Capitalism vs Politics

capitalist realism coverWarning: this post is kinda NSFW on account I lose my shit at the end. Or maybe not. Oh well. ¶One of the things I tried to say in my play The Good Criminal is that business ain’t as evil as it obviously appears to be. That was back in 2001 and while producing that play I was also in the process of early-retiring from working-for-the-man (and not because I was having any success as a playwright). That is. I was on the verge of entering the drop-out and tune-in portion of (my) life and thereby planning my entrance to the sunny realm of perpetual exit-ship. Now that I’ve just entered my fifties I can look back (and forward) and say that it has all worked out pretty good so far–these precarious choices I’ve made. Yet. One thing has always lingered with me for the past two decades. First. I don’t care about the fact I made no money. Second. There is great satisfaction in having succeeded in a/my quest for (true and real) independence from monetary coercion. But the most important thing that has lingered with me all these years is the simple fact… I was right. That is. Not only did I make the right choices in life but the idears and thoughts behind those choices were right, too. I had spent the majority of my adult working life doing what society dictated and at the same time couldn’t help but think it was all for naught. Seriously. Every-time I stepped into an office building, slept in a hotel or travelled to some Euro-city, I knew that it was all a joke that was being played on me. By the time I reached my late thirties and had entered into what could have been a long (boring) career in corporate servitude a little but sharp voice spoke to me and said: self, you’d better get out of this krapp before it’s too late because no matter what you do you will never be able to catch up to the expectations of the system. And so. With the turn of the millennium I bagged it all (before it was too late). Hats off to me. ¶Here’s a question for you, dear worst-reader: What do you think, should I feel bad for all those who were unable to see the light like me? Should I feel bad for the conformists out there and the misery they now live in? Imagine this: Practically every person born in the western world after 1960 and driven by the expectations given us by dumbfounded and bumbling moronic parents (baby boomers) have lived their lives for naught. You will never have as much as your parents–even though you believed you would. You will have worked your life to an unknown-retirement–and yet your parents got their known-retirement. You have pushed pencils here, drawers there, tools this way, service that way–and it all has resulted into nothing more than a large glob of protoplasm subsumed by compulsive behaviourism and, perhaps, a smile of shiny teeth. You have achieved absolutely so much of nothing–except for popping out more ignorant babies so you can do to them what your parents did to you. And so. Full stop? Continue? Pause. ¶Obviously non-conformist thinking and drop-out self preservation is rare these days. But at least someone is here to cultivate such misnomer. And now that we are all forced to live in the awakening of the 2008 great recession which has standardised fail-upward-ness, what’s next? For some the answer to all ills lies in the analysis of said conformity. To others there’s the rowing they’ve been doing up-river all along. And then there’s the idear that people should start (at least) trying to think for themselves. Or? Hence conservative realism and/or the reality of the west’s elites and their ability to manipulate the farce of democracy and having convinced so many that they ever had a chance (to make it in life). As usual. Here we have the single greatest problem that will never be over-come in the quest to avoid the misery of this consume-to-survive non-sense we love by choice. Yes. Indeed. ¶This misery is a misery of choice. Conformists love this shit. Everyone has picked it–obviously because the alternative has been so brilliantly–via propaganda that makes Joseph Goebbels roll around happily in his grave–demonised. Yeah, baby. That’s the real ticket. Conformity mixed with the right flux of propaganda. And out of the mix we get neo-conservative, neo-liberal #americant where, imagine, a horde of humans all on the same mental plane act and conform to what is obviously against their best interests. With such a realisation the pied-piper enters the fray and he yells like the town-fool he is: up and be merry you ignorant fools for if all else fails have no fear for the white devils will provide you with credit, credit beyond belief, and then you can buy buy buy as the little birdie sings and when someone asks don’t worry for there is no need for you to think for your self; we have taken care of everything for you. ¶Yes. Indeed. Move on conformists. Allow the propaganda to work (so well). For it would be a sight to see if you decide to start thinking for yourself. It would make good reality-TV, too. But since it ain’t that way and never will be that way (i.e. thinking for yourself), where should all the worst-readers turn to fight off the(ir) conformity? Well. If you’ve come here for answers then all I can say toot-suite is: go fuck yourself. It’s your boat, cruise in it. It’s your bed, sleep in it. It’s your hair colour, die in it. I could give a rat’s ass for all the conformists schmucks out there that are part of this perpetuating fail-upwards system. For it’s not an issue of if this system works or if another system works better. What’s been going on goes on because no one has the balls to do otherwise. Except for Volk like Moi. You know, the Volk that saw this coming years and years ago and then took action. Which not only makes me better but above the whole shebang. That said, I’m not a sadist. If I had to give any advice it would be this: lower your expectations and then try to find a way out of the lines you have been compelled to wait in. (Because the waiting is over–just like the game.) Or. You can take my worst-word for it and read the book this post was supposed to be about. But be warned. This book might make you think enough to actually get off your ass and do something… about all the nothingness you have lived for so far. Or maybe not. Oh. And I suppose I should say a thing or three about the book. Ok. Don’t mind if I do. ¶Capitalist Realism reads like a rushed group of essays a professor of Marxist-Economics had to put together when he realised he was going to miss a deadline for his second PhD submittal. It is full of nuggets and tidbits–and some bad editing–regarding the imminent demise of the world as we know it. But it also cuts a new asshole in the body of capitalism which, these days, seems to be a sport for aspiring intellectuals (yours truly excluded, of course.) No. Seriously. It really does cut capitalism a new asshole. Full stop. Pause. ¶After the premier of my play The Good Criminal I was interviewed by a local newspaper reporter. My play was an attempt to portray the ills of capitalism in the context of the Dotcom Boom at the end of 2000. One of the things I told the reporter was that the reason I wrote the play was to try and understand why most Europeans, especially Germans, are clueless to the fact that capitalism doesn’t really exist. For one, the Dotcom boom was solely an American phenomenon drive
n by innovation and what looked like at the time a free-market. The problem in Europe is that it uses capitalism as part of a greater political scheme that ultimately shields the system from innovation and, of course, a free-market. That is, Europe believes that capitalism is sustenance for socialism. In that context how could any European understand the Boom? In the US, on the other hand, capitalism serves something other than the banality of politics. And so. IMHO and to come back to my play and how it relates (or not) to this book, America enabled the Dotcom Boom but then killed it off because it saw the danger/threat (to elite power) that a free-market could wield. It was the first time in my life that capitalism showed how it could actually be useful and, dare I say, serve a higher, more humane purpose–as opposed to how capitalism is actually controlled in order to serve the interests of the few. Ironically the killing off of the free-market that was the Dotcom Boom took until 2008 to show it’s true face. But I digress. ¶Let me close with this: To worst-writer capitalism is about economics and not politics. Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism addresses the ills of capitalism in the context of political and social failure. His ideas of how capitalism negatively effects society, although probably very true, is irrelevant because there is supposed to be a different and completely independent system of governance and law that takes care of things. To say the least, I felt and still feel vindicated for my efforts in The Good Criminal, especially in the aftermath of the crash of 2008 which should be proof enough that capitalism doesn’t really exist–which also means that I don’t dig all this demonising of capitalism. But, again, I digress. Rant on. -Tommi

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tommi

Just another expat blogger.