Annotated #Accelerate (#3)

[Parts one, and two]

03: MANIFEST: On the Future

1. We be­lieve the most im­portant di­vi­sion in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of loc­alism, direct ac­tion, and re­lent­less ho­ri­zont­alism, and those that out­line what must be­come called an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics at ease with a mod­ernity of ab­strac­tion, com­plexity, glob­ality, and tech­no­logy. The former re­mains con­tent with es­tab­lishing small and tem­porary spaces of non-​capitalist so­cial re­la­tions, es­chewing the real prob­lems en­tailed in fa­cing foes which are in­trins­ic­ally non-​local, ab­stract, and rooted deep in our everyday in­fra­struc­ture. The failure of such politics has been built-​in from the very be­gin­ning. By con­trast, an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics seeks to pre­serve the gains of late cap­it­alism while going fur­ther than its value system, gov­ernance struc­tures, and mass patho­lo­gies will allow.

(Without wanting to insert myself into a family squabble, from outside, the distinction drawn here between flavors of anti-capitalism makes sense.)

2. All of us want to work less. [Entrepreneurs of all kinds excepted.] It is an in­triguing ques­tion as to why it was that the world’s leading eco­nomist of the post-​war era be­lieved that an en­lightened cap­it­alism in­ev­it­ably pro­gressed to­wards a rad­ical re­duc­tion of working hours. In The Economic Prospects for Our Grandchildren (written in 1930), Keynes fore­cast a cap­it­alist fu­ture where in­di­viduals would have their work re­duced to three hours a day. What has in­stead oc­curred is the pro­gressive elim­in­a­tion of the work-​life dis­tinc­tion, with work coming to per­meate every as­pect of the emer­ging so­cial factory.

Getting to Keynes has to be a good thing, as far as theoretical and historical substance is concerned, and this criticism seems solid.

3. Capitalism has begun to con­strain the pro­ductive forces of tech­no­logy [The crucial thesis, but merely asserted], or at least, direct them to­wards need­lessly narrow ends. [A deliberate obfuscation of the difference between political and technical ‘narrowness’ is the principal achievement here.] Patent wars and idea mono­pol­isa­tion are con­tem­porary phe­nomena [Yes, IP is complicated] that point to both capital’s need to move beyond com­pet­i­tion [impossible by definition], and capital’s in­creas­ingly ret­ro­grade ap­proach to tech­no­logy [unsupported assertion]. The prop­erly ac­cel­er­ative gains of neo­lib­er­alism [= remainder capitalism] have not led to less work or less stress [of course, because work and stress are the socio-biological registers of acceleration]. And rather than a world of space travel, fu­ture shock, and re­volu­tionary tech­no­lo­gical po­ten­tial, we exist in a time where the only thing which de­velops is mar­gin­ally better con­sumer gad­getry [Since 1979? The information revolution didn’t happen?]. Relentless it­er­a­tions of the same basic product sus­tain mar­ginal con­sumer de­mand at the ex­pense of human acceleration. [Containerization, satellite communications, personal computing, mobile telephony, Internet, cable TV, World Wide Web, social media, genomics, drone robotics, 3D film, NewSpace, Bitcoin … what exactly is “the same basic product”?]

4. We do not want to re­turn to Fordism. [OK] There can be no re­turn to Fordism. [Right] The cap­it­alist “golden era” was premised on the pro­duc­tion paradigm of the or­derly factory en­vir­on­ment, where (male) workers re­ceived se­curity and a basic standard of living in re­turn for a life­time of stul­ti­fying boredom and so­cial re­pres­sion. Such a system re­lied upon an in­ter­na­tional hier­archy of colonies, em­pires, and an un­der­developed peri­phery; a na­tional hier­archy of ra­cism and sexism; and a rigid family hier­archy of fe­male sub­jug­a­tion. For all the nos­talgia many may feel, this re­gime is both un­desir­able and prac­tic­ally im­possible to re­turn to. [Is Fordism being identified with the (final) ‘golden era’ of capitalism here? With ‘neoliberalism’ as something else? So a system of computerized, entrepreneurial, high-intensity capital accumulation, based fundamentally upon competition and economic incentives, would in some way not count as properly ‘capitalist’? Such an extraordinary theoretical claim surely deserves an argument?]

