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The Man From the North: Tis the Season To Wage Boycotts by Rivera Sun

The Essays of The Man From the North by Rivera Sun
Writer, Dandelion Salad
November 24, 2013

Commercial Capitalism for Christmas

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

The Man From the North is a fictional writer in Rivera Sun’s novel, The Dandelion Insurrection. The novel takes place in the near future, in “a time that looms around the corner of today”, when a rising police state controlled by the corporate-political elite have plunged the nation into the grip of a hidden dictatorship. In spite of severe surveillance and repression, the Man From the North’s banned articles circulate through the American populace, reporting on resistance and fomenting nonviolent revolution. This article is one of a series written by The Man From the North, which are not included in the novel, but can be read here.

Boycott Season is now upon us. Let every citizen take careful aim. Your target is the corporate empire. Your weapon is your wallet.

For decades, corporations have defined the battlefield of shopping malls, box stores, mail order catalogues, and online sites. They have set the timeframe back each year; Halloween currently kicks off the battles. You can see the preparations: the lights rolled out, the anthems played, the trees set up like cannons. The enlistment fliers have been posted far and wide: on billboards, in newspapers and magazines. The radio sends out the call: all shoppers to the front! Every family must support the effort and do their patriotic duty. The costs are high; savings must be sacrificed. The debts pile up like soldiers’ bodies, unspeakable.

But it can’t be helped – the holidays fuel our country. Like wars for oil, it’s unavoidable. The politicians break out patriotic speeches to sugarcoat the truth. They profess the noble sentiments of generosity, charity, the gift of giving; they tell us to show our love for home and country by buying useless, needless trinkets. The recruitment posters of Uncle Sam have been revamped; Santa – with the same white whiskers – in a suit of Coca-Cola red, now laughs and smiles, but delivers the same old message:

“I want YOU!” . . . to fight this war.

It’s a corporate war – like every war – fought for profit and commercial gain. Superficial sentiments pour out like propaganda, but the real reasons are the same. Behind the scenes of jolly storefront holiday displays, massive machinations control the spoils of the war. At the end of it all, there is no winner. We’re in the era of modern warfare now. Borderless, pointless, endless warring is a hallmark of our times. By New Year’s though, the casualties are high, and, as always, ordinary people pay the highest price. January finds us crippled, shell-shocked, broke, and not a jot happier or healthier or closer to our families.

And here it comes again . . . hear the little drummer boy calling you to the battle?

Come, they told me, pa-rump-pa-pa-poom.

Religion, remember, is the most touted reason for sending in the troops. You’ll be conscripted under the guise of many beliefs. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa . . . all the celebrations serve to get you shopping. Once you enlist, you give up all sovereignty as a citizen. You’re a consumer-soldier now, under orders to raise your credit card and fire the dollars out like bullets.

Grab your machine guns, shoppers! Black Friday is at hand! The big box stores open up at midnight to send forth the dogs of war! Cry havoc! Riot! See the people trampled, shelves plundered, looting, pushing, shoving, noble sentiments forgotten – that’s how it goes in war!

Does this appall you? Good. I call you to my side. An army of resistance is forming of citizens who refuse to take part in war. Our flag is the Dandelion Insurrection; our cause is the well being of all.

Life! Liberty! Love! That is our rallying cry.

Be kind, be connected, be unafraid! These are the principles that guide us.

We spring up in the cracks of corporate empire. We break through the concrete of control. When the wealthy order us to fight rich men’s war . . . we simply will not go. We boycott greed and tyranny. We put our wallets down. We have no ammunition in them. We refuse to borrow it from their banks. We won’t go into debt to line their pockets. We are citizens first; soldiers never; and consumers only when the cause is just. We remember the oft asked, never answered question: what if they held a war and no one showed up?

The Holiday Season is now upon us, but it’s Boycott Season for us. The corporations have lined up their legions. They have invested their billions in battle. They have poured in their efforts to prepare the parades, ready the marching tunes of carols, and arm the command of salespeople. But the Dandelion Insurrection is ready. Our trump card is in our hand. When they amass on the edge of the battlefield . . .

We simply will not be there.

Coming up in The Essays of the Man From The North… “Shopping As An Act of Resistance”, how the Dandelion Insurrection sows the seeds of its success by strengthening local economies. Corporate empire can be toppled, but only if we wage effective struggle. Money is the core source of their power; we must remove last penny of support. Even mundane tasks can be come conscious acts of resistance; shopping is no exception.


Rivera Sun with her new book, Dandelion Insurrection

Image by Dariel Garner

Author/Actress Rivera Sun sings the anthem of our times and rallies us to meet adversity with gusto. In addition to The Dandelion Insurrection, she is the author of nine plays, a book of poetry, and her debut novel, Steam Drills, Treadmills, and Shooting Stars, which celebrates everyday heroes who meet the challenges of climate change with compassion, spirit, and strength. www.risingsundancetheater.com/wpblog/

see

The Man From the North: Liberty and Strategy for All by Rivera Sun

The Story of Solutions

What Would Jesus Buy?

