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Looking for some clarification on Accelerationism. Is the point to proliferate capitalism to the point of self-implosion? Also, besides the manifesto itself, can someone point me in the way of Accelerationist literature?

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Ransom Everglade reads an argument like this.

 

The argument is that the collapse of capitalism is inevitable. In face of that, should we let it enslave and kill people or should we overload it until it collapses 

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Nick Land and Baudrillard both do. I'll edit cards into this post in a second.

 

I don't know if this is the traditional card for Nick Land's stuff, because I've only read a little bit of his work, but I know for sure he defends accelerationism. This is what I cut of that:

 

 

Land 93 (Nick, “Making it With Death,” http://nazbol.net/library/authors/Nick%20Land/%281993%29%20LAND%20--%20Making%20It%20with%20Death.pdf [OCR is a bit iffy])//AD

Capital cannot disown schizoanalysis without de-fanging itself. The madness it would fend-off is the sole resource of its own future; a fringe of de-socialized experimentation which corrodes its essence and anticipatively mocks the entirety of the currently existing modes of civility. The real energetic liberty which annihilates the priest's cage of human freedom is refused at the level of the political secondary-process during the precise period in which the economic primary-process is slipping ever more deeply into its embrace. The deep secret of capital-as-process is its incommensurability with the preservation of bourgeois civilization, which clings to it like a dwarf riding a dragon. As capital ''evolves'' the increasingly absurd rationalization of production-for-profit peels away like a cheap veneer from the positive-feedback detonation of production-for-production. If capital is a social suicide machine, it is because it is compelled to advantage its assassins. Capital produces the first sociality in which the pouvoir of dominance is perpetually submitted to the hazard of experimental puissance. Only by an intensification of neurotic attachments does it mask the eruption of madness in its infrastructure, but with every passing year such attachments become more desperate, cynical, fragile. All of which is to raise the issue of the notorious ''death of capitalism'', which has been predominantly treated as a matter of either dread or hope, scepticism or belief. Capital, one is told, will either survive, or not. Such projective eschatology completely misses the point, which is that death is not an extrinsic possibility of capital, but an inherent function. The death of capital is less a prophecy than a machine part. The immanent voluptuousity of every unprecedented deal takes off from the end of the bourgeoisie. Consider the finance capital usage of cocaine: both a quantitative high traced out as a deviation from zero and a sumptuary expenditure voiding the historical sense of wealth. The coked-out futures dealer passing a drunk on a Manhattan street translates the destiny of class difference into an immanent intensity traced on a smooth surface of social disappearance. The bum inhabits the social zero preferred by capital as the vanishing point of pre-modern legality, from which the coke rush is repulsed as an anonymous distance from death. There is a becoming a rich bum, becoming a derelict on coke, which is integral to the cynicism of frontier capital. This is the advance modernity of Beckett, where high culture is immanently differentiated from inarticulate, absolving itself from ontological specifier. It is thus that there is a becoming-zombie of the bum just as there is a becoming-wired of the real managers of the social: the skagged-out housing estate as base line for the effervescence of the stock market floor. It is quite inaccurate to suggest that yuppie financiers are oblivious of deprivation, since the limit oblivion of an absolute proletarianization is consumed with each bubble of champagne. There is a familiar humanist response to this becoming zombie at the limit possibility of the modern worker, which is associated above all with the word alienation. The processes of de-skilling, or ever accelerated re-skilling, the substitution of craft by abstract labour, and the increasing interexchangability of human activity with technological processes, all accompanied by the dissolution of identity, loss of attachment, and narcotization of affective life, are condemned from the basis of a moral critique. A reawakening of the political is envisaged, aimed at the restoration of a lost human integrity. Modern existence is understood as profoundly deadened by the real submission of humane values to an impersonal productivity, which is itself comprehended as the expression of dead or petrified labour exerting a vampiric power over the living. The bloodless zombie proletarian is to be resuscitated by the political therapist, ideologically cured of the unholy love for the undead, and bonded to a new eternal life of social reproduction. The death core of capital is thought as the object of critique. 

 

 

 

Some Baudrillard stuff from Sim and Sim

 

 

One must thus start with this axiom: Beaubourg is a monument of cultural deterrence.

Within a museal scenario that only serves to keep up the humanist fiction of culture, it is a

veritable fashioning of the death of culture that takes place, and it is a veritable cultural

mourning for which the masses are joyously gathered. And they throw themselves at it. There lies the supreme irony of Beaubourg: the masses

throw themselves at it not because they salivate for that culture which they have been

denied for centuries, but because they have for the first time the opportunity to massively

participate in this great mourning of a culture that, in the end, they have always detested.

