I do business with this guy, let's call him Dominic (primarily because that's his name).
Dominic is a world class a$$hole, and I disagree with him on everything up to and including what constitutes "morning" and what would make one "good". Seeing Dominic in the morning is the antithesis of any morning being "good".
He's opinionated, vainglorious and vulgar and has absolutely no issue with calling anyone who disagrees with his take on life, business and the Universal order of things a &^%#$$ retard.
After a few weeks of taking crap from him, I gave it back in spades.
We don't like each other, but I have a product that he needs at a price that he likes, and he pays cash.
We conduct business.
What this author is saying is that this practice of boycotting companies and people over differences of opinion, hurts the free market and in turn, damages a system of commerce that up to now, has made us all a wealthier, happier nation than most.
Why should boycotting over differences of opinion hurt the free market? Participants in a free market transact based on their preferences; they tend to buy what they prefer over what they do not. Preferences are essentially opinions: what the holder believes about a particular good and about what makes that good attractive or not; they also include the holder's views/beliefs about the company that produces a particular good - the brand, if you will. Accordingly, there is no rational way of pulling out just one set of opinions and saying that this, and only this, category of opinions harms the markets.
In fact, just the opposite occurs: if a significant number of participants decide to not purchase goods from a given seller, then that seller will, in the first instance, feel pressure to drop the prices for its goods - basic supply and demand, but on the firm level - which benefits those market participants who choose to not boycott that seller. In the second instance, if such a boycott continues, that seller will reduce the amount of inputs it buys, thereby leaving more of those inputs available for other producers to buy, and also putting downward pressure on the prices of those inputs because the drop in demand is the functional equivalent of an increase in supply. That benefits those other producers and, in turn, those participants who buy what those producers sell.
It's a little like the stock market, which is driven more by psychology than by actual fundamentals - which is why those whose trading style is based on fundamentals can find both underpriced and overpriced stocks.
Finally, if psychology - preferences based on opinions that are only tangential to a certain materialistic view of the value of goods - were not relevant to the proper functioning of a market economy, then a top-down government-controlled economy would allocate goods more efficiently than the market because the objective, materialistic value of an asset is significantly easier to determine from the outside. For example, the same house would suffice for everyone with a given family size and no one would even consider buying a more ostentatious house, or one that had functionality in excess of the basic minimum needed to sustain life, if psychology was not relevant to the functioning of the markets. A panel of experienced, knowledgeable scientists is in a much better position to determine what every individual needs as a bare minimum to live without significant hardship, than is any one particular individual. However, there is more to life than just surviving, and what that more is depends largely on each individual's psychology, which is why a free market, rather than a government-controlled market, is more efficient at allocating scarce resources.
In other words, the impulse that compels someone to boycott a business because they don't like what the owner of that business is saying about something that has nothing to do with the business at hand is part and parcel of what makes a free market work, not something that detracts from the functioning of that market.
Where boycotts of that sort become harmful is when they're backed up by the government and the threat of coercive enforcement against anyone who refuses to go along with the boycott. That's why the laws making incandescent light bulbs illegal - based largely on enviro-liberals' views that those light bulbs should be boycotted - are harmful; the mere fact that everyone voluntarily decided at the same time to swear off incandescent light bulbs, thereby driving them from the market, would not be harmful. That's why the auto body companies stopped making horse-drawn coach bodies and started making horseless carriage bodies - because the market demand for the former dropped and for the latter rose.