Normally I'm kind of opposed to boycotts. In the modern economy, revenue streams can be very complicated and corporations are often wholly- or partially-owned subsidiaries of some other company. The goals of many boycotts are ambiguous and the message intended to be sent and the means by which it will be sent are often unclear. Furthermore, the time span for most boycotts is vague: if the boycott's goals are not achieved in a timely manner, will it drag on indefinitely?
To address such questions, I figured I'd post a small manifesto for my Beijing Olympic boycott:
What is to be boycotted?
Coverage of the Games, in print or on television, including the opening and closing ceremonies. Any merchandise is also out.
How long will the boycott last?
The length of the Games, 8-24 August 2008.
What is the goal of the boycott?
I am under no illusion that the infinitesimal amount of money the Chinese regime will lose due to my boycott will go noticed. Nor am I under the illusion that millions will flock to my side, creating a mass movement that will in some way harm the regime. (Though I must confess that, if this happened, I would not be opposed.)
Instead, this boycott is aimed at educating fellow Americans about the evils of the Chinese regime. Inevitably there will be get-togethers to watch the opening ceremony; I plan on being in the next room telling folks why I'm not watching the TV. The list of reasons is so extensive I struggle to find the right place to start:
* The Chinese regime has supported the military junta in Burma for years; had the Chinese wanted to stop the suppression of monastically-lead pro-democracy demonstrations this year, it could have. It didn't.
*The Chinese regime conducting ethnic cleansing in Xinjiang, intentionally conducting nuclear tests upwind of population centers of Turkic Uyghur populations, releasing violent criminals into Xinjiang to help kill of the Uyghurs, and settling large numbers of heavily-armed ethnic Han Chinese to drive them out.
*The Chinese regime is destroying Tibetan culture, to such an extent that the Dahli Lama has threatened not to reincarnate himself in Chinese-controlled Tibet, so oppressive is the environment.
*The Chinese regime and its various state-owned industries stealing American commercial secrets left and right. This is not free trade, this is industrial espionage, intellectual piracy. Under the guise of winning jobs for their own people, the Chinese regime demands that most products sold in China be made in China; this allows them to copy any and every design for products made there. (And have no doubts, they are copying with a vengeance.)
*The Chinese regime routinely hacks American networks, trying to steal military and political secrets from the government and contractors.
*The Chinese regime is busy subverting South Pacific island nations, as it tries to out-maneuver Taiwan for diplomatic influence in the region. This subversion has included - but is not limited to - support for the coup in Fiji.
*The Chinese regime has armed the Taliban, thereby threatening the lives of Afghans, Americans and their other allies, and delaying democracy and development in that nation.
*The Chinese regime suppresses democracy at home, heavily censors the internet (including this website), makes use of slave labor, oppressing the Catholic Church, poisons its own rivers and engages in more abuses than I have time to type.
*Oh, yes. And the Chinese regime has displaced 1.5 million of its own people to build the Olympic Park in Beijing. And you thought use of eminent domain was out of control here...