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Monday, March 02, 2015

Idea: General Strike Should Take The Form Of a General Boycott

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
-- President Abraham Lincoln

Therein lies the problem. Unfortunately today, capital IS superior to labor and it does get higher consideration because it is taxed much less than labor. You might have noticed too that labor is treated like worthless crap. That is why I suggest the form of a general strike should not be by withholding labor, because you'll just be replaced for your actions. Instead it should be in the form of a general boycott by withholding capital.

What do I mean exactly?

Cut your cable and dish connections. Cut all your magazines and newspaper subscriptions and private club memberships, Turn on free digital TV and radio. Start exercising instead of going to a Badger or Bucks game. Start preparing dinners and eating at home instead of going to restaurants.

Mow your own lawn, do your own gardening and shovel your own snow instead of hiring a service. Cancel those services. Delay contractor home remodeling and ALL other non-essential expenses. You'll save money. Go for walks and start bicycling instead of driving to shopping malls. Discover your family and neighbors and get off the junk wagon of perpetual consumerism and aimless spending.

Imagine the local cable company getting 1,000 calls to disconnect the cable on a single day OR a city newspaper or other major subscription service getting thousands of calls for cancellations on a single day and the calls keep coming in for a week. That's what I'm talking about.

For however long it takes.

The beauty in this is no companies or business sectors are specific targets. It's a general boycott of the entire statist establishment.

If only half of the 46 percent of those voting against Walker did this, Wisconsin would come to a complete standstill. No need to picket. No need for demonstrations or rallies. No talk or need for civil disobedience. No need for petitions and no need to put your own job in jeopardy by not going to work. No need to give a reason to anyone why you have cut spending. Conservatives in particular should quickly relate.

I also understand that some people in general can be a spoiled lot who simply won't give up their latte. That's why I don't understand why labor unions haven't developed a strong Plan B strategy similar to this from the heavy citizens participation during previous protests in Wisconsin.

Since a strike like this would be effective only if carried out in unison with a start date, why they didn't have a check box for supporters who would be willing to participate in a general boycott when called upon is beyond me. If at least to gage interest of such action.

It's still not too late to organize for something like this, but I leave this suggestion on the podium at this time for your consideration with the question: What are the alternatives?


Anonymous said...

Long time reader, first time commenter.

The flaw in your argument is that you're calling on people to destroy an economy that is based entirely on perpetual consumerism. That wouldn't be good for most of us.

But it wouldn't happen because you couldn't get a group to do a general boycott. It's easy to boycott Chick-Fil-A when you have a specific beef with a specific organization, and you can still get your fried chicken elsewhere. There's no real loss. Or we can choose not to buy products from the specific businesses that we don't wish to support (i.e. reading materials from a local newspaper company). But to give up consumerism? Not going to happen.

Lou Kaye said...

I'm not calling out to "destroy" the economy. But I am calling out for people to boycott an entire system and the only way to do that is by cutting down on non-essential consumerism. I agree it most likely won't happen because people don't have the will to make it happen and God forbid, we certainly wouldn't want to make any attempt to break the string of all those labor/worker victories.

Anonymous said...

I'm a state IT worker. Myself and many other public employees have been doing this for several years. It may not be making a very significant impact, but I'm sure it's having some impact. If nothing else, I'm managed to save 1000s over the past three years which I'm going to use to relocate my family including 2 children. If I have to live in a red state at least I'm going to be in a warm state. Nothing here worth staying for now that conservatives have ruined my home state.

Anonymous said...

You forget to mention that a strike would be illegal for state workers.

Lou Kaye said...

anon, the strike I describe is what I would call a "flash boycott" of the system, not carried out by workers or labor, but by the citizens at-large. The more I think about, the more I find that action to be the last viable non-violent recourse for the people to avoid total upheaval.

Anonymous said...

I've been coming here about twice a week for years and I'm always amazed at the quality of this blog and how few the comments are. By the way, your flash boycott is a great idea and should be explored by labor groups. They have nothing more to lose.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that with the gradual decrease of wages that will result from rtw that these acts you call for will happen regardless. Welcome to Hendricksville folks.

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