From its title, The Rebel Sell: Why Culture Can’t be Jammed (HarperCollins) looked like it might be a source of new ideas about resisting the fast-paced corporate world. But the polemic of the authors, Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter, informs us that resistance is futile and I had to abandon the book in disgust. The Rebel Sell attempts to prove that all rebellion simply feeds the corporate machine and while Heath and Potter represent themselves as members of a free-thinking intelligentsia (one has a history with This magazine), their agenda is reactionary. The problem with their argument is that the villain of their analysis, the “counterculture,” is erroneously defined as fashion devoid of politics. They contend that by rejecting the “system,” all social consciousness since the 1960s has failed because its practitioners refused to accept incremental change. They have a religious belief in the fairness of the market: if you make a good product, whether it’s art or cars, nothing will stop people from buying it. It is impossible to take this book seriously.