Let's start here: I first attended Burning Man in 2005. Among the many changes it engendered in my life, the most important for our purposes here was in my understanding of our day-to-day society (what Burners like to call "Default Life").

A society and the rules under which it operates create a sort of synergistic feedback loop. That is, the society develops governing structures, which then alter the structure of the society, which then alters its governance, which further changes the society, and so on. It's a chicken/egg evolutionary spiral.

Laws and norms are human-made. They can be created, changed, discarded. Therefore, when talking about society, I never believe "that's just the way things are." That's the way things currently are. Anything human-made can be remade.

Why does all this matter? It informs this hypothesis: the vast entrenchment of power in our society, the corruption caused by the self-serving wielding of that power, the betrayal of the non-upper classes for the greater enrichment of the already wealthy, the deification of finance, and the combination of the fascistic drive toward a homogenized social order built on fear and the hypocrisy of those leading that drive have us poised on the precipice of a monumental political crisis and, in response, a commensurate countercultural uprising.

The revolution is coming. Like feudalism before it, capitalism, along with the social/political structures that support it, is dying. No need to mourn: it had its time. Now it's time for something new.

And how does all this relate to Burning Man? Here by "Burning Man" I mean the emergent society that erupts when 50,000 creative people descend on Nevada's Black Rock Desert for a week, build the most dynamic city on Earth, and tear it down again. That Burning ManĀ  operates quite literally by a different set of rules--and far, far more so than the event's central organizers even intend.

If you're looking for something and someone to guide this coming revolution, look to the successful revolutionary society that already exists, and to the people who made it that way.


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