Novara Editor Ash Sarkar
Novara Editor Ash Sarkar

Nihilism and individualism replaced with solidarity and community?

AKSELERASJONISME: For the children of the new millennium, conservatism is a dead ideology. And above neoliberalism, a new communist realism is now taking shape among young Britons.

Published: 2020-01-14

"There's no alternative!" Insisted Margaret Thatcher in the eighties. The slogan illuminates something central to the neo-liberal period that her over ten years in power both launched and accelerated in the UK. Any alternative vision for the future eventually got into trouble in a political landscape where services were privatized, people reduced to individualistic atoms - and history itself, at the cessation of the Soviet Union, declared over. Without ideological competitors, the neoliberalists gained a monopoly on political imagination, and a capitalist realism attached the grip on the mind - a picture of the reality where the world was finite, only capitalism eternal.

Sarkar struck back with the following viral sound byte: "I'm literally a communist, you idiot!"

With Capitalist Realism (2009), British critic Mark Fisher described the suffocating cultural atmosphere behind the financial crisis and the costly aftermath. Without alternatives, the system had to be revived, the experts "modernize", and the technocracy live - all at the expense of the community. Despite his pessimism, Fisher's classic points to radicalism that today breathes new life into the British left to the left of social democracy. A younger critic has established himself with Fisher as a role model. The goal is to build an alternative hegemony, something Fisher does in his collected and leftist writings, k-punk (2018), calls a communist realism. Released from the past neoliberal dogmatism, our imagination will no longer be dictated by Stalinism and its technocratic servants.

A new movement and a new community

The radicalization of young Britons has its roots in the 2010 general election and the collaboration between the Conservatives at David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats at Nick Clegg. The breach of promise to the latter - by an increase in tuition fees from NOK 35 to NOK 000 per year - mobilized a generation that had grown up during Blair's Third Way, a political student movement.

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