6.30pm, Tuesday 18 March 2014
Neoliberalism must be understood not only as a strategy to decompose the organised working class; it must also be seen as a successful attempt to neutralise and capture the energies that came out of the Sixties counterculture. The desire-revolution was won by capital and its libidinal engineers, as the counterculture’s Promethean ambitions to transform life and social relations were translated into privatised pleasures. Now, we are locked into habit-loops and a radically fragmented time by what Matteo Pasquinelli has called ‘libidinal parasites’. But ascetic withdrawal will not provide us with a way out – we need instead to counter capital’s monopolisation of desire with our own forms of libidinal engineering.
Mark Fisher is the author of Capitalist Realism (2009) and Ghosts Of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures (2014). His writing has appeared in many publications, including The Wire, Frieze, The Guardian and New Humanist. He is Programme Leader of the MA in Aural and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London and a lecturer at the University of East London. He has also produced two acclaimed audio-essays in collaboration with Justin Barton:londonunderlondon (2005) and On Vanishing Land (2013).