Red Wedge, an online art magazine, has a lengthy story on Burning Man that is worth a read. The conclusion:
The society we live in tends not to let little islands of happiness exist. It corrupts them. Hiding them in the desert stalls this process but does not stop it. Burning Man’s 10 Principles are a great basis for a festival, but they aren’t tough enough to stand as a basis for changing the world. They can’t even stop the world from changing it.
Burning Man will likely continue to grow. It will likely even get more spectacular, as more money and interest flows in. But it is, indeed, that thing — the thing that makes Burning Man something that people believe in as a cause, not just a kind of turbo-charged spring break — that’s in play. That thing may prove to have been precious exactly because it could only last a while, like the Man itself. Or like one of the dust devils that rises periodically from the Black Rock Desert, kicking up a towering funnel of sand, only to dissolve into the atmosphere on contact with anything solid.