Decommodification?

Decommodification?  Isn’t that Commie bullshit?”

Decommodification is the idea that Burning Man can somehow exist as a commerce-free zone, though that may be taking an over simplified view of Commodification.  Commodification exists in many forms.  The most simplistic is the exchange of money for goods or services.  A more subtle form of commodification occurs when people ask each other what they do for a living; which is really a way of establishing social pecking order.  For example, when The Matron holds court, everyone is asked to introduce themselves by name and accomplishments; thereby allowing everyone to commodify each other and decide who’s opinion they should listen to and who they can snub.

Sticking to Burning Man’s more simplistic definition of Decommodification, no on-site commerce, we have established a few workarounds that protect the camp and our guests from social faux pas such as pulling out a wad of hundred dollar bills at the bar.

Camp dues are paid before Burning Man.  Off-playa, and preferably off-books.

There are certain above and beyond expenses that may be incurred while participating in the camp.  You do not pay for these on-site, but they are noted and payment is expected within three days of your return to the default world.  When prompted, simply acknowledge the additional charge with your Apple Watch, and continue your transcendence.

While some burners may object to this, it is no different that calling your buddy Chaz and telling him that if he loads a case of Dom into his chopper you’ll gladly pay him after The Burn.  It is also no different than the BMORG approved decommodification avoidance technique of purchasing sanitation vouchers pre-event that are handed over when having black water tanks pumped.  BMORG has established protocols for avoiding conflict with the Ten Principles, and we are extrapolating those techniques to cover other essential services such as Cetacean Sashimi.

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