Rumblings of Boycotts are Not Boycotts
As I suspected would happen, the Koch boycott idea is gaining traction fast. That's why I hacked together this primer last week, hoping to encourage and/or report on more formalized embodiments of the idea as they emerged. I still haven't learned of one worth repeating, but I expect to any day now.
The Koch Industries Empire is Vast
Koch Industries is one of the two largest privately owned companies in America, with holdings in almost every industry sector, but energy and paper are two very big interests.
I am leery of tossing around the B-word casually, but as @Stopbeck proved, there are many kinds of boycott-type consumer actions, and when properly conceived and executed, they can be and have been effective. And while it's certainly easier to bring pressure on public companies, even private empires hate losing money.
While coal and electricity are tough to boycott, Koch has many other revenue streams. Some associates and I have been working on a robust database of products and brands that would be useful for a real boycott against Koch. In the meantime, this list, by Daily Kos write Geebeebee, provides a pretty good glimpse of the big products in this empire of evil:
The Products of Koch Industries
|Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Vanity fair napkins
Georgia-Pacific paper products and envelop
|Dense Armor Drywall and Decking
ToughArmor Gypsum board
Georgia pacific Plytanium Plywood
G/P Industrial plasters (some products used by a lot of crafters)
Arts & Crafts Plaster
General Purpose Plaster
Glass-reinforced Gypsum (GRG)
Industrial Tooling Plaster
Investment Casting Plaster
Metal Casting Plaster
FibreStrong Rim board
SOMERELLE® bedding products
TACTESSE® carpet fiber
TERATHANE® polyether glycol
POLARGUARD® fiber and
The Koch Brand Logos To Watch For (And Avoid)
Boycotts and Strikes Are Never Easy Projects
Again, I suspected the Koch boycott idea would pick up speed as the Wisconsin protests continued to grow. But until I see a real (organized and funded) project that can make do a sustained effort, I'm going to refrain from saying there's a real boycott under way. And while I think one would be important, I would much rather spend my energies with the general strike idea, something I have been advocating for many years. It's our best available tool if we are to ever really get serious about challenging the plutocratic regime that has seized the United States, while everyone was busy working for it.
I created this short URL (http://j.mp/genstrike) to give folks some background about general strikes. I plan to write a full-blown primer soon.
About Koch Industries
Koch Industries, (pronounced "coke"), is the largest privately owned company in the United States with 70,000 employees and annual sales of $100 billion in the fiscal year ending December of 2008.  Cargill comes in second for privately owned companies. Operations include refining, chemicals, process and pollution control equipment, technologies, fibers and polymers, commodity and financial trading and consumer products. The company operates crude gathering systems and pipelines across North America. One subsidiary processes 800,000 barrels of crude oil daily in its three refineries.
- Koch Industries Statement on Wisconsin
- Short Video: Defend the American Dream! (By Brave New Films)
- Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama
- CNN: Koch Brothers Fund the Tea Party
- Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine
- George Soros – He’s No Koch Brother: Infographic
"The consumer boycott is the only open door in the dark corridor of nothingness down which farm workers have had to walk for many years. It is a gate of hope through which they expect to find the sunlight of a better life for themselves and their families." Cesar Chavez
- How You Can Boycott the Kochs (Alternet)
- A Short History of Strikes & Boycotts
- Boycotts in History (PBS)
- Boycotts (Wikipedia)
- History of Boycotts (NPR)