Experiencing the gift economy was one of the most powerful aspects of the Burn. I wish this could better exist in the real world, or what Burners call the "default world." However having the power to give to others inherently means you are in a state of privilege.
I am a huge fan of representative democracy, which Burning Man is definitely not. Police are present to enforce drug laws and provide safety. There are free health clinics if you get sick or injured. While camps may practice their own forms of democracy and elect their leaders, at large, there are no elected leaders. Perhaps this is not necessary since Burning Man is predominantly a week long physical event, but if it were to exist as a new society, I would want democracy.
Above I have examined some of the challenges in terms of replicating Burning Man at scale. Now I want to emphasize the significant positive impact that Burning Man is having on the world. Burning Man encompasses Ten Principles: radical inclusion, radical self-expression, radical self-reliance, gifting, decommodification, communal effort, civic responsibility, participation, immediacy, and leave no trace. I went to a workshop discussing ways people can apply the Principles into their everyday life in the default world. Two professors at James Madison University shared how they incorporate these values into their teaching and that they are about to publish a book about this. It was also shared how Burners can act as a virus in society spreading these philosophical values.
Experiencing Burning Man actually does deeply immerse one in a community of people truly embodying the Ten Principles. Furthermore, being a part of Burning Man is much more than going to the main event in Black Rock City. There are regional events that happen throughout the year. Both during and after the event, many participants commented how they were more thoughtful about how they pick up their matter out of place (MOOP), or what is commonly referred to as trash. You think about your water usage in ways you never did before.
When most of the Burning Man community comes from at least some baseline level of privilege, and when many come from the One Percent, exposing this demographic to communal and social justice values can seriously transform society slowly for the long-term.