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Consumer Activism


“Neoliberalism is in the first instance a theory of political economic practices that proposes that human well-being can best be advanced by liberating individual entrepreneurial freedoms and skills within an institutional framework characterized by strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade.” – David Harvey

Hyper-individualism is the inevitable byproduct of neoliberal ideology. It is also the primary cultural, political and economic challenge of our time. From New Age spiritual mumbo-jumbo to home detox remedies and advanced yoga practices, many Americans have been duped into spending an inordinate amount of their time and money on individual hobbies and practices — none of which, it should be noted, have resulted in a more justpeaceful or livable world.

Without question, the atomization of American society has produced a disempowered populace, a society in which people no longer entertain their friends for parties,1 or spend significant portions of their time engaged in community events or civic activities.2 As a result, people are confusedaddictedanxious and cynical.

Of course, none of this should come as a great surprise. Capitalism encourages self-serving behavior. Corporate media outlets peddle vapid and sensationalist nonsense. Neoliberal policies that produce economic displacement have fractured communities. The American education system has been gutted. Militarized police murder black, brown and poor white people at will. And U.S. Empire runs amok. And that’s just a snippet of what’s happening in the U.S.

At times, it’s clear that people are simply overwhelmed by the vastness and quantity of our collective problems. Hence, people seek escapist acts. These days, so-called “self help” or “self care” rituals are all the craze. In reality, people are compensating for the loneliness and superficiality manufactured by our modern culture.

In the U.S., people are spending an unprecedented amount of time alone, or even worse, with their multiple electronic gadgets. According to a report from CNN, “adults in the United States devoted about 10 hours and 39 minutes each day to consuming media.” Put differently, the vast majority of Americans now spend half of their 24 hour day with two-dimensional screens.

The negative consequences are too numerous to detail, so I’ll simply list two as they pertain to political activism:

  1. The inability to properly communicate our thoughts, not only with friends, family and community members, but more importantly with strangers, is perhaps the biggest social crisis in the U.S. Organizing a new society based on collective values requires collective action. Collective action requires intense collective communication. If people are spending less and less time with other human beings, these tasks become quite difficult. Put differently, one of the primary challenges political organizers face is training people to socialize. Yes, simply socializing is now a challenge. I see it at virtually every event I attend or help organize: people wandering around, wondering how to talk to strangers. It’s a problem, and a serious one at that.
  2. Individualized forms of activism are much easier than collective forms of action, which is why most people avoid collective forms of resistance. It’s true: working with strangers can be quite difficult. Learning each others’ faults, talents, desires and fears is a long and tedious process. That said, it’s also a very worthwhile and fulfilling endeavor. Simply buying locally grown produce will not stop corporate juggernauts like Walmart. Switching to a vegan diet will not stop Monsanto, the world’s largest agricultural terrorist. Dieting and working out will not stop our nation’s health care crisis (only universal health care can do that). And aligning our chakras will not address our alienation, nor will it heal the wounds of 40 years of Neoliberal policies and cultural indoctrination. In order to defeat organized wealth and power, people must collectively organize against powerful institutions and systems of violence and oppression.

Martin Lukacs, writing for the Guardian, recently penned an article entitled, “Neoliberalism Has Conned Us Into Fighting Climate Change as Individuals,” in which he highlights the fundamental issue plaguing climate change activists in the U.S.: namely, their inability to conceptualize resistance outside the scope of individual actions such as recycling, eating a vegetarian diet or shopping at locally owned stores that sell locally grown produce, or what is commonly referred to as “consumer activism.”

Today, “consumer activism” is the dominant form of activism in the U.S. I hear it constantly, “Vince, I just don’t have time to be involved, so I participate on social media and I don’t shop at Walmart.” Aside from the obvious and inherent privilege (and cowardice) contained within such a statement, it’s important to note that people do indeed have the time to be engaged — they simply choose to spend their free time in other ways, such as scanning social media, watching Netflix or playing with their iPhones. Of course, none of this is by accident, nor is it new. As Lukacs notes:

Even before the advent of neoliberalism, the capitalist economy had thrived on people believing that being afflicted by the structural problems of an exploitative system – poverty, joblessness, poor health, lack of fulfillment – was in fact a personal deficiency.

