Okay, I’ve been wrestling with issues of consumerism and capitalism in our community for a long time, and I don’t know how to reconcile my leftist political beliefs with my love of keyboards, artisans, switches, and everything this community has to offer. I thought I would open up a dialogue among people who may be fellow travelers with me on the left wing politically, to see what all of you think. So, without further ado, here is my dilemma:
While I love being a part of this community and I contribute whenever I can, the core experience of the keyboard community is purchasing and assembling extremely nice, personalized, and aesthetically pleasing keyboards. To acquire these things requires at least some involvement by the twin demons of capitalism and consumerism. While by no means do I believe that all keyboards regardless of origin are made by child workers in some gulag somewhere (though I guess they could be? mostly kidding), that makes me question what kinds of keyboard consumption can be considered “wholly ethical” and which are “marginally ethical”. I feel completely fine handing over money to an artisan maker who has sculpted, cast, and finished their keycaps by hand, as this does not involve any economic exploitation or coercion, I wonder what is on the opposite side of that spectrum. (inb4 $5 Dell rubber domes are made in a gulag)
- Has anyone else grappled with these issues?
- Where do you place mechanical keyboard obsession ethically? Is it “wholly ethical”, “marginally ethical”, “completely unethical” or somewhere in between?
- Is there any way to square this consumerist hobby with being a “good lefty”?
- How do you think about these issues?
- What other issues bother you about this community from an economic or political perspective?
Thanks so much for reading!
Don’t agree that capitalism has some pretty bad side effects? Don’t consider yourself left-of-center politically? The door is over there! The a priori assumption of this discussion is that capitalism is bad, and I don’t want this to be a place for talking people out of their political proclivities. Thank you!