This article approaches the climate crisis as a crisis of imagination, building upon post-capitalist thought and Mark Fisher’s ‘capitalist realism’ to outline a framework for imagining beyond the capitalist present. Beginning with Maroš Krivý’s examination of Estonian wastelands and adjacent nationalism, the article argues that a society’s identity and imagination depend upon its relationship with history. Modern-day ruins become a conceptual space for situating ‘precarity’ in the present, entangling humans with extra-human nature and dismantling perceived economic homogeneity under capitalism. Anna Tsing’s ethnographic study of Open Ticket Oregon underpins its conclusions, as do Roy Scranton’s notions of death and rebirth. This article sits alongside emerging ‘degrowth’ and ‘prefigurative’ discourses to critique certain post-capitalist perspectives failing to provide alternatives or give space to economic diversity. Ultimately, it valorises ‘pericapitalist’ spaces as an intermediary step between present-day capitalism and a future beyond ruin.
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