5. Accelerationists want to un­leash latent pro­ductive forces. [Indeed — an excellent and impressively ideo-neutral definition of normative Accelerationism.] In this pro­ject, the ma­terial plat­form of neo­lib­er­alism does not need to be des­troyed. It needs to be re­pur­posed to­wards common ends. The ex­isting in­fra­struc­ture is not a cap­it­alist stage to be smashed, but a spring­board to launch to­wards post-​capitalism. [There is no conceptual continuity between this political rallying cry and the first sentence whatsoever.]

6. Given the en­slave­ment of tech­nos­cience to cap­it­alist ob­ject­ives (es­pe­cially since the late 1970s) we surely do not yet know what a modern tech­noso­cial body can do. Who amongst us fully re­cog­nizes what un­tapped po­ten­tials await in the tech­no­logy which has already been de­veloped? Our wager is that the true trans­form­ative po­ten­tials of much of our tech­no­lo­gical and sci­entific re­search re­main un­ex­ploited, filled with presently re­dundant fea­tures (or pre-​adaptations) that, fol­lowing a shift beyond the short-​sighted cap­it­alist so­cius, can be­come decisive.

No reason has been given to think ‘technoscience’ is in any real way independent of ‘capitalist objectives’, so the rhetoric of ‘enslavement’ is perfectly empty. An(other) experiment in ‘post-capitalist’ technosocial acceleration conducted alongside capitalism, and in competition with it, would be a fascinating thing to see. (I doubt this arrangement would be considered acceptable by the Left. As far as the Right is concerned, it has already been undertaken on numerous occasions, with consistent results.)

7. We want to ac­cel­erate the pro­cess of tech­no­lo­gical evol­u­tion. [Great.] But what we are ar­guing for is not techno-​utopianism. Never be­lieve that tech­no­logy will be suf­fi­cient to save us. [How did soteriology become the issue?] Necessary, yes, but never suf­fi­cient without socio-​political ac­tion. Technology and the so­cial are in­tim­ately bound up with one an­other, and changes in either po­ten­tiate and re­in­force changes in the other. Whereas the techno-​utopians [who?] argue for ac­cel­er­a­tion on the basis that it will auto­mat­ic­ally over­come so­cial con­flict, our po­s­i­tion is that tech­no­logy should be ac­cel­er­ated pre­cisely be­cause it is needed in order to win so­cial conflicts.

How do these three goals interconnect and hierarchize?
(a) Acceleration of technological evolution
(b) Overcoming social conflict
(c) Prevailing in social conflict

If, as seems to be the case, (c) dominates, then acceleration is merely an instrumental sub-objective. So can we call Left Accelerationism ‘conditional accelerationism’ (in contrast to an unconditional Right Accelerationism)?

8. We be­lieve that any post-​capitalism will re­quire post-​capitalist plan­ning. The faith placed in the idea that, after a re­volu­tion, the people will spon­tan­eously con­sti­tute a novel so­cioeco­nomic system that isn’t simply a re­turn to cap­it­alism is naïve at best, and ig­norant at worst. To fur­ther this, we must de­velop both a cog­nitive map of the ex­isting system and a spec­u­lative image of the fu­ture eco­nomic system.

Ho hum.

9. To do so, the left must take ad­vantage of every tech­no­lo­gical and sci­entific ad­vance made pos­sible by cap­it­alist so­ciety. We de­clare that quan­ti­fic­a­tion is not an evil to be elim­in­ated, but a tool to be used in the most ef­fective manner pos­sible. Economic mod­el­ling is — simply put — a ne­ces­sity for making in­tel­li­gible a com­plex world. The 2008 fin­an­cial crisis re­veals the risks of blindly ac­cepting math­em­at­ical models on faith, yet this is a problem of il­le­git­imate au­thority not of math­em­atics it­self. The tools to be found in so­cial net­work ana­lysis, agent-​based mod­el­ling, big data ana­lytics, and non-​equilibrium eco­nomic models, are ne­ces­sary cog­nitive me­di­ators for un­der­standing com­plex sys­tems like the modern eco­nomy. The ac­cel­er­a­tionist left must be­come lit­erate in these tech­nical fields.

Conditional accelerationism again. (It’s beginning to look as if accelerated technoscience is a giant ideological cookie jar).