Neoliberalism has taken this internalized self-blame and turbocharged it. It tells you that you should not merely feel guilt and shame if you can’t secure a good job, are deep in debt, and are too stressed or overworked for time with friends. You are now also responsible for bearing the burden of potential ecological collapse.

Yet individual choices become relevant when the economic system can provide viable, environmental options for everyone—not just an affluent few. If affordable mass transit isn’t available, people will commute with cars. If local organic food is too expensive, they won’t opt out of fossil-intensive super-market chains. If cheap mass produced goods flow endlessly, they will buy and buy and buy. This is the con-job of neoliberalism: to persuade us to address climate change through our pocket-books, rather than through power and politics.

Eco-consumerism may be able to expiate your guilt. But it’s only mass movements that have the power to alter the trajectory of the climate crisis. This requires of us first a resolute mental break from the spell cast by neoliberalism: to stop thinking like individuals.

At the end of the day, the fundamental question is: Are we as individual human beings solely interested in subjective interpretations of the world, or are we inherently interested in collective actions that produce collective benefits? Lukacs, echoing the vast majority of social scientists and evolutionary biologists, reminds us that “the impulse of humans to come together is inextinguishable.” While this may be true, humanity’s “inextinguishable” urge to collectively struggle nevertheless requires intentional work.

And that work is long and difficult. However, that work — communication, collective struggle, grassroots politics, creating culture, popular education — penetrates the very core of what it means to be a human being. The more people participate in social, cultural and political events, the happier they will be.

Years ago, when the internet was still in its infancy, tech wizards and futurists insisted that this new form of technology and communication would “change the world.”3 Several decades later, and the jury is still out: Trump is in power. Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan and many other nations have been destroyed. As a result, the world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, and the planet is on the precipice of destruction.

Meanwhile, Alex Jones, an internet creation if there ever was one, hosts one of the most downloaded podcasts in the world (80 million per week). Indeed, over the course of 25 years, the internet has produced more ‘fake news’ and petty charlatans than TV and radio could in a century. The deterioration of rational thought is also a sign of the times. Reactionaries around the world who are dedicated to catapulting society back to the Dark Ages are being hoisted to power in large part due to the power of social media (an internet creation).4

Those who insist that technology (the internet serving as one example) will solve our collective problems are playing within the framework of neoliberal ideology. Their so-called ‘solutions’ to our collective problems almost always include individual pursuits: solar panel roofselectric vehiclesbattery powered water filtration systems, and so on.

They want it both ways: the liberal technologists seek individual freedom, but without the collective struggle necessary to achieve a healthy balance. They seek not to change the very systems and institutions that drive our ecological crises, but to deal with those systems and institutions in a more thoughtful and scientific manner, and with all the latest gadgets (all of which require a fossil fuel infrastructure).

In the meantime, various forms of corporate and state power seek to extinguish not only our impulse for collectivity, but also the very essence of individual freedom and liberty. Paradoxically, the more people identify and behave as hyper-individuals, the more they actually fit into a collective set of non-individuals.

Erich Fromm, the German sociologist and philosopher, once reflected on the difference between the ‘freedom to’ and ‘freedom from’ in his seminal work, Escape From Freedom. As Fromm suggested in 1941, people would be wise to re-conceptualize our ideas of so-called freedom. This, according to Fromm, should be an ongoing process. In other words, our ideas of freedom should change with the times.

As Fromm once wrote,“We forget that, although freedom of speech constitutes an important victory in the battle against old restraints, modern man is in a position where much of what ‘he’ thinks and says are the things that everybody else thinks and says; that he has not acquired the ability to think originally – that is, for himself – which alone gives meaning to his claim that nobody can interfere with the expression of his thoughts.”

My father’s generation used to joke that in Communist countries everyone dresses, acts and speaks the same. For decades, people in the West were told that the very idea of individuality was not only alien in the Soviet Union, but harshly repressed in the most brutal ways imaginable.

Ironically, my father’s generation’s collective nightmare is now true in Capitalist countries, but particularly in the United States, where everyone dresses, acts and talks the same.

Endnotes

1) According to Teddy Wayne of the New York Times, “a nationwide annual survey by the University of California, Los Angeles, the time high school seniors devoted to partying has slid drastically over the decades. Except for a few years, the number of homebodies who never attended parties as high school seniors has steadily increased, to 41.3 percent in 2014 from 11.6 percent in 1987, and it’s accelerated in the new millennium, more than doubling since 2001. Over a third of Gen X high schoolers fought for their right to party at the tail end of the Reagan administration, spending more than six hours per week at gatherings; just 10.7 percent of the most recent Obama-era high school seniors did.”

