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Capitalist Realism and Neoliberal Hegemony: A Dialogue


This is a dialogue conducted over email by Mark Fisher, author of the widely-read Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative and Jeremy Gilbert, editor of New Formations. The discussion touches on issues raised by Fisher’s book, by some of Gilbert’s work as a theorist and analyst, by some of the political commentary in which each has engaged at various times (online and in print), as well as by the recent prevalence of a certain identification with anarchist ideas and methods amongst activists and online commentators whose intellectual and political reference points are otherwise very close to those of the Fisher and Gilbert. It considers the concept of ‘capitalist realism’ as a way of understanding neoliberal ideology and hegemony; the role of bureaucracy in neoliberal culture and the ‘societies of control’; the types of political and cultural strategy that might be required to challenge their hegemonic position; the relationship between political strategies which do and do not focus on conventional party politics; the general condition of politics in the UK today. Although largely concerned with a specifically British (and, arguably, English) political context, its consideration of abstract issues around the theorisation of ideology and neoliberalism and the nature of political strategy have far wider applicability.

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