The misunderstanding is therefore complete when one denounces Beaubourg as a cultural

mystification of the masses. The masses, themselves, rush there to enjoy this execution,

this dismemberment, this operational prostitution of a culture finally truly liquidated,

including all counterculture that is nothing but its apotheosis. The masses rush toward

Beaubourg as they rush toward disaster sites, with the same irresistible elan. Better: they

are the disaster of Beaubourg. Their number, their stampede, their fascination, their itch

to see everything is objectively a deadly and catastrophic behavior for the whole

undertaking. Not only does their weight put the building in danger, but their adhesion,

their curiosity annihilates the very contents of this culture of animation. This rush can no

longer be measured against what was proposed as the cultural objective, it is its radical

negation, in both its excess and success. It is thus the masses who assume the role of

catastrophic agent in this structure of catastrophe, it is the masses themselves who put

an end to mass culture. Circulating in the space of transparency, the masses are certainly converted into flux, but

at the same time, through their opacity and inertia, they put an end to this "polyvalent"

space. One invites the masses to participate, to simulate, to play with the models - they

go one better: they participate and manipulate so well that they efface all the meaning

one wants to give to the operation and put the very infrastructure of the edifice in danger.

Thus, always a sort of parody, a hypersimulation in response to cultural simulation,

transforms the masses, who should only be the livestock of culture, into the agents of the

execution of this culture, of which Beaubourg was only the shameful incarnation.One must applaud this success of cultural deterrence. All the antiartists, leftists, and those

who hold culture in contempt have never even gotten close to approaching the

dissuassive efficacy of this monumental black hole that is Beaubourg. It is a truly

revolutionary operation, precisely because it is involuntary, insane and uncontrolled,

whereas any operation meant to put an end to culture only serves, as one knows, to

resurrect it.

 

Edited by SnarkosaurusRex
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Looking for some clarification on Accelerationism. Is the point to proliferate capitalism to the point of self-implosion? Also, besides the manifesto itself, can someone point me in the way of Accelerationist literature?

 

http://www.e-flux.com/journal/escape-velocities/

http://criticallegalthinking.com/2014/02/26/reflections-accelerate-manifesto/

http://criticallegalthinking.com/2014/02/10/accelerationism-remembering-future/

 

darkecologies.com posts about this a lot. as does the real movement and benjamin noys. the latter are mostly critical though.

 

imo accelerationism is not a good argument

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imo accelerationism is not a good argument

 

Im going to second this.

 

I don't think capitalism can collapse through accelerating without killing everyone. 

Unless that's your argument

In which case 10/10

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Ransom Everglade reads an argument like this.

 

The argument is that the collapse of capitalism is inevitable. In face of that, should we let it enslave and kill people or should we overload it until it collapses 

Sorry Lenny, that's definitely not the argument. Or maybe you were being sarcastic, who knows.

 

Accelerationism argues that we can act within the capitalist system to gain the tools to plan for the world post-revolution. The radical revolution always fails because we just rush to the revolution, and are clueless after the revolution, which just turns the impact.

 

I believe Lexington runs an Accelerationism aff.

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Sorry Lenny, that's definitely not the argument. Or maybe you were being sarcastic, who knows.

 

 

Weird. Someone did not do the explaining right in our round :P

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Sorry Lenny, that's definitely not the argument. Or maybe you were being sarcastic, who knows.

 

Accelerationism argues that we can act within the capitalist system to gain the tools to plan for the world post-revolution. The radical revolution always fails because we just rush to the revolution, and are clueless after the revolution, which just turns the impact.

 

I believe Lexington runs an Accelerationism aff.

http://hspolicy.debatecoaches.org/Lexington/kim-Krishnan+Aff

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i thought Accelerationism was that given capital is the ultimate territorial machine, it can even dismantle itself if it's pushed to it's limits - basically neolib on steroids, the problem would be that in a post-accelerationist world, there would be an absence of politics, which the neoreactionaries say we should fill with a Monarchy 

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine

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i thought Accelerationism was that given capital is the ultimate territorial machine, it can even dismantle itself if it's pushed to it's limits - basically neolib on steroids, the problem would be that in a post-accelerationist world, there would be an absence of politics, which the neoreactionaries say we should fill with a Monarchy 

"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."

#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics, http://criticallegalthinking.com/2013/05/14/accelerate-manifesto-for-an-accelerationist-politics/

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"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."

