Today I closed my Amazon account.
It is not about inconvenience of undelivered gifts.
It is not about gifts that did not work upon arrival.
It is not about their contract with UPS.
It is not about their mistakes in debiting either debit or credit cards.
It is not about their dominance in the consumer market, globally.
It is not even about their recent ventures into both drone and space travel.
When any company decides that it is in its best interests to market the SWASTIKA emblazoned on shoes, flags and other merchandise, then I know this is not a company with which/whom I wish to participate.
Call it an ethical incompatibility.
Call it a consumer decision to withdraw from activities with any organization whose leadership decisions are so contemptuous of the often failed and nevertheless persistent attempts to reach some kind of healing from the deep and profound wounds of World War II, that they place their own profit ahead of their ethical obligations to the world community.
Call it a voice crying in the wilderness, similar to that voice of John the Baptist, crying in the wilderness, asking Herod to change his ways, asking the people of Judea to change their ways, only on a much more modest scale.
Ordinary people from all countries, from all political ideologies, and from all religious persuasions have to find and deploy their clarion voice when the powers of money and the pursuit of money, under what is normally considered an out-of-control capitalism operate globally without regard to the working conditions of those slaves who manufacture their products, without regard to the carbon emissions of those manufacturing plants, and without concern for the ethical expectations of their consumers.
While the Pope calls for a curbing of a materialistic lifestyle, and the Queen calls for everyone to extend "love" (agape in the Christian community) for others where and whenever possible, such legitimate calls are so massively abstract and without clear definition that ordinary people are most likely to continue to walk the paths they have trod for the majority of their lives, without change.
It is the single voice of a single human being, however insignificant in his or her own circle of influence, speaking against the kind of actions, attitudes, beliefs and philosophies, uttered with all the power of whatever megaphone is accessible, that potentially can and will generate the breadth, depth and volume of decibels that people in positions of responsibility cannot avoid, cannot deny and must not disparage.
Power does not reside exclusively in the bank accounts of the wealthy.
Power does not reside exclusively in the cabinet rooms of the nations.
Power does not reside exclusively in the exchange floors of the world's stock exchanges.
Power doe not reside exclusively in the ballot box of the various degrees of political democracy that we see around the world.
Power does not reside, exclusively either, in the handgun, nor the uzzie, nor the Kalashnikov carried by the terrorists and the armies around the world.
Power does not reside exclusively in the nuclear arsenals stockpiled in the storehouses of the members of the nuclear club.
Power does not reside in the Supreme Courts of the various countries, nor in the Courts Martial of the various military establishments.
Real power resides in the hearts, minds, larynxes, and the journals and diaries of the ordinary people who are not imprisoned by any requirement to defer to their supervising power structure, are not imprisoned by their deference to the conventional wisdom demands of any public acceptance for the purpose of retaining a political office, operating or working for a specific corporation, serving under the command of any military establishment.
It is the power of an extremely insignificant (especially in the eyes of the megacorporation that is Amazon) to withdraw patronage that can impact others to do the same.
And, although this space has never asked readers to engage in any specific activity, has never exercised any direct or indirect political persuasion to get readers to behave in any specific manner, this time is different.
Anyone who is not cognizant of the cancer embedded in the SWASTIKA, and who is not cognizant of the many neo-Nazi individuals and groups that continue to operate both in North America and in Europe, as well as in countries on other continents, and who is not "in touch" with the potential for furthering the advancement even through symbols, of that contemptuous and contemptible vision of the world, should not be operating a world-wide business enterprise that profits from the sale of such symbols.
We have all heard the direct references to the "Christian" roots of the KKK and the racial and ethnic cleansing of the NAZI movement against the Jews in Europe both during the war and also much more recently. These references come in comparison with and often in rebuttal of the Islamic terrorist movement that currently holds much of the world 'by the throat.' Religion is too frequently deployed as underpinning of violent motives, inherent to the minds and the hearts of the most depraved of humans representing all perversions of all faiths.
Freedom of speech is one of the defences from those engage in the sale and marketing of symbols like the SWASTIKA, in a blinded and unalloyed motive for profit. Such motives could and must be alloyed with a wider and more substantive motive of refusing to enhance the hatred to which too many individuals are subjected daily.
And there must be a persistent and penetrating voice of sanction against those whose undisciplined pursuit of their own profit motives makes such sanction necessary.
If you do agree with the position articulated here, consider your own option and freedom to join in putting pressure on Amazon to reconsider their deplorable business decision, a decision which is not, cannot, and will not be contained within the transaction between the consumer and the marketing machine that is Amazon.