Money is Activism
Every time that you spend a dollar, every time that you invest a dollar, you’re voting. The idea of dollar voting dates back to 50s when James Buchanan said that dollar voting is the purest form of democracy. Every time that we invest a dollar, it is a vote for the companies that we are investing in and the impact that they are having. It is a vote for the world that we want to live in.
Lynne Twist wrote in the Soul of Money that “Money itself isn’t bad or good. Money itself doesn’t have power or not have power. Money carries our intention… If we use it with integrity, then it carries integrity forward.” When we use money with integrity, it gives us the power to help ourselves and help others. Individually, we may not think that our money holds power, that we will have little impact. However, movements are made from the collective impact of many. Similarly, whether we intentionally use our money to support our values-it still has an impact. Why not use this power for good?
In the world we live in, corporations must listen to their stakeholders. In theory, a market functions based on supply and demand. If we don’t want what a company is supplying, that company should be negatively affected. The companies who don’t listen to consumers and investors, will not profit or exist in the long-term. We have the power to influence corporate behavior, whether through what we choose to not participate in, what we choose to support, and whom we choose to engage with, like through shareholder advocacy.
Money is one of the best tools we have as activists and concerned citizens. Yet, money is often forgotten when it comes to creating change. If we viewed money, as a tool and even a solution, as a conduit for change, maybe we would see the opportunity in using our money to support our values. Before you spend, before you invest, make sure that the way you’re using your money is in line with your values, and the world you want to live in.
"The vote is precious. It is the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society, and we must use it."-John Lewis