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Zizek […] is nevertheless right that the left needs to give up “the sublime beauty of uprisings that are doomed to fail”. But that will involve also giving up the rarefied “evental” politics pushed by Zizek’s sometime inspiration, Alain Badiou, and a re-engagement in the apparently more banal business of building hegemony in parliament and mainstream media.

I stress parliament and mainstream media because the post-68 left – and this no doubt includes Capitalist Realism itself – has increasingly tended to disdain them. Everyone from old Maoists such as Badiou to young neo-anarchists maintains that mainstream politics is corrupt and impotent. Yet, if what has happened – or failed to happen – since 2008 has taught us anything, it is that political change still entails shifts in parliamentary politics and mainstream media. Bottom-up movements, actions in the streets, the transformation of everyday life: all of these are necessary to shift hegemony, but they are not sufficient.

Mark Fisher guest-blogging on Zero Books (his publishers), on ‘Capitalist Realism' five years on.

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