The group of reporters at the Press Club listened closely as U.S. Chamber "representative" "Hingo Sembra" (Andy Bichlbaum of The Yes Men) asserted that the Chamber would put its full weight behind supporting the Kerry-Boxer bill, while working with Senators Kerry and Boxer to strengthen the bill. "We believe that climate legislation currently being considered by the U.S. Senate is a great start towards a bill that will spur American innovation, create jobs, and give us all a good chance of survival," he said. To the visible delight of reporters in the audience, he added, "We at the Chamber have tried to keep climate science from interfering with business. But without a stable climate, there will be no business."Then things got really absurd when Eric Wohlschlegel - of the real Chamber of Commerce - confronted the faux Chamber of Commerce Sembra. For some reason Wohlschlegel kept demanding a business card and then announced to the reporters that "he doesn't even have a business card" as if having one would have made this less of a hoax. U.S. Chamber of Commerce | The Yes Men. Perhaps some reading or watching the stunts of the Yes Men and other activist groups that rely on pointing out the absurdity of corporate greed will wonder: Why bother? Because the Yes Men understand that symbolic acts can have huge consequences. Vaclav Havel's 1978 essay, "The Power of the Powerless," inspired a generation in the former Czechleslovakia. And what was it about? A completely symbolic and somewhat absurd act of taking a Communist slogan, "Workers of the World Unite," from the front of the grocery store and throwing it in the backroom. State communism was so out of touch with the needs of the people, its slogans so meaningless, that the very simple act of no longer participating had a huge effect, in the essay and in the real world. The Yes Men, like Havel's grocery store owner, are symbolically undermining the slogans of neoliberal capitalism: greed is good, profit over people, consequences are not our problem. By undermining the symbolic order, the Yes Men force us all to think. Once you think about it, a system as out of touch with the needs of the people and a world on the brink of climate collapse is absurd. The sort of capitalism running our world is as absurd as (and perhaps more dangerous than) the sort of communism that was running Havel's. Why are we continuing to pretend as if we can still do "business as usual" when it is leading us to our doom? Let's symbolically throw these slogans into the backroom and just refuse to participate any longer. What both Havel and the Yes Men understood is that the power of the powerless is the power to change the world. One absurd act at a time.