I've written here before about the contemporary situation not being well-described in terms of alienation. Alienation isn't the problem; absorption and immediacy are, this culture of the gut reaction, the opinions we are entitled, the feelings we are enjoined to share, the impulses we are encouraged to satisfy because we desire it. We are absorbed by and in communicative capitalism, unable to cultivate the distances we need to imagine and make something else. To this extent, crises and austerity are an opening to something else.
Correlatively, the dominant attitude is not cynical (I disagree with Zizek on this--and consequently with scores of Zizek fans). Does it help anything (politically, critically) to describe Barak Obama, Sarah Palin, Bill Gates, or Lloyd Blankfein as cynical? Isn't the actual situation worse? Each believes what he or she says. It's harder to fight against an adversary who believes in their cause--and I think that is what we are up against.