Politicizing the Market

When did purchasing something become a political act? Most especially, when did it become the primary means of political action for us? People that would never go to a protest or write their Congresswoman would die before buying a real fur coat, and always check their labels to see if their clothes were made with slave labor.

Not that I think we shouldn’t be responsible with our purchases. I just wonder if we’ve lost something, some focus, in turning our attention so much to the impact we have on the market. It’s as if we stopped believing we could affect political change, and decided the easiest way to change the world was to buy organic. It’s worked – we can buy organic everywhere now – but at the same time a lot of issues, like women’s rights, single-payer health care, child care, our crumbling infrastructure and buckling educational systems, have stalled, many not having moved at all in the last 30 years.

How did this happen?