Discussion in 'theory, philosophy & history' started by ska invita, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Does anyone have any thoughts on Accelerationism? Particularly a critique of the accelerationist left?
    My understanding of it is too vague to comment at the moment, so am hoping other might shine a light on it...

    Here's the wiki
    Accelerationism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    In political and social theory, accelerationism is the idea that either the prevailing system of capitalism, or certain technosocial processes that have historically characterised it, should be expanded, repurposed or accelerated in order to generate radical social change. Some contemporary accelerationist philosophy takes as its starting point the Deleuzo-Guattarian theory of deterritorialisation, aiming to identify, deepen, and radicalise the forces of deterritorialisation with a view to overcoming the countervailing tendencies that suppress the possibility of far-reaching social transformation.[1] Accelerationism may also refer more broadly, and usually pejoratively, to support for the deepening of capitalism in the belief that this will hasten its self-destructive tendencies and ultimately eventuate its collapse.[2][3]

    Professedly accelerationist theory has been divided into mutually contradictory left-wing and right-wing variants, with "left-accelerationism" attempting to press "the process of technological evolution" beyond the constrictive horizon of capitalism, for example by repurposing modern technology to socially beneficial and emancipatory ends, and "right-accelerationism" supporting the indefinite intensification of capitalism itself, possibly in order to bring about a technological singularity.[4][5][6]
  2. nogojones

    nogojones Well-Known Member

    Is this something to do with our workers bomb?
    stuff_it likes this.
  3. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

  4. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Slightly delusional Twitter and 3D printing Paul Mason-ism.
  5. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    The manifesto I posted goes a bit beyond that I think - it is like a mix of Mason with Hegemony and Socialist Strategy (Mouffe and Laclou). It's saying we need to embrace and build on the technological advances capitalism has made, but also includes strategic routes out:

  6. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Not to be flippant (again) but considering the state of the left and the proletariat generally this stuff is like talking about how we want a toddler to get on the case with that quantum physics PhD we need done.
    teuchter and muscovyduck like this.
  7. Brainaddict

    Brainaddict chief propagandist (provisional)

    Fair point - I think it's a long-term goal :D
    LynnDoyleCooper likes this.
  8. LynnDoyleCooper

    LynnDoyleCooper Up against the wall motherfucker.

    Sorry I don't mean to be dismissive. I do think there's some pretty interesting ideas among this kind of thought, but I do find it pretty hard to relate it to being anything more than a theoretical exercise. Be interested to hear from others contrary ideas too.
  9. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    Capitalism will solve all capitalism's problems?

    I'm reading This Changes Everything by Noreena Hertz and I don't think she talks about this particularly but she does address the idea that climate change can be solved by technology or the market, which she sees as not true (I think) saying that we need serious behaviour change. Kind of relevant maybe.
    Rutita1 likes this.
  10. Rutita1

    Rutita1 Scum with no integrity, apparently.

    I think I agree with her and behaviour change is very important example...

    I read things like this and think...yeah and what does that mean to most people, day to day...Theory is great and all that but unless people can understand, agree with and apply stays theory/analysis of what people may be or could be doing differently/more of etc...
  11. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    It's silly schoolboy bollocks really. I'd have a look into the racist (sorry culturally aristocratic) roots of the thinkers it gains inspiration from (whilst formally rejecting some of the conclusions) from. Basically Evola going ooh the internet, and networks! Lot of crossover with third positionism.
    articul8, seventh bullet and J Ed like this.
  12. sihhi

    sihhi John 3:30

    "21. We declare that only a Promethean politics of maximal mastery over society and its environment is capable of either dealing with global problems or achieving victory over capital. This mastery must be distinguished from that beloved of thinkers of the original Enlightenment. The clockwork universe of Laplace, so easily mastered given sufficient information, is long gone from the agenda of serious scientific understanding. But this is not to align ourselves with the tired residue of postmodernity, decrying mastery as proto-fascistic or authority as innately illegitimate. Instead we propose that the problems besetting our planet and our species oblige us to refurbish mastery in a newly complex guise; whilst we cannot predict the precise result of our actions, we can determine probabilistically likely ranges of outcomes. What must be coupled to such complex systems analysis is a new form of action: improvisatory and capable of executing a design through a practice which works with the contingencies it discovers only in the course of its acting, in a politics of geosocial artistry and cunning rationality. A form of abductive experimentation that seeks the best means to act in a complex world."

    Any problems, see them.
  13. sihhi

    sihhi John 3:30

    Naomi Klein wrote This Changes Everything.
    Yuwipi Woman likes this.
  14. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    The command of The Plan must be married to the improvised order of The Network


    Boss, the Plan, the Plan!
    ViolentPanda likes this.
  15. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    I get them muddled up, yeah thanks for correcting me.
  16. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

  17. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Generation Ketamine discovers that accelerationism is bullshit quelle fucking surprise
  18. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    Sells books though and provides plenty of cover and neoliberal bag carrying possibilities so it'll be all over the Graunid/Blu $cabsman for years
  19. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    So basic questions for me are:
    1.Accelerating away from what?
    2. How do you put your foot on the accelerator? (what can you do to make whatever it is go faster?)

    Marx has the famous quote about the speed of social change under capitalism.
    "All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned ..."

    So this is the speed of social change under capitalism. Accelerationists want this speed to go faster - or at least encourage no reaching for the breaks? Is that right?

    And if so, how do you make that social change go faster? Or am I being too literal about accelerating.
    Is it just about 'embracing' the social change that capitalism creates and attempting to harness these changes for a more more just future?

