A recent discussion I was having about the future of Burning Man raised the question: “is it really part of Burning Man’s values to do end runs around scalpers? Is that a key part of the mission? What’s wrong with letting the Market decide who goes to Burning Man?”
Let me stop right here to say: I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HOW BURNING MAN WILL HANDLE TICKET SALES IN THE FUTURE – DON’T ASK ME. LIKE MANY OF YOU, I OCCASIONALLY TALK ABOUT THINGS I HAVE NO INVOLVEMENT WITH. THE SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, FOR EXAMPLE … AND THE U.S. SPACE PROGRAM. THIS WAS THAT KIND OF CONVERSATION, HAD WITH SOMEONE WHO WAS NOT A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE ORGANIZATION, AND HAS NO INVOLVEMENT IN BURNING MAN TICKET SALES. HE WAS ALSO NOT AN ASTRONAUT. THANK YOU.
Most of you are turning a little red now – I was – but it’s a relevant question. What is the appropriate relationship between Burning Man and market capitalism? “Decommodification” is a key Burning Man principle … yet when Burning Man is critiqued from the political left, it’s generally for not being decomidified enough. There are people who see the fact that we still sell tickets as proof that we are in league with Halliburton.
When it comes to capitalism, where’s the sweet spot for Burning Man between “Too Much” and “Oh, for God sake get a job you smelly hippie”?
Is “creative destruction” creative enough for us? (more…)