The Key to Stopping Amazon? Think Like a Citizen

Date: 7 May 2021 | posted in: Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

“Should I quit Amazon?”  This was the question on the mind of writer, activist, and comedian Baratunde Thurston when he spoke with ILSR’s Co-Director Stacy Mitchell on his podcast How to Citizen with Baratunde. Stacy joined Baratunde to break down the rise of Amazon, America’s long history of fighting the monopolist threat to democracy, and what we can do about it. She also assuaged her host’s feelings about shopping on the platform.

The solution to this doesn’t mean giving up online commerce. It doesn’t mean giving up having the package arrive at your front door…..Should you feel guilty about those times you order on Amazon? No, not at all.

Stacy reminds us that it’s about “how to citizen,” engaging in the antimonopoly actions happening now in order to challenge Amazon and build local power.

You should not at all feel like this is on you as a consumer to solve. “We have been trained to think of our economic agency, our ability to act in the economy, entirely as consumers, and forgetting that as citizens that’s where our real power lies, that’s where our real muscle is. And that’s the muscle we need to turn to to deal with the Amazon problem.

Most importantly, Stacy sees much to hope and work for as a vibrant antimonopoly movement reemerges.

I can’t overstate how exciting what is happening in Congress is right now. There is a growing movement afoot in Congress, and across the country, to reinvigorate our antimonopoly policies and in particular to restructure Amazon in ways that would be more democratic.

Listen to the podcast.

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Follow Susan Holmberg:
Susan Holmberg

Susan Holmberg is Senior Editor and Researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Independent Business Initiative. She writes on corporate power and inequality and has been published in the New York Times, Time, The Atlantic, The Nation, and Democracy Journal.

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Follow Stacy Mitchell:
Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.