"Margaret Thatcher was the least science-fictional world leader in modern
Her motto was “There is no alternative,” a phrase she repeated so often it
became an acronym: “TINA.”
She was referring to capitalism, asserting that there is no conceivable
alternative. It was a cheap, but remarkably effective, rhetorical device,
treating a demand as an observation. The true meaning of TINA isn’t “No
alternative is possible,” but rather, “Stop trying to think of an alternative.”
I mean, thinking of alternatives is literally my job.
TINA is part of a philosophy, “capitalist realism,” a phrase coined by Mark
Fischer in the early 2000s. Fischer said that capitalist realism is best
captured in the quote “It is easier to imagine an end to the world than an end
to capitalism” (this quote has been variously attributed to the philosopher
Slavoj Žižek and the literary critic Fredric Jameson).
Žižek (or possibly Jameson) got a lot closer to the problem than Thatcher ever
did. For while it’s easy to imagine something after
capitalism’s sunset is far harder."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics