Adbusters

What is the Carnivalesque Rebellion?

A sudden unexpected moment of truth, a mass reversal of perspective, a global mindshift ...

The Carnivalesque Rebellion is about to begin. From November 22nd to the 28th, culture jammers of all kinds – from artists to churchgoers, anarchists to carpenters – will disregard the illegitimate laws of consumer society. For seven nights, they will honor instead the dictates of their hearts and the demands of their conscience. Overwhelmed by a myriad of insurrections and unexpected acts of resistance, consumer capitalism will grind to a halt.

With little time remaining before these events, what is needed now is not a treatise on the injustice of consumerism. It is true that 36 million humans starve to death each year, that there is an island of plastic the size of Texas floating in the ocean, and that one in four Americans have a mental illness. But these facts roll across our consciousness; they do not impel us to remake society. Whether we have become desensitized to the severity of our plight or our minds simply cannot fathom the direness of our situation, the fact remains that today what we need is the opposite of information.

The success of our insurrection will not depend on quantity of the crowd nor extent of the media coverage. In some cities the rebellion may be invisible and in others its impact downplayed. None of that matters. The Carnivalesque Rebellion will be victorious when we stop waiting for the majority, the mainstream, or the consumer class to give us permission to rebel. The revolution against consumerism will come when we trust our intuition and find within ourselves the permission to act.

The Carnivalesque Rebellion is, above all else, a chance to rise above cynicism, skepticism, and ironic detachment. It is an invitation to don the prankster's mask, to regain the sense of magical possibility, and to finally start living.

Meet up with fellow activists and download posters and campaign materials at www.adbusters.org/bnd.

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80 comments on the article “What is the Carnivalesque Rebellion?”

Displaying 11 - 20 of 80

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meme warrior

Great changes are always ignored at first. The goal should never be to seek "visibility" because that is a rigged game controlled by the corporate media. The goal must be to spark epiphanies, to feel for a moment that one is outside of the confines of society. To inspire, not inform, people towards action.

This isn't about preaching to the choir, it is about spreading a mood of rebellion across the globe.

meme warrior

Great changes are always ignored at first. The goal should never be to seek "visibility" because that is a rigged game controlled by the corporate media. The goal must be to spark epiphanies, to feel for a moment that one is outside of the confines of society. To inspire, not inform, people towards action.

This isn't about preaching to the choir, it is about spreading a mood of rebellion across the globe.

Leo Rubinkowski

So we're back to the source of my frustration: (potentially) self-contradictory rhetoric, full of emotion but lacking in substantial content.

Consumer capitalism grinding to a halt isn't something anyone will or can ignore. I'm all for sparking epiphanies, though. "Shock the bourgeoisie," as the Surrealists used to say. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but it is probably more often accomplished organically, gradually. The rhetoric on this website (yes, the rhetoric that AdBusters sells) often makes the whole thing sound like an occupation by force, something along the lines of the end of FIGHT CLUB (if I may be so bold). Tell people to go out and do their own thing. Show them that there's another way to operate. Do so "militantly," if necessary (i.e., without asking permission).

There is, of course, the potential that "rebellious" acts will turn people off to the message. For example, there was a video posted on the blog this past summer (as I recall) involving a robbery in Greece (I think). No one was injured, and goods weren't taken. The money was immediately burned on the sidewalk, and the activists took off right after without any cash to show for it. I doubt the shopkeeper thought "Yeah...that's RIGHT!" He was probably pissed the fuck off. I was, too. That's not constructive.

So, all in all, I hope whatever people do is constructive. I hope it brings positive attention to what is wrong with the world, and I hope it gives people a little push toward changing the way they view the world and their place within it and society. I also hope that whatever anyone does strengthens their own resolve.

If anyone who has posted on this string so far comes back and finds this, thanks for keeping things in perspective. meme warrior, don't write me off completely, please. I agree that a diversity of tactics is required. I'll be out to change perspectives, too. Good luck with your efforts.

Leo Rubinkowski

So we're back to the source of my frustration: (potentially) self-contradictory rhetoric, full of emotion but lacking in substantial content.

