I have been boycotting major fast-food restaurant chains for the past 18 months or so primarily out of opposition to their practices; I also want to help keep locally-run places going while they are still there, as I live in a rural area dotted with coastal towns. It's a very old-fashioned place and there are still some small businesses which haven't been crushed by the major conglomerates. All property is theft but I'd rather eat in a cafe owned by a local person than some bland, identikit scum dispensary which has objectified its employees and causes gargantuan environmental damage.
However, am I just being pedantic? Is this boycott some expression of impotence, of not doing anything useful? I am in the privileged position of having alternatives to these awful places to eat, whereas urban populations often do not, especially in poor and deprived areas. I also have several friends who are currently wage-labourers at three establishments within ten miles of my home - the monstrosity of capitalism laid bare by their reliance on people patronising the fast food chains in order to stay in work. Put simply, if everyone locally, just in my hometown, boycotted these restaurants, it wouldn't affect the conglomerate itself, but it would put my friends out of work, along with many other ordinary workers. I have other friends of anarchist tendencies who nonetheless buy fast food when they're too beleaguered or short on cash to go for anything else. Early-morning, post-party visits to the drive-thru window are when most of them lose any anti-corporate instincts they have. I'm not a drinker or a partier myself, so I don't suffer the "easy meal" weakness. But I do find myself occasionally stuck in town and hungry, questioning the value of my one-person boycott,
So what do you advise? Should I continue this solitary crusade to bring down Big Junk by denying it my custom? Or should I just bite the bullet (and the medium fries) and eat there when I have to until we can organise major social change. As it stands, I'm not expecting the revolution to come anytime soon. Would I be a hypocrite to end to boycott, or an even greater hypocrite to continue it?