The Memeing of Mark Fisher: How the Frankfurt School Foresaw Capitalist Realism and What To Do About It

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John Hunt Publishing, Sep 24, 2021 - Philosophy - 128 pages

The Frankfurt School meets Fisher in this critique of capitalism incorporating memes, mental illness and psychedelia into a proposed counterculture. Spring 2020 to 2021 was the year that did not take place. We witnessed a depression, not economically speaking, but in the psychological sense: A clinical depression of and by society itself. This depression was brought about not just by Covid isolation, but by the digital economy, fueled by social media and the meme. In the aftermath, this book revisits the main Frankfurt School theorists, Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin and Marcuse, who worked in the shadow of World War Two, during the rise of the culture industry. In examining their thoughts and drawing parallels with Fisher's Capitalist Realism, The Memeing of Mark Fisher aims to render the Frankfurt School as an incisive theoretical toolbox for the post-Covid digital age. Taking in the phenomena of QAnon, twitch streaming, and memes it argues that the dichotomy between culture and political praxis is a false one. Finally, as more people have access to the means for theoretical and cultural broadcasting, it is urged that the online left uses that access to build a real life cultural and political movement.

 

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Contents

Get Well Soon Society
Burn Down the Internet Why the Online Left is Failing
The Work of Art in the Age of the Subscription Economy
Adorno and Horkheimer Elements of QAnon
The Memeing of Mark Fisher
Benjamin and the Digital Flaneur
Psychedelic Dreams Marcuse Fisher and Acid Communism

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About the author (2021)

Mike Watson is a UK born art and media theorist, critic and curator who holds a PhD in Philosophy from Goldsmiths College. Watson curated at the 55th and 56th Venice Biennale, as well as at Manifesta12 in Palermo. He has written regularly for Art Review, Artforum, Jacobin, and Radical Philosophy.

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