What is Capitalist Realism?

Assuming I haven’t completely misunderstood Mark Fisher’s point then I’d argue this is one of the most striking examples of capitalist realism I’ve ever encountered. It was posted as a comment on this Glenn Greenwald article. Note how an assertion of the obviousness of this state of affairs goes hand-in-hand with a dismissal of the ‘rubes’ who are assumed to have uncritically assented to the enormously powerful ideological forces from which the commentator has long been immune. Self-congratulation at being ‘smart enough’ to see through manufactured illusion and contempt for those who failed to do this substitute for moral condemnation of something which is nonetheless regarded as a social problem. The post-ideological stance of ‘seeing through’ the lies in fact engenders objective passivity coupled with a reactionary orientation to those who seek to engage in proactive opposition:

I just don’t understand why people hadn’t assumed this kind of surveillance was going on already. Has no one seen the Enemy of the State? In all seriousness, I wondered about it after figuring out how communications satellites work and realizing that all of those satellites are launched by the government.

Is it such revelation that a country on a planet as nationalistic as Earth had the opportunity to spy on most of the world and took that opportunity? If you are a student of history you would know that spying on other nations/groups is human reality.

I don’t necessarily think its a great idea to have one country doing a lot of this under the guise of “the greater good” because they will end up using it to benefit themselves in any way they feel they can. I just don’t think any of the Snowden revelations should have been so inflammatory. How could you not see the writing on the wall? How could you assume this wasn’t happening?

I just don’t like the Greenwald tone of “I can’t believe this, can you? We don’t live in a perfect world as our politicians had told us!!” He comes across as a rube if he is truly shocked by all of these spying “revelations.”

And I defy you to find a country on this planet who doesn’t conduct all of the surveillance that they possibly can. Its an aspect of national defense and economic survival that causes this espionage all over the planet. The US just possess a crazy ability to spy on mostly everyone because of the system of communications the US gov’t help set up for the world.

All I’m saying is, you missed the window to complain about this by about 15-20 years. The groundwork for this type of communications monitoring has been in front of your face since the 80’s & 90s and you weren’t smart enough to see it. There is no going back.

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