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Does boycotting work?

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    That's interesting. So would you say that avoiding companies that, say, use sweat shop labour in favour of more ethical companies is not a good reason or does that not count as boycotting?

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  • E10 Rifle
    replied
    The best golden rule, I find, on boycotts is to work out who, if anyone, is calling for them. They work best when they're a response to grassroots pressure from the people at the sharp end. Which was certainly true in apartheid SA and seems to be largely the case in Palestine.

    Boycotting something just because you don't want the consumption of it on your conscience is a rather less good reason.

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  • Tactical Genius
    replied
    Regarding South Africa, the Sporting and political boycott began from most of Africa and Asia from the early 1960's this was one of the main reasons for the African and Asian boycott of the 1966 world cup final.
    What really broke the back was not the boycotting of South African companies and it's products, but the boycott of western companies who did business there. Once that kicked in during the late 70's it was all over.

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    The move to the Negev is covered in that BDS link, which I commend to those interested

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    Yeah sodastream is a clear cut case. I understand some people are uncomfortable boycotting stuff from Israel but sodastream's factory is in an illegal settlement (and therefore technically a war crime)

    (I think they've closed that factory now but begrudgingly and they've still been actively cunty)

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    https://bdsmovement.net/tags/sodastream

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  • Gangster Octopus
    replied
    I've boycotted it because I hate cryptic crosswords...

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  • Eggchaser
    replied
    Wait, SodaStream is something to do with Israel?

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    I noticed you were boycotting it but didn't know why

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  • Nefertiti2
    replied
    I've boycotted the Cryptic Crossword thread for some considerable time since I objected to a particularly egregious anagram clue by Duncan G.

    See it's still going strong, though of course Duncan may have changed his ways as a result

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Originally posted by G-Man View Post
    But every time you tell somebody why you aren't buying Sodastream, you have an opportunity to conscientise them.
    I would just assume he wasn't buying Sodastream because it's the 21st Century.

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  • Patrick Thistle
    replied
    There is currently a call to pressure companies not to advertise with fledgling GB News. This is being framed as lefties trying to prevent freedom of speech. Given the right wing pushback it would seem the commercial interests behind GB News are worried about it.

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  • WOM
    replied
    Originally posted by G-Man View Post
    But every time you tell somebody why you aren't buying Sodastream, you have an opportunity to conscientise them.
    Certainly. But I don't explain the reasons as well as they've been explained to me, and yeah, if I'm being honest...I'm worried about being called antisemitic. That word has been weaponized very effectively.

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  • G-Man
    replied
    But every time you tell somebody why you aren't buying Sodastream, you have an opportunity to conscientise them.

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  • WOM
    replied
    As long as other major powers continue to support / enable Israel, I can't see them changing their ways because I don't buy a SodaStream. My protests, like boycotting Israel and Pawn Stars, are utterly impotent, yet important to me.

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  • G-Man
    replied
    Israel is acutely sensitive to BDS because they know it has an effect. If they thought it didn't, they'd not mobilise against it.

    In South Africa, the various social boycotts (sports, culture, academia) were conscientising and mobilising devices. They eventually led to the economic sanctions, which your Reagans/Thatchers/Kohls had to submit to pressure from their own conscientised population. And it's the sanctions that brought down the apartheid regime in pretty quick time. Informal talks between the ANC and Church, business and political leaders started around 1986. By the end of 1989 apartheid was dying on its back like a cockroach.

    In short, the boycotts certainly worked because they conscientised people.
    Last edited by G-Man; 11-02-2021, 15:18.

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  • Rogin the Armchair fan
    replied
    I haven't bought anything by Sega or Nintendo for three years but the cunts are still killing whales.

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  • ooh aah
    replied
    I don't think the boycott of China would work because the general poplation of China are kept completely in the dark about what's going in Xinjiang. Any news they do hear to the contrary will be dismissed as foreign propaganda.

    The only reason the boycott of SA worked (and really, even in that case it took a very long time before it did work) is because the white population of SA regarded themselves as being part of a shared white, European, protestant culture with north America, northern Europe and Australasia. When the majority view in those countries shifted against them, and this became obvious in SA itself (the Springbok tour of New Zealand in 81, the music boycott throughout the 80s, and of course Apartheid being the 'bad guy' in a Lethal Weapon movie) the general white population knew they were pariahs. In the case of Israel and China (you could prob add Russia, Turkey and India here too) that dynamic just doesn't exist.

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    I think when boycotting nations, it's likely more effective against democratic countries (or partially democratic ones). A dictatorship just passes the deprivation and starvation on to the population, not really caring that much if they suffer in the pursuit of (what they see as) the greater good. South Africa worked because it was, to some degree, democratic (though of course far from anything like universal suffrage). That's why I feel that it's the right way to go with Israel too. And let's not forget that for a long time what is laughably called "the International Community" (ie other countries) didn't join in on the boycott of RSA (at least not enthusiastically or with any weight). Israeli politicians (and their allies elsewhere) have done a very good job internally as presenting themselves as victims, and that anything like a boycott fits into that narrative, so it may not work, as it may end up in further entrenchment, but at the same time, the occupation is vile, racist and brutal and as Palestinian civil society (across the board) have asked for a boycott, then I would urge everyone to join that boycott. I know the US government or the UK government or other powerful actors are highly unlikely to ever join in, but that doesn't make it (necessarily) ineffective

    I think that the next one that will come up seriously is China. For their treatment of the Uighurs (and more long term, the Tibetans). I think China will have watched the way that Israel has fought against boycotts and will use the same tactics, To my knowledge Tibetan civil/religious leaders never called for a full boycott, but if the Uighurs do, I think right thinking people need to respond to that call. It will be more difficult, practically, to boycott China than it is to boycott Israel, and than it was to boycott South Africa, but that's not a reason not to do it (China obviously is not a democracy, but it does seem to care about it's image to the world)

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  • Sporting
    replied
    Originally posted by Kowalski View Post
    It worked for MLK and Rosa Parks in Montgomery and Murdoch's comic still isn't very popular on Merseyside.
    I would be interested to hear up to date stats on the sales of The S*n there.

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    It works if the businesses affected by the boycott have the power to make the city or state change its policies, as happened in Montgomery, 1956, and Birmingham, 1963. It can also work if there's a global consensus against a pariah state (South Africa). Israel obviously should be a pariah state but its usefulness as a buffer against pan-Middle Eastern power* means it will always have powerful friends, so in this case I'd agree that the boycott is more about one's own conscience and desire to make a gesture.

    *I recognize that Israel has powerful economic friends (not exclusively Jewish) in the US but I prefer to focus on the geopolitical strategic interests of the west versus Islamic Middle East.
    Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 10-02-2021, 23:55.

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  • wingco
    replied
    I think that if it has worked, it does work, ie can work.

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  • Kowalski
    replied
    It worked for MLK and Rosa Parks in Montgomery and Murdoch's comic still isn't very popular on Merseyside.
    Last edited by Kowalski; 10-02-2021, 21:47.

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  • WOM
    replied
    It probably has very little real effect, but maybe you can sleep a bit easier.

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  • Snake Plissken
    replied
    The Daily Heil seemed sufficiently worried about Stop Funding Hate to make it look that it was working.

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