Capitalist Realism

by Mark Fisher

So long as we believe (in our hearts) that capitalism is bad, we are free to continue to participate in capitalist exchange

The fantasy being that western consumerism, far from being intrinsically implicated in systemic global inequalities, could itself solve them. All we have to do is buy the right products.

We see this trend happening more and more nowadays with companies that sell bio, fair-trade, etc, which even when being better, they are still promoting consumerism.

The relationship between capitalism and eco-disaster is neither coincidental nor accidental: capital's `need of a constantly expanding market`, its `growth fetish`, mean that capitalism is by its very nature opposed to any notion of sustainability.

Education as a lifelong process ... Training that persists for as long as your working life continues ... Work you take home with you ... Working from home, homing from work. A consequence of this `indefinite` mode of power is that external surveillance is succeeded by internal policing.

Control societies are based on debt rather than enclosure; but there is a way in which the current education system both indents and encloses students. Pay for your own exploitation, the logic insists - get into debt so you can get the same McJob you could have walked into if you'd left school at sixteen.

Does anyone really think, for instance, that things would improve if we replaced the whole managerial and banking class with a whole new set of (`better`) people? Surely, on the contrary, and that while the structure remains, the vices will reproduce themselves.

Freedom, Spinoza shows, is something that can be achieved only when we can apprehend the real causes of our actions, when we can set aside the `sad passions` that intoxicate and entrance us ... what we see instead is a reductive, hedonic model of health which is all about `feeling and looking good`. To tell people of how to lose weight, or how to decorate their house, is acceptable; but to call for any kind of cultural improvement is to be oppressive and elitist.

the goal of a genuinely new left should not be to take over the state but to subordinate the sate to the general will

We need to begin, as if for the first time, to develop strategies against a Capital which presents itself as ontologically, as well as geographically, ubiquitous.

Nothing contradicts capitalism's constitutive imperative towards growth more than the concept of rationing goods and resources.