The Politics of Civil Liberties and Free Speech: A Discussion with Christine Louis-Dit-Sully (Online Group Video Discussion – 12th January 2021)November 2, 2020
“The concept of acid communism is a provocation and a promise. It is a joke of sorts, but one with very serious purpose. It points to something that, at one point, seemed inevitable, but which now appears impossible: the convergence of class consciousness, socialist-feminist consciousness-raising and psychedelic consciousness, the fusion of new social movements with a communist project, an unprecedented aestheticisation of everyday life.”
– Mark Fisher ‘Acid Communism (unfinished introduction)’ in K-Punk, Repeater, 2018
Before his untimely death in 2017, writer and cultural theorist Mark Fisher had been working on a book entitled Acid Communism. Rejecting the idea that the neoliberalism of Thatcher and Reagan was inevitable, and that the counter-culture of the sixties and seventies would merely lead to a culture of narcissistic consumerism, Fisher sought to recover the radical promise of sixties counterculture, the term signaled the fusion of psychedelic mind-expansion with radical politics.
Outside of Fisher’s own work, the concept continues to be developed and explored, not least with the emergence of the term “Acid Corbynism” that links themes of countercultural radicalism to current Labour activism. The podcast #ACFM has been at the forefront of Acid Communist and Acid Corbynist research, exploring topics such as collective joy, consciousness raising and the weird left. In this session, Bradley Tuck is joined by Jeremy Gilbert, a member of the #ACFM team and friend of Mark Fisher, to discuss these themes and topics. Jeremy Gilbert is Professor of Cultural and Political Theory at University of East London, his books include Discographies: Dance Music, Culture, and the Politics of Sound (1999), Anticapitalism and Culture: Radical Theory and Popular Politics (2008), Common Ground: Democracy and Collectivity in an Age of Individualism (2013), Twenty-First Century Socialism (2019), Hegemony Now: Power in the Twenty-First Century (2020) and The Last Days of Neoliberalism: Politics, Culture and Society Since 2008 (2020).
Edited by Neil Philip Whitehead.
To listen on Soundcloud: