|Years active||From Pop Art in the 1950s and 1960s to the commodity art of the 1980s and 1990s|
|Major figures||Michael Schudson, Mark Fisher, Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Wolf Vostell, and Konrad Lueg|
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The term "capitalist realism" has been used, particularly in Germany, to describe commodity-based art, from Pop Art in the 1950s and 1960s to the commodity art of the 1980s and 1990s.  When used in this way, it is a play on the term "socialist realism". Alternatively, it has been used to describe the ideological-aesthetic aspect of contemporary corporate capitalism in the West.
Although attested earlier,  the phrase "capitalist realism" was first used in the title of the 1963 art exhibition in Düsseldorf, Demonstration for Capitalist Realism, which featured the work of Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, Wolf Vostell, and Konrad Lueg.  The exhibition's participants focused upon depictions of Germany's growing consumer culture and media-saturated society with strategies, in part, influenced by those of their American Pop  counterparts.
Capitalist realism is a German art movement co-founded in 1963 by artist Sigmar Polke.  Polke embraced the advertising and publicity commonly found in the popular press in renderings of everyday consumer items. Often ironic and with critical overtones of society and politics, the Capitalist Realism movement is considered more explicitly political than conventional Pop Art. 
In the mid-1980s, Michael Schudson used the term "capitalist realism" to describe mainstream practices in advertising.  Chapter seven of Schudson's Advertising: The Uneasy Persuasion compares the messages and appeals of advertising to those found in the Socialist Realism of the Soviet Union.  In his account, the realism of advertising promotes a way of life based on private consumption, rather than social, public achievement. 
The term next appeared in 2009 with the publication of Mark Fisher's book Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative?  Fisher argues that the term "capitalist realism" best describes the current global political situation, which lacks visible alternatives to the capitalist system which became dominant following the fall of the Soviet Union.  His argument is a response to, and critique of, neoliberalism and new forms of government which apply the logic of capitalism and the market to all aspects of governance.
His ideology refers to a perceived "widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable political and economic system, but also that it is now impossible even to imagine a coherent alternative to it". 
As a philosophical concept, capitalist realism is influenced by the Althusserian conception of ideology.  Fisher proposes that within a capitalist framework there is no space to conceive of alternative forms of social structures, adding that younger generations are not even concerned with recognizing alternatives.  He proposes that the 2008 financial crisis compounded this position. Rather than catalyzing a desire to seek alternatives for the existing model, the crisis reinforced the notion that modifications must be made within the existing system. The crash confirmed within the populace the necessity of capitalism rather than shake it loose from its foundations.
Capitalist realism as I understand it cannot be confined to art or to the quasi-propagandistic way in which advertising functions. It is more like a pervasive atmosphere, conditioning not only the production of culture but also the regulation of work and education, and acting as a kind of invisible barrier constraining thought and action. 
Fisher argues that "capitalist realism has successfully installed a 'business ontology' in which it is simply obvious that everything in society, including healthcare and education, should be run as a business"  (cf. New Public Management).
Following the publication of Fisher's work, the term has been picked up by other literary critics. 
Capitalism is an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and their operation for profit. Central characteristics of capitalism include capital accumulation, competitive markets, price system, private property, property rights recognition, voluntary exchange, and wage labor. In a market economy, decision-making and investments are determined by owners of wealth, property, or ability to maneuver capital or production ability in capital and financial markets—whereas prices and the distribution of goods and services are mainly determined by competition in goods and services markets.
Postmodern music is music in the art music tradition produced in the postmodern era. It also describes any music that follows aesthetical and philosophical trends of postmodernism. As an aesthetic movement it was formed partly in reaction to modernism but is not primarily defined as oppositional to modernist music. Postmodernists question the tight definitions and categories of academic disciplines, which they regard simply as the remnants of modernity.
Anti-capitalism is a political ideology and movement encompassing a variety of attitudes and ideas that oppose capitalism. In this sense, anti-capitalists are those who wish to replace capitalism with another type of economic system, such as socialism, anarchism, communism, syndicalism, or some combination of the latter four.
In the arts and in literature, the term avant-garde identifies a genre of art, an experimental work of art, and the experimental artist who created the work of art, which usually is aesthetically innovative, whilst initially being ideologically unacceptable to the artistic establishment of the time. The military metaphor of an advance guard identifies the artists and writers whose innovations in style, form, and subject-matter challenge the artistic and aesthetic validity of the established forms of art and the literary traditions of their time; thus how the artists who created the anti-novel and Surrealism were ahead of their times.
Neoliberalism, also neo-liberalism, is a term used to signify the late-20th century political reappearance of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism after it fell into decline following the Second World War. A prominent factor in the rise of conservative and right-libertarian organizations, political parties, and think tanks, and predominantly advocated by them, it is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, monetarism, austerity, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society. The defining features of neoliberalism in both thought and practice have been the subject of substantial scholarly debate.
Late capitalism, late-stage capitalism, or end-stage capitalism is a term first used in print by German economist Werner Sombart around the turn of the 20th century. In the late 2010s, the term began to be used in the United States and Canada to refer to perceived absurdities, contradictions, crises, injustices, inequality, and exploitation created by modern business development.
