Buying used, in bulk, local, or make or grow your own is never hypocritical.

[-] 0 points by gosso920 (-24) 10 years ago

"Share it fairly, but don't take a slice of my pie."

[-] 0 points by SteveKJR (-497) 10 years ago

You can be sure the replies you get are going to defend the reason why they stand behind apple. This was posted previously when their CEO received 280 Million in stocks.

It was posted as being justified by saying it wasn't money, but it was stocks.

So be prepared with your answers because there are those OWS who will defend why they do it to the hilt.