"The failure of the future haunts capitalism: after 1989, capitalism's victory has not consisted in it confidently claiming the future, but in denying that the future is possible. All we can expect, we have been led to believe, is more of the same - but on higher resolution screens with faster connections. Hauntology, I think, expresses dissatisfaction with this foreclosure of the future [...]
Part of the battle now will be to ensure that neoliberalism is perceived to be defunct. I think that's already happening. There is a change in the cultural atmosphere, small at the moment, but it will increase." — Mark Fisher
Mark Fisher (1968-2017) published his first book Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? in 2009. He had been writing an acclaimed blog as k-punk for some years and was centrally involved in the birth and development of the Zer0 Books (the staff have since left and formed Repeater Books). In 2010, Rowan Wilson interviewed Mark for Ready Steady Book about the 'para-space' of Zer0, blogging and cyberculture; capitalist realism; hauntology and lost futures.
On Friday 23rd December the UN passed a resolution demanding a stop to Israeli settlement in the occupied territories as, in a shock move, the US refused to veto the resolution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exploded, calling it a 'declaration of war' (having recently been granted a $38 billion military aid package by the US), and Secretary of State John Kerry criticised Israel's approach to the peace process. But with Trump tweeting that Israel should 'stay strong' until his inauguration, progress still seems unlikely.
Verso presents a list of books from Israeli, Palestinian, and anti-imperialist authors, to explain the conflict and provide some perspectives on the future.
The storm over Labour's alleged "culture of anti-semitism" rolls on, with daily news of further suspensions and resignations - the latest of which is the suspension of anti-Zionist activist and Momentum member Jackie Walker because of a contrived controversy over a months old facebook comment.
The more allegations emerge, the more the gap between anti-semitism and legitimate criticisms of Israel seems to be closing for the commentariat. As acclaimed scholar Norman G. Finkelstein recently stated in a interview for Open Democracy, the scandal "has nothing whatsoever to do with the factual situation; instead, a few suspect cases of antisemitism – some real, some contrived – are being exploited for an ulterior political motive." While real anti-semitism undoubtably exists, the string of warnings about "new anti-semitism" must not act as a cover for Israeli state actions. As the powerful statement released on behalf of the Jewish Socialist Group states "criticism of Israeli government policy and Israeli state actions against the Palestinians is not antisemitism," - the two must be clearly seperated.
For more on Israel and Palestine, below is a Verso reading list on the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the politics of anti-Zionism.