2) According to a Pew Research poll conducted in 2014, only 2% of Americans have attended a political meeting on local, town, or school affairs; 13% have been an active member of a group that tries to influence the public or government; 10% have attended a political rally or speech; 7% have worked or volunteered for a political party or candidate; and only 6% have attended an organized protest.

3) Technology, especially the internet, without doubt, has changed the world in significant ways. However, the ways in which the internet has changed the world are largely cosmetic and almost always tied to commercialism/consumerism. Governments fundamentally operate and take the same shape as they did in the 1980’s, prior to the creation of the World Wide Web. In some ways, one could argue that governments are less responsive than they were during that period, though the internet can’t be blamed for historical trends, geopolitical events or global financial meltdowns. The internet and various forms of modern technology make it easier for capitalists to operate, but it’s not the sole cause of our collective problems. No longer must governments infiltrate political movements, they simply track our every move via the internet and listen to our conversations via our iPhones or ‘Smart TV’s.’ Sure, our shopping habits have changed (thanks, Amazon), but has our relationship to shopping drastically changed? Collective ownership of grocery stores hasn’t substantially grown since the advent of the internet, nor has the foundational structures of the state, corporations, militaries, etc. To paraphrase the Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, it’s easier for people to imagine colonies on Mars and Artificial Intelligence than it is to imagine a new political or economic system. The true triumph of Neoliberalism is the assassination of our collective imagination.

4) Insofar as social media and political activism is concerned, social media platforms can be both useful and destructive, much like any tool or resource. On one level, I’ve found social media to be useful in terms of turning people out for events. That being said, the key factor is prior engagement. In other words, social media works wonders when I already know the people I’m trying to engage. It’s a different story with strangers. I’ve found it to be a decent news source, but only after filtering out 90% of my ‘friends list.’ Obviously, it can also be a destructive medium. Sometimes, it’s difficult to judge tone and intent via social media, hence people end up arguing about things that they probably wouldn’t argue about in person. I would also argue that social media activism has been used as a substitute for real activism. Some people never move from their internet desk to the real world, where politics and activism actually take place. For some, including the disabled, participating on social media is the only option. For others, and that includes the vast majority, participating on social media is no substitute for knocking on doors, calling people on the phone and/or participating in educational events, political protests or direct actions.

8 Comments

  1. avatar
    James July 24, 2017 8:53 am 

    I don’t know. I largely agree with this essay, but so what? It doesn’t really offer up any solution to the problem of people not engaging other than oerhaps saying indirectly “do it”. But for serious change to occur, other than some small policy change or reform, there needs to be more emphasis on vision, serious vision. Vision that offers serious institutional alternatives. Albert has just written another book essentially saying the same thing he’s been saying for thirty years, but who’s reading and listening and advocating? And how do all these lazy individuals, even cowardly, who Vincent seems to talking of, these “individuals”, know for sure whether Albert’s vision is a good one, can work, or even understand it, when hardly anyone on the left other than Albert himself seriously discuss the radical institutional changes introduced in Parecon? It’s quite the task to get a real grip on it, and it takes time and discussion….where do people go to discuss it and how do they deal with the criticisms of Parecon that may come from other left radicals, some quite scathing?

    For me the major flaw on the left is this. It knows not really where it wants to go and is in fact very divided, or just plain vague, when it comes to vision. Vision is NOT a unifying force, but rather one that splits the left, and it can be very confusing for all those cowards out there, those individuals not getting together to work towards institutional change, because it ain’t at all that clear with what we will replace, for instance, market capitalism, nor which vision proffered is the best one to get behind nor really how to do that. Russell Brand had no answer to the question “with what will we replace the current system”, and he ain’t scared of public speaking, he just palmed it off to others. What others and where can they be found?

    And surely it must be both face to face collective action coupled with strongly supported websites or website, with strong determined participation, in order for visionary ideas to really take hold? So who’s leading this charge at the moment? The NSP?

    • avatar
      Vincent Emanuele July 24, 2017 4:09 pm 

      James,

      I would argue that if you agree with large portions of the essay, it would be virtually impossible to say, “so what?”

      The point is that neoliberal ideology and various forms of technology have had a profoundly negative impact on our ability to socialize, which in turn makes political organizing even more difficult.

