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The Liquid Club #6: Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher

The Liquid Club is a monthly discussion group which invites collective thinking and drives the development of Liverpool Biennial 2020.

In the last meeting, we discussed Sylvia Wynter’s argument against the normalisation of the bourgeois configuration of homo oeconomicus who projects capital as the indispensable, empirical and metaphysical source of all human life. Wynter points out how this normalisation activates the neurochemistry of our brain’s opiate reward and punishment system to act accordingly. Building on Wynter’s criticism of homo oeconomicus, this month’s Liquid Club proposes to read the late cultural theorist Mark Fisher’s seminal book Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? from 2009.

In the book, Fisher problematises how capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system. He analyses the development of neoliberal ideology as a particular operation of capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework, using examples from politics, films, fiction, work and education. Delving into the widespread effects of neoliberal ideology on popular culture, work, education and mental health in our contemporary society, Fisher highlights the collective depression we have all lived in for decades. His aim is to grasp the central features of the political-ideological landscape in which we are currently located, and to identify a possible route of exit. Fisher’s argument has a practical and strategic purpose and is precisely what is needed at a time when we are witnessing an unprecedented challenge to the capitalist system in this period of uncertainty. 

KEY TEXT

Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?, 2009 (p.21-30) 

ABOUT

Mark Fisher, also known as ‘k-punk’, was a writer, critic, cultural theorist and teacher based in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. His writing spanned radical politics, music and popular culture. Fisher published several books and co-founded Zero Books and later, Repeater Books. He passed away in 2017, shortly before the publication of The Weird and the Eerie

THE LIQUID CLUB

Held on the first Wednesday of every month, The Liquid Club is a mobile platform activated at different venues across Liverpool. On each occasion, reading material including texts, films and music are distributed in advance online. It is free and open to all.

Please note spaces are limited and advance booking is essential.

Date

03 July 2019, 6.30–8pm

Location

The Royal Standard
Northern Lights
Cains Brewery Village
5 Mann St
Liverpool L8 5AF

TicketsFree, booking essential