In Defense of Theory

In an attempt to cope with this crisis we all find ourselves in I reached back and re-read Mark Fisher’s Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? Thanks to the library’s free reading app I was also able to read Fisher’s K-punk: The Collected and Unpublished Writings of Mark Fisher, an anthology of his blog posts, interviews and magazine articles. If there’s a ghost that haunts my everyday thoughts it’s Mark Fisher. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Fisher’s thoughtstylings.

I’ll have to devote a longer blog post to why I think Fisher’s work is important for me, a lowly homesteading blogger. But let me just say that he does a better job than I did of explaining why theory is important to consider rather than dismiss. It turns out that the most rarefied and abstract theories of your Deleuzes and Foucaults can, paradoxically, turn out to be more practical than those who preach the practical.

In a magazine article he wrote in 2009, “Real Abstraction: the application of theory to the modern world” he says of the 2008 financial crisis, “Understanding the credit crunch and the recession demands the acknowledgment that abstractions are real.”

Fisher struggled with and wrote perceptibly about depression. Sadly we lost him too suicide in 2017, but his writing becomes more and more relevant as time goes on. You can read his blog here. If we weren’t in the midst of the need to social distance I’d be grabbing strangers, shaking them and yelling READ CAPITALIST REALISM! I feel like Fisher’s writing is a kind of key that unlocks a door on the horrors and mysteries of our present moment as well as offering a possible way out.