      It is true that the essay doesn’t offer any “solutions.” I simply wrote the essay to convey some personal reflections with regard to what I’m experiencing as an activist and organizer.

      I do agree that future essays should offer “solutions,” though I’ve talked about some of that in past. And yes, part of what I’m saying is “do it.” In my experience, people are more than willing to talk and theorize, yet unwilling to do the day-to-day work, much of it unglamorous.

      So far, I’m really enjoying Albert’s latest book. I agree: he’s one of the few left commentators who focuses on vision, strategy, tactics, etc. It’s so important.

      Where do people go to have such discussions? It’s a serious and critical question. The answer, unfortunately, at least in many cases, is nowhere. People simply aren’t getting together and having these discussions, which is part of the reason why I’ve opened a cultural center in Michigan City, Indiana, where I live.

      In order to have these discussions, radical-independent spaces are required.

      More importantly, I wouldn’t look to folks such as Russell Brand to answer the question, “with what will we replace the current system?”

      Talk to the activists and organizers, thinkers and artists who’ve spent their lives dedicated to such questions. They exist.

      I do agree that very few people on the left talk about these things, and sometimes, for good reason as writers, thinkers and activists who do propose alternatives are often ridiculed and/or ignored.

      • avatar
        James July 24, 2017 10:59 pm 

        Thank you for responding Vincent. I wasn’t expecting any really. I suppose this is part of the discussion even though I am thousands of miles away across the Pacific?

        James,

        I would argue that if you agree with large portions of the essay, it would be virtually impossible to say, “so what?”

        [I was being provocative to a point, in the sense of merely expressing a frustration, possibly an impatience regarding solutions to the things you point out.]

        The point is that neoliberal ideology and various forms of technology have had a profoundly negative impact on our ability to socialize, which in turn makes political organizing even more difficult.

        [I agree, no doubt, but political organising has always been difficult in the sense of finding actual physical spaces to meet and finding time to get there, and back home and doing such regularly. There are limitations to all organising, so I suppose, regardless of the negative impacts of technology, the positives are such that you can write an essay, I can respond and you reply and hopefully I can learn from you and FEEL part of something even though I may be somewhat cowardly or not fully involved physically in organising. The spread of ideas is pretty important and isn’t restricted to physical participation.]

        It is true that the essay doesn’t offer any “solutions.” I simply wrote the essay to convey some personal reflections with regard to what I’m experiencing as an activist and organizer.

        [As was my response. A personal reflection based on my experiences regardless of how limited they may be]

        I do agree that future essays should offer “solutions,” though I’ve talked about some of that in past. And yes, part of what I’m saying is “do it.” In my experience, people are more than willing to talk and theorize, yet unwilling to do the day-to-day work, much of it unglamorous.

        [I agree but physical participation, as I insinuated, is difficult in many respects, and to me not necessarily always qualitatively better when it comes to spreading consciousness and awareness on a large scale…in fact, it can be quite limiting and brings with it its own unique set of problems. But, nevertheless, it is absolutely vital…no doubt.]

        So far, I’m really enjoying Albert’s latest book. I agree: he’s one of the few left commentators who focuses on vision, strategy, tactics, etc. It’s so important.

        Where do people go to have such discussions? It’s a serious and critical question. The answer, unfortunately, at least in many cases, is nowhere. People simply aren’t getting together and having these discussions, which is part of the reason why I’ve opened a cultural center in Michigan City, Indiana, where I live.

        [Excellent. And that is no mean feat and certainly inspiring. And to maintain interest and participation is equally no mean feat. But I would say, something like that would be even better with a website attached. Probably no mean feat to get up. A place others unable to attend could go to catch up on what’s happening and discussions, people outside of Michigan, with transcripts, videos and all. Too much? Possibly, but the obvious move would be to see this kind of activity extended and enlarged. How?? Got no idea really other than just doing it. But things won’t grow if people don’t know they exist. I now know of this thing you are doing in Michigan, which I did not know before. I did not know of Parecon before I stumbled on it a decade and a half ago. Most people I know now have at least heard of Parecon now because I told ’em about it. Small steps indeed but steps nonetheless. ]

        In order to have these discussions, radical-independent spaces are required.

