An invigorating and hugely overdue political intervention from perhaps *the* most engaging theorist around right now. Usually found over at the much-recommended k-punk blog, Mark Fisher has now launched his analysis into the more conventional world of print media. Readers of his online works will find much that is familiar here, from the comfortable deployment of pop culture references (very reminiscent of Zizek, but not in any cloying hero-worship way) to the unashamed celebration of theory. The turns of phrases are typically concise and pugnacious. 'Capitalist realism' is exactly the right way to put it, and much the same could be said for 'nu-bureaucracy' and 'reflexive impotence'. The anecdotes, particularly those garnered from time negotiating British higher education, bring that sensation of familiar truths elucidated in the kind of terms you wish you'd formulated for yourself.
As a pamphlet, exhaustive referencing and factual avalanches are not the point, but Fisher is unusual in his reliance on pertinent facts that capitalist realism obscures. The issue is not just that, for example, the technocratic discourse of neo-liberalism masks politics as administration in today's university, but also that it is a *social lie* on its own terms - the costs of bureaucracy have gone up, not down, since the days of Thatcher.
There are a lot of ideas packed into these 81 pages, but you can get through it in one sitting. Like other worthwhile recent manifestos from ZeroBooks (see Nina Power's 'One Dimensional Woman' [http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Dimensional-Woman-Nina-Power/dp/1846942411/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1272152905&sr=8-1]) politics is to the fore, but never at the expense of thought or argument. Like many of the best tracts, this will entice and provoke, whatever you ultimately make of the argument. Highly recommended.