Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? (Zero Books) Paperback – 27 Nov 2009
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Let's not beat around the bush: Fisher's compulsively readable book is simply the best diagnosis of our predicament that we have! Through examples from daily life and popular culture, but without sacrificing theoretical stringency, he provides a ruthless portrait of our ideological misery. Although the book is written from a radically Left perspective, Fisher offers no easy solutions. Capitalist Realism is a sobering call for patient theoretical and political work. It enables us to breathe freely in our sticky atmosphere. --Slavoj Zizek
Mark Fisher is a master cultural diagnostician, and in Capitalist Realism he surveys the symptoms of our current cultural malaise. Living in an endless Eternal Now, we no longer seem able to imagine a future that might be different from the present. This book offers a brilliant analysis of the pervasive cynicism in which we seem to be mired, and even holds out the prospect of an antidote. --Steven Shaviro, Author of Connected and Doom Patrols
About the Author
Mark Fisher is a writer and lecturer who maintains a highly successful weblog. He lives in the UK.
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Fisher's theory of 'capitalist realism' holds up stronger than ever; that it was originally published in 2009, a year before the Coalition government came to power and enacted the austerity regime we are all still suffering from makes it an all the more prescient and remarkable critique of the neoliberal mentality.
Chapter Six dealing with "market Stalinism" and the "centreless-ness" of corporate bureaucracy is particularly resonant, and many would benefit greatly from just reading it alone.
Unfortunately, the weakest sections of the book are those rooted most strongly in theory, with the analogies drawn and examples given not seeming to fit closely with the ideas of the likes of Zizek, Deleuze and Guattari explored. His sketches of potential solutions at the very end of the book also fail to enliven and inspire much, although his leftist critique of bureaucracy is a breath of fresh air given that we live in an era where the Left has again become dominated by outdated and vulgarly nostalgic Old Labour top-down notions of 'state socialism'.
All-in-all, it is required reading, but it must be read critically to get the most out of it.
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