Meet the new boss
Oh yogis, seekers, miscellaneous hippies, readers and internet dilettantes: please please please don’t let Them convince you that your only active role in this society is as consumer.
A dollar is not a vote, nor should it be. Yes, your purchasing power sends a message and can generate a sort of low-grade change like greenwashing where various focus groups and boardroom tables learn to pay lip service to your meagre dollars. Yes, your decisions matter and should not be overwhelmed in feeling like you can’t make a difference, because you can and you will. But the fallout from this kind of rhetoric gives us mayhem like Citizens United, it makes people feel profoundly cheated by Silk and Kashi [who after all are just companies like every other company, and I really shouldn’t have to say this but *companies are not bad*, they just are what they are], and most importantly takes energy that we really should be using to influence the political process and gives it to STUFF. I love stuff, btw. I love buying stuff. I know first hand the pitfalls of trying to create an Edenic purity of purchasing in a household while the needed compromises of existing in society are forsaken. You are more than a dollar. You’re more than a vote, too, but don’t get it twisted: if a company grew fat off of your money they’d just be the new boss, and all you’ve done is make them feel like they have a financial mandate to make ethically and environmentally questionable decisions. Regulate and tax the big ‘uns; shift the burden of responsibility to those who have the power to make broad change: the companies themselves. That is all.