With the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming shopping season — beginning with Black Friday and continuing through Xmas to the New Year — is going to be a lot different than it ever was in the past. Not only have thousands of small and medium-size businesses gone belly-up, leaving only the most ruthless and eclipsing corporate monopolies alive. But this year, millions of shoppers who otherwise would storm the storefronts won't even leave their front doors. Instead, they'll rack up hoards and piles of soul-soothing purchases from the comfort of their La-Z-Boy–furnished, "smart speaker"–tapped homes.
And who, exactly, stands to profit from this virus-catalysed evisceration of competition in the marketplace? Not the retail chains. Not the department stores. Certainly not the few remaining mom-and-pop shops. In the dystopian scorched-earth environment for business that remains, there is one obvious, gleeful beneficiary.
Consumers, meet your new overlord: Amazon, Inc.
Amazon's list of transgressions is long and deep, from fostering surveillance-based policing to enforcing ball-busting work conditions, undermining local business to squashing unionization efforts, avoiding taxes to its anticompetitive bullying. Hell, Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos — who was already the richest person on the planet — personally made $74 billion since the New Year but could barely be bothered to pay pennies to keep his warehouse-floor workers safe during the pandemic. And as employee-activists and whistleblowers were fired simply for raising their concerns, executive Tim Bray quit rather than stay silent while "signing off on actions [he] despised."
It's clear that our actions this November 27th, which is #BuyNothingDay — extending into #BuyNothingXmas and then a #BuyNothingWinter — are more urgent than ever. Amazon — a symbol of totalitarian, anti-human capitalism gone off the rails — must be stopped. Before it becomes the world's sole remaining purveyor of everything from diapers to TVs. Before its lightning-fast delivery methods eviscerates the environment. Before the Amazonization of everything is complete.
Forget Big Brother. Now, it's Big Bezos you have to watch out for.
Stay tuned for more Tactical Briefings on the most critical Buy Nothing Day to date.