A friend of mine just posted something about Stephanie Meyer (the author of the horrendous "Twilight" series) being a Mormon. Part of being a Mormon is apparently giving a portion of your income to the church. The Mormon Church was recently involved in the support of Prop 8 -- a law to prevent same-sex marriage. He posted that people ought to boycott "Twilight" because of this.
This is something that has always made me uneasy. It's particularly difficult for me to defend "Twilight" of all things, but in this case, I find myself defending it.
In our society, we work to earn capital. Capital is then spent on the necessities of life and luxuries. A direct result of work is the ability to feed one's self. By boycotting something, you are attempting to stop the flow of capital to a person or group of people who perform that service. This necessarily means that you are attempting to stop them from being able to care for the necessities of life and their ability to afford luxuries. If very successful, that person could be in a situation where they are unable to feed themselves.
Do you believe that someone should starve for their convictions?
Wrong or right doesn't even play into that. If they perform a great harm, this does not give you license to harm them. Two wrongs do not make a right because their wrong does not make you more right. You are actively seeking to harm someone because you disagree with them.
Most people in America enjoy and defend -- to some extent -- the right of free speech. This action specifically seeks to restrict that right by limiting the amount of money someone can make. Moreover, it does so on the arbitrary basis of one person's opinion. By doing so, you are saying that one can have free speech as long as they agree with you.
That's not the way a democracy works. Even the way our democracy works is flawed -- we treat it in our electoral system as a mobocracy. The biggest mob gets their beliefs enforced.
Possibly the most repellent use of this was after George W. Bush's second election in which I recall Condolezza Rice saying that the win presented a mandate because more people had voted for W than any other president at any other time. It also happens to be that more people voted against him than any other president -- he won 50.7% of the vote.
A margin of victory like that should not give one the impression that their beliefs are correct and ought to be enforced. It should be troubling. By having that impression, you are saying that the 49.3% who disagree ought to have your beliefs enforced upon them. It doesn't mean that their objections are not valid. It certainly does not mean that they shouldn't be considered. It does make their vote invalid because they did not vote with the whole.
If you believe in something controversial, it is your duty to understand why it is controversial and accept that for the greater good (which is not necessarily the good of the majority), you ought to concede some things.