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What do anarchists think of "voting with your dollar"?

+1 vote
OR: what's the best thing to say to liberals when they suggest it as a viable path towards "progressive change" blah blah?
asked Jan 16, 2014 by anonymous

4 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
As a means for creating social change "voting with your dollar" is bankrupt for a number of reasons.

Most of the processes that lay the groundwork for consumer-capitalism (roads, agriculture, work, mass transportation) are extremely harmful to basically every variation of life possible. To give an example, someone who suggests only buying vegan food to offset animal cruelty isn't taking into account the fact that the farms that grow their soybeans are damaging the soil as well as destroying animal habitat and chasing them off of the land, which disrupts the natural ecosystem and throws everything out of whack. The trucks which drive the soybeans around to grocery stores, and the infrastructure in general, are pumping poison in the air and creating run-off which poisons the planet. The purchasing of ANY product is contributing the profiteering of capital, which uses that profit to grow and invest further; resulting in further growth, more farming, more transporting, more buildings, more everything. The workers who prepare the soybeans, at whatever stage, are being alienated from the means of their own lives, with somewhere from 30-60 hours of their week taken from them where they are forced to endure a harsh form of discipline where they receive a multitude of "do this or you're fired and therefore can't afford to live" orders every day.

And as a caveat: even if you STOP consuming ANYTHING...the system doesn't stop producing. As we've seen with the recession, capitalism doesn't need all of us.
answered Jan 17, 2014 by flip (3,980 points)
selected Apr 28, 2016 by dot
+3 votes
This anarchist thinks there are three things wrong with that phrase: voting, your, and dollar.

A longer answer would have to include a discussion on dollars being an enforced medium of exchange that only has value insofar as it is backed up by the might of the US government. Further, the topic of how a medium of exchange is necessary for capitalism would probably be interesting.

The idea that said dollars are the actual possession of anyone aside from the institutions that create and maintain the currency (the state) would also need to be addressed.

Then the idea that voting is any kind of meaningful activity would need to be dissected.

The fourth problem is inherent in the way the phrase is concocted. The idea that consumption of goods and services is a reliable mechanism for determining the fulfillment of one's desires is absurd.
answered Jan 16, 2014 by lawrence (13,560 points)
+3 votes
The premise is what is to be attacked: Anarchists are, broadly speaking, interested in radically transforming the way people live, which is to say from the root or very fundamentals all the way up, and not merely renegotiating the terms of the present situation.

Anarchists, as such anyway, have little use for political bonsai.
answered Jan 20, 2014 by StrawDog (1,370 points)
–1 vote
There is some truth to the voting with your dollars. I do like to shop locally, especially at cooperatives. Anything with a Wobblie union is a great place.

In the future as we transform into a new society from the shell of the old, the working class will grab the levers of power and do the old "working class shuffle", like the Super Bowl shuffle Chomsky style. Like that Korean pop song but with Chomsky instead of gangnam.

When all the capitalist businesses transform into worker owned and control anarcho-syndicalist businesses, then we will all be in better situations.

All Power to the Working Class !
answered Jan 20, 2014 by Anarcho-Syndicalist (230 points)
see AS, now i know you're trolling... ;)
Hahahah that was good! :)
Some choice bits from their previous responses:

"After The Revolution, decentralized worker collectives would lead us into the Utopia that sparkles in our eyes when the sweet whispers of Working Class Power is uttered.

Anarcho-Syndicalism is, as MC Milstein (Cindy Milstein's rapper name) has said, the Best of Liberalism and the Best of Communism."

"Have you even considered Anarcho-Syndicalism ?"
If I'm a troll, then call me Murray Bookchin's Mustache. I dare you.

I'm starting to think that NO ONE here has even considered Anarcho-Syndicalism !!!

When the day comes, I highly doubt any of you will be allowed to serve as delegates in your local anarcho-syndicalist federation when we need to have national and international meetings.
i can only hang my head in shame for my gullibility. (and wishful thinking...)