10. Any trans­form­a­tion of so­ciety must in­volve eco­nomic and so­cial ex­per­i­ment­a­tion. [OK, but I suspect ‘transformation’ is pre-contaminated by totalitarian aspirations.] The Chilean Project Cybersyn is em­blem­atic of this ex­per­i­mental at­ti­tude — fusing ad­vanced cy­ber­netic tech­no­lo­gies, with soph­ist­ic­ated eco­nomic mod­el­ling, and a demo­cratic plat­form in­stan­ti­ated in the tech­no­lo­gical in­fra­struc­ture it­self. Similar ex­per­i­ments were con­ducted in 1950s – 1960s Soviet eco­nomics as well, em­ploying cy­ber­netics and linear pro­gram­ming in an at­tempt to over­come the new prob­lems faced by the first com­munist eco­nomy. That both of these were ul­ti­mately un­suc­cessful can be traced to the polit­ical and tech­no­lo­gical con­straints these early cy­ber­net­i­cians op­er­ated under. [I know this isn’t meant to be comical …]

11. The left must de­velop so­ci­o­tech­nical he­ge­mony: both in the sphere of ideas, and in the sphere of ma­terial plat­forms. Platforms are the in­fra­struc­ture of global so­ciety. They es­tab­lish the basic para­meters of what is pos­sible, both be­ha­vi­our­ally and ideo­lo­gic­ally. In this sense, they em­body the ma­terial tran­scend­ental of so­ciety: they are what make pos­sible par­tic­ular sets of ac­tions, re­la­tion­ships, and powers. While much of the cur­rent global plat­form is biased to­wards cap­it­alist so­cial re­la­tions, this is not an in­ev­it­able ne­ces­sity. These ma­terial plat­forms of pro­duc­tion, fin­ance, lo­gistics, and con­sump­tion can and will be re­pro­grammed and re­formatted to­wards post-​capitalist ends. [There’s enough hand-waving here to communicate an Obama speech to the deaf.]

12. We do not be­lieve that direct ac­tion is suf­fi­cient to achieve any of this. The ha­bitual tac­tics of marching, holding signs, and es­tab­lishing tem­porary autonomous zones risk be­coming com­forting sub­sti­tutes for ef­fective suc­cess. “At least we have done some­thing” is the ral­lying cry of those who priv­ilege self-​esteem rather than ef­fective ac­tion. The only cri­terion of a good tactic is whether it en­ables sig­ni­ficant suc­cess or not. We must be done with fet­ish­ising par­tic­ular modes of ac­tion. Politics must be treated as a set of dy­namic sys­tems, riven with con­flict, ad­apt­a­tions and counter-​adaptations, and stra­tegic arms races. This means that each in­di­vidual type of polit­ical ac­tion be­comes blunted and in­ef­fective over time as the other sides adapt. No given mode of polit­ical ac­tion is his­tor­ic­ally in­vi­ol­able. Indeed, over time, there is an in­creasing need to dis­card fa­miliar tac­tics as the forces and en­tities they are mar­shalled against learn to de­fend and counter-​attack them ef­fect­ively. It is in part the con­tem­porary left’s in­ab­ility to do so which lies close to the heart of the con­tem­porary malaise.

(Family squabbling. I’ll shut up until it stops.)

13. The over­whelming priv­ileging of democracy-​as-​process needs to be left be­hind. The fet­ish­isa­tion of open­ness, ho­ri­zont­ality, and in­clu­sion of much of today’s ‘rad­ical’ left set the stage for in­ef­fect­ive­ness. Secrecy, ver­tic­ality, and ex­clu­sion all have their place as well in ef­fective polit­ical ac­tion (though not, of course, an ex­clusive one).

14. Democracy cannot be defined simply by its means — not via voting, dis­cus­sion, or gen­eral as­sem­blies. Real demo­cracy must be defined by its goal — col­lective self-​mastery. This is a pro­ject which must align politics with the legacy of the Enlightenment, to the ex­tent that it is only through har­nessing our ability to un­der­stand ourselves and our world better (our so­cial, tech­nical, eco­nomic, psy­cho­lo­gical world) that we can come to rule ourselves. We need to posit a col­lect­ively con­trolled le­git­imate ver­tical au­thority in ad­di­tion to dis­trib­uted ho­ri­zontal forms of so­ciality, to avoid be­coming the slaves of either a tyr­an­nical to­tal­it­arian cent­ralism or a ca­pri­cious emer­gent order beyond our con­trol. The com­mand of The Plan must be mar­ried to the im­pro­vised order of The Network.

