#1
I've been thinking about boycotts and how they're drastically misunderstood within the left and even within the organizations pushing for boycotts. I want to use two examples: the BDS movement in support of Palestinian liberation and the vegan movement in support of animal liberation.

Boycotts are often advertised as a way to economically shun or harm offending people, organizations, and countries. However, recent experience with both the Palestinian liberation movement and animal liberation movement have shown that the economic impact isn't the most important.

First, lets take a look at what the actual economic impact is. For BDS, we have some strong data on it:

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-bds-has-zero-impact-on-israeli-businesses-1001255776

The more important step was to question the managers of Israeli companies, the most important question being, "Can you quantify in money how much your company lost as a result of the economic boycott created by BDS?" The proportion of Israeli companies able to state that they had been damaged by the sanctions was around 0.75%. The rate of damage of each of them was less than 10% of their turnover, and even that was mostly during Operation Protective Edge; they experienced no damage in other years.

According to our calculations, based on the information we obtained from the companies, the cumulative proportion of economic damage since 2010 was 0.004%. To put it more colorfully, if the Israeli economy's yearly income were to average NIS 1 million, the damage from the sanctions would have been NIS 40 - a completely negligible amount.



There's a couple reasons for this. Israel makes a large number of intermediate goods which are difficult to boycott, there is a strong R&D sector that is also difficult to affect with consumer decisions,

For animal liberation, the case is similar. There has been a shift in product offerings, but the main businesses that have been hurt are small producers that are unable to keep up with the centralizing forces of capitalism. The largest producers and distributors are able to complete on a global level and diversify their product offerings, often increasing sales.

Despite the minimal economic impact, let's look at the political impact:



This political impact has played a part in lower and lower levels of support for Israel's government among Democrats as well:



Only 12% of Democrats have a favorable view of Israel and an unfavorable view of Palestine, which is considerably lower than polls in the 2000s.

Now let's look at animal liberation:

A new study has revealed that the number of Americans following plant-based diets is up nearly 9.6 million over the last 15 years. This is a 300% increase and nearly 3 percent of the population in the United States.



Nearly one in four Americans (23%) report eating less meat in the past year than they had previously, while the vast majority (72%) say they are eating the same amount of meat. Very few (5%) report eating more meat this year than in the past.



Across pretty much every category, people have been slowly moving their opinions in favor of animal liberation:

https://infogram.com/2019-blog-trends-1hkv2nqv7klw2x3

So what is the real value of the boycott? I believe we need to look to Mao to get a better understanding of what role boycotts play:

Marxists hold that man's social practice alone is the criterion of the truth of his knowledge of the external world. What actually happens is that man's knowledge is verified only when he achieves the anticipated results in the process of social practice (material production, class struggle or scientific experiment). If a man wants to succeed in his work, that is, to achieve the anticipated results, he must bring his ideas into correspondence with the laws of the objective external world; if they do not correspond, he will fail in his practice. After he fails, he draws his lessons, corrects his ideas to make them correspond to the laws of the external world, and can thus turn failure into success; this is what is meant by "failure is the mother of success" and "a fall into the pit, a gain in your wit". The dialectical-materialist theory of knowledge places practice in the primary position, holding that human knowledge can in no way be separated from practice and repudiating all the erroneous theories which deny the importance of practice or separate knowledge from practice. Thus Lenin said, "Practice is higher than (theoretical) knowledge, for it has not only the dignity of universality, but also of immediate actuality." The Marxist philosophy of dialectical materialism has two outstanding characteristics. One is its class nature: it openly avows that dialectical materialism is in the service of the proletariat. The other is its practicality: it emphasizes the dependence of theory on practice, emphasizes that theory is based on practice and in turn serves practice. The truth of any knowledge or theory is determined not by subjective feelings, but by objective results in social practice. Only social practice can be the criterion of truth. The standpoint of practice is the primary and basic standpoint in the dialectical materialist theory of knowledge.



Participating in these boycotts represents a fundamental leap in the cognition of the participant's understanding. When people participate in BDS, they commit themselves to looking at the role that Israel plays in the world economy. They alienation of commodities is reduced and they see the journey the commodity went through. When someone sees a ring, they see the Israeli middlemen profiting off of blood diamonds and slavery. When someone sees a glass of cow's milk, they witness a cow being forcibly impregnated then having her baby taken away for slaughter so that way she will keep producing milk.

The myth of the boycott is that by changing your personal consumption habits, you are voting with your dollars to create a shift in the marketplace. However, the most impactful shift happens inside the person as they apply their thoughts and their ideas into action. Ideas that aren't acted upon are useless, this is what separates the materialists from the idealists. The simple process of acting on them, even if they are in very minor ways like consumer purchasing decisions, creates a leap in conviction and understanding.

