Our award-winning ActivistCash site has told you about groups that want to restrict your access to adult beverages, meat, and dairy products. Our newest profile is of a group that wants to curb them all. The Adbusters Media Foundation, publisher of Adbusters magazine, is an anti-corporate monkeywrenching group that envisions a brave new world where the budget-conscious and time-strapped have nowhere to grab a quick bite, where almost no one drives a car, and where television is extinct. Its preferred method of social change is “culture jamming,” which can involve anything from painting over a billboard to forcibly closing down businesses for a day.
Here are some highlights from our new profile:
Adbusters’ animus is the desire to make corporations extinct. Citing the global vilification of tobacco as his model for other industries, Adbusters chief Kalle Lasn writes: “[Culture] Jammers are now mobilizing to repeat the tobacco story in many other areas of life. We’re going to take on the global automakers, the chemical companies, the food industries, the fashion corporations and the pop-culture marketers in a free-information environment …We want auto executives to feel just as squeezed and beleaguered as tobacco executives. We want them to have a hard time looking their kids in the eye and explaining exactly what they do for a living.”
The cost of this brave new world? Lasn recommends “Not just a carbon tax, but a global across-the-board pricing system.” The price he gives of an “ethical” car? One hundred thousand dollars. An “ethical” tank of gas? A bargain at $250. The rich would certainly enjoy the lack of traffic.
In a July/August 2001 article, “The Smell of Swoosh,” that scandalized even some of the magazine’s loyal followers, Lasn exhorted readers to attack their local Nike stores with stink bombs.
Adbusters even flirts with violence. One page in the September/October 2002 issue features a picture of a burning building. “The clash of civilizations is a romantic term. Forget about medieval horsemen. Expect instead a fistfight with smashed vodka bottles in a plywood bar,” reads the text. The picture’s caption: “Environmental [sic] Liberation Front, Ski Resort Arson, Vail, Colorado, 1998.” Those fires destroyed several buildings and caused over $12 million in damage. In justifying this attack, the terrorist Earth Liberation Front (ELF) said the purpose was to protest the resort’s defiling of what it considered “sacred” wildlife.