The Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, February 1848).
The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his “natural superiors,” and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous “cash payment.” It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless and indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.
The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage labourers.
The bourgeoisie has torn away from the family its sentimental veil, and has reduced the family relation to a mere money relation.
The bourgeoisie has disclosed how it came to pass that the brutal display of vigour in the Middle Ages, which Reactionists so much admire, found its fitting complement in the most slothful indolence. It has been the first to show what man’s activity can bring about. It has accomplished wonders far surpassing Egyptian pyramids, Roman aqueducts, and Gothic cathedrals; it has conducted expeditions that put in the shade all former Exoduses of nations and crusades.
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. 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, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world-market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the productions of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of its commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.
The bourgeoisie has subjected the country to the rule of the towns. It has created enormous cities, has greatly increased the urban population as compared with the rural, and has thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy of rural life. Just as it has made the country dependent on the towns, so it has made barbarian and semi-barbarian countries dependent on the civilised ones, nations of peasants on nations of bourgeois, the East on the West.
The bourgeoisie keeps more and more doing away with the scattered state of the population, of the means of production, and of property. It has agglomerated production, and has concentrated property in a few hands. The necessary consequence of this was political centralisation. Independent, or but loosely connected provinces, with separate interests, laws, governments and systems of taxation, became lumped together into one nation, with one government, one code of laws, one national class-interest, one frontier and one customs-tariff. The bourgeoisie, during its rule of scarce one hundred years, has created more massive and more colossal productive forces than have all preceding generations together. Subjection of Nature’s forces to man, machinery, application of chemistry to industry and agriculture, steam-navigation, railways, electric telegraphs, clearing of whole continents for cultivation, canalisation of rivers, whole populations conjured out of the ground — what earlier century had even a presentiment that such productive forces slumbered in the lap of social labour?
If Marx and Engels had systematically substituted ‘capitalism’ for ‘the bourgeoisie’ in this passage, its accelerationist credentials would have been vastly upgraded.
Accelerationism (at Monoskop)
#Accelerate (Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek)
#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics (Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek, 14 May 2013). The founding text of contemporary Left Accelerationism.
+ In French.
#Accelerationism: Remembering the Future (Nick Srnicek, Alex Williams and Armen Avanessian, 2014/02/10)
#Celerity: A Critique of the Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (McKenzie Wark, 2013/05)
Nowhere Fast? A Brief Critique of the Accelerationist Manifesto (J D Taylor, 2013/05/30)
Some Reflections on the #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO (Antonio Negri, 2014/02/26)
The Age of Speed: Accelerationism, Politics, and the Future Present (Craig Hickman, 2013/05/26)
Futurism or the Future: Review of the Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (Automatic Writing, 2014/09/23). (Deontologistics responds.)
Speed Trials: A Conversation about Accelerationist Politics (Mohammad Salemy, Nick Srnicek, and Alex Williams, Fillip 20, 2015/Spring)
Essays / Posts on Acceleration
Accelerationism (Benjamin Noys, 2008/10/20)
Clever Monkey Versus the Accelerationists, 1, 2 (Jehu, 2013/05).
The Labour of Abstraction: Seven Transitional Theses on Marxism and Accelerationism (Matteo Pasquinelli, 2013/11/09, Portuguese translation here)
Maximum Jailbreak (Benedict Singleton, 2013). Initial version.
So, Accelerationism, what’s all that about? (Pete Wolfendale, 2014/07)
Technoscience and Expressionism (Joseph Weissman, 2014/07/16)
Jehu on Accelerationism and Marxism 1, 2, 3 (2014/08)
Labor Theory and Acceleration (Jehu, 2014/10/08)
Accelerated Substance Abuse, Benjamin Noys, 2015/01/17
A Response to Benjamin Noys’ Critique of Accelerationism, Ivan Niccolai, January 16, 2015/01/16
Books on Acceleration
#Accelerate (Urbanomic, May 2014). Collected writings in accelerationism.
Acceleration @ UF
Annotated #Accelerate (#1) (2014/02/14)
Annotated #Accelerate (#2) (2014/02/15)
Annotated #Accelerate (#3) (2014/02/17)
Quotable (#4) (2014/02/18, on Andrea Castillo).
On #Accelerate (#1) (2014/03/05)
On #Accelerate (#2a) (2014/03/06)
On #Accelerate (#2b) (2014/03/07)
On #Accelerate (#2c) (2014/03/11)
Quotable (#8) (2014/03/17, on Franco Berardi Bifo)
The Wired Man’s Burden (Andrea Castillo, 2014/02/11)
Other online acceleration resources
Virilio Live: Selected Interviews (John Armitage, ed., 2001). A pre-emptive critique.