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View Diary: Mostly Forgotten History: Boycott (23 comments)

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  •  A major differnce between 19th century (3+ / 0-)
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    alwaysquestion, marykk, TomFromNJ

    rural Ireland and 21st Century America ...

    In rural Ireland, life without servants and tradespeople was more than "inconvenient" -- it was barely possible.

    Just keeping the fires tended, the food cooked and the laundry done was a  job for  one full time worker, and probably a helper as well.  Want the clothes ironed and the floors swept?  Hire another servant.

    And if on top of that the local butcher, baker and dairyman not only refuse to deliver, they refuse to do business at any price ...  well, judging by his photo, Captain Boycott might have been able to live on the quail and rabbits he shot and cooked for himself -- but not happily.

    So ... remembering that 50% of the American public cannot be bothered to vote, much less "sacrifice",  unless they perceive a direct, dire threat to their own well-being or treasured prejudices ...

    I'd say "boycotting" and "wearing lapel pins" have a similar impact on Corporate thinking.

    •  boycotting--how to apply pressure (1+ / 0-)
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      That's not correct.   There are myraid circumstances.  Sometimes boycott's work sometimes they dont.

      The guys (or girls) running corporation's DO feel pressure.  And they try to make rational choices.  I've met some of these guys and I know how some of them think.

      One good example--if I have this right my memory is not 100% accurate-- is a Mother Jones story where the strike is something of a disaster but she gets to talk to Mellon I think it was.  And once she lays out the facts, he's like "I had no idea this was going on"  and makes adjustments to the workers are comfortable with their dealnot getting screwed over.

      In that last story, the work boycott somehow succeeded.  

      One person acting alone usually cannot accomplish too much.  

      There has also been times where the guys protesting really just want a free buck for themselves and they paid  $ just to make these guys go away.  Like paying off a drunken bum that accosts you when you leave a nice restaurant with a date.  You might pay just so he doesnt cause  a scene and spoil the evening.  You know he's going to take the $ and buy more booze.

      Depends.  Lots of different situations.    

      “Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ― Will Rogers

      by MugWumpBlues on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Andrew Mellon and Mother Jones were 19th Century (0+ / 0-)

        In fact ... they were contemporary to Captain Boycott and the Irish Land League  -- 1880s.

         And yes, at that time there WERE Robber Barons who wanted to be thought of as Philanthropists ... or at the very least felt that keeping ragged and starving workers   reflected as badly on them, personally, as keeping mangy and starving carriage horses.

        So ... in your example:  What, Where, Who, When, Why? Was it a boycott ... or was it a strike.  A boycott in support of a strike?  By whom.  And in the end was it the personal embarrassment, the boycott or the work stoppage, that brought Mellon to see reason?

        One great strength of the modern Corporation ... and HG Wells wrote about this in Anticipations (c. 1906) ... is that it is NOT an individual tycoon's enterprise, and subject to his/her whims and personal code of morality.  

        Responsibility is distributed among very large Boards of Directors ... and more importantly "hired help" -- the CEOs and their subordinates.

        It's a lot easier to do dirty deeds when "It's not my decision, the Committee voted for it ."

        That's why Colorado put three trip-levers on their gallows ... it soothed the sensibilities of those who had to carry out the executions.   (They later adopted  the automatic gallows so hangings could proceed without an actual Hangman or committee of hangmen. )

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