Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?

crBy Mark Fisher.

I was put on to this book via a blog that linked to another blog and it sounded interesting. So, I bought it without really knowing what to expect except that it would be on the left side of the political spectrum.

I didn’t expect to be assailed by so many interesting thoughts and ideas. Fisher takes both old and new culture and uses it to support his arguments which range from the movies ‘Office Space’ and ‘Heat’ to Spinoza, Nietsche and Kafka. What emerges at the end of the book is that I have been viewing socialism within a old context and in the new neoliberalism, or post-fordism as Fisher puts it, it must redefine itself in order to rival capitalist realism and provide an alternative. Capitalism in 2010 is free market Stalinism full of all the slogans, business-speak, auditing and bureaucracy. Capitalism exerts a control over the populous that Stalin could only dream of. Its strengths are its decentralisation and the illusion of free choice given through the freedom to consume.

An excellent book and I will read it again shortly. I didn’t completely agree with everything said. Some of the new auditing controls imposed on teachers, for example, need to be there but maybe the window dressing is a side symptom?


Soundtrack: Blam Blam Blam – There is no depression in New Zealand.

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