This is it: The starting place, the line in the sand, the stake in the ground... where all and each of us says, "I don't buy it any more."
For at least three generations,
since at least the end of World War II, Americans and much of the rest of the world have been subjected to an unceasing assault on their economic freedom and their fundamental freedoms of thought and choice. Not only has this barrage gone unopposed and unpunished, but governments, institutions and the great majority of individuals actively support its existence and efforts. Indeed, whole industries and associations of institutions have arisen with the sole purpose of protecting and furthering this assault.
Strangest of all, this assault, this unceasing attack on the minds and wallets of nearly every person on Earth, has gone all but unnoticed, or noticed only enough to be dismissed.
It is no exaggeration to say that the effects of this barrage have had a larger impact on present-day life and the condition of our planet than any other factor in modern history.
This assault comes from the combined forces of the consumer manufacturing, advertising and marketing industries, and all those who promote, support and encourage consumerism - the idea that the purpose of life is to use one's economic resources to acquire goods and services, and that it is incumbent on all to maximize their economic resources to further this pursuit. This assault strikes everyone, from all sides, unrelentingly and without significant opposition or protections. It harms everyone, and harms our planet through the fostering of overconsumption and unnecessary depletion of natural resources.
We therefore declare that:
- This assault on the freedom of choice and the economic freedom of all individuals must cease;
- We strive to individually free ourselves from the effects and control of this assault;
- We strive to educate others to free them from this assault;
- We will work to actively expose this assault and oppose those who perpetrate it; and
- We actively seek to end the reign of consumerism as an economic and lifestyle force.
The greatest goal is to return control of thought, fortune and future to the individuals and families from whom it has been subverted for the basest commercial greed.
To these ends, we furthermore declare that:
- We believe that ownership of goods does not define a worthwhile life.
- We believe it is acceptable to live at any level and in any style one's means permit.
- We believe in people living within their means.
It is not our belief that a minimalist, ascetic or otherwise restricted lifestyle is desirable for all individuals. We do not advocate a possession-free life, only an attitude of healthy and informed skepticism about the value of acquiring possessions.
The greatest crime of the forces driving consumerism is their victimizing of individuals not to the limit of their ability to buy, but beyond it. Learning to avoid overspending and misuse of credit, especially for consumerist nonessentials, is a foundation for a truly happy life.
- We accept that advertising is a necessary component of a healthy economy.
- We believe in the strongest possible protections against fraud and misrepresentation.
- We demand ethical action and behavior from manufacturers, marketers and sellers.
- We believe in independent thought.
- We encourage critical thinking.
- We encourage individuals to consider their financial future while managing their financial present.
- We encourage Renegades to ply their opposition legally.
Advertising has its place. It's just not in controlling the hearts and minds of individuals.
It is bad enough, and difficult enough to defend against, when advertising misrepresents an idea, a concept or another intangible. It is worse when an ad lies outright about a factual aspect of the product or service presented. It is the goal of the entire Renegade Consumer campaign to eliminate and defuse misrepresentation of concepts. It is our secondary goal to encourage legal prevention and prosecution of factual misrepresentation to the fullest possible extent.
It's time for the ethics of consumer sales to evolve past the management of all business decisions to maximize revenue at any cost.
Letting others do your thinking for you, and uncritically accepting what you are told, is a road to failure as an individual and destruction as a nation, if not a race. Think - strongly - for yourself.
A long life is nearly always ended with a period of reduced earnings. No one wants a limited life in these latter years. It takes planning and careful management of every dollar that goes through your hands to ensure a healthy, secure and comfortable final stretch. Buying into the consumerist lifestyle affects this goal in the same way as strapping an engine block to each foot and then trying to swim.
Renegadery is a war of ideas. We strongly encourage every form of intellectual and cultural warfare... but we strongly discourage all illegal defacement, hacking, damage or destruction. Fight fairly, Renegades... because we're better than they are.
And it is thus that we pledge unceasing war on the promulgators, the believers and the very concept of consumerism.
We don't buy it any more!
signed, on behalf of all Renegades,
— J.K. Greyfriars
Now you know the stakes. Time to learn the Rules.