        [As I said, agree, but not just physical ones, and participation in them has to be strong and relentless, and I might say, provocatively, that perhaps the more experienced activists must show the way with concerted regular participation. But also, like reformist reforms participation must be with the express intent of building a larger movement, connecting and unifying, with a strong visionary component and connected strategy to get there. It shouldn’t just be some isolated small group disconnected from a whole bunch of other small groups, which seems to me is the nature of the “Left”. ]

        More importantly, I wouldn’t look to folks such as Russell Brand to answer the question, “with what will we replace the current system?”

        [I wasn’t nor do that. It was an example of high profile calls to revolution that fall short due to lack of preparedness and vision. But if strong movements or efforts, with strong cogent vision and ideas as expressed in all of Albert’s writing, like your own efforts in Michigan, garnered strong support from high profile celebs like Brand, who believes in revolution and talked to people like David Graeber and other activists for his book, then I don’t think that would be a bad thing at all.]

        Talk to the activists and organizers, thinkers and artists who’ve spent their lives dedicated to such questions. They exist.

        [Of course. I’ve done that here in the antipodes and online and been smacked done by some. I continue in this regard but only in ways that my family, work, and personal existence allows. Talking to these people face to face is incredibly problematic, but here I am now, down under and “talking” to you!]

        I do agree that very few people on the left talk about these things, and sometimes, for good reason as writers, thinkers and activists who do propose alternatives are often ridiculed and/or ignored.

        [Even dicks like myself, with little experienced get hammered and personally besmirched, even by those you would not expect to be. That’s the nitty gritty. Shit, you’ve seen things I wouldn’t want to I’m sure. The point is, you and I are discussing shit here and now. That’s actually how it works. And then you talk some more, and again, then to others and you keep talking…that’s the advantage the language faculty gave us when that sole individual found herself with a bunch of weird-arsed sounds floating around in her head and then discovered a way to physically communicate that weird-arsed shit to others. Without that faculty, without you and I talking, we remain silent and isolated as if we don’t even exist to each other.]

        • avatar
          James July 26, 2017 11:09 pm 

          Sorry for the length Vincent, my cross to bear, or perhaps yours if you read it all!

          As, I assume even commenting here may be part of a wider discussion, but realise that you, Vincent, may be to busy to continue replying, I nevertheless offer a better reason for my so what comment. From Albert’s recent book. Page 161, second paragraph,

          “When we keep explaining how bad our society is and how powerful the agents of reaction are, ironically we are largely telling people what they already know and, worse, we are feeding a main reason for their not lining up on behalf of change – the belief that change is impossible.”

          That was basically the thought process, not exactly exactly, but very close, that went through my mind reading your essay. Perhaps, if cogent coherent vision, which on page 160 of Albert’s 2017 book, he declares is still almost non existent in the minds of most inside the choir, let alone outside it, then, in my opinion, even essays that reflect on the ills of our world should contain within them the need for vision and connected strategy, and information that can guide people to where they can find such. Otherwise they are merely left with info that Albert asserts they probably already know or feel intuitively even.

          Albert talks of stickiness and you talk of people not involving themselves in movement organising, or just getting involved. There is a huge difference in getting involved to see a children’s school crossing get constructed, or fighting for better work conditions, minimum wages or any other single issue fight and getting involved in a movement fighting against the system in general. The goal in the former is clear and people can organise their time better and see real strides towards achieving specific outcomes while the latter doesn’t really offer that. Without cogent coherent vision and related ideas, such a movement is likely to die over time due to its inherent vagueness as any practical actions undertaken may bear little connection to any future goal or destination. People devoting inordinate amounts of time organising or meeting when they aren’t even really clear as to why they are there and where they are heading is highly unlikely.

          I got facetiously ridiculed by Paul Street for bringing up the time thing, that for me it is ridiculous to be saying in 2016 that we need a mass movement and eco-socialism in a final two or three sentence paragraph at the end of a larger essay reflecting on social ills. But, in my opinion, Albert in his 2017 book, is saying much the same thing on page 160.

          “Two hundred years of struggle and we have no widely shared institutional vision.”

          I just say it differently. You mention the need for institutional vision in an essay reflecting on social ills or problems. That’s fine, but surely it could be directly followed up by pointing readers to places where they could find such vision…like here at Z, or at the NSP, or at Takis Fotopoulos’ site re Inclusive Democracy, or to Michel Bauwens and Christian Siefkes peer to peer visionary work or even sites pertaining directly to eco socialism or market socialism like David Schweickart’s After Capitalism, even if not just to provoke debate.