#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics, http://criticallegalthinking.com/2013/05/14/accelerate-manifesto-for-an-accelerationist-politics/

shiiiiittt accidentally down voted, I'll upvote you on another post

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http://deontologistics.tumblr.com/post/91953882443/so-accelerationism-whats-all-that-about

courtesy pete wolfendale

big players

nonpartisans: benjamin noys (k of land), ray brassier (k of land), antonio negri (k of williams/srnicek)

left: alex williams and nick srnicek, they have their own critique of land, pete wolfendale, various marxists, mark fisher

right: nick land, https://therealmovement.wordpress.com, http://pogoprinciple.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/clever-monkey-versus-the-accelerationists-1/

 

 

"The argument is that the collapse of capitalism is inevitable. In face of that, should we let it enslave and kill people or should we overload it until it collapses"

As Alex Williams has noted before, this is not a position that anyone has ever held. Okay, let’s qualify that a bit. It might be the case that some people have held this position, and that some of them now even think of themselves as ‘accelerationists’. So let’s limit it to the claim that it is not a position thatanyone in the #Accelerate reader has ever held. Not even Nick Land? No. Not even Nick Land. He likes capitalism. He wants to accelerate it, but not because it will collapse under the weight of its own contradictions. What about Deleuze and Guattari? No. According to them ‘nothing has ever died of contradictions’, and so whatever deterritorialising force they aim to accelerate, and whatever end they aim to accelerate it towards, neither is a contradiction or its inevitable collapse. What about Srnicek and Williams? No. Much of what they do can be seen as breaking with D&G (and a fortiori with Land), and returning to a much more Marxist position, but they explicitly refuse to see the transition between capitalism and post-capitalism as a dialectical sublation brought about by the intensification of contradictions. Well, what about Marx then?! Just how much Marx is invested in a substantive notion of contradiction as the metaphysical driving force of history is a question up for debate, and I’m not about to stumble into that particular hermeneutic hornets’ nest. Nevertheless, it’s clear that even if we take the strongest historical determinist (e.g., dialectical-materialist) reading of Marx we can find, he would still reject the inference from the claim that the increasing self-evidence of capitalist parasitism will bring about the expropriation of expropriation all on its own to the claim that we should therefore attempt to ‘speed the system towards its inevitable doom’. None of these canonical figures, and nobody else within the collection, wants inevitable doom(although, admittedly, Nick Land’s vision might look like this to everyone but him). Indeed, the emerging left-accelerationist strand is motivated by a recognition that capitalism will not auto-destruct once the mask slips, on the one hand (see the incredible retrenchment of neoliberalism after the 2008 financial crisis), and a recognition that we need to plan and act to avoid inevitable doom, on the other (e.g., environmental crisis, economic crisis, cultural crisis, etc.). So, just to repeat: accelerationism is not about accelerating the contradictions of capitalism in any sense. Whatever is being accelerated, and there are severe and significant disagreements about this, it is not contradictions, and whatever transition this acceleration aims towards, it is not societal collapse. Got that? Can we move on? Good.

 

"Left" vs "Right" Accelerationism

No mention of this would be complete without a denunciation of Nick Land’s turn to neoreaction, which I have elsewhere described as ‘sillier than fascism’ (your move internet). There is a genuine sense in which Land’s current views are continuous with his CCRU era work, and it is important to identify this continuity and dissect it, precisely in order to avoid the absurd conclusions to which it has led him (IMHO). I won’t go into this in depth, as Alex Williams has written a better critique of Land than I can provide here. However, I will point out an important symmetry between the left-accelerationist views of those like myself, and what are increasingly being referred to as the ‘right-accelerationist’ views of those like Land. We agree on this much: modernity and capitalism are ultimately incompatible. We disagree on which one should/will go: the left actively supports the project of modernity against capitalism, the right passively supports capitalism’s inevitable victory over modernity. The right thinks that the accelerative emancipatory force is nothing other than capitalism itself, whereas the left thinks that capitalism is an adaptive and plastic obstacle suppressing a deeper emancipatory dynamic. It is in essence a disagreement about freedom: what it is to have it, what it is to enhance it, and whether there is anything we can do about it.

 

 

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the left actively supports the project of modernity against capitalism, the right passively supports capitalism’s inevitable victory over modernity. The right thinks that the accelerative emancipatory force is nothing other than capitalism itself, whereas the left thinks that capitalism is an adaptive and plastic obstacle suppressing a deeper emancipatory dynamic.

