My Boycott, Part 2
In “My Boycott,” having explained my principles on the topic of boycotts in general, and in particular how and to what extent the boycott is a legitimate form of political expression, I then qualified the discussion somewhat with the following personal condition:
I must note, however, that boycotting per se is not, and has never been, my cup of tea, primarily because I do not like acting in coordination with others on any matter. In general, I neither agree with, nor trust my reputation with, any large group of disparate individuals firmly enough to align myself with them as a collective agent. Thus, I tend to operate on my own private model, “boycotting” on a personal basis, as I see fit, and without deference to or interest in any public “movement.”
I should clarify further that by no means do I pursue any kind of “activism,” even on a private basis — keeping lists of “bad corporations” and whatnot, as though I were living my life in the form of a one-man crusade against other people’s evil or ignorance. If I pursued life that way, I would never be able to eat or sleep, since at this moment of history, human evil and ignorance are universal and ubiquitous; thus, if one is not simply to pick and choose righteous causes on an arbitrary basis, for personal ego-gratifying reasons, it makes more sense, in the end, to bother oneself about almost no such causes.
Furthermore, to get caught up in such a crusade mentality would indicate caring a great deal more about the practical conditions of the human race today than I actually do; more, in fact, than I think a philosophic person should.
What do I mean, then, when I refer to my own “personal boycott,” as distinguished from the crowd-style boycotting that, while very consistent with democratic politics, is so ill-suited to my mind and temperament?
I mean, in effect, that my life, even since childhood, but certainly at an accelerating rate over the decades, has entailed a gradual withdrawal from that world which, taken as a whole, I commonly subsume under the term “normal.” To an ever-increasing extent, as I get older and the world decays further, I find myself deeply bored, frustrated, or nauseated by most of the activities, interests, and proclivities of the vast majority of people around me, and therefore abstain from almost everything, not due to any wish to score moral points, put on a public display of “purity,” impress anyone with my principles, or “make a stand,” but simply due to a constitutional inability and unwillingness to join. The normal world as such has absolutely zero appeal for me. Therefore, by and large, and with extreme but completely unforced consistency, I refuse to participate.
In the end, all the big boycott-inducing causes of our time, from genocidal corporate profits to progressive political machinations, are really just variations on one larger spirit dominating our world: the will to comfort, pleasure, and security at all costs. The will to complacency and ease. The will to irrationality and inhumanity in the service of one’s immediate material advantage or physical gratification. This, in short, is today’s will to normalcy. It is this normalcy which I ultimately reject, not on an ad hoc, piecemeal, or arbitrary basis, but in toto and from its foundations. I am not “rebelling” against normal or “speaking out” against normal. I am simply living in permanent natural repulsion from normal. I naturally despise the normal world, understanding that term in accordance with my account above. And, to be fair, the normal world has little time for me either, which is pleasant, as it saves me the wasted breath of having to say “No” all the time.