Monday, August 12, 2013

Don't Boycott the Sochi Olympics

The goal of a Sochi boycott has become a liberal cause celebre.  According to the Independent people "concerned about gay rights at the Sochi Winter Olympics" should "get boycotting." While '' explains that they "cannot stand by silently while people are being killed there, freedom and human rights are being broken and cold war times are coming back smoothly and imperceptibly."

 The olympics have never had any moral authority.  The games are a politicized spectacle that have been hosted by various dictatorships for decades. Former olympic host the PRC has probably killed more people than Russia's entire population. Avery Brundage served as IOC president for years all while maintaining ties to a variety of dictatorships. IOC has continually refused to hold any integral memorial for Munich massacre victims.

Olympic boycotts do not have a record of inflicting other than annoyance. Carter's olympics boycott only caused the USSR to giggle, barring South Africa from the 1964 olympics had no impact on aparthied. Saying no to Sochi is pointless feel goodery like Kony 2012, the most dangerous activism is that which requires little efort and only produces the illusion of progress. The idea could only wind up causing more pain since it threatens the dreams of athletes.

Pro-LGBT people should be thrilled about the Sochi games if they really want Putin hurt beyond his nightmares about invading half Chechen half Ukrainian village people. Even state media is reporting that Russia is set to become "the next Greece." The olympics have devastated the economies of every host country costing billions in return for nothing. The 2014 games will raze Russia's economy almost beyond comprehension because they are going "to be the most expensive ever, at an eye-popping $51 billion."

Sochi is in a conflict zone, the equivalent would be holding the summer olympics in Somalia. Russia  might not have enough snow and Sochi could be too warm for winter sports, the cost and possible humiliation will damage Putin more than any boycott ever could. Who would want to boycott such unintentional entertainment? For once I might have to watch the olympics.

European posting on Russian gay laws is hypocrisy since many European countries are happy to sell Putin's weapons and buy his oil. Russia depends on "inflated high oil prices and the possession of vast energy reserves." If Europe really wants to help sexual minorities under the bear's paw they should boycott Russian oil. Putin's economy is already miserable and threatened by the American energy boom and after a 50+ billion dollar olympics an oil boycott stands a chance of success.

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