Photo: Penguin

Ben Ringshall

Meme Wars is the latest edition in a series of publications by Kalle Lasn, the renowned Canadian filmmaker, co-founder of Adbusters Media Foundation, voice of the Occupy Movement and outspoken critic of consumer capitalism. In what he calls a “Real World Economics Textbook”, Lasn calls for an end to the ‘old school’ of neo-classical economics, arguing that not only has it repeatedly brought the world to its financial knees, but also that it has brought about a desperate and selfish consumer culture though the fetishization of constant growth.

Thankfully, the book itself is a far cry from your average textbook.  Packed full of insightful images, interlaced with articles from some of the most prominent economists and political commentators, Lasn creates a very vivid image of his ideal.

This requires no prior knowledge of economics; if anything knowing nothing at all about economics may be an advantage.

Instead of the typical anti-capitalist propaganda we find a well-thought out, if deliberately radical, contribution. Rather that merely point to the problems of our ‘hyper-consumptive’ society, Lasn offers a plausible, yet desirable alternative to resolve the problems that have clearly had such a profoundly detrimental effect on Western culture.

Meme Wars is a well-considered and engaging work that not only clearly defines the issues at hand but also gives pause for thought. Well worded and cleverly illustrated, Lasn has painted a vivid, if a little bleak picture, of the consequences of unchecked growth and consumption.

Well worth putting in your letter to Santa.


Categories: Arts

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