"Festivalism is an alternative to both the spectacles of state socialism and the late capitalism. Festivalism is rooted in Ahimsa, the practice of non-violence to all species. It provides an alternative to production and consumption practices rooted in violence to life. Festival is the self-management and self-design of our own leisure time and space, the realization of what we need to live and evolve as a species, with the most minimal harm to any other species. Festival is a way of doing business that respects people, communities, and the ecology. Festival balances stakeholder interests in the future generation (stakeholders include workers, managers, owners, investors, customers, local communities, future generations, and the ecosystem)."
To the Jain businessperson, we are in the initial stages of transforming the old Spectacle assumptions into the new Ahimsa assumptions of what makes for an enlightened business organization. I think it takes daily meditation and critical awareness of the violence of the production and consumption spectacles, as well as the opportunities to make Ahimsa choices. The New Testament says, "to be as harmless as doves and wise as serpents in our actions." Harman (1994: 48) argues "we are moving from a culture dominated by materialistic values to one that recognizes the role of deep intuitive wisdom in guiding our collective future." The Ahimsa business paradigm would transform spectacles of production and consumption:
1. Engage in business practices that are non-violent to other species. 2. Limit economic growth to what is ecologically sustainable. 3. Develop ecological awareness through reduce, recycle, and reuse practices. 4. Cultivate personal Self-development through servant leadership, introspection time, and community service.
Table One: Spectacle and Festival
1. Work 2. Work or play time 3. Imposed patterns of behavior 4. Dead time 5. Religions of consumption 6. Pseudo desires 7. Pseudo needs 8. Loss of Self 9. Colonized spaces 10. Spectator 11. Functionary 12. Survival of the Fittest/Richest
1. Play 2. Work and play 3. Freely constructed behavior 4. Live time 5. Self 6. Transparent desires 7. Transparent needs 8. Self-Management 9. Free spaces 10. Participant/Co-designer 11. Self-Managed 12. Coevolution and Co-survival
Table Two: Assumptions of Spectacle and Ahimsa Business Practices.
* Progress defined as material accumulation * Material accumulation = happiness * Spectacles of production and consumption grow by resource use * Economic productivity * Material values * Work that is drudgery * Business that pollutes * Technology advances to sustain competitive progress * Survival of the fittest = richest * Consume for immediate gratification; live for today * Conspicuous consumption = good
* Progress defined as spiritual accumulation * Self awareness = happiness * Planet has finite and dwindling resources to be preserved. * Eco-sustainable productivity * Spiritual values and awareness * Work that is ennobling/actualizing * Business is non-polluting * Technology used sparingly to sustain natural splendor * Survival of the cooperative * Consume in ways healthy for our offspring; live for their future * Frugal consumption = good
Spectacle, says Debord, is an opium, that allows us to sleep walk, as if drugged, stumbling blindfolded through a devolving landscape of ecological and human horror; while cocooned in artificiality and illusion; mind-numbed by cyber media into passive stupefied spectators. This is why it is not easy for people socialized in spectacles and consumption images of the good life through consumption to step outside of its mechanisms of persuasion, and see its impact on nature, social systems, and the manipulation of our own desires. Our life is just too "saturated with spectacles" and we are too pacified in their "permanent opium war" (Debord, 1967: #44).