    Issues of roboticisation and basic income are being talked about across the political spectrum as they are based on a very real and contemporary situation, and it seems to be accelerationsim is being talked about off the back of that.

    WHo were the first? Was it Italian Futurists with their support for fascism you're talking about?

    Yeah it seems most everyone who writes about this does so from within Academia and it does get impenetrable quickly, but hopefully we can boil it down on this thread.
  20. killer b

    killer b No Hateration, No Holeration. in this Dancery

    I thought some of the analysis in the manifesto was nailed on, but then it turned into wooly science fiction bullshit as soon as it got to the 'what to do' bit.
  21. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    No disagreement from me here at all. There are a lot of branches of banks now where you can walk into them during business hours and the only human being working there is a security guard who watches over the machines. Same thing with the smaller supermarkets called convenience stores, in the one I work in you can have one person run the entire shop from about 6:30pm till 11 some days, once self-service tills improve a bit more and people become accustomed to them then you could probably have one person run the entire shop the full opening hours from 7am till 11pm. As I mentioned in a thread almost a year ago Sainsburys staff actually have targets for encouraging people to use the self-service tills, they have a particularly cruel way of doing it in the shop I work in but I'm not going to mention exactly what it is because I don't want to dox myself.

    I am not doubting that automation is real and that it is fundamentally shifting things, it is. What I take issue with is the idea that once this automation takes these jobs that we are going to see any kind of positive social change by default, because we're not. Automation has coincided with a decrease in the ability of labour to leverage its own power and I see no reason why that will change as automation increases, it's going to worsen, but pretending otherwise will get you book deals and invited to commentariat events and lauded by those with a financial interest in the acceleration of automation.

    They aren't going to just give us what we need to live, people are either going to have to take it or the oligarchy are going to have to be sufficiently scared that we are going to do so.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  22. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    The inverse of leveraging work power (striking etc) is that if the state cant 'provide' for its own citizens it 1. creates an angry populace + 2. capitalism needs consumers, who need money (and traditionally jobs) to consume. Those are two big factors which has got the right-wing press/commentariat thinking hard recently... there are some rightwing voices genuinely worried about this, and worrying that the system is threatened by the instability this future will cause.

    I doubt anyone on the left is saying let the system run riot (accelerate into the future?) and we can just watch it all sort itself out without having to lift a finger.

    In the short-term theres going be a battle over driverless trains here in the UK, with many train and tube drivers losing their jobs. I take it lefty accelerationists are 'for' that (or recognise it as a painful but necessary part of the transition in the future)?

    The danger is that with no power to shape the transition into the future the left are just spectators and cant manage any of the pains of a transition towards our automated robots replace our jobs there needs to be a up and running transition program to keep people paid in one way or another.

    I guess the attractive thing about Accelerationsism and an automated, basic income future (if thats the end goal of accelerationism in this it?) is that it provides a vision of the future to work towards, at a time when positive visions of the future have been lacking.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  23. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Basic income isn't really being talked about across the political spectrum. It's being talked about by a very small group of evangelists. Accelerationism is being talked about by even fewer people, most of them in an intellectual bubble alienated from "real and contemporary situations" - despite 10+ years of elite level sales effort/self-pimping. The high point being a not entirely destructive review of the manifesto by negri (collected in the accelerationist reader)

    I'm tlaking about Nick Land and the dark enlightenment public school fantasy club of neo-reaction. As reffed quite extensively in the manifesto.

    Accelerationism (as if there is such a thing) coming up with basic income as the key point of their intersection with reality reminds me of this:

    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    gawkrodger likes this.
  24. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    You need to spend some time and effort in reading something like Nick Dyer-Witheford's Cyber-proletariat: Global Labour in the Digital Vortex or Deborah Cowen's The Deadly life of Logistics or even Ricardo Antunes The Meanings of Work. Essay on the Affirmation and Negation of Work instead of wasting your time with this stuff. This other stuff will get your feet on the ground for the sort of discussion you want. Accelerationism will not.
  25. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    There are many recent books and articles on robotcisation/automation and what it means for the economy and society (with Basic Income often coming up at some point at the problem of no jobs comes up), usually written not by the left, but by trad market economist types
    stuff like this....
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I dont actually know who any of these authors are but my feeling is that these arent left-leaning books particularly - certainly ive seen similiar articles in The Economist and the like....
  26. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Indie Club :thumbs:
  27. ska invita

    ska invita back on the other side

    Care to make some summaries, broad conclusions out of the above?

    Id still like to try and get a grip on what accelerationists are thinking before (possibly) leaving it aside...
  28. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    That is the same stuff that has been pumped out since the immediate Post WW2 period - with pretty much the same analysis, just with different technologies.
    gawkrodger and 8115 like this.
  29. J Ed

    J Ed Follow Back Pro Expropriation

    It might be worth thinking about WHY it is neoliberals who are coming out with this Basic Income stuff, it's not because they are suddenly converts to the idea of social justice or giving a shit about the poor. Just like 'trickle down economics' it's there to provide cover and a moral justification for even more wealth redistribution from us to them.
  30. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Not really as they're complex books that involve serious effort as they attempt to grapple with the real life effects of the capitalist use of technology rather than being sci-fi fantasy, a discourse which grows upon itself carries the mortal danger of verifying itself always and only through the successive passages of its own formal logic.

    Plus i'm out the door in 5 minutes.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
    seventh bullet likes this.

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