You can achieve anything if you try hard enough. Anything. 
– Capitalist platitude. 
I just came across a wonderful term on Jodi Dean’s blog to describe the place of the individual from the perspective of capitalist realism. Magical voluntarism. Anything can be achieved by the Herculean effort of the individual will. Anything at all. This in contrast to the fatalist doctrine of a politics which will never change. Here is an excerpt of that post, which is in fact taken from another blogger. Recycle Recycle: 

What characterises capitalist realism is fatalism at the level of politics (where nothing much can ever change, except to move further in the direction of neoliberalisation) and magical voluntarism at the level of the individual: you can achieve anything, if you only you do more training courses, listen to Mary Portas or Kirsty Alsop, try harder. Magical voluntarism, naturally, also drives the tabloid culture of individual blame (resign, resign!) in which the tabloids themselves are now caught up, although, as Zone Styx noted, News International clearly expects far more from public service managers like Sharon Shoemith than it does from its own executives.) Individualise, individualise, insists capitalist ideology. Note the way in which the media sought to reduce the Lulsec story to Ryan Cleary, or the way in which the clueless Peter Preston finds the idea of a collective entity such as DSG unfathomable. – k-punk cited on
Magical voluntarism. I think this really captures the spirit of our times, if it can be called a spirit. The global paralysis of politics and collective action coupled with an absurd pressure on the individual to perform, to succeed. Competition drags on, pressure builds and the world becomes more and more incoherent as humanity is shuffled into atomized parcels and pitted against itself.

One last note, as I read this I was reminded of a scene in China Mieville’s Perdido Street Station where Yagharek the geruda explains the nature of a crime he has committed to the book’s protagonist Isaac. Yagharek comes from a society which emphasizes individual choice as the highest good. The society is, therefore, a communist one because this allows for the greatest possibility of individual choice. Yagharek, whose crime is described as choice-theft has been cast out from the group as an abstract individual, as opposed to a concrete individual.
To be abstract is to ignore context, to ignore the reality of relationship as formative of individuality. Inseperable from it. Human reality, at base, is formed not by an aggregate of self-contained I’s but is always embedded in an I-you relationship. To treat the individual as an abstract entity is, therefore, a violence upon reality a de-realization. There is no individual as such, only individuals who are in constant relationship with others. Who become individuals only in and through their particular relationships and responsibilities. I bring this up only to point out that one of the important failings of capitalism, and particulary of the neoliberal agenda, is not an overemphasis on individuality. It is actually a failure to coherently articulate a notion of the individual at all. 

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