Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dress Rebellion

One of the more thoughtful writers on the peak oil scene is John Michael Greer. His blog, The Archdruid Report is as perceptive and intelligent as it is well written. In one of his recent posts he made the following observation which concisely sums up one of the problems that plagues progressives in America:

Striking a rebellious pose and claiming originality is very fashionable these days; actually rejecting the conventional wisdom of our time, and thinking thoughts that conflict with those of one’s contemporaries, is less common now that it was in the supposedly conformist Fifties.

The truth is that when America's young people revolt they head for the mall where they are clothed, tattooed and pierced. Having established their bona fides as well-appointed revolutionaries, they return to their rooms or thier clubs to lose themselves in the ramped-up music of rebellion and despair.

Nothing insures social stability like a fashionable revolution. In a consumer society, revolution is all about style. Once properly costumed, the revolution goes mainstream and nothing changes. For the Corporatist State, revolution is not about liberte, egalite and fraternite, but about market share, retail shares and brand recognition.

But our corporatist should beware of the revolutionary who shows up in Dockers, penny loafers and a button-down shirt. That sonofabitch will hurt them. Where fashionable rebels hope to bring a pier down by slam dancing on its surface, the guy in Dockers is the one who puts on his scuba gear, drops beneath the surface of the water and starts chipping away at the pilings.

Unfortunately in an age when it is not only necessary to think outside the box, but to reduce the box to kindling, too many would-be rebels think that all the box needs is a fresh coat of paint or a new addition.

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