Manifesto Writing is an Underappreciated Art
I do not agree with everything Umair Haque says, but on the 10th anniversary of the cluetrain manifesto and the 502nd anniversary of the 95 theses, it does make sense to read-write another manifesto. Manifesto writing, actually, has been an underappreciated text-form for some time, well it had a bad reputation for some time. So here it comes, the “Generation M” Manifesto:
My generation would like to break up with you.
Everyday, I see a widening gap in how you and we understand the world â€” and what we want from it. I think we have irreconcilable differences.
You wanted big, fat, lazy “business.” We want small, responsive, micro-scale commerce.
You wanted financial fundamentalism. We want an economics that makes sense for people â€” not just banks.
You wanted shareholder value â€” built by tough-guy CEOs. We want real value, built by people with character, dignity, and courage.
You wanted an invisible hand â€” it became a digital hand. Today’s markets are those where the majority of trades are done literally robotically. We want a visible handshake: to trust and to be trusted.
You wanted growth â€” faster. We want to slow down â€” so we can become better.
You didn’t care which communities were capsized, or which lives were sunk. We want a rising tide that lifts all boats.
You wanted to biggie size life: McMansions, Hummers, and McFood. We want to humanize life.
You wanted exurbs, sprawl, and gated anti-communities. We want a society built on authentic community.
You wanted more money, credit and leverage â€” to consume ravenously. We want to be great at doing stuff that matters.
You sacrificed the meaningful for the material: you sold out the very things that made us great for trivial gewgaws, trinkets, and gadgets. We’re not for sale: we’re learning to once again do what is meaningful.
There’s a tectonic shift rocking the social, political, and economic landscape. The last two points above are what express it most concisely. I hate labels, but I’m going to employ a flawed, imperfect one: Generation “M.”
What do the “M”s in Generation M stand for? The first is for a movement. It’s a little bit about age â€” but mostly about a growing number of people who are acting very differently. They are doing meaningful stuff that matters the most. Those are the second, third, and fourth “M”s.
What do you think? But more importantly, have you written your personal manifesto? How will you shape network society?