ht The Huffington Post.
First-quarter profits at Exxon Mobil Corp. were $10.9 billion. The company's 2007 profit was $40.6 billion.Is it time we stopped paying for oil? I mean, I just read this from a comment on AlterNet, you know...
How about this as a practical form of civil disobedience:The crazy thing is that $2 billion is chump change to Exxon.
Next time you fill your tank with gas, just drive away without paying.
I saw this rather strange little idea in a local paper's editorial the other day. I was kinda surprised, because the paper is normally right-wing. Were they just trying to stir up trouble? Why?
The more I think about it, however, the more I think that a widespread campaign like this - or even just a spontaneous outbreak of individual actions - could actually be quite effective. Of course the local fuel retailers would complain that THEY are the ones being targetted, not Big Oil. If the campaign became widespread, the local retailers would have to either shut down or push up prices, triggering even more consumer anger.
If you accept that it is oil speculators who are currently responsible for high oil prices, then would this sort of pressure not have a net negative effect on such speculation? Wouldn't speculators be scared off? Wouldn't Big Oil be pressured to cut prices? Wouldn't politicians be inclined to criticize those who break the law, but also be under pressure to express sympathy with public anger and search for ways to resolve it?
Just to be clear: I am not personally advocating this sort of civil disobedience (yet), just wondering what other AlterNet readers think of the idea.