Read this great graphic novel about how to un-rig our democracy

Originally published at:


I definitely need a tonic and an inspiration in these discouraging times. I will be getting this book and recommending it!

Simple request for the BoingBoing staff: Please provide a link to books, merch, supplies that is NOT Amazon? Especially when we are talking about disenfranchisement and wealth disparity, I can’t jump right over to Bezos’ insatiable $$$ sandworm.


What’s the Venn diagram for people who actually read books with footnotes and use the term Fake News? I imagine it looks like an amoeba at the last stage of reproduction.


It’s not that hard to look it up yourself as opposed to making the mods send you links to other sites. They sent you the title and author. Call your local book shop and order one.

Just sayin’

If you’re anywhere near New England I can recommend a few places. This one is my favorite:


Outside the State could be the only option.
For Italian book I normally go to Mondadori bookshops - I could also order online (and before e-commerce you could mail order books)
Also Feltrinelli has their bookshops

Unfortunately for niche american book the only source is Amazon… For Italian ones I look in other online or physical bookshops. I could also order on line and get them in the bookshop.

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Thanks for the links! I’m sure I’ll be using them in the future.

Thanks, “longtimelurker”, I do know about the other options - I’ve been supporting local bookstores and original manufacturers for years now. Not worried about that being hard to do. Ideally I will order from the actual publisher. My thought was only that BB has been a beacon of thoughtful shit-disturbance for years, and I’m surprised the first place a post would send us is to “part of the problem”.


Hadn’t heard of this- thanks for sharing. This is one I can get the whole family to read.

To be fair to BB I like to click through their amazon links when it something that will be PITA to purchase otherwise as they a cut of Amazon’s profit and it helps them keep the lights on and you don’t have to purchase the item linked to.


Yeah, it’s a conundrum for sure.

Amazon catches a lot of shit (deservingly!), but I can’t think of another platform that could be ordered from that isn’t in exactly the same sort of starvation-wage, broken social contract, shorting hours to avoid triggering benefits, middle management hiding facts to prevent OSHA/worker’s compensation claims, “right to work” shitshow. Is it better to shop at Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble or Walgreen’s, three companies that obliterated Main St USA? Is Target any better, really? Is the ecological impact of direct shipment actually worse than me sitting in a bumper to bumper suburban hellscape with the AC running so my toddler doesn’t die of heat stroke?

I’m not sold on Amazon being the big wicked everything. They serve a useful purpose as a target of ire, though. Just like when Greenpeace targeted Apple for their recyclability, reuse program and disposal when they were not even close to the worst offender. The truth is that they were a) the most visible and b) the most likely to actually give a fuck and do something. That’s Amazon right now (well, maybe not the giving a fuck part).

They also list ISBN number so I can turn a bOing bOing recommendation into business for my local shop. But even he tells me to get the expensive art books on Amazon because he’d have to charge so much and his margin isn’t big enough anyway.


Agreed. I suspect they also have enough influence at this point to set industry standards to some degree, like McDonalds does in fast food. If Amazon changes its practices, everyone else is likely to follow suit. And if not, they can push regulators to make everyone follow suit.

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I find that really weird, too.

In my opinion, a business model that depends on exploitation is not worth preserving. A business model that depends on exploitation that you explicitly and repeatedly criticize does not help one‘s credibilty when criticizing said exploitation.

Other options exist, e.g. here‘s a word press plugin that lets you set up a „book store“ and set up affiliate links to several shops, so one could just set up the least harmful shop for each book, or even give the user a choice where to buy from, and maybe even boost „sales“ because the „shop“ provides a simple way for site users to check out past book recommendations.

Wo says it needs to be a platform? Can‘t you order from a simple online shop, we haven enough of those over here, and they also often add books to their catalogue on request.

What exactly makes out doubt that? Because I from all I know they pretty much are. How else is Bezos‘ wealth increasing at that rate?

Supporting an exploitative shitshow because one wants to save some money is never a good idea. That one should be fairly obvious. If the responsible choice is also the cheapest, everyone would behave responsibly.

FWIW: In Germany, book prices are fixed. Problem solved. I know, that is a market inefficiency, but it makes sure small players have the same chance of making a sale.

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I could order from my local brick and mortar shop, which I do 90% of the time.

Because they sell a billion items a year all over the globe? Any business would see their profit at that scale. He’s the founder and under the disgusting, perverse rules of unfettered capitalism, is allowed to amass that amount of wealth.

I did an analysis a few years ago of exactly where my money goes and except for items like socks and washers, it mostly is spent in locally owned businesses, including gasoline (which ultimately comes from BP, Exxon, etc). But like the gasoline, my phone, my car parts and the speaker mounts I am currently looking at, there is no local option. That’s not a failure on my part choosing to save $1, it’s the reality that those options don’t exist for certain items and services. If anyone thinks that the fruit they eat, the clothes they wear and national retail chain they shop in isn’t utilizing exploitative labor, you need to look closer.

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Most of Amazon’s revenue is not from selling items, but that is not the point.

Amazon dodges taxes, exploits workers until their job can be automated, and even searches them after work without paying for the time that takes.

Amazon also ruthlessly optimized the sales and delivery process, hacking the human psyche to extract as much money from each customer as possible, while messing with search results and cleverly hiding that one can get a lot of those items cheaper elsewhere. I can‘t help myself but call this evil.

If they focused as rigorously on exploitation, automation and creating services out of everything (which creates ruthless internal competition), they might. And they‘d be as fucked-up in that case.

Well, then it‘s good nobody said they think that. :grinning:

What I mean is: if you can buy the same item somewhere else than Amazon, it‘s better for everyone.


Agreed. My entire lifestyle is predicated on that fact. However, every one of Amazon’s deficiencies you pointed out could be made about every entity that provides goods and services you can’t buy locally/conscientiously.

My overall point is that there are loads of things that are not ecologically, economically or logistically feasible to purchase except from an entity like Amazon and you don’t have to scratch the surface long before you discover they are just as guilty.

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