In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
"Heterodox economics" refers to approaches or to schools of economic thought that are considered outside of "mainstream economics".
For the last couple of years, I have been very interested in alternatives to the economic system that is currently in place. I've been checking out local barter systems, sharing collectives, communes, opting out, living off the grid, and all sorts of alternative situations.
I also started digging into the truths, mistruths, myths, realities, politics and philosophies of economics in general. It has all been fascinating. I am more knowledgeable and informed and more confused and optimistic and fatalistic all at once and ebbing and flowing, given context, situation, mood, etc.
The First 5,000 Years
This book by David Graeber has been my latest read/listen and it has been more than eye-opening. I certainly recommend it.
So it was with all these thoughts and considerations as well as my anarchist leanings that I enter into the Burning Man philosophies and experience.
I come upon a principle, like decommodification and at first I am fully behind it and fist-pumping, yes.
And then I have to wonder, what is decommodification? Of course, I Google it and....
In the context of welfare provision, the degree to which welfare services are free of the market. In a predominantly decommodified system, welfare services such as education and healthcare are provided to all and are not linked to market processes. In a commodified system, welfare services are treated as commodities to be sold on the market like other goods and services.
You Say Tomato, I Say....
Actually, the phrase works better audibly but the point is that Burning Man's version of Decommodification and the more standard definition are a bit different.
I will address the Burning Man version since that is what is more relevant to this conversation, to an extent.
I think a more accurate term would be Decommercialization.
I realize this is a matter of semantics but then again what part of the 10 Principles or philosophy for that matter does not find itself embroiled in a war of words.
I am in complete agreement that commercialization and corporate involvement would completely change Burning Man, even faster than the meteoric rise and growth that the event is currently experiencing.
I am very curious to see what Decommodification looks like on the Playa.