Staunton, July 26 – Individual Russians can “struggle against the US” by boycotting American products, a Russian site says; but its appeal highlights not only the high level of penetration of US firms in the Russian market but also the apparent reluctance of many Russians to take part in any formal action of this kind.
In an article on Forum-MSK.org today, Chingachguk Mogikansky says that Russians can hurt the Americans not by breaking the windows of McDonald’s – the company will just get reimbursed by insurance companies – but by not purchasing American goods and encouraging other Russians to do the same (forum-msk.org/material/economic/10439664.html).
To be most effective in this effort, Mogikansky says, “don’t show your anti-American position because a concealed anti-American position can have a greater effect than open anti- Americanism.” Best of all, he continues, is to say that “the United States is a bad country,” although he notes that “many people are afraid to say this.”
The Russian nationalist author appends a list of 88 major American firms, ranging from Microsoft to McDonalds to Lucasfilms, and suggests that Russians carefully read packages or turn to the Internet to make sure that they are not purchasing US-produced goods since some of them are camouflaged.
But perhaps most interesting and from a certain perspective amusing are his ten pieces of advice for Russians who want to hurt the United States with a boycott:
- “Tell all your friends and acquaintances not to use American goods because the US is a bad country.”
- “Don’t use dollars.” Instead, use European currencies or buy gold. And don’t use American banks.
- Don’t use Windows “or any other American software.” Use free software from Linux, RedHat or Caldera.” Not only are they “better than Windows;” they are also free.
- “Don’t go to American stores and restaurants,” and in particular, “don’t go to McDonald’s.”
- Always criticize American goods “if you see that someone wants to buy them.” Tell them that the US goods are bad and that other foreign goods are much better.
- Don’t fool yourself into thinking that vandalizing an American outlet like McDonald’s will harm the US. It is much better to say how bad American products are and how they harm one’s health.
- “Gather any stories about bad quality American goods and services. But don’t talk about this constantly! Speak only occasionally about this letting such phrases enter the conversation naturally.”
- “Don’t read or buy American newspapers, don’t watch American television channels. All this is only cover American propaganda.”
- “Protect your children from American films. Better they should watch European and in general classic ones. Support your own national culture.”
- And “buy books of national writers and poets” instead of American ones.