Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Resistance: Step Away From the Recycling Bin and Pick Up Pitchforks

And stop wearing pink on Breast Cancer Awareness Day, brought to you by the very companies whose toxic chemicals actually cause breast cancer.

When consumer movements stop caring about pesticide exposure once new chemicals are created that don’t persist on the vegetables but hit hard and fast and thus poison farmworkers, which was one of the stories I discussed in Out of Sight, that’s a neoliberal aim. When parents move to the suburbs or put their kids in private school to save their children instead of fighting for better public schools where they live, that’s also a neoliberal aim. All of these things–including the Alar campaign, third party campaigns, pointless boycotts to make yourself feel righteous and good, claiming you are the problem because you take long showers even though 90% of water use is from industry and agriculture–prioritize the individual as hyper consumer with the power to change the world through consumption instead of doing the hard work of organizing for change. At best, these campaigns have the power to make small changes if enough of them care, but none of this actually challenges the power structures of oppression. And thus they all reinforce the power of capitalism to set the agenda in our society, more so ever day as the state is seen as a negative and business glorified.

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