Adbusters

Wildcat General Strike

Turn Buy Nothing Day up a notch this year by joining the Wildcat General Strike! On November 27/28 we are asking you to claw at capitalism and sink your teeth deeper into the corporate machine.

Buy Nothing Day was a radical concept when we first introduced it 20 years ago. It struck a blow against the very heart of our consumer culture. For the first decade of its existence it had a profound and sweeping effect, shining a light on the dark side of consumerism at a time when the world was largely oblivious to its insidious effects. Year after year it fired up the world’s imagination – inspiring its fair share of sympathy and solidarity, resistance and mockery. I remember people laughing their heads off at the sight of my BND button. But somehow, as the years wore on (and despite the fact that last year it was celebrated in 65 countries around the world), the day seems to be losing its edge. Now, as humanity faces crises of ecology, psychology and faith, the time has come to rethink the day, to reanimate it with new intensity, purpose and scale.

This year we’re calling for a wildcat general strike. On November 27/28 we’re asking tens of millions of people around the world to bring the capitalist consumption machine to a grinding – if only momentary – halt. We want you to shut off your lights, your televisions and other nonessential appliances. We want you to park your car, turn off your phones and log off your computer for the day. We’re calling for a Ramadan-like fast. From sunrise to sunset, we abstain en masse. Not only from shopping but from all the temptations of our five-planet lifestyles.

Instead we’ll feed our spirits and minds with a feast of subversive activities: pranks, shenanigans, credit card cut-ups, bicycle swarms, mall invasions and all manner of culture jams and creative détournements … and some of us will take things even further with sit-ins, demonstrations, passive resistance and acts of nonviolent defiance, anarchy and civil disobedience. If we can create a big enough ruckus on November 27/28, then we may be able to catalyze what the Situationists tried to set in motion half a century ago: a chain reaction of refusal against consumer capitalism … a sudden, unexpected moment of truth … the first ever global revolution.

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62 comments on the article “Wildcat General Strike”

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Alaric

Walter Benjamin, the German critical theorist and major influence on Adbusters' understanding of cultural production, was a Jew and integration many Jewish-Kabbalistic concepts into his notion of Marxist critical theory. So some Judaic references are not all that out of place. For instance the recent popularization of the concept of Tikkun as adapted by the French theoretical journal Tiqqun, from which The Coming Insurrection emerged.

Alaric

Walter Benjamin, the German critical theorist and major influence on Adbusters' understanding of cultural production, was a Jew and integration many Jewish-Kabbalistic concepts into his notion of Marxist critical theory. So some Judaic references are not all that out of place. For instance the recent popularization of the concept of Tikkun as adapted by the French theoretical journal Tiqqun, from which The Coming Insurrection emerged.

Robert D. GO BR...

I like it. November 27th is the biggest shopping day of the year and most Americans will have this day off. Therefore, not many of us should get fired. I think it is up to readers to inform our friends and families and make it a community event. Most people will be shopping for Christmas presents on November 27th. This is a great time to remind others that our earth NEEDS us to stop shopping so much. We need to remember the important things - life, health and community. Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping did a great job last year by getting us together in Union Square in NYC. We had a great time singing and dancing in the streets and got the word out to a lot of folk. We should not always rely on Adbusters to do everything. We need to remember why we picked up the magazine in the first place and do our part.

Robert D. GO BR...

I like it. November 27th is the biggest shopping day of the year and most Americans will have this day off. Therefore, not many of us should get fired. I think it is up to readers to inform our friends and families and make it a community event. Most people will be shopping for Christmas presents on November 27th. This is a great time to remind others that our earth NEEDS us to stop shopping so much. We need to remember the important things - life, health and community. Reverend Billy & The Church of Stop Shopping did a great job last year by getting us together in Union Square in NYC. We had a great time singing and dancing in the streets and got the word out to a lot of folk. We should not always rely on Adbusters to do everything. We need to remember why we picked up the magazine in the first place and do our part.

Anonymous

So, how to organize then? Let's start something on facebook, perhaps, within local networks to effectively get all the interested people together. I'm in Manhattan--anyone else?

Anonymous

So, how to organize then? Let's start something on facebook, perhaps, within local networks to effectively get all the interested people together. I'm in Manhattan--anyone else?

Leland

I've participated in BND for several years now, and it's just served to make me feel insignificant. Sure I get a nice moral internal win, but the fact is, they don't notice. I've been off their radar for too long, I just don't count and Adbusters is just preaching to the choir. As silly as it looks sometimes, I believe that it's time for direct action. A buddy and I want to try a whirl-mart type action this year, and force them to acknowledge us at least. Otherwise it feels like I'm just hiding.

Leland

I've participated in BND for several years now, and it's just served to make me feel insignificant. Sure I get a nice moral internal win, but the fact is, they don't notice. I've been off their radar for too long, I just don't count and Adbusters is just preaching to the choir. As silly as it looks sometimes, I believe that it's time for direct action. A buddy and I want to try a whirl-mart type action this year, and force them to acknowledge us at least. Otherwise it feels like I'm just hiding.

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