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 61 - 70 of 124

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bcountry

Ok your making a small attempt. But Where have you been? Fight fire with fire and we all burn
Deal with your fears/ frustration. projecting them will only create the same reaction in return Possibly even more violence. Hey we could have a conversation here but if you are afraid to be locked up cause you may be too compassionate. The only folks healthy are all those with enough courage to be called looney and still push on. The only imagination here is what each person achieves. Society is not a person.

bcountry

Ok your making a small attempt. But Where have you been? Fight fire with fire and we all burn
Deal with your fears/ frustration. projecting them will only create the same reaction in return Possibly even more violence. Hey we could have a conversation here but if you are afraid to be locked up cause you may be too compassionate. The only folks healthy are all those with enough courage to be called looney and still push on. The only imagination here is what each person achieves. Society is not a person.

Chris Honeycutt

I'd say 99% of my problem is lonliness. I tried - even still do try - to get involved with the "Occupier types" (not saying they're all the same, but there is a separate social consciousness there), but that's really hard. They are, in many ways, more literalist and less compassionate than the right-wing "types."

Where I get my most spiritual interaction and meaningful emotional communication is at church, particularly Bible study.

I'm currently attending a Luthern church, but I consider myself Catholic. Philosophically, though, that's a cultural definition to me, and I tend, spiritually, to be extremely ecumenical, and don't distinguish much between literalist and secular Christians, or even Buddhism where the emphasis is on faith and Bodhisattvas such as Guanyin.

Chris Honeycutt

I'd say 99% of my problem is lonliness. I tried - even still do try - to get involved with the "Occupier types" (not saying they're all the same, but there is a separate social consciousness there), but that's really hard. They are, in many ways, more literalist and less compassionate than the right-wing "types."

Where I get my most spiritual interaction and meaningful emotional communication is at church, particularly Bible study.

I'm currently attending a Luthern church, but I consider myself Catholic. Philosophically, though, that's a cultural definition to me, and I tend, spiritually, to be extremely ecumenical, and don't distinguish much between literalist and secular Christians, or even Buddhism where the emphasis is on faith and Bodhisattvas such as Guanyin.

pepe le pue

Chris,
Love Adler, interesting that you supplemented my Freud reference with him. I'll have to check out Fromm. Those Austrian/Germans really were on to something ever since Kant and the entire Sturm und Drang / Humanism movement. Concerning my own spirituality I have really combined their practical reasoning with a Mahayana existentialism, and I know we both wish more of us would evaluate our spiritual options rather than adopt the outdated beliefs of forefathers.
It is definitely a pity that increased intercontinental trade has devalued almost every currency in existence. Hopefully this failure of fiat currency will, at minimum, encourage us to return to a gold standard and re-implement the Glass-Steagall act, or ideally it could encourage the elusive "global awakening" we're dancing around, and act a leaping-off point for the degrowth of 'consumerism'.
-Schoolmeester

pepe le pue

Chris,
Love Adler, interesting that you supplemented my Freud reference with him. I'll have to check out Fromm. Those Austrian/Germans really were on to something ever since Kant and the entire Sturm und Drang / Humanism movement. Concerning my own spirituality I have really combined their practical reasoning with a Mahayana existentialism, and I know we both wish more of us would evaluate our spiritual options rather than adopt the outdated beliefs of forefathers.
It is definitely a pity that increased intercontinental trade has devalued almost every currency in existence. Hopefully this failure of fiat currency will, at minimum, encourage us to return to a gold standard and re-implement the Glass-Steagall act, or ideally it could encourage the elusive "global awakening" we're dancing around, and act a leaping-off point for the degrowth of 'consumerism'.
-Schoolmeester

Chris Honeycutt

To clarify: I haven't read Adler, I've read about Adler. That's profoundly different. Skinner complains about the "GAR! I'm famous, people can list of a host of my personality quirks, but when it comes to more subtle aspects of my theory they give me a blank stare!" in Walden II. Walden II is a novel Skinner wrote about a behavioralist dystopia.

The only Fromm I've read is "Escape from Freedom." Otherwise I've read about Fromm, not a lot of Fromm.

The Mahayana school of Buddhism is interesting to me, but as far as the non-interaction from the world, I can't handle it. I tend to jive more with the Christian schools of thought, which allow for worldly interactions and place a strong emphasis on faith. (I distinguish between "faith" and "belief," however. Faith is a feeling; belief is a thought mixed with a feeling.)

I do strongly feel that faiths and beliefs, both religious and non-religious, need to be re-evaluated and reconsidered in the modern context. I feel like with religion we threw out the baby with the bathwater.

On the currency: I don't know what's going to happen next. I do strongly worry that with the Eurozone Crisis and other banking crises they're just going to print out more money and hand it to the banks to keep the system running.

There's a lot of problems with returning to a true "gold standard," not the least of which that the amount of gold has only doubled in the past 100-200 years, while the human population has nearly quadrupled in the same timeframe.

But setting a standard would probably be wise. In the 1800s we had a bimetallic standard (gold and silver) for a while. Another option would be to set it to oil, or even possibly a dual currency, that is, two exchangable currencies set to two standards.

Glass-Steagall would have been good to have never dropped. However, we have to prepare for the consequences if Glass-Steagall is re-instated.

The US is currently covering something like $259 trillion in potentially volitile derivatives, 82% of which are derivative products. (Which isn't even really possible because the global GDP is only about $63 trillion, let alone the US $14 trillion.)

If that crashes - and it kind of has to, it's starting to grow exponentially - it's going to be catastrophic, and re-implimenting Glass-Steagall would facilitate a crash (imho.)

Chris Honeycutt

To clarify: I haven't read Adler, I've read about Adler. That's profoundly different. Skinner complains about the "GAR! I'm famous, people can list of a host of my personality quirks, but when it comes to more subtle aspects of my theory they give me a blank stare!" in Walden II. Walden II is a novel Skinner wrote about a behavioralist dystopia.

The only Fromm I've read is "Escape from Freedom." Otherwise I've read about Fromm, not a lot of Fromm.

The Mahayana school of Buddhism is interesting to me, but as far as the non-interaction from the world, I can't handle it. I tend to jive more with the Christian schools of thought, which allow for worldly interactions and place a strong emphasis on faith. (I distinguish between "faith" and "belief," however. Faith is a feeling; belief is a thought mixed with a feeling.)

I do strongly feel that faiths and beliefs, both religious and non-religious, need to be re-evaluated and reconsidered in the modern context. I feel like with religion we threw out the baby with the bathwater.

On the currency: I don't know what's going to happen next. I do strongly worry that with the Eurozone Crisis and other banking crises they're just going to print out more money and hand it to the banks to keep the system running.

There's a lot of problems with returning to a true "gold standard," not the least of which that the amount of gold has only doubled in the past 100-200 years, while the human population has nearly quadrupled in the same timeframe.

But setting a standard would probably be wise. In the 1800s we had a bimetallic standard (gold and silver) for a while. Another option would be to set it to oil, or even possibly a dual currency, that is, two exchangable currencies set to two standards.

Glass-Steagall would have been good to have never dropped. However, we have to prepare for the consequences if Glass-Steagall is re-instated.

The US is currently covering something like $259 trillion in potentially volitile derivatives, 82% of which are derivative products. (Which isn't even really possible because the global GDP is only about $63 trillion, let alone the US $14 trillion.)

If that crashes - and it kind of has to, it's starting to grow exponentially - it's going to be catastrophic, and re-implimenting Glass-Steagall would facilitate a crash (imho.)

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