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stue denum
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Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Feb 18th, 2013 at 7:58am
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So, do you believe boycotts can be effective. Are you engaged in your own personal ones? What reasons for boycotting do you have? And finally, which companies in particular do you refuse to deal with?

I'm about to buy a car, holden (Government Motors Australia) was the first brand crossed off the list.
  
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Crystallas
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #1 - Feb 18th, 2013 at 10:24am
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Of course they are effective.

The problem is, people think boycotting will always put a company out of business. But boycotts require a purpose and not just (not gonna buy from them, because they're so darn big, ect). If a small portion of people boycott McDonald's, because they used "pink slime", and McDonald's didn't see any change to its revenue. McDonald's still reacted by removing pink slime because of the way the boycott was handled(inform the consumer, relay the intent to the manufacturer.)

Stupid boycotts don't work. What's a stupid boycott? That is a boycott without a purpose. When someone decides to boycott something for no good reason, other than something like "I don't like the cut of their jib" or "Their new products are more popular than I believe they should be". Although the hipster mentality and counter-culture has it's place in the market too, so in these instances, boycotts are pretty ineffective if you can't sell your idea of the improvement.

Whether or not you buy a Holden, should be based on the car itself. If the vehicle is subsidized, then making a political boycott is not effective in small numbers, and kept in anonymity/secrecy. As any free-market based economic supporters, many of us would say that you would be dumb to pass up any advantage given by way of favorable legislation(given the product is actually good). As libertarians, we see the conflict, like you mentioned, because you are supporting a state initiative that steals from peter to pay paul. But of course, the options are available, so there is no need to buy a Holden. Smiley Hurray limited competition and availability.
  
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keauxbi
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #2 - Feb 18th, 2013 at 2:13pm
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Crystallas pretty much summed it up, effective boycotts are large and public, so I don't have much to add.

An anecdote to illustrate the point:
I'm boycotting my brother's emails. He is a big-state conservative AKA American Republican. He has no idea that I'm boycotting him since he probably hasn't even noticed that I'm doing it, self-absorbed and all, and if I were to mention to him that I am boycotting him, it would negate the boycott in the first place. He's recently been lobbying for my parents, two older brothers and I to write his congressmen/women to push for legislation in his state. Now he lives in Colorado, I in Michigan, oldest brother and parents are in Texas and 2nd eldest brother in Missouri. None of us have any political sway in Colorado nor should we. What he is asking us to do is to in effect throw out Colorado's perceived right to self-government and tell them how to run their state that we don't pay taxes in. For that matter I may as well live in Israel, Canada, Cuba or Russia.

Getting to the point, his urge for our action is based on a lie that he told all of us. Do I end my boycott, inform the group of the lie, rebuke him for his big statism and then reengage in the boycott or do everything behind his back to thus maintain the boycott? Much like deciding to not buy a Holden based on the Government ownership, either action I take will not have a net positive effect. A.) I'll look petty and crass B.) At most the groups view of him might diminish slightly at best. In the end, I'll bitch about his ways anonymously online to prevent others from making the sames mistake.
  

Keauxbi
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zophos
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #3 - Feb 19th, 2013 at 1:17pm
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I don't like morally-inspired boycotts, like the one against Chick-fil-a earlier this year.  While I don't agree with Chick-fil-a's position on gay marriage and their financial support of anti-gay groups, it's ridiculous to then jump to the conclusion that I shouldn't do business with them.  A diverse society will simply not function if we always refuse to interact with people we don't agree with.  And besides, as a private business, Chick-fil-a's owners are entitled to freedom of conscience and may spend their own money as they see fit.
  

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Shiva_TD
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #4 - Feb 19th, 2013 at 3:40pm
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zophos wrote on Feb 19th, 2013 at 1:17pm:
I don't like morally-inspired boycotts, like the one against Chick-fil-a earlier this year. While I don't agree with Chick-fil-a's position on gay marriage and their financial support of anti-gay groups, it's ridiculous to then jump to the conclusion that I shouldn't do business with them. A diverse society will simply not function if we always refuse to interact with people we don't agree with. And besides, as a private business, Chick-fil-a's owners are entitled to freedom of conscience and may spend their own money as they see fit.


