Freedom, Spinoza shows, is something that can be achieved only when we can apprehend the real causes of our actions, when we set aside the ‘sad passions’ that intoxicate and entrance us.
There are thematic similarities between Dead Man Working and Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism, particularly around the invasive and pervasive characteristic of working life specific to late capitalism. Both books present cogent arguments for the devastating effects on our lives and mental health. Each book also addresses the propensity for counterculture to be absorbed into the mainstream.
It is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. After 1989, capitalism has successfully presented itself as the only realistic political-economic system – a situation that the bank crisis of 2008, far from ending, actually compounded. The book analyses the development and principal features of this capitalist realism as a lived ideological framework. Using examples from politics, films (Children Of Men, Jason Bourne, Supernanny), fiction (Le Guin and Kafka), work and education, it argues that capitalist realism colours all areas of contemporary experience, is anything but realistic and asks how capitalism and its inconsistencies can be challenged. It’s a sharp analysis of the post-ideological malaise that suggests that the economics and politics of neo-liberalism are givens rather than constructions.