The Big Ideas of 2012

Post Idea World

Where do we turn when the wells of inspiration run dry?
Selingkuh Tak Sampai - 2004 - Agus Suwage

For millennia, human civilization has been flush with a succession of paradigm shifting, big ideas. Modernity's Hegelian world spirit, Nietzschean death of God and Heideggerian Being gave way in postmodernity to Foucault's dispositif, Fukuyama's end of history, Derrida's deconstruction and Deleuze and Guattari's rhizome. And yet, while we all assumed that big ideas would keep flowing hard and fast forever, in the last few years it seems that the wells of inspiration are running dry. There is a dawning realization that truly novel, creative ideas have suddenly stopped coming. Nobody knows why.

The conceptual drought couldn't be happening at a more inopportune moment. Seven billion of us are struggling through the most severe ecological, financial, political and spiritual crisis in our history. This time the catastrophe we face doesn't affect a single nation or region or continent … it is all the more terrifying because it is global and simultaneous. Odds are that if we can't pull ourselves out of this decline then we just might descend into a horrifying thousand year long dark age … an age of scorched earth authoritarian-capitalism, brutalism and mayhem which will make the genocides and holocausts of the previous century feel like foreplay. We've not only run out of ideas; we're running out of time.

Now more than ever we need the creative breakthroughs and outlier brainstorms that can shift the terrain of thought, revealing exits, opening possibilities, potentially saving us all. We need mavericks of indie media who can kill the commercial virus that infects our information flows. We need a brilliant new crop of economics students who can stand up to their professors, topple the neoclassical paradigm and replace it with a new, true cost model. We need potent new ways of dismantling corporate rule and killing corporate personhood. And then there is the biggest challenge of them all: how to spark a social revolution, an insurrection of everyday life that sweeps across the globe just in time to avert the final catastrophe?

It may be that our abandonment of the natural world and wholesale migration into cyberspace has cut our roots and scrambled our neurons beyond repair. We may be in the midst of an irreversible mental breakdown of the human race that parallels the irreversible collapse of our planet's ecosystems. This eco-psycho spiral may do us in. Maybe it is already too late?

But issue #99 of Adbusters is not about despair, it is about hope and revolution and living without dead time … it's about testing the waters and discerning whether we can muster the psychic energy for an almighty turnaround.

for the wild,
Kalle Lasn and Micah White

124 comments on the article “Post Idea World”

Displaying 101 - 110 of 124

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Anonymous

Fantastic article. The wonderful thing about his moment is the ideological vacuum. On one hand it is very scary, all the theories ring false and hallow. But on the other hand, how long have many of us intuited that it was all really a pack of lies? At least now we can own up to it. Lets face it, now we must explore the other side of the coin, alternative history, economics, religion, everything....Remember "political correctness" what was that about? It is nice to breath deep and not inhale lies

Where to go? First is reject all, tabula rasa, no assumptions, no sacred cows... Here is my take on it. http://www.thecactusland.com/

Anonymous

Fantastic article. The wonderful thing about his moment is the ideological vacuum. On one hand it is very scary, all the theories ring false and hallow. But on the other hand, how long have many of us intuited that it was all really a pack of lies? At least now we can own up to it. Lets face it, now we must explore the other side of the coin, alternative history, economics, religion, everything....Remember "political correctness" what was that about? It is nice to breath deep and not inhale lies

Where to go? First is reject all, tabula rasa, no assumptions, no sacred cows... Here is my take on it. http://www.thecactusland.com/

Anonymous

Well, we're on the turn of the tide. It's never too late for (r)evolution. Ideas and creativity are more powerful than ever, with means and a potential reach, that 50 years ago no president would ever dream of. Things are just rearranging. A new revolution is showing up in our minds. Values and beliefs must rule the world.
Take neoliberalism for instance… It's about to fail. I don't know wether this will happen this year or next, but it will. it's inevitable. All dysfunctional systems fail and this system is a real kamikaze. The market's dictatorship slams democratic elected governments as Wall Street's opening bell rings. Yet, markets are made of real people. Beyond those who ring the bell, we are the market. Each of us, with savings on a bank or pensions fund, feeds this system, without thinking about it. This system is extraordinarily creative on ways for investors and speculators, to succeed whenever an imbalance shows up or uncertainty rises.
However, we the people, seem unable to feed a new praxis on politics and financial markets.
This is crazy! It's up to us to give the right message with proper action.
Today's major battleground is the euro zone. If the euro fails, speculators will win.
Whats at stake is one of the world's nicest idea an utopia put to work, ever. Countries that fought each other for centuries, decided to work together with solidarity in mind and create an union to bring Europe together in growth and harmony. Thats an outstanding achievement, that "markets" look forward to put down while profiting.
Ideas are always showing up, creativity isn't a problem. Action is missing.

