As I read Fisher’s (aka of K-Punk fame ) brilliant Capitalist Realism, I find myself wondering just what constitutes radical theory. And the conclusion that I come to is that radical theory is not so much a body of political propositions as it is a repudiation of actualism of that being and the actual are identical to one another. Radical theory is any theory that treats being as in excess of what I have called “local manifestation“. Wherever being is treated as identical to local manifestation we have thought serving as a handmaiden of the State. It is only where local manifestation is treated as fissured by an excess where the possibility of the new, only where the actuality of local manifestation is actively sought to be fissured– a question so vital to Fisher’s analysis of hedonic melancholia –that something like radical theory is possible. Here it matters little whether the thinker makes determinate political prescriptions. Rather what matters is that demonstration of the contingency of the actual, that it could, in principle, be otherwise, that is important. And in this respect, Fisher punches a hole in the real and speaks truth. The aim of theory is not to provide the answer but to rigorously establish the possibility. Read this book.
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