15. We do not present any par­tic­ular or­gan­isa­tion as the ideal means to em­body these vec­tors. What is needed — what has al­ways been needed — is an eco­logy of or­gan­isa­tions, a plur­alism of forces, res­on­ating and feeding back on their com­par­ative strengths. Sectarianism is the death knell of the left as much as cent­ral­iz­a­tion is, and in this re­gard we con­tinue to wel­come ex­per­i­ment­a­tion with dif­ferent tac­tics (even those we dis­agree with).

16. We have three me­dium term con­crete goals. First, we need to build an in­tel­lec­tual in­fra­struc­ture. Mimicking the Mont Pelerin Society of the neo­lib­eral re­volu­tion, this is to be tasked with cre­ating a new ideo­logy, eco­nomic and so­cial models, and a vision of the good to re­place and sur­pass the ema­ci­ated ideals that rule our world today. This is an in­fra­struc­ture in the sense of re­quiring the con­struc­tion not just of ideas, but in­sti­tu­tions and ma­terial paths to in­cul­cate, em­body and spread them.

17. We need to con­struct wide-​scale media re­form. In spite of the seeming demo­crat­isa­tion offered by the in­ternet and so­cial media, tra­di­tional media out­lets re­main cru­cial in the se­lec­tion and framing of nar­rat­ives, along with pos­sessing the funds to pro­secute in­vest­ig­ative journ­alism. Bringing these bodies as close as pos­sible to pop­ular con­trol is cru­cial to un­doing the cur­rent present­a­tion of the state of things.

18. Finally, we need to re­con­sti­tute various forms of class power. Such a re­con­sti­t­u­tion must move beyond the no­tion that an or­gan­ic­ally gen­er­ated global pro­let­ariat already ex­ists. Instead it must seek to knit to­gether a dis­parate array of par­tial pro­let­arian iden­tities, often em­bodied in post-​Fordist forms of pre­carious labour.

19. Groups and in­di­viduals are already at work on each of these, but each is on their own in­suf­fi­cient. What is re­quired is all three feeding back into one an­other, with each modi­fying the con­tem­porary con­junc­tion in such a way that the others be­come more and more ef­fective. A pos­itive feed­back loop of in­fra­struc­tural, ideo­lo­gical, so­cial and eco­nomic trans­form­a­tion, gen­er­ating a new com­plex he­ge­mony, a new post-​capitalist tech­noso­cial plat­form. History demon­strates it has al­ways been a broad as­semblage of tac­tics and or­gan­isa­tions which has brought about sys­tem­atic change; these les­sons must be learned.

“A positive feedback loop” — finally, a theoretical connection to the topic of acceleration. Having bypassed any serious analysis of the actual capitalist positive feedback loop — upon which the entire historical topic of acceleration rests — it is now introduced in purely speculative fashion, in relation to yet-non-existent Left Accelerationist program. The parasitical structure of this argument (seizing real achievements in order to spend them on dreams) says much more than it intends to.

20. To achieve each of these goals, on the most prac­tical level we hold that the ac­cel­er­a­tionist left must think more ser­i­ously about the flows of re­sources and money re­quired to build an ef­fective new polit­ical in­fra­struc­ture. Beyond the ‘people power’ of bodies in the street, we re­quire funding, whether from gov­ern­ments, in­sti­tu­tions, think tanks, unions, or in­di­vidual be­ne­factors. We con­sider the loc­a­tion and con­duc­tion of such funding flows es­sen­tial to begin re­con­structing an eco­logy of ef­fective ac­cel­er­a­tionist left organizations.

“We want money — but without capitalist incentives please.”

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.

“We want money, and then mastery.”

