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Re: <nettime> Re: AW: AW: Urgent inquiry for Paper bags!
wade tillett on 9 Aug 2000 16:54:45 -0000


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Re: <nettime> Re: AW: AW: Urgent inquiry for Paper bags!


(re: inquiry for paper bags, gwbush.com corporate crime)

great idea to make corporations, including shareholders, responsible
for their actions and effects.

what i am writing to ask though, is why stop there? why are not consumers
also responsible for the sins of corporations that they support by
consuming their product? lets not forget that there are millions, if not
billions, of consumers eager to drive through to pick up the new
mcsomething (in their sweatshop made sneakers, maybe afterwards they'll
stop by their local neighborhood mega-chain coffeeshop, then maybe go home
and type and whine about it on their computer with millions of parts from
god knows where...)  attempting to solve the sins of corporations with yet
another level of regulation is ridiculous (besides corporations are larger
and more powerful than most governments... who would enforce it?). similar
to attempting to control the supply of drugs - when the actual problem and
power is in the demand.  perhaps as consumers we are all too weak and
brainwashed by the non-stop onslaught of advertising to actually be self
aware enough to realize when, let alone what, we are consuming.

unconsciously we flip on the light switch and use our nuclear powered
electricity. perhaps we can continue to believe that the choices are not
ours, they have been made for us, that we are not responsible and that it
is actually the evil demon mega-corporations and trade organizations. lets
drive our cars and fly in our planes to go protest exxon and shell
polluting the environment. lets drink our skim latte and bitch about
starfucks and how it destroys neighborhoods. lets live in our perfect
little neighborhood, or our perfect little subdivision, and send our kids
to our exclusive schools and complain about the decline of public space,
economic diversity, and public education. lets continue to point the
finger at anyone but our self and our daily actions.  so yeah,
corporations should be responsible, but more than that, individuals should
be responsible - whether they are at work shielded by the corporations
legal team, or investing in the blur of mutual funds, or 'relaxing' at the
movies, or buying toothpaste.  in order to facilitate conscious consumers,
information on the products consumed must be known. (rtmark disseminates
this sort of information.) this implies an active searching and
researching by the consumer - not the mere acceptance of a nice hand-out
of consumer conscious propaganda. and yet all of the information will
never be available. besides, in a consumer environment which is so
interconnected, there are no perfect products. instead, the consumer
chooses between the lesser of evils. and this is where it really hurts -
it might be less convenient, or more expensive, to consume a product which
is not purely good, but only less evil. (but lets never forget that we
always have larger choices than presented to us. not coke or pepsi, but
coke or pepsi or water. that would be a good taste test challenge... coke,
pepsi, or water.)  so there must be some sort of relative scale of evils i
guess.  if you know that tobacco kills and you smoke it anyway and then
maybe you get some big state settlement for lots of dollars because the
tobacco corporations are evil and misleading (which they are), what does
it matter? you can never get those years off of your life back. 

if you know mcsomething is bad for the environment, bad for children, bad
for neighborhoods, bad for the economy, and you eat there anyway, what
sort of punishment would be appropriate? maybe the punishment of eating at
mcsomething is that - eating at mcsomething. the world becomes more of
what you make it. eating at mcsomething makes more mcsomethings and less
non-chain local restaurants. a choice is always a reduction of
possibilities.






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