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18 Responses

  1. […] The Man From the North: Tis the Season To Wage Boycotts by Rivera Sun […]

  2. […] The Man From the North: Tis the Season To Wage Boycotts by Rivera Sun […]

  3. […]  The Man From the North: Tis the Season To Wage Boycotts by Rivera Sun […]

  4. I forgot to mention that Occupy Love strongly affirmed a deep sense I have had that love/compassion/kindness is an integral link in the web of problems (and solutions) that we face today.

  5. What I’ve been advocating for quite some time already. Boycott! the only peaceful ‘weapon’ in our arsenal.

    • Not the only form of resistance, peskyvera.

      • There are at least 198 methods of nonviolent action which are documented on the Albert Einstein Institution’s website. This link will take you to a whole collection of free downloads (though donation are always appreciated) to the tricks of the trade, so to speak. These books were used around the world to topple dictators, end oppression, and liberate populaces. It’s good reading. (I’ve read many of these books, and a few more.) http://www.aeinstein.org/english/

    • peskyvera, hi, in a comment on (DS) Yves Smith and Dean Baker: The Top Secret Trade Deal You Need to Know About (#TPP) http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2013/11/01/yves-smith-and-dean-baker-the-top-secret-trade-deal-you-need-to-know-about-tpp/
      (Posted on November 1, 2013) I wrote:

      “…Chris Hedges advocates civil-disobedience, and for worthy reasons. There are other ways to protest though, and I would suggest that a most powerful and effective method is to boycott goods produced by companies whose practices are both ecocidal and genocidal.

      If we don’t like their capitalist policies and totalitarian practices, we should starve them of their illicit profits and the “oxygen” of glamorous publicity; since desperate greed is their prime motive, threats and compulsion their pragmatic method, & propaganda their only means of persuasion.

      Don’t buy it!”

      You wrote:

      “Easier said than done. The poor don’t have the money to buy the products and those desperate for jobs will work for any starving wage offered by any company. It is a vicious circle. Go after the real culprits: the corrupt politicians.”

      Now if that is so, then boycotts should include outing politicians who are bribed by crooked corporate “lobbyists.” Moreover, the union movement (in theory) fought for the best interests of such vulnerable working people. So boycotting is a really effective means of naming and shaming anyone in power.

      People should know to whom and for what and why they are giving away their hard earned wages ~ or indeed whether those wages are even justifiable in a humanitarian or ecocidal context. Just because you need a job shouldn’t determine your ethical choices.

  6. A good way to boycott is to do all gift shopping at non-profit thrift stores, and yard sales. It not only is effective as a boycott, but it helps recycle our excess material.

    • Great idea, Zachary.

    • Yes, and it supports our friends and neighbors. On the non-profit thrift store note, I have heard concerns voiced about Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries’ practices and where their money actually goes. In the next article, I address the double edged blade of boycotting and supporting local business, artists, etc.

      • ” I address the double edged blade of boycotting and supporting local business, artists, etc.”

        This is very important to me. It’s not all about not doing what they want… It’s also about DOING what we need.

        -g

        • Exactly, Garimo! You’re going to love next week’s article, which is that sentiment exactly.

          • Boycott is the business!

            Rivera I want to thank you for commenting on What Would Jesus Buy? Comments are closed there so I’ve pasted this over here:

            ….. I’d never seen it ~ wild stuff!

            Y’know sometimes we just tick those boxes ~ seen that, been there ~ consumed this info…that film ~ gotta move on, take in another “movie of conscience,” wow! more great documentary info, what a sensation, terrific “product…” everyone should see this! but, woah! ..how much really sinks in; do movies actually change lives? I’ll bet meeting the rev Billy in a mall was a more memorable experience for some, truly great theatre. Is this what really moves people then? Drama, tragedy, comedy…literature, music, what?

            There’s this long running BBC Radio 4 series, Soul Music; this week it’s about Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03jb1w1

            Now that song’s what I’d call Great Art; because it has the power to change your life…Dick Gregory’s album the Dark Side, the Light Side changed my life in 1970, together with Dee Brown’s Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

            Have you had specific epiphanic experiences? I’m sure you have…

            • So sorry David, I closed comments on all older posts to keep the spam down. Thanks for posting your comment here.

            • David,

              Epiphanies are situational, and related to our awareness level. One person’s earth-shattering moment is another person’s standard fare. That said, I will share a few moments (and there are many) that stand out in my own life as I’ve developed.

              The Heart Sutra split my world apart and reconfigured it irrevocably.

              I would say that the movie “Gandhi” had a tremendous effect on me. Yes, it was a mega-blockbuster, glossy, big-name picture, but it was also an eye-opener for me at the time about this thing called nonviolent struggle.

              Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “We Are The Ones” moves me deeply.

              There are too many to name. Thank you for sharing some of yours.

              Rivera

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