Consumer capitalism grinding to a halt isn't something anyone will or can ignore. I'm all for sparking epiphanies, though. "Shock the bourgeoisie," as the Surrealists used to say. Inspiration is a wonderful thing, but it is probably more often accomplished organically, gradually. The rhetoric on this website (yes, the rhetoric that AdBusters sells) often makes the whole thing sound like an occupation by force, something along the lines of the end of FIGHT CLUB (if I may be so bold). Tell people to go out and do their own thing. Show them that there's another way to operate. Do so "militantly," if necessary (i.e., without asking permission).

There is, of course, the potential that "rebellious" acts will turn people off to the message. For example, there was a video posted on the blog this past summer (as I recall) involving a robbery in Greece (I think). No one was injured, and goods weren't taken. The money was immediately burned on the sidewalk, and the activists took off right after without any cash to show for it. I doubt the shopkeeper thought "Yeah...that's RIGHT!" He was probably pissed the fuck off. I was, too. That's not constructive.

So, all in all, I hope whatever people do is constructive. I hope it brings positive attention to what is wrong with the world, and I hope it gives people a little push toward changing the way they view the world and their place within it and society. I also hope that whatever anyone does strengthens their own resolve.

If anyone who has posted on this string so far comes back and finds this, thanks for keeping things in perspective. meme warrior, don't write me off completely, please. I agree that a diversity of tactics is required. I'll be out to change perspectives, too. Good luck with your efforts.

a person

a revolution isn't brewing... the sounds of beating war drums can only be heard on this website and it's sister sites... it is a masquerade; another lifestyle to be sold. at times, we forget that. at the end of the day, this is not a site full of ideas only for the sake of "spreading the word". at the end of the day, they operate this site to sell. it is a capitalist company... yes, a company with a very interesting product, one that you and i often agree with. but they have a business to run. what would be interesting is if they didn't charge for the magazine. if they just gave the publications away. that would be true inspiration. but alas, that does not happen; will not happen.

by continuing to buy the magazine you continue to support that which you are damning. you sir (or madam) are not a warrior, nor are you a pawn in any sense of the word. rhetoric sells, you buy. you like the message, as i often do. but you buy one set of products (the magazine, it's ugly shoes, etc) you are just backing the same ole thing.

events like this can serve as a positive way to join with like minded people. we have to remember one thing though, disruption without the backing of the majority of the population will only send people running from our ideas. also, rebelling for the sake of rebelling is a sign of an unstable mind.

i admire your ambition, your amount of inspiration. i hope you are well and that your judgment doesn't get clouded.

a person

a revolution isn't brewing... the sounds of beating war drums can only be heard on this website and it's sister sites... it is a masquerade; another lifestyle to be sold. at times, we forget that. at the end of the day, this is not a site full of ideas only for the sake of "spreading the word". at the end of the day, they operate this site to sell. it is a capitalist company... yes, a company with a very interesting product, one that you and i often agree with. but they have a business to run. what would be interesting is if they didn't charge for the magazine. if they just gave the publications away. that would be true inspiration. but alas, that does not happen; will not happen.

by continuing to buy the magazine you continue to support that which you are damning. you sir (or madam) are not a warrior, nor are you a pawn in any sense of the word. rhetoric sells, you buy. you like the message, as i often do. but you buy one set of products (the magazine, it's ugly shoes, etc) you are just backing the same ole thing.

events like this can serve as a positive way to join with like minded people. we have to remember one thing though, disruption without the backing of the majority of the population will only send people running from our ideas. also, rebelling for the sake of rebelling is a sign of an unstable mind.

i admire your ambition, your amount of inspiration. i hope you are well and that your judgment doesn't get clouded.

Bullets

This will change nothing because it pussyfoots around taking on the system in a meaningful, truly hard-hitting way. You're right, it's a carnival. It will give you the warm fuzzies, but it will not overturn the status quo.

Bullets

This will change nothing because it pussyfoots around taking on the system in a meaningful, truly hard-hitting way. You're right, it's a carnival. It will give you the warm fuzzies, but it will not overturn the status quo.

meme warrior

You are wrong. The old leftie style of party building, consciousness raising, crowd organizing doesn't work. What is needed is a revolution of everyday life, where people break out of their habits and find themselves unable to resume life as it was.

By the way, your cynicism is boring.

meme warrior

You are wrong. The old leftie style of party building, consciousness raising, crowd organizing doesn't work. What is needed is a revolution of everyday life, where people break out of their habits and find themselves unable to resume life as it was.

By the way, your cynicism is boring.

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