#2
Thots on Boy Cots 5
#3
#4

pogfan1996 posted:

The simple process of acting on them, even if they are in very minor ways like consumer purchasing decisions, creates a leap in conviction and understanding.



everytime i dmtd i create a leap in conviction and understanding

#5
Have you read this OP? I don't think it's necessarily out of line with what you are saying.

" There is no doubt that, in many cases, sympathy for the boycott is created precisely by these praiseworthy efforts of revolutionaries to foster tradition of the finest period of the revolutionary past, to light up the cheerless slough of the drab workaday present by a spark of bold, open, and resolute struggle. But it is just because we cherish this concern for revolutionary traditions that we must vigorously protest against the view that by using one of the slogans of a particular historical period the essential conditions of that period can be restored. It is one thing to preserve the traditions of the revolution, to know how to use them for constant propaganda and agitation and for acquainting the masses with the conditions of a direct and aggressive struggle against the old regime, but quite another thing to repeat a slogan divorced from the sum total of the conditions which gave rise to it and which ensured its success and to apply it to essentially different conditions. "

#6
One hypothesis: by now the rate of profit is so jealously protected that the threat of a boycott is itself damaging to profitability.. Shares can drop on the expectation of shaken consumer confidence even if there is no real mobilization to change spending habits. Repeated "canceling" of individuals has knock-on effects like dropped publishing deals, wasted ad money, refunded political contributions, or just the loss of a reliable asset from its post... and every time these muscles flex they get a little stronger. Five bags of popcorn
#7
i love going all over the world nd telling pastoral farmers and fisherpersyn for whom animal products have been part of their diets for generations to tell them to give it up for quinoa avocadoes and tofu. its my favorite part of socialism
#8

dizastar posted:

i love going all over the world nd telling pastoral farmers and fisherpersyn for whom animal products have been part of their diets for generations to tell them to give it up for quinoa avocadoes and tofu. its my favorite part of socialism


that's definitely what animal liberation activists advocate doing and not just a caricature of their position aimed at discrediting them

#9
#10

dizastar posted:

i love going all over the world nd telling pastoral farmers and fisherpersyn for whom animal products have been part of their diets for generations to tell them to give it up for quinoa avocadoes and tofu. its my favorite part of socialism


My favorite eco-friendly hobby is rappeling down from the blackhawk firing bursts to disperse and liberate the single goat who was formerly abused as a parasitic Afghani family's chief source of protein. I am also responsible for a series of terrible fires at various Japanese monasteries that have maintained koi slavery since antiquity. Both of these are good examples of the boycott in action.

#11
As a vegan im just glad to have absolved my personal guilt wrt the ethical and political implications of eating animal products. You may call it lifestyle activism i just call it The Right Thing To Do. No i do not know anything about the supply chain of my plant based diet why do you ask
#12
i've joked about rhizzone taking over reddit but it looks like reddit has taken over rhizzone
#13
uncritical recommendations of netflix documentaries is very reddit, now that you mention it
#14

swampman posted:


I used to raise chickens and they fuckin loved kale

#15

swampman posted:



based on my experience as a roommate and caretaker to a dozen free chickens, they fucking love kale and its not poisonous to them

e: well thats what i get for not reading the whole thread before posting

#16
chickens FUCKING love kale!!!
#17
i love kale
#18

pogfan1996 posted:

i've joked about rhizzone taking over reddit but it looks like reddit has taken over rhizzone



Flying_horse_in_saudi_arabia posted:

uncritical recommendations of netflix documentaries is very reddit, now that you mention it



this seems like a not great way to characterize ongoing debate in good faith on what everyone knows is still a point of disagreement on here, "here" being a forum that can be rude and dismissive but still approaches those disagreements in a way that is not like unto another online place, mentioned above, that sucks. Which I think is good because it leads to threads where people are pushed to critique, defend and refine what they say and do, and I like to read the threads as I post post post on tHE r H i z z o n E. If you need a sacrificial Not Sure idiot man to convince you the discussion is meaningful I will climb up on a weirdly shaped apostolic cross for the porpoises of this thread and ask to be convinced as a former vegetarian why I should try it again or why it doesn't matter what I do or whatever you like.

#19
I'm boycotting the rhizzone until the quality of replies rises up to meet that of the effortposts
#20

cars posted:


I hope it was obvious I was being facetious but to be clear I don't actually want the vegan/animal lib/etc conversation to stop, on the contrary I want it to continue with both vigor and rigor

#21


pictured: a vegan rhizzone comrade teaching locals how to make a yummy vegan chickpea and quinoa salad
#22
embarrassing thread for all involved