Capitalist Realism

Is There No Alternative?

eBook, 81 pages

English language

Published Dec. 15, 2009 by Zero Books.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? explores Fisher's concept of "capitalist realism," which he takes to describe "the widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable political and economic system, but also that it is now impossible even to imagine a coherent alternative to it."The book investigates what Fisher describes as the widespread effects of neoliberal ideology on popular culture, work, education, and mental health in contemporary society. Capitalist Realism was an unexpected success and has influenced a range of writers.The subtitle refers to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's pro-market slogan "There is no alternative".

3 editions

Review of 'Capitalist Realism' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

A scathing indictment of capitalism, by (successfully) putting the blame for several contemporary social ilks on it.

My only criticism is that while it makes a strong case both for capitalist realism existing as an ideology and it being a problem, the book does not make the case for any alternatives. It does contain some actionable suggestions for how to fight capitalism. But it falls short of providing a systemic alternative. As such, while it successfully argues that capitalist realism is a problem, it doesn't fully prove that it's wrong.

Nevertheless, a good read and well argued.

Sometimes insightful, mostly incoherent

2 stars

I will admit that I didn't finish this. I got about 3/4 the way through and decided that it was a waste of my time.

What is a "liberal communist"? What is "market Stalinism"? Why would you imply that dyslexia is because we've been brainwashed into only recognizing brand logos and that it can make you a better business executive?

It's very clear that "Stalinism" means something negative that isn't explained and is often oxymoronic (as well as calling George Soros and Bill Gates "liberal communists").

He obviously looks down on the students he used to teach.

He's right that mental health needs to be politicized (and not in the way it usually is in the US, by demonizing the mentally ill and manufacturing consent for the police to execute people on the street), and he's right that we need to look into the social reasons people are ill rather …

Review of 'Capitalist Realism' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

No society survives effects of its material existence on social, economic, political, cultural and personal lives. K-Punk knows like nobody else how to describe the burden of the consumerist society on its every member, from the moment of their waking up to the second of their going to sleep. The ubiquitous presence of market demands, propaganda of individualist existence, and economic hardship which, for most people, leaves no space and time for analysis and introspection, is conveyed in his usual, rare eloquence, and even rarer emotional intelligence.