One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society is a 1964 book by the philosopher and critical theorist Herbert Marcuse, in which the author offers a wide-ranging critique of both contemporary capitalism and the Communist society of the Soviet Union, documenting the parallel rise of new forms of social repression in both these societies, as well as the decline of revolutionary potential in the West. He argues that "advanced industrial society" created false needs, which integrated individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media, advertising, industrial management, and contemporary modes of thought.
Sigmar Polke was a German painter and photographer.
The culture of capitalism or capitalist culture is the set of social practices, social norms, values and patterns of behavior that are attributed to the capitalist economic system in a capitalist society. Capitalist culture promotes the accumulation of capital and the sale of commodities, where individuals are primarily defined by their relationship to business and the market. The culture is composed of people who, behaving according to a set of learned rules, act as they must act in order to survive in capitalist societies.
The theory of state monopoly capitalism was initially a Marxist thesis popularised after World War II. Lenin had claimed in 1916 that World War I had transformed laissez-faire capitalism into monopoly capitalism, but he did not publish any extensive theory about the topic. The term refers to an environment where the state intervenes in the economy to protect larger monopolistic or oligopolistic businesses from threats. As conceived by Lenin in his pamphlet of the same name the theory aims to describe the final historical stage of capitalism, of which he believed the Imperialism of that time to be the highest expression.
Post-capitalism is a hypothetical state in which the economic systems of the world can no longer be described as forms of capitalism. Various individuals and political ideologies have speculated on what would define such a world. According to classical Marxist and social evolutionary theories, post-capitalist societies may come about as a result of spontaneous evolution as capitalism becomes obsolete. Others propose models to intentionally replace capitalism, most notably socialism, communism, anarchism, nationalism and degrowth.
Criticism of capitalism ranges from expressing disagreement with the principles of capitalism in its entirety to expressing disagreement with particular outcomes of capitalism.
Social democracy is a political, social, and economic philosophy within socialism that supports political and economic democracy. As a policy regime, it is described by academics as advocating economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal-democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented mixed economy. The protocols and norms used to accomplish this involve a commitment to representative and participatory democracy, measures for income redistribution, regulation of the economy in the general interest, and social welfare provisions. Due to longstanding governance by social democratic parties during the post-war consensus and their influence on socioeconomic policy in Northern and Western Europe, social democracy became associated with Keynesianism, the Nordic model, the social-liberal paradigm, and welfare states within political circles in the late 20th century. It has been described as the most common form of Western or modern socialism, as well as the reformist wing of democratic socialism.
Far-left politics, also known as the radical left or extreme left, are politics further to the left on the left–right political spectrum than the standard political left. The term does not have a single, coherent definition; some scholars consider it to represent the left of social democracy, while others limit it to the left of communist parties. In certain instances—especially in the news media—far left has been associated with some forms of authoritarianism, anarchism, communism, and Marxism, or are characterized as groups that advocate for revolutionary socialism and related communist ideologies, or anti-capitalism and anti-globalization. Far-left terrorism consists of extremist, militant, or insurgent groups that attempt to realize their ideals through political violence rather than using democratic processes.
Klaus Peter Brehmer, was a German painter, graphic artist and filmmaker. From 1971 to 1997 he was professor at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg.
Capitalist propaganda is promotion of capitalism, often via mass media, education, or other institutions, primarily by the ruling private and political elite. Capitalist propaganda is commonly deployed in capitalist countries to maintain the cultural hegemony of capitalism, by positioning it as the supreme and only valid system, eliminating opposing and dissenting views, and portraying non-capitalist perspectives and countries as comparatively incompetent and inferior, thus reinforcing capitalism as the dominant ideology. Capitalist propaganda may have lasting psychological effects that remain in a population even if the official government of the people is no longer capitalist, which can produce political instability and rebellion. The term capitalist propaganda has been used since at least the early 20th century to describe how propaganda is used by the capitalist class to indoctrinate workers to act against their own interests.
Mark Fisher, also known under his blogging alias k-punk, was an English writer, music critic, political and cultural theorist, philosopher, and teacher based in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. He initially achieved acclaim for his blogging as k-punk in the early 2000s, and was known for his writing on radical politics, music, and popular culture.
Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? is a 2009 book by British philosopher Mark Fisher. It explores Fisher's concept of "capitalist realism", which he describes as "the widespread sense that not only is capitalism the only viable political and economic system, but also that it is now impossible even to imagine a coherent alternative to it."
John Hunt Publishing is a publishing company founded in the United Kingdom in 2001, initially named O Books. The publisher has 24 active autonomous imprints, with the largest of these being the Zero Books imprint founded in 2009. The Zero Books imprint was founded with the objective being to combat what they viewed as a trend of anti-intellectualism in contemporary culture.
Anarchism and libertarianism, as broad political ideologies with manifold historical and contemporary meanings, have contested definitions. Their adherents have a pluralistic and overlapping tradition that makes precise definition of the political ideology difficult or impossible, compounded by a lack of common features, differing priorities of subgroups, lack of academic acceptance, and contentious historical usage.
It was a reaction to Pop from a postwar Germany divided between East and West.
In the 1960s, Mr. Polke was at the vanguard of a German artistic movement called capitalist realism, along with fellow painter Gerhard Richter -- who later expressed reservations about his colleague's work, saying "he refuses to accept any borders, any limits."