Category Archives: Activism

Just kick it

Wiki tells me that Adbusters is

a not-for-profit, anti-consumerist organization founded in 1989 [that] describes itself as “a global network of artists, activists, writers, pranksters, students, educators and entrepreneurs who want to advance the new social activist movement of the information age.

This is activism with a solid business model, since its core product, a magazine, holds a price tag of 11$ + plus or minus what the newsstand might take as margin.

The September/October issue is on “Thought Control in Economics”, paired with a campaign to “KickitOver”. An editorial explains:

This book is a battle plan. We attack the massively fortified system of thought control in which the same tenured forces have been entrenched for fifty years. We take on this powerful intellectual army whose generals include Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Gregory Mankiw, Paul Krugman … who have boots on the ground in Summers, Bernanke and Geithner plus the heads of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank … and whose foot soldiers are the thousands of business and economics professors all over the world. They all have the same mission: to perpetuate growth and consumption at any cost. We cannot stand idly by and allow these old-school practitioners of a failed paradigm to keep calling the policy shots. Ten more years of their brand of economics will send our planet into a tailspin from which we may never recover.

AEA protest?

The theme fits well with Adbusters reserve aesthetics. Adbusters turns advertising culture and the celebration of consumer society into a heroic narrative for anti-consumer society, keeping the signifiers but turning them on their heads. So they do the same for economics, which is seem as advertising for consumption and environmental destruction, not corporate, but academic. The antis is done by using economists of an alternative sort, radical, post-autistic, critics of textbooks and national accounting. Adbusters enlists advertising to fight advertising, and economists to fight economists.


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