I, on the otherhand, would support the boycott of Chick-fil-a because they're advocating a violation of the inalienable Rights of a Person and that is NOT an issue of subjective morality. There are no Chick-fil-a's in my area so it's moot whether I'd support it or not because I can't boycott them but I will not support any entity that opposes the inalienable Rights of the Person.

At the sametime I won't ever own a British made car. It's not that I have anything against the British but after owning five different British made cars, including a Bentley and a Jaguar, they are pieces of junk. Lucas Electronics, used on most British cars, really is the Prince of Darkness. LOL
  
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RubyHypatia
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #5 - Feb 19th, 2013 at 7:32pm
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Maybe we should boycott Chinese products since China keeps cyber attacking us.  But then I'm not sure how that would work out since we buy so much from them.
  
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Shiva_TD
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #6 - Feb 20th, 2013 at 10:56am
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RubyHypatia wrote on Feb 19th, 2013 at 7:32pm:
Maybe we should boycott Chinese products since China keeps cyber attacking us. But then I'm not sure how that would work out since we buy so much from them.


If a person wants to boycott Chinese products because of individuals in China making cyber attacks on the US then they certainly have a Right to do so. Will it impact the overall consumption of Chinese goods? Probably not which would make it ineffective. Only when overall consumption is affected does a boycott really have any effect.
  
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RubyHypatia
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #7 - Feb 20th, 2013 at 12:37pm
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Supposedly, the latest cyber attack came from the Chinese military, though the Chinese government denies it.
  
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Crystallas
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #8 - Feb 20th, 2013 at 12:47pm
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RubyHypatia wrote on Feb 20th, 2013 at 12:37pm:
Supposedly, the latest cyber attack came from the Chinese military, though the Chinese government denies it.


A better reason for the US to decentralize. It doesn't matter who is providing the attack, the vulnerability is the important part. If we tie central infrastructures onto an accessible network, someone, foreign or domestic, will apply their disgruntle motives towards anything that is unnecessarily vulnerable. Being exploitable spreads the defensive abilities of a people thinner and thinner, regardless of who is accountable(government, local, private.)

If the system was decentralized, then it would no longer need to be on the shared network. Who is going to hack into it? Only someone from the inside, which would be a considerable reduction in risk.

In this case, the boycott of China would not be effective at all at achieving the optimal result, or any progress for that matter. One suggestion, if we want to use boycotts, is to apply a boycott to those who advocate the centralization which locks the systems into a vulnerable structure. It wouldn't be effective alone, but in effect, beneficial to accurately point out the culprits and use a boycott as both a means to improve through protest, and educate a broader spectrum of consumers.
  
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zophos
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Re: Boycotts: Effective? And who?
Reply #9 - Feb 21st, 2013 at 10:40pm
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Shiva_TD wrote on Feb 19th, 2013 at 3:40pm:
I, on the otherhand, would support the boycott of Chick-fil-a because they're advocating a violation of the inalienable Rights of a Person and that is NOT an issue of subjective morality. There are no Chick-fil-a's in my area so it's moot whether I'd support it or not because I can't boycott them but I will not support any entity that opposes the inalienable Rights of the Person.


I only briefly looked at the anti-gay charity that Chick-fil-a was supporting, and it does appear to engage in lobbying (that is, trying to force their morality on another person thus violating that person's rights). From a strictly libertarian perspective this is problematic, but within the framework of a democracy, which includes the right to petition the government, there's nothing necessarily unethical about it. In the final analysis, though, I'll agree with you; it's best to err on the side of liberty, and just because something is legal does not make it right.

Besides the lobbying, there is Chick-fil-a's non-lobbying advocacy work, which is not problematic within libertarianism at all - that's their freedom of speech and conscience at work. And it was this non-lobbying advocacy that I was focusing on in my original comment. A difference in opinions is no reason to boycott someone.
  

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