Date: 12 February 2010
Goldsmith’s College University of London, London SE14 6NW
Mark Fisher – Nubureaucracy and Capitalist Realism
Neoliberalism presents itself as the enemy of bureaucracy, the destroyer of the nanny state and the eliminator of red tape. Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism (Zer0 books, 2009) argues that, contrary to this widely accepted story, bureaucracy has proliferated under neoliberalism. Far from decreasing, bureaucracy has changed form, spreading all the more insidiously in its newly decentralised mode. This ‘nu-bureaucracy’ is often carried out by workers themselves, now induced into being their own auditors. Capitalist Realism aims to challenge the successful ideological doublethink in which workers’ experience of increasing bureaucratisation co-exists with the idea that bureaucracy belongs to a ‘Stalinist’ past.
This symposium will explore nu-bureaucracy and other related concepts developed in Capitalist Realism, such as ‘business ontology’ and ‘market Stalinism’. How has nu-bureaucracy affected education and public services, and how can it be resisted? What implications might the attack on nu-bureaucracy have for a renewed anti-capitalism?
Respondent, Alberto Toscano, Department of Sociology