Lee Camp, MOC
i only go to walmart for spraypaint and sharpies…
….oh and dickies…
Everybody knows your name.
Well, in this situation I guess not, but that is how the saying goes.
I question the theoretical possibility of completely ethical shopping.
Even if somehow a person were lucky enough to live in an area where he was not literally forced (i.e., not merely encouraged by price incentives) to acquire some necessaries from Walmart, he’d still have to admit that almost certainly some of his possessions were manufactured by unethical practices imposed on the market by Walmart’s aggressive procurement strategies.
I honestly don’t remember for sure. It may be more than two years ago now since I last shopped at Walmart. But I’m 100% certain that I’ll have to go there again at some point. There are some items that Walmart sells so goddamned cheap that no other retailers in my area even bother to stock them anymore.
Does this make me a hypocrite? No more so than anyone else, I figure. We all have to eat, and that means killing something at some point, even if you only slaughter a hypothetical cow indirectly by re-allocating resources away from pastureland to bean farming.
And I’m not really sure that the hypothetical ideological purity we all crave is truly a morally superior position, anyhow. Don’t you have to grudgingly admire the personal bravery of a man willing to pursue an ideal that he understands is contrary to some of his material interests?
There is a difference between regularly patronizing Walmart and occassionally surrendering to necessity. If you are going to inevitably commit some ideological sin, you may as well plan for it rationally, in a way that minimizes its impact.
One might also argue that being able to forego the Walmart experience is also dependent on one’s degree of privilege. It’s easier for me to mostly shop at small chains and mom and pop stores because I’m lower middle class and live in a relatively urbanized area (for the deep south). Less fortunate people with limited budgets – and/or people who happen to live in rural areas or small towns that where local commerce has been utterly destroyed by Walmart – may not have as many options as I do. Even I have to go sometimes. I’m by no means poor, but sometimes the coffers get pretty close to empty, or there are no other options to buy something I need right away.
When they are so close and so many, the allure of saving gas is attractive.
The water is boiling and we don’t know it.