This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Capitalist Realism, Is there no alternative? by Mark Fisher

In Capitalist Realism, Is there no alternative? Mark Fisher makes the point that even anti-capitalism is still a conversation about capitalism. We simply can’t get away from it. It’s why conversations about atheism still talk about God. Michael Harrington wrote about Scandanavia, which could ameliorate capitalism with social democracy but never fire the capitalists. Likewise, even cooperatives like Mondragon and Land O’ Lakes (started by my great-grandfather) still operate with capitalist structures. 

Protests don’t help. Their subject is still capitalism rather than new solutions. Even as we protest the ultimate capitalist POTUS, we take up time from discussing new ideas. We talk about warming, but capitalism is the background (Actually, the solution will likely be found in deveoping habitats for a Mars mission, which can then be replicated on earth, probably built by capitslist, but maybe not). Capitalism gives us video games, smart phones, TV as babysitter and ADHD. The author claims it gives us mental illness, I disagree, since mine was caused by an adrenal tumor. 

Capitalism as PR gives us market Stalinism. PR over substance seems to be how Congress works nowadays. The problem is, they are so caught in their orthodoxy they can’t shake a bad message. Capitalism, like any theology, relies on the lack of memory that things have been different, like how we celebrate Christmas, how every generation thinks it invented sex, how GOP economics thinks it was ever valid and how Trump is a social conservative.

No one is responsible in capitalism (except for making the CEO rich and keeping his taxes low). Alt-A junk mortgages, the run-up in oil prices in NYMEX and the phone scams we all face are about the system getting the CEO rich, although he claims no responsibility for abuses. Frontline, a PBS broadcast was the best source on this. The corporate media said little and FoxNews spread lies about affirmative action housing.

The morals and health of capitalism are hedonistic. Would a socialist humanism be that different? I hope so. GOP morality is a creature of the focus groups of Frank Luntz (my old methods teacher). There is no real ”there” there. Neither will there be any crisis, like 2008, that will give us a proletarian revolution, distributism or libertopia. We have to build it now and crowd out the capitalist hegemony. How?


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