Mark Fishers Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative?
Another set of mechanisms that erodes and strangles in unison with the I.A.M.S. and various maladies mentioned above is Kafkian/Orwellian modes of decentralized hierarchy's and constant evaluation/indefinite post-ponement of punishment and resolution. Anyone who has been frustrated with a large corporations labyrinth of call centers will be familiar with these mechanisms, but the obstructions for people to acquire a service or buy a product are the least worrying effects. In the public sectors such as Education Fisher explains of how external assessment bodies such as the infamous O.F.S.T.E.D have drifted away from their established format of a large, intrusive and diligent inspection every four years to a format of out-sourcing the inspection to the teachers themselves, yearly, or termly self assessments, targets achieved and targets set, short term goals and long term goals now dominate the process of homogenizing the education service. For someone who has not experienced the blindingly absurdity of UK Capitalist Realism, and the New Labourian malaise of I.A.M.S. a school that evaluates and constantly renews its goals and processes may sound like an effective system. Unfortunately this is a county mile, along 20 zones and speed bumps and speed cameras, away from the reality. For the departments and teachers themselves this results in a daily auto-flagellation, it wouldn't be so disastrous if the targets and goals did not mutate and shift with such fickle predictability. The result is that the teachers are trapped under an anxiety inducing cloud of constant evaluation, constant punishment and criticism. The quick but thorough and consistent four yearly inspections have been exploded and atomized to a level of constant presence at every level, the entities within the system have to adhere to the sectors paradigm and as a result operate for the I.A.M.S. as opposed to utilizing it for helping them work. In effect the entities themselves revert to systemically autophagian components whilst dancing for the zeros and ones.
The various injuries incurred by the public sector through 1: the de-centralized/kafkian modes of evaluation and 2: contorting to conformity with the Business Ontology are only two examples of the areas that Fisher explores with regards to modern Britain's public services awkward trapping within Capitalist Realism. His methods of fleshing out and evaluating how almost every thread of modern Britain's fabric is writhing under Capitalist Realism are concise and profound. I have only hinted upon the few spheres of Capitalist Realist rot that Fishers book echoed from my own experience. The main impression left upon me after finishing Fishers Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? is the feeling that economic systems, political mechanics, our psyche, temporalities and ontologies have been exploded, atomized into isolated positions of helplessness, where Capitalist Realism can control and order solely propagate. Fisher provides hope that we can break free from such control, I feel too large a proportion is Putrefying and converted to the mechanisms of Capitalist Realism.
I intend to post further thoughts on the specifics of some of the other areas explored in Capitalist Realism: Is there no alternative? in the future, in the meantime please feel free to make your opinion known to me regarding my comments.