<< My general policy is to
avoid buying things made in countries where workers don't have at least some
formal right to have independent unions, no matter how hard it may be to
exercise. That may strike Carroll as moralistic, but we all have to live
with ourselves as well as participate in politics, and it's always easy to
find an excuse for taking advantage of someone else. If it's illegal to have
a union, then I assume that the union which would exist has called a boycott.
I have to agree that while personally shopping for clothes and other consumer items made by people who are treated better than otherwise may not exactly be striking a blow at capitalism (or even be a gnat's burr in the capitalists' ear), I do try to purchase goods not made by the super exploited. F'rinstance, I'm one of the few people I know who actually admits to looking for the union label when buying more expensive garments (coats, suits). Surprisingly, you can find things comparatively priced which are union made.
I think that more people do this kind of shopping than is generally acknowledged. A few years ago, KMart was exposed for putting "made in America" labels on all kinds of things made overseas. Tool, small appliance, and car makers all claim made in America for goods actually made in Canada and Mexico. I think this is at least partly in response to US citizens who do include pro-unionism, nationalism in their shopping requirements.
I feel anyone can engage in this kind of personal response to consumerism without the illusion that this is some sort of actual blow at capitalism. As Tom says, this makes it easier to looking in the mirror in the morning.
maggie coleman mscoleman at aol.com