22. We need to re­vive the ar­gu­ment that was tra­di­tion­ally made for post-​capitalism: not only is cap­it­alism an un­just and per­verted system, but it is also a system that holds back pro­gress. [Still entirely unsubstantiated.] Our tech­no­lo­gical de­vel­op­ment is being sup­pressed by cap­it­alism, as much as it has been un­leashed. [Ditto.] Accelerationism is the basic be­lief that these ca­pa­cities can and should be let loose by moving beyond the lim­it­a­tions im­posed by cap­it­alist so­ciety. [Ditto.] The move­ment to­wards a sur­passing of our cur­rent con­straints must in­clude more than simply a struggle for a more ra­tional global so­ciety. We be­lieve it must also in­clude re­cov­ering the dreams which trans­fixed many from the middle of the Nineteenth Century until the dawn of the neo­lib­eral era, of the quest of Homo Sapiens to­wards ex­pan­sion beyond the lim­it­a­tions of the earth and our im­me­diate bodily forms. These vis­ions are today viewed as relics of a more in­no­cent mo­ment. Yet they both dia­gnose the stag­gering lack of ima­gin­a­tion in our own time, and offer the promise of a fu­ture that is af­fect­ively in­vig­or­ating, as well as in­tel­lec­tu­ally en­er­gising. After all, it is only a post-​capitalist so­ciety, made pos­sible by an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics, which will ever be cap­able of de­liv­ering on the promis­sory note of the mid-​Twentieth Century’s space pro­grammes, to shift beyond a world of min­imal tech­nical up­grades to­wards all-​encompassing change. Towards a time of col­lective self-​mastery, and the prop­erly alien fu­ture that en­tails and en­ables. Towards a com­ple­tion of the Enlightenment pro­ject of self-​criticism and self-​mastery, rather than its elimination.

Enslave technosocial acceleration to ‘collective self mastery’? That seems to be the dream. Do we get to lock in the ‘conditional accelerationism’ label yet?

23. The choice fa­cing us is severe: either a glob­al­ised post-​capitalism or a slow frag­ment­a­tion to­wards prim­it­ivism, per­petual crisis, and plan­etary eco­lo­gical collapse. [Neither outcome sounds remotely plausible, but we’re deep into religion by this stage, so it probably doesn’t matter.]

24. The fu­ture needs to be con­structed. It has been de­mol­ished by neo­lib­eral cap­it­alism and re­duced to a cut-​price promise of greater in­equality, con­flict, and chaos. [Why does ‘the future’ exclude ‘inequality, conflict, and chaos’? On the contrary …] This col­lapse in the idea of the fu­ture is symp­to­matic of the re­gressive his­tor­ical status of our age, rather than, as cynics across the polit­ical spec­trum would have us be­lieve, a sign of scep­tical ma­turity. What ac­cel­er­a­tionism pushes to­wards is a fu­ture that is more modern — an al­tern­ative mod­ernity that neo­lib­er­alism is in­her­ently un­able to gen­erate. [A last spasm of hand-waving.] The fu­ture must be cracked open once again, un­fastening our ho­ri­zons to­wards the uni­versal pos­sib­il­ities of the Outside. [‘Must’ means nothing, and ‘universal’ adds nothing, but otherwise a great sentence — culmination in a rush of ideo-neutral excitement.]


Naturally, the really big question: What comes next …?

13 thoughts on “Annotated #Accelerate (#3)

  1. The key negative point seems to be that some convergence of particular advertising technologies, and copyright and patenting laws has misaligned the ‘most profitable action’ trajectory from the ‘most beneficial to technological evolution’ trajectory. You are right that this point is never really argued for or at all well-presented by #Accelerate, but an engagement with it would still be interesting.

    It seems possible that, given a slight discrepancy between the rate of improvement of advertisement tech, and the rate of improvement of the thing being advertised, there comes a point where it becomes more profitable to begin siphoning money away from R&D and towards advertising. Given that advertising is currently a popular and profitable field, it is likely that at least some industries exist where this discrepancy occurs.

    A totally simplistic, skeletal prediction could be that the advertising industry will accelerate faster than other industries, due to higher budget and interest, meaning eventually that capitalism’s positive feedback loop would crest, and become a negative feedback loop, requiring corrective measures.

    Feedback appreciated – is the industry a relevant unit?

    • OK, I promise to focus some serious attention on this question. It’s clearly of crucial importance.

      One immediate point: An extraordinary proportion of new media revenue is derived from advertising, so that the ‘hypertrophic’ growth of this sector (whose ‘value’ is — I agree — so dubious from certain respects) is clearly enabling a certain type of dynamic digital development. Cyberspace is to a large extent ad funded. So your question (also) directly feeds into a related series of issues concerning the long-range economic prospects of the Internet — is it to remain a marketing organ for pre-digital businesses, or will it break out to autonomous commerce?

