Speculative presence

by Jehu

If I were to write a speculative piece on a future communist society, where would I begin?

I would begin of course, with Zizek:

By way of a simple reflection on how the horizon of historical imagination is subject to change, we find ourselves in medias res, compelled to accept the unrelenting pertinence of the notion of ideology. Up to a decade ago, the system production-nature (man’s productive-exploitative relationship with nature and its resources) was perceived as a constant, whereas everybody was busy imagining different forms of the social organization of production and commerce (Fascism or Communism as alternatives to liberal capitalism); today, as Fredric Jameson perspicaciously remarked, nobody seriously considers possible alternatives to capitalism any longer, whereas popular imagination is persecuted by the visions of the forthcoming ‘breakdown of nature’, of the stoppage of all life on earth–it seems easier to imagine the ‘end of the world’ than a far more modest change in the mode of production, as if liberal capitalism is the ‘real’ that will somehow survive even under conditions of a global catastrophe…. One can thus categorically assert the existence of ideology qua generative matrix that regulates the relationship between the visible and the non-visible, between imaginable and non-imaginable, as well as the changes in this relationship. From Žižek’s Introduction to Mapping Ideology (London: Verso, 1994), p. 1

If what Zizek says is true, post-apocalyptic literature holds the key to speculative ideas about our communist future. So, I want to borrow this idea from Zizek. I want to assume not just that people have an easier time imagining the end of the world than they do the end of capitalism, but that the post-apocalyptic literature is essentially speculative literature describing the world after capitalist collapse.