Mark Fisher on hauntology in the 21st century

Haunting, then, can be construed as a failed mourning. It is about refusing to give up the ghost or — and this can sometimes amount to the same thing — the refusal of the ghost to give up on us. The spectre will not allow us to settle into/for the mediocre satisfactions one can glean in a world governed by capitalist realism.

What’s at stake in the 21st century hauntology is not the disappearance of a particular object. What has vanished is a tendency, a virtual trajectory. One name for this tendency is popular modernism.

What should haunt us is not the no longer of actually existing social democracy, but the not yet of the futures that popular modernism trained us to expect, but which never materialized. These spectres — the spectres of lost futures — reproach the formal nostalgia of the capitalist realist world.

— Mark Fisher. Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures. Zero Books, 2014. p. 22-27.

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