I’m not entirely sure what I was getting at with the last post, but I think I was prodding at the idea of renunciation as rebellion. On the one hand, it seems like boycott is the lazy man’s path to social change. (What could be easier than doing nothing?) On the other, it sure seems like there’s a lot of evil we could undo by just not participating.
Don’t buy those blood diamonds, for instance.
Don’t buy tickets to the Hollywood movies that fund the MPAA’s war on the Internet.
Don’t drive (and don’t buy gas) if there’s any other conceivable way of getting where you need to go.
Don’t use credit cards for routine purchases. Why support the banks with more transaction fees than you have to?
Don’t buy expensive gifts on Christmas—focus on making things for the people you love, instead.
Don’t click on those banner ads. If nobody did it, they would go away.
Don’t say yes to aggressive sales pitches—ever. If they were rendered completely ineffective, you wouldn’t have to listen to them any more, and the poor employees of faceless corporations wouldn’t be required to put their voices behind things they don’t believe in to keep their jobs. Corporations could go back to producing items of genuine value that people legitimately want to buy.
Don’t purchase the extended warranty or the protection plan. Ever. They exist to make money, not to protect you, and they just give the company an excuse to shovel more obsolescing shit into your hands, ticking to a break-down just past the expiration of your contract.
Don’t pay for that insurance policy. It’s powering a system that exists to take in more money than it pays out, while driving the cost of services out of reach of the people who need them most. Health insurance, auto insurance, home insurance—isn’t it interesting that we’re legally required to pay these? If they had real value, would we be required to buy them at the point of a gun? Free market, my foot!
For god’s sake, don’t take that loan! Why would you pay interest on crap you you didn’t need in the first place?
And for the love of God don’t go into debt for that college education—which, thanks to the ubiquity of student lending, costs more than a house, without providing a single square inch of shelter.
Even if you have the money, think twice and then twice and then eight times more before you say yes to that college education. It’s an ultimately meaningless piece of paper in a world where everyone has one. Wouldn’t you be better off using those four to eight years building up work experience and saving for a house?
Start saying “no” to bullshit and you discover there’s very little left in our daily experience to say yes to.
Ah, but think of what we can do then, as we start seeking out real relationships and experiences to treasure.