          Or perhaps an essay on the inability of a disparate and disconnected left to get together around vision? To join themselves together under a visionary umbrella, with ongoing serious discussion and debate regarding different visions and their pros and cons, so people, outside and even within the choir can be exposed to these things, get to know them and discuss them with friends and foes in and outside the workplace and at parties (sounds like fun don’t it?). Consciousness raising is hard, but it is extraordinarily hard regarding serious vision, even within the choir. Without such things, even in 2017, I don’t see much hope in this regard. If Russell Brand had access to such a site or space before he went on air, his answer to the journalist re an alternative could have been far better, stronger and influential. As was, he kind of looked silly.

  2. avatar
    Paul D July 23, 2017 3:45 pm 

    Comments here are not editable, so as an addendum to my above comment, the purpose of that electric car or rooftop solar panels is not “personal flair” but rather it is activism in the form of leading by example. My household is leasing an electric smart car as public transit is simply impractical for my spouse’s commute. Me, I use a battery-electric motor scooter – the manufacturers of which have since gone out of business. These are hardly personal fashion statements – we get low-level derision from neighbors and operators of other vehicles over these high-visibility statements of concern.

    I’ve probably already said enough, about this minor point. But I do get fed up with leftists who go on and on about the “fossil fuel infrastructure” yet do nothing to reduce their dependency on it.

  3. avatar
    Paul D July 23, 2017 3:29 pm 

    Good article except for the:

    “Their so-called ‘solutions’ to our collective problems almost always include individual pursuits: solar panel roofs, electric vehicles, battery powered water filtration systems, and so on.”

    That seems an odd remark. All collective actions are, in the end, individual pursuits too. If someone is in the position to reduce their own carbon footprint, they should do so, even if it entails inconvenience or expense. I’d prefer they choose public transit over an electric car, but I can’t blame those who are stuck in areas of near-non-existent public transit who get the electric car.

    • avatar
      Vincent Emanuele July 24, 2017 4:22 pm 

      Collectively dismantling the fossil fuel industry is a much different task then individually reducing one’s carbon footprint.

      I agree that people should do their best to reduce their individual footprint. My point is that people spend too much time on those pursuits and not enough time collectively organizing. To me, this is party a byproduct of Neoliberalism.

      No one is “blaming” anyone for purchasing or using electric vehicles. We didn’t create this system — we’re simply doing the best we can under terrible circumstances. Hence, I don’t blame individuals for our collective problems: I blame institutions and systems of power.

      Further, I would argue that purchasing electric vehicles may offer some personal satisfaction, but it will do absolutely nothing to curtail the burning of fossil fuels. Today, more people are driving electric cars than ever before, yet carbon emissions are at record levels.

      People around the world are more “ecologically conscious” than at any point in recent memory, yet the climate change spirals out of control.

      The point is that people can do all sorts of things to make themselves feel better, and that’s completely understandable. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that driving an electric car is going to stop Exxon Mobile.

      Again, the primary point is that we didn’t create this system, thus I don’t blame poor and working-class people for simply existing within it.

      I have neighbors who drive electric cars and recycle every imaginable piece of trash, but they can’t be bothered to come out to meetings or help organize events.

      At the same time, I have neighbors who drive pickup trucks, but who organize low-wage workers in our city.

      In my opinion, the pickup truck-driving organizer is leaps and bounds more useful than the ecologically conscious consumer who can’t be bothered to organize.

      If people can do both, great. If they’re unable to do both, I would rather they organize with groups of people to build collective power as opposed to organizing their immediate family members to use more ecologically conscious forms of transportation.

      • avatar
        Paul D July 25, 2017 2:19 am 

        Vincent,

        I don’t understand how someone can can organize against an industry when they are a loyal customer of that industry.

        I guess in my area – until about 2011 or so we had no trouble with people doing both We had a large vigorous anarchist community(few owned cars) that absolutely practiced what they preached.

        I can remember when we were organizing an action downtown on September 12, 2001 and with most of the activists all saying “lets drive downtown and have a vigil at the federal building” my brother suggested the bus, but only got the usual looks back – so he replied: “Didn’t the events of yesterday teach you anything??” as he stepped on the 86B to downtown at a stop right in front of the center (it gets there faster and cheaper than a car btw).

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