I guess my k to English translator is terrible right now. Can you elaborate/dumb it down? 

 

Right: What aspect of cap makes it its own emancipatory force? 

Left: If like you said, that acceleration of cap doesn't aim for societal collapse, how will acceleration of cap make the obstacle go away?

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I guess my k to English translator is terrible right now. Can you elaborate/dumb it down? 

 

Right: What aspect of cap makes it its own emancipatory force? 

Left: If like you said, that acceleration of cap doesn't aim for societal collapse, how will acceleration of cap make the obstacle go away?

Right: It's ability to deterritorialize objects and reterritorialize them with different axioms, making it the greatest emancipatory force

left: I think you're misunderstanding this (or maybe I am lol) but I think that the left think of capitalism as being the obstacle that needs to be overcome in order to achieve a "deeper emancipatory dynamic."

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lol @ k to english translator. we need more of those. this is a super long post b/c this is some crazy shit ideas going on here, feel me, and it takes a lot of explaining 

 

right: nick land's argument for cap good isn't cap good per se. its that the process of intensification as history moves forward is a good thing and that capitalism happens to be system at the moment in time that we inhabit. i posted brassier's explanation of land's philosophy below because i think he's super on point here. 

you kind of have to have some sort of understand of D&G and Marx to get land b/c that is where a lot of land's thought derives from

1. thinking = material, and materialism = thinking: "matter generates its own representation"

2. no longer question of whether your thinking = material world (true/false), question of whether your thinking intensifies/accelerates or deintensifies/inhibits generative processes of the world, ie change, transformation

3. death generates production, ie. finitude --> causes us to think, produce, change the world

4. history = process of intensification, cap just a historical point in that process

5. human subject must end as the agent of production, ie. we've set such large historical processes in motion (eg. the Anthropocene) that the next stage = intensification of all matter

6. anticap revolution failed, not the next stage of intensification, eg. the alternative is intensification of cap to intensify the world (leftism = end of destratification/stratification, cap = continuation of those processes)

 

left: capitalism's contradictions ensure that the system is self-destructive. why? look at 2008, the way our financial system works, the way our production/consumption/waste system consumes 3 times a worlwide sustainable amount, etc. their arg is that the current left is trapped within 'folk politics,' ie. on one side of the spectrum we have seattle 1999, occupy, and on the other academics who theorize far too much without ever accomplishing anything. williams and srnicek (leftist accelerationists) argue, as bobby said above, that we need to take the tools of modernity that capitalism has produced (they cite technology, modern mathematics, economic modelling, applied science) and use it to create a 'left hegemony,' ie. a system in which the world is more equitable and not capitalist, but still keeps the trappings of modernity. 

 

Ray's explanation of Nick Land's philosophy. And critique of it. 

Brassier '10 (Ray, bae, best philosopher ever, PhD from U of Warwick in Philosophy, Associate Prof of Philosophy @ American U of Beirut, Lebanon, "Accelerationism: Ray Brassier," Transcribed from the Backdoor Broadcasting Company, September 30, 2010, http://moskvax.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/accelerationism-ray-brassier/)

 

First of all, Land is operating under the aegis of Deleuze and Guattari’s work. He proposes to radicalise critique, to convert the ideal conditioning of the representation of matter to the material conditioning of ideal representation. In the Landian apparatus, materiality is construed solely as the production of production. Transcendental materialism in its Landian version becomes a materialization of critique. The critique of the Kantian critique of metaphysics, of which there are several versions, supplemented in various configurations by 20th century continental philosophy, is converted into a materialist metaphysics of critique, by collapsing the hierarchy of the transcendental and the empirical. The first move, the really interesting move, and in fact, the key to understanding the Deleuzoguattarian concept of destratification in Landianism, is that the first thing that needs to be destratified is the empirical/transcendental difference. This is seen to be the enabling condition for critical philosophy. But it’s no longer a Hegelian or dialectical sublation of this difference. It’s non-dialectical. It’s a reduction of the difference to matter, because Land claims thinking is a function of materiality, and representational thought, that is to say, conceptual categorization and even, on this account, the logic of the dialectic itself, is simply a circumscribed or depotentiated version of a functional potency generated by matter itself. The claim is that matter itself is synthetic and productive. Matter is primary process, and everything that unfolds at the level of conceptual representation is merely secondary and derivative. Synthesis is primary and productive, and all synthesis is the conjoining of heterogeneous terms. What Land proposed to retain from Kant was the emphasis on the transcendental efficacy of synthesis, the