Open Letter to the Editor of adbusters

I wrote this in response to an editorial question proffered in adbusters #72.  The question was: should adbusters run its [anti] ads in the New York Times -- or in more (Left) sympathetic magazines, like Mother Jones, et al.

And my advice is that there is little benefit preaching to the converted -- but that in trying to reach a broader audience, the Left must offer cogent solutions in addition to or instead of mere shock therapy - e.g.

  1. Public (only) funding of elections.  There is nothing wrong with Democracy – just it’s being for sale to the highest bidder.
  2. Public (only) health care – Michael Moore’s analogy (“Should your FIRE DEPARTMENT turn a profit?”) is a good one!
  3. Local and Populist instead of  national, global and corporate.
  4. Open Source software and other products.  There is nothing wrong with technology – just hegemony.

In short, we that understand the brokenness (though many of us have profited and become comfortable as a result of it) must somehow begin to demonstrate the viability of a new and well-intentioned anarchism.  An anarchism that builds on the emerging, implicit knowledge in each of us (not just the reflective) that every huge, centralized, top-down construct we have been taught to believe in -- is crumbling today before our very eyes – either imploding to insanity like the Church and Iraq or frantically spinning out of control, beyond self-regulation, like our biosphere.

To this end, adbusters’ Dow (up) Earth (down) chart from issue #72 exemplifies the “shock and awe” of the collapse – But, again, what is the extreme Left’s answer?

In my opinion, it is that the world outside each of our front doors is our world – that in moral and ethical terms our world is far smaller and less forgiving than we have been led to believe;  that the day-to-day realties of our world do not substantiate illusions of surplus and progress perpetuated by our media and ingrained in our culture.  And if we are not happy, we must realize that it is not because we have the wrong shoes, sex partners or income.  It is, as adbusters proffers, because our culture has lost its touchstones and today has no semblance of, or even words to describe -- authenticity.  It is because the materialist, arbitrage-dependent economies of the West have abstracted being and therefore made it nothingness.  And this unholy merging of the two poles of human existence -- into the least stable one -- has broken our moral compass.