Unintentional Political Statements in a (not so) “Free Market”

I woke up this morning in not my best mood and like any brainwashed, social media obsessed millennial like myself I began scrolling through my various feeds. This is when I stumbled upon a post by one of my Facebook friends – one in which I have mad respect for and crave the knowledge and articulated thoughts she has about local, domestic and global topics. Her post was this link: http://www.alternet.org/world/companies-and-consumer-products-boosting-israels-brutal-occupation?page=0%2C0&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

The title of this article is “6 Things You Buy That Help Support Israeli Brutality”

I briefly scrolled through this and was reminded of the immense web of corporations and governments that support Israeli actions of inhumanity – most often disguised as “right to land” or “homeland defense.” Normally I would press “like” to show my solidarity in the argument of the article and my friend’s positions, but I decided to post a rant of a comment. (Maybe this was due to my morning angst)

Here it is:

This incredibly angers me.. Our role as inherent consumers and producers in a capitalist system automatically makes our actions “political statements” that ultimately support the actions and policies of our government. Shoot, I write this comment using a machine manufactured by HP – a product I bought 5 years ago blind to what larger actions I was supporting in my purchase. Sorry for my rant of a comment.. most of the time when I see your posts I click “like” in solidarity to the statements you make, but this one warranted a post. If there’s anything I despise more than Israeli brutality it’s the capitalist economic model.

This was well received by her Facebook friends – COOL.

The capitalist economic model predetermines our role as “consumers.” Although our consumption and production of products ultimately goes to support the economic viability of the elite and government policies and interests, it is masked as a “free market” approach. Where we all “choose” to consume and produce particular products. I call BULLSHIT.

As I mentioned in my comment, I am using a HP laptop right… now. I bought it as I was entering college because it was the best deal. I couldn’t, and still can’t, afford a shiny MacBook Pro. This is the reason my father, who is an adamant activist for Palestinian people and STATE, owns one as well. Did we know we were purchasing a product that contradicted our own positions and the interests of millions of Palestinians we ally with? NO. Instead, we purchased a product in the “free market” because it fit our economic bracket and means.

And capitalism has a sneaky (for lack of a better word) way of doing this. Consumption isn’t to survive and live, as it should. Rather, consumption is inherently a statement that allies us all with privileged folks’ interests and exploitation of underprivileged folks. Try buying a pair of Nikes (guilty), coffee grounds, tasty hummus (see article), a sale item at Forever 21 free of it having some sort of inhumane consequences. In turn, this means that our imposed role as consumers automatically allies us with the actions of our government and the elite that “represent” us. It’s more powerful that voting, than protesting, than writing this post – yet it’s something we cannot rid of. Consuming these products is necessary to live. Yes, we can choose to buy a different brand or boycott a store (i.e. Walmart). But we all don’t have this economic means to do so.

The choice to consume particular products is privilege. Consuming favors those privileged. So on and so forth.

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One comment

  1. […] Unintentional Political Statements in a (not so) “Free Market” (shadiajmansour.wordpress.com) […]

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