Bridges and Boycotts (Podcast Episode 58)

Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore's Outer Harbor before the collapse

By Marc Eliot Stein, World BEYOND War, March 31, 2024

“Here there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.” – Rainer Maria Rilke

Watching a well-known bridge collapse in Baltimore, World BEYOND War’s technology director Marc Eliot Stein explored the engineering mistakes and quickly saw a pattern of greed, cowardice and conformity that is familiar to antiwar activists. “Do we think Anthony Blinken is any more competent than Pete Buttigieg?”

Mega-sized container ships that knock down beautiful harbor bridges are a key component of corrupt global commerce – and they are also a powerful metaphor for US power. This was true even before the bridge collapse of March 26, 2024 due to the Houthi attacks on US shipping in the Red Sea in protest of Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The political implications of this bridge collapse are also sadly clear in the deaths of six hardworking souls who were not contacted where there could have been enough time to save their lives.

This week’s podcast episode considers all of these questions in light of a new and exciting idea raised by World BEYOND War Executive Director David Swanson in a proposal titled BDS the U.S. – The World Must Hold The US Government to the Rule of Law.

Podcast host Marc Eliot Stein follows an introduction to this concept with a personal appeal to work together on ideas like a new BDS or any other shared goal that brings activists together to find alternatives to the global dominance of the US dollar, and all that the US dollar and its corrupt international partners represents.

Stepping back from the political questions and important goals of all these movements, we also must consider the personal crossroads that many of us find ourselves on as we explore our own ideals and choose our paths for how we can live.

Quotes from this episode:

“Are we even allowed to explore alternatives to hyper-global capitalism? To imagine a world without USA dominance? Can we keep paying taxes to the US world machine? What agency do we even have to ask questions like this?”

“Sometimes going towards the future means getting smaller, not bigger. If we’re going to boycott the USA, we’re going to have to become less consumerist. And consume less. But how would we change our lives, emotionally and practically?”

As this episode makes clear, there are more questions than answers, and we’d like to hear your own responses to various different points Marc Eliot Stein raises about the potential of a new BDS the US movement, and about the kinds of relationships this movement would have with other movements. Please post a comment below to let us know what you think.

Pylon on Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore after collapse

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