Due to some combination of activist journalism and corporate conscience, major retailers such as Amazon, eBay, Target, and Wal-Mart are removing Confederate flags and other types of Confederate memorabilia from their shelves. Let’s pause for a moment and applaud the Left for its dramatic about-face on the question of corporate morality. Just one year after denying that corporations can have a conscience when that conscience dictates opposing abortion, the reversal is now complete. Corporations — as instruments of the people who run them — do indeed exercise First Amendment rights and do indeed express a moral point of view in the products they offer.
So, now that Amazon and eBay — two retailers I frequent online — have adopted the view that they own the moral message of their products, I decided to do a few simple searches for their views on some of the 20th Century’s deadliest regimes — regimes responsible for race- and class-based genocides that claimed the lives of up to 100 million innocent men, women, and children. It turns out that these retailers are happy for you to remember, enjoy, and sometimes proudly display emblems of deadly hate.
First, on eBay, you can find this fetching hammer and sickle necklace, “handmade” from “English Pewter,” and thoughtfully gift-boxed for that special communist in your life:
Of course, nothing complements a hammer and sickle necklace quite like a nicely fitting, bright red Soviet T-shirt:
The ensemble still feels incomplete, however. What about the children? Shouldn’t a self-respecting communist family be able to use their baby as a billboard? Thankfully, Amazon has it covered, with this lovely hammer and sickle onesie:
And if clothes can’t adequately express your sympathies, you can fly this Soviet flag high and with pride, for the whole neighborhood to see:
All this Soviet gear smacks of white communist privilege? What about Chairman Mao? Well, thanks again to Amazon, you can enjoy saving your pennies with this Chairman Mao piggy bank. Better hurry, though. Only one left in stock:
What about the Nazis, you ask? No need to fret — Amazon and eBay are nothing if not inclusive in their glorification of dictatorships. They have all your national-socialist needs covered, too:
And no Nazi depiction would be complete without glorifying the SS and objectifying women:
Finally, for your middle schooler’s art project, eBay presents this handsome Nazi-flag diorama accessory:
I’ve barely scratched the surface of totalitarian products at the two sites. Corporate morality is indeed an interesting thing. I’m sure that good, progressive companies like Amazon have a perfectly reasonable explanation for their “genocidal tyrants’ collection” of consumer goods — just like Apple had a perfectly reasonable explanation for condemning Indiana for passing a religious-liberty law while opening stores in nations where LGBT acts can be punished by death. Or did it? It’s so hard to keep up with the Twitter-driven outrage machine.
But while we figure it out, at least corporate America remembers (some) history. Happy shopping!
— David French is an attorney and a staff writer at National Review.