      • Think that’s the key flaw with my ‘prediction’ – advertising technology does not exist in a vacuum, and as you say is nurturing (directly or indirectly) new productive forces. The double character of advertising – potential inertial effect on old, sclerotic industries, which is also the constitution of a ground for a new dimension of digital production. The energy is not dissipating, but being reappropriated.

        Whether the internet can become a site of accelerative production is definitely an interesting question. The possibility for procedures of constraint (digital economies predicated on server farms and physical/financial flows) to create grounds for a production which overflows and goes beyond those constraints – wouldn’t that just be the old marxist messianic prophecy, translated into binary? I’m sure its not that simple, but it does indicate an interesting field of questions re: ontology of production.

        • To really count as ” the old marxist messianic prophecy” you’d need something amounting to a fundamental transformation of social relations (a new “mode of production”) and I can’t see the digital economy providing that — although there are many types of quasi-marxist techno-utopians who would disagree. With #Accelerate, however, we’re dealing with paleo-marxists (which is refreshing), so we can be confident they’re not going to recognize digitized commerce as a ‘social revolution’ — nowhere near enough dialectical rupture.

    • Hey, let’s deal with the important stuff first …

      (Seriously, there’s a vast amount on this, and an at least equally vast amount to come. Googling some combination of Singularity, Antihumanism, Friendly AI, Cosmism … should turn up some clues. I’ll promise you a post, once I have a specific angle sorted out.)

  2. Yep , conditional accerelationism seems to fit nicely. We want the singularity as long as we get to “collective self-mastery” (whatever this is supposed to be), as long as the enlightenment project is completed, as long as we deal with “global problems” and so on. Who cares about all that crap? A techno-communist of some sort maybe, but definately not an accelerationist. Shouldn’t accelerationism simply ask how to get to the singularity ASAP instead of how to save the polar bears or how to feed the children in Africa THROUGH the singularity?
    Now, I may be overlooking something, but despite all of its quasi-transhumanist rethoric, leftist “accelerationism” seems to lack the monumental means-ends reversal, which leads to total disregard for monkey business (which is a defining characteristic of accelerationism as originally framed by you). And this seems to be the crucial difference between “left” accelerationism and “right” (which is the right) accerelationism. Would you say this is an adequate assessment? (some of your remarks on the manifesto seem to imply this)

    • Oh yes, I’m in complete agreement with all this.
      “A techno-communist of some sort maybe …” — those are precisely the people we’re dealing with here. There’s room for further clarity about their detailed commitments.

  3. I find an interesting similarity between “conditional accelerationism” and the orthogonal thought promoted by the Bayesian sect. I think that #Accelerate exemplifies perfectly how the concerns about the survival of human beings stand as the main obstacle to a deeper understanding of the potential of uninhibited capitalism. On the contrary, promoting the acceleration of capitalism without moral and humanist’s contemplations could, at some point, suppress the static horizon of biological embodiment and meaning- dependency; replacing it by an optimized intelligence (already at work), more efficient and less unstable. The call for more politics, more control, more centralized management, fewer conflicts, fewer wars, less work, etc.., is nothing more than the desperate reaction to the evidence that the capitalist machine is ultimately immune to our attempts tame her. Maybe the left accelerationists should begin to consider Friendly AI’s as their best allies in their struggle to decelerate the process of natural selection.

    Interesting comments, Nick. I’ll be looking forward to the next posts.

    • “… the capitalist machine is ultimately immune to our attempts tame her.” — While agreeing with that, it’s important to note the ‘ultimately’. The 20th century saw a lot of capitalism taming, with the result that creative destruction has been put into something close to a coma. At the very least, the dynamic has to route around ever more elaborate stabilization systems, transforming endogenous volatility into catastrophic threats ‘from without’.

      Left Acceleration and Friendly AI could use some match-making — most definitely.

    • “I find an interesting similarity between “conditional accelerationism” and the orthogonal thought promoted by the Bayesian sect.” Yes, exactly! It is the same basic idea just approached from radically different tradition. It’s so tragic that there is no memetic cross-fertilization between these two clusters of thought, “Bayesian sect” refuses to discuss politics and “conditional accelerationism” consists of people who can’t code. Is there anyone who knows about the existence of both and is not a neoreactionary?

  4. Pingback: On #Accelerate (#1) | Urban Future (2.1)

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