Anonymous

Well, we're on the turn of the tide. It's never too late for (r)evolution. Ideas and creativity are more powerful than ever, with means and a potential reach, that 50 years ago no president would ever dream of. Things are just rearranging. A new revolution is showing up in our minds. Values and beliefs must rule the world.
Take neoliberalism for instance… It's about to fail. I don't know wether this will happen this year or next, but it will. it's inevitable. All dysfunctional systems fail and this system is a real kamikaze. The market's dictatorship slams democratic elected governments as Wall Street's opening bell rings. Yet, markets are made of real people. Beyond those who ring the bell, we are the market. Each of us, with savings on a bank or pensions fund, feeds this system, without thinking about it. This system is extraordinarily creative on ways for investors and speculators, to succeed whenever an imbalance shows up or uncertainty rises.
However, we the people, seem unable to feed a new praxis on politics and financial markets.
This is crazy! It's up to us to give the right message with proper action.
Today's major battleground is the euro zone. If the euro fails, speculators will win.
Whats at stake is one of the world's nicest idea an utopia put to work, ever. Countries that fought each other for centuries, decided to work together with solidarity in mind and create an union to bring Europe together in growth and harmony. Thats an outstanding achievement, that "markets" look forward to put down while profiting.
Ideas are always showing up, creativity isn't a problem. Action is missing.

Anonymous

Well, we're on the turn of the tide. It's never too late for (r)evolution. Ideas and creativity are more powerful than ever, with means and a potential reach, that 50 years ago no president would ever dream of. Things are just rearranging. A new revolution is showing up in our minds. Values and beliefs must rule the world.
Take neoliberalism for instance… It's about to fail. I don't know wether this will happen this year or next, but it will. it's inevitable. All dysfunctional systems fail and this system is a real kamikaze. The market's dictatorship slams democratic elected governments as Wall Street's opening bell rings. Yet, markets are made of real people. Beyond those who ring the bell, we are the market. Each of us, with savings on a bank or pensions fund, feeds this system, without thinking about it. This system is extraordinarily creative on ways for investors and speculators, to succeed whenever an imbalance shows up or uncertainty rises.
However, we the people, seem unable to feed a new praxis on politics and financial markets.
This is crazy! It's up to us to give the right message with proper action.
Today's major battleground is the euro zone. If the euro fails, speculators will win.
Whats at stake is one of the world's nicest idea an utopia put to work, ever. Countries that fought each other for centuries, decided to work together with solidarity in mind and create an union to bring Europe together in growth and harmony. Thats an outstanding achievement, that "markets" look forward to put down while profiting.
Ideas are always showing up, creativity isn't a problem. Action is missing.

Anonymous

Well, we're on the turn of the tide. It's never too late for (r)evolution. Ideas and creativity are more powerful than ever, with means and a potential reach, that 50 years ago no president would ever dream of. Things are just rearranging. A new revolution is showing up in our minds. Values and beliefs must rule the world.
Take neoliberalism for instance… It's about to fail. I don't know wether this will happen this year or next, but it will. it's inevitable. All dysfunctional systems fail and this system is a real kamikaze. The market's dictatorship slams democratic elected governments as Wall Street's opening bell rings. Yet, markets are made of real people. Beyond those who ring the bell, we are the market. Each of us, with savings on a bank or pensions fund, feeds this system, without thinking about it. This system is extraordinarily creative on ways for investors and speculators, to succeed whenever an imbalance shows up or uncertainty rises.
However, we the people, seem unable to feed a new praxis on politics and financial markets.
This is crazy! It's up to us to give the right message with proper action.
Today's major battleground is the euro zone. If the euro fails, speculators will win.
Whats at stake is one of the world's nicest idea an utopia put to work, ever. Countries that fought each other for centuries, decided to work together with solidarity in mind and create an union to bring Europe together in growth and harmony. Thats an outstanding achievement, that "markets" look forward to put down while profiting.
Ideas are always showing up, creativity isn't a problem. Action is missing.

superego101

We are our own worst enemies, if we cannot both see the Idea as the cage and the key. We all come with the need for wholly irreducible assumptions that generate theories, which change the language and the lifeworld we inhabit. There is no outside, and therefore no inside. While ideology informs common sense, to ideology are we bound. But even of common sense, even of those who freely-think, what alternatives are supplanted by the expression of any other?

A post-post-structuralist, perhaps, works to lare bare this terrain of the absent. The will to structure may be democratically challenged into a world that cultivates the endless alternatives, of which decisions will be made, whether we dwell upon them or not. In this situation, the possible worlds which are closest to our own matter. People need things on the lowest Maslovian rungs. And so, personally, I'm not challenging personhood, subject-object distinctions, ontology and its critique, while we can with what 'common sense' we have, solve them pragmatically, albeit tentatively.

But it takes art to leave these pronouncements, whatever we affirm in the name of history, open to perpetual revision. And I hope to engage my fellows in this enfolding exchange as we co-create and develop the democratic, participatory community assemblies that will burgeon in the near-future, here in the US.

superego101

We are our own worst enemies, if we cannot both see the Idea as the cage and the key. We all come with the need for wholly irreducible assumptions that generate theories, which change the language and the lifeworld we inhabit. There is no outside, and therefore no inside. While ideology informs common sense, to ideology are we bound. But even of common sense, even of those who freely-think, what alternatives are supplanted by the expression of any other?

A post-post-structuralist, perhaps, works to lare bare this terrain of the absent. The will to structure may be democratically challenged into a world that cultivates the endless alternatives, of which decisions will be made, whether we dwell upon them or not. In this situation, the possible worlds which are closest to our own matter. People need things on the lowest Maslovian rungs. And so, personally, I'm not challenging personhood, subject-object distinctions, ontology and its critique, while we can with what 'common sense' we have, solve them pragmatically, albeit tentatively.

But it takes art to leave these pronouncements, whatever we affirm in the name of history, open to perpetual revision. And I hope to engage my fellows in this enfolding exchange as we co-create and develop the democratic, participatory community assemblies that will burgeon in the near-future, here in the US.

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