It’s always sad to hear about someone you respected dying, and there’s a strange sense of guilt that goes along with it when your main public engagement with their ideas involved pointing out (sometimes quite forcefully) where you thought they were wrong.
I don’t know what else to say, so I’ll point you to a few selections from his work:
Good for Nothing (on a political understanding of our shared depression)
How the World Got Turned the Right Way Up Again (on the fading and recuperation of post-punk’s critique and subversive potential)
Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative (perhaps his best-known work)
You can find much more here – for anyone interested, I really would recommend digging into some of his music criticism.
There’s much more to say, but there are other people far more qualified to say most of it, so I’ll just leave off with a quote from the end of Capitalist Realism and a Fall song he loved:
“The long, dark night of the end of history has to be grasped as an enormous opportunity. The very oppressive pervasiveness of capitalist realism means that even glimmers of alternative political and economic possibilities can have a disproportionately great effect. The tiniest event can tear a hole in the grey curtain of reaction which has marked the horizons of possibility under capitalist realism. From a situation in which nothing can happen, suddenly anything is possible again.”
That quote’s from 2009. Since then, the horizons of possibility have been torn open in all sorts of unexpected ways, and we are all the poorer for not having Mark’s thought to help us explore this new landscape.