Against Accelerationism: The Need For Speed

need4speed

Here is the beginning of a response to the recent accelerationism business

ACCELERATIONISM

1. The accelerationists state that the problems of this world are due to a lack of human mastery – mastery of humanity over itself and its physical environment. A list of these problems includes patriarchy, racism, work, and environmental exploitation. The list probably includes war, colonialism, and illness.

2. If we are to believe Frederic Jameson, in that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism, then the only catastrophe left is political and not scientific or technological.

3. Left politics is named by the accelerationists as an obstacle to their agenda. They declare their allegiance with the political left while simultaneously denouncing all identifiable aspects of it. Accelerationism instead calls for a new hegemony to be built in their image.

4. Mastery, for the accelerationists, will come from scientific models delivered by increasingly powerful technology. Without such advances, accelerationists claim that the world will devolve into primitivism, perpetual crisis, and planetary ecological collapse.

5. It is unclear what accelerationists would dislike about capitalism if it did not impede the development of the science and technology they desire. In classic Proudhonian fashion, they criticize capitalism only as it acts as a fetter on production. (The accelerations proclaim that they need funding; but with money, they offer to do the rest.)

THE PROBLEM

1. Accelerationism is impossible to think outside of the problematic set up by Marx in The Poverty of Philosophy.

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