Contradictions, Self-Diminishment, Greed

So if Burning Man's great magic is the liberation of the imagination across its whole society, its great failure is more prosaic. Everything that Burning Man really is--the art, the theme camps, the music, the costumes, the parties, the classes and workshops and events and rituals--is created by the people of Burning Man as gifts for the other attendees. Lurking behind all of this is BMorg, which provides the infrastructure. A substantial part of the ticket price goes to a small cabal of people within BMorg, who pay themselves as the "creators" of Burning Man.

For all of Burning Man's anti-capitalist/anti-commercial pretensions, nothing could be more typical of amoral/immoral capitalism than the few profiting mightily from the hard work of the many.

I propose that it is exactly this aspect, this ugly contradiction right at the heart of everything that Burning Man is, that has kept it from having the broader positive cultural impact that so many of us used to believe it could.

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