Okay, okay. Okay. Ooookay. (That’s me trying not to just scream obscenities into the sky.)
So this story was on the news today. Shopify is being petitioned by some individuals (or as Ian Lee at Carleton University thinks, “unelected, unaccountable social activists”) to stop selling software to the shit organization Breitbart News. Okay, well, yeah, I can see why people are upset enough to attach their names to a petition or even avoid using Shopify to express their upset. But I feel like the story being told to me, one of the things Western society shovels at us all the time, is that capitalism is a two-way street. Shopify can sell their software to whomever they want. I, in turn, can sign petitions, write letters to Shopify, boycott their services, or even protest (legally) outside their head offices. And that doesn’t make me an “unelected, unaccountable social activist.” That makes me someone who lives in a capitalist society using her power (i.e., cash money, fuckers) to send a message to a business I am not pleased with.
I feel like yelling this from the streets right now: If you have money and you choose to spend it in support of a business for whatever reason, YOU ARE AN ACTIVIST. By virtue of being labelled consumers (that’s another ranty post) in this capitalist system, we are all activists. That’s the point. Remember the dawn of using money to express political and social discontent in England during the slave trade?
Here’s the quote from Ian Lee in full:
“I don’t think we are in Canada where we turn the decision making of any major corporation, whether it’s at Carleton University, Shopify or CTV News, over to a small number of unelected, unaccountable social activists.”
I didn’t realize I had no power anymore to even express my discontent with my signature, or that it would turn me into an activist who was unaccountable. I also didn’t realize you had to be elected to participate in the capitalistic society we are constantly told is so amazing. I must have missed that day in school.
So. Sign those petitions. Boycott those business. Protest or don’t protest. Use the precious few powers we have left to stand up for what is right. We are accountable: to each other.