31 March 2011

Post 367: For the Win

For the Win by Cory Doctorow. ISBN: 9780765322166.

The best idea presented in this book: if corporations are multinational, why are labor unions still local? In fact, why is any kind of protest still local? I haven't seen any kind of mass protest about corporate behavior at all. Then again, the news channels are also corporate owned, so maybe there has been and it just wasn't big enough or long enough to get my attention.

But we do have the ability to set up some very major and damaging protests. I'm sure you've all heard of the "don't buy gas" day that occasionally pops up on Facebook. While this is a good start, it's not going to actually affect the market. People will simply buy gas the day before or after and so the gas consumption will stay the same. It's the same for Buy Nothing Day.

But what would happen if we went a little farther? What if we had don't buy gas month? This wouldn't be practical for most of us since we work in different cities or towns than where we live, but you could certainly reduce your gas consumption within that month. People could get together for carpooling or figure out bus/subway schedules.

What about Christmas? If you refused to shop at a big chain store, they would certainly feel the hurt. Can you imagine the panic Walmart would feel to open up to an empty store during one of their big door buster sales? Where before there were mobs willing to trample each other, now there is only the sound of a large empty store. Queue lonesome western music and tumbleweeds.

And if we have corporations like Walmart, etc. who won't allow unions to contact their employees on store grounds, why not try and go through Facebook? Why not try to use the internet to have a bigger impact, to promote change?

We can't keep doing things the way we did them 30 years ago. It's not going to work. The big guys can take a hit from one store, from one state, and especially if it's just one day. But it doesn't have to be like that. There are good reasons to have a global protest; if only we had the leaders to step up.

Presenting Lenore gives a positive review, despite being a non-gamer. She is both gushy about the awesomeness and realistic about the weaknesses of the novel. Stacked also had some good things to say about it without having blinders on.
LibsNote: Library copy. However, it is also available free and legally at Craphound (Doctorow's website).

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