“The Rules Have All Changed”

Today's paragraph of the day, on the tendency for self-appointed youth generational spokesmen to deploy flimsy old vs. new, "the rules have all changed" rhetoric:

You wanted EVIL, we want GOOD! You wanted A SHARP STICK IN THE EYE, we want HUGS. You wanted ALLIGATORS, we want PUPPIES! Nowhere in this protracted wankfest will you find a single idea—to the extent these shallow platitudes count as "ideas"—that couldn’t have been cribbed from a random issue of Utne Reader 15 years ago. Have you heard microfinance is really neat? No fooling! But wait, there’s more: Sometimes, companies try to sell you crap that won’t really make you happy. Also, for God’s sake, when you’re a 30-something MBA, adopting the pose of a spokesman for a new generation telling the "old people" how it is positively reeks of mid-life crisis.

That's from the smart and entertaining Julian Sanchez, criticizing guru Umair Haque and his manifesto of capitalism which Sanchez puts in this box: "Breathless announcements that the Past is Behind Us and we can Break the Tired Old Rules to create a future where Rising Tides Lift All Boats, if only we repeat the word 'authentic' enough times."

Yes, the word "authentic" is the new "paradigm."

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Here's Julian on "the perils of pop philosophy" and why you should be more uncertain.

8 Responses to “The Rules Have All Changed”

  1. umair says:

    thanks for the response.

    as i (and numerous others) pointed out on julian’s blog, he overlooks almost all of the thinking behind the manifesto.

    i invite everyone to check it out at:

    link to blogs.harvardbusiness.org

    where there are plenty of posts, videos, and talks explaining the concepts in detail.

    the generation m manifesto wasn’t (just) about capitalism. it was about society. like julian, you haven’t offered any real criticism of any of the ideas it presents.

    cheers,

    umair

  2. Since when is Umair a guru? I’ve met him a few times and enjoyed his company, and even quoted him (approvingly) on my blog once or twice, but he’s not a “guru”. He’s a guy with opinions. Welcome to the internet.

  3. Ben Casnocha says:

    Saying he’s a “guy with opinions” is an understatement. He has written tons
    of essays and long blog posts and manifestos about the new world. He’s
    coined various phrases and labels. He is definitely a leader of the
    “movement,” and to me that means guru.

  4. Yeah, I’m pretty tired of this rhetoric too.

  5. I’m very familiar with his work. I guess we have different definitions of “guru”. It’s all good.

  6. My God, I must be old. I remember when the “movement” was Students for a Democratic Society, wearing black armbands to school to mark the moratorium to end the war in Vietnam, and the Black Panthers.

    At least writing manifestos keeps Umair Haque off the streets.

    Julian Sanchez says Haque is “either an utter fraud or a brilliant performance artist.”

    It shouldn’t be an either/or proposition– he’s both. Haque’s raving about markets, networks, and communities as strategic weapons of ‘shock and awe’ is a stinking pile of horseshit wrapped in shiny green paper and tied with a silk bow.

  7. Nathan says:

    Remember Ben, we read people for their peaks! Umair has some interesting ideas mixed in with the rhetoric.

  8. Ben Casnocha says:

    That’s true, we do read people for their peaks. Not sure what Umair’s peaks
    are, though.

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