2007 - 2022

Acid Communism

In the context of the stagnation of the indy movement in form and content – and in the face of huge global meme moments like #MeToo, and as the system failure kicks-in, it’s worth exploring a range of other ideas and approaches and deeper responses to crisis.

Acid Communism was the name of a book the thinker Mark Fisher was writing before his death.

Fisher – writer, music commentator, father, revolutionary – was a member of the group Plan C. They write:

“The organisation has been experimenting with the practice of consciousness raising groups, modeled on those that formed the organisational bedrock of the 1970s socialist feminist movement. Such groups provide a space in which we can talk about our experiences, problems and feelings aiming to recognise their commonalities and then link them to the wider structures of society that constrain our lives. After all, once we recognise that so many of the problems in our lives, which we might have previously blamed on our individual failings, are in fact quite common and shared, then it’s a short leap to conclude that they must have structural causes. The attempt to resurrect this practice is part of Plan C’s attempt to develop an antagonistic anti-capitalist politics that’s also based on a politics of care. This is a care without borders or boundaries. It’s a care that demands Everything for Everyone, a sentiment beautifully described by Mark in a blog post from 2015:

Real wealth is the collective capacity to produce, care and enjoy. This is Red Plenty. Red belonging is temporal and dynamic. It is about belonging to a movement: a movement that abolishes the present state of things, a movement that offers unconditional care without community (it doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are, we will care for you any way).

“We can see in the video how Mark brilliantly redefines his own concept of Capitalist Realism into a form of, what he calls, consciousness deflation. Indeed, he starts to identify the neoliberal turn as a conscious project by ruling elites to undo the effects of the different forms of consciousness raising found in the 1970s. Alongside feminist consciousness raising he also identifies the various ways in which class consciousness was raised. To these he then adds the consciousness changing effects of psychedelia, which worked through pop culture to embed a notion that reality is plastic and changeable. Wow, what a move. Before his death Mark was writing a book on post-capitalist desire called Acid Communism so we can see that this was no mere digression but an opening up of whole new areas of enquiry. Where can we find post-capitalist desire expressing itself today? How can we help that desire to be realised?”

More on Plan C here.

Acid Communism anthoogy to be released.

Comments (3)

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  1. tickle says:

    wow. super smart guy. such a loss.

  2. A Balharry says:

    His point about the ‘impatience’ of the 1960’s/70’s counter culture; that that generation gave up too easily on their societal ideals and accepted an imposed ‘reality’ really registers with me. Born at the tail end of the ‘baby boom’ in 1962 have a sort of half hippy/half punk attitude to life. And reflecting on my late teens/early 20’s – involvement with consciousness raising groups (feminism/enviromentalism etc) – unpaid/paid work in the third/voluntary sectors my fear is few lessons have fundamentally been learned by fellow ‘baby boomers’. As someone who spends a lot of time with pals in their 20’s so many of the structural problems they face and see in the new emerging counter cultural movement/s are exactly the same as then – and if they go unchallenged as happened then my fear is they too will give up.

    And for me having absolutely accepted that we – baby boomers – have utterly failed the next generation we need to call out bad practice where we see it in these new movements to avoid a repeat. So many of us haven’t any real understanding of just how hellish and precarious life is for so many young people today – many of us – me included – reaped the rewards of parents who had had their lives class structurally transformed due to post war social mobility. As M Fisher says we’ve been in reverse. During the last 3/4 years have seen behind so many curtains as a result of the 2014 vote and it’s pretty ugly in parts – across all sectors. Structural complicity remains and without that being exposed and challenged…..

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