Andy Bichlbaum, who along with Mike Bonanno forms the wonderful creative activist duo commonly known as The Yes Men, steps off the edge to discuss the importance of civil disobedience, the challenges with aligning profit and public good in the current model of capitalism and why The Yes Men Are Revolting and how you can help!
- Surviving Sandy – With our without Survivaballs?
- The incredible disaster support response of the Occupy movement
- What involvement did the Yes Men have with Occupy when it was in Zucotti Park?
- Occupy and strikedebt.org – working together for a debt jubilee. “It’s a wonderful website and idea that has been amazingly successful. It’s mainly about getting press obviously and getting attention for this question of debt and what is debt and who is determining who owes what and why. You know those big questions. It’s been incredibly successful in talking about those things and getting those things into the media”
- Zucotti park and the occupy movement was successful at getting the question of inequality into the media.
- The difference in how rich people absolve themselves of debt versus poor people
- What are Andy’s favourite hoaxes and how unexpected results are a good thing for activism
- Powerful results – The Chamber of Commerce changes it’s opposition to the climate bill
- The Yes Men have never been reverse hoaxed but they welcome the opportunity
- Are there any companies the Yes Men wouldn’t target and the practical tips to avoid their creative focus.
- “Unfortunately there are many, many opportunities or choices of terrible companies to target. That said, it’s not really any particular company that’s the problem and that we are really targeting. We are targeting the system that the company is a part of and that says this company should be doing that.”
- The example of Dow Chemical and how the stock market prevents companies from doing the right thing
- Exploring different models like B Series corporations, having a triple bottom line and the idea of corporate social responsibility. “The real challenge for us is not to invent B corporations or whatever, it’s to get the majority of Americans on the side of doing the right thing and taking control of democracy. Or as some might have it establishing democracy”
- What % of the American population is involved in it’s democratic process?
- Reversing Suspension of Disbelief – Exploring the impact of “The audience believing you makes you believe you are not a fake”
- Why is civil disobedience a key missing ingredient of today’s democracy?
- The different ways that revolutionary energies express themselves around the world
- All about The Yes Men Are Revolting upcoming movie and its’ current Kickstarter campaign. Donate today!
- Plans for an Action Switchboard “It’s kind of Match.com for social change with a human matchmaker to more efficiently transform inspiration from the film or whatever into action.”
- The importance of the human component to the Action Switchboard
- “Hoaxes are just one of many, many, many things you can do creatively to get things changing. To bring attention to issues so that people are mobilized and galvanized to take action”
- “The stock market won’t allow companies to do the right thing”
- If the Yes Men had a blank canvas to design a better stock exchange system, what kind of things would be measured and how would it reward or encourage companies to do the right thing?
- “The danger with all these things is that you see them as a solution and that this is going to really fix everything. The solutions are right in front of us and really obvious and not particularly interesting. It doesn’t really stimulate the imagination much to think of national health care that takes care of everyone.”
- “If you want to make billions of dollars on food you can’t really do it augmenting local production in small ways and making this thing works work a little better. You can’t make immense fortunes that way. You can make immense fortunes monopolizing land, setting up a system that produces one crop instead of twenty and cranking it out for export so you get a lot of money. That’s the reason that system exists. Until we change that rule that you can do whatever you want to make a giant fortune in any way no matter what its effect on people, we’re going to keep having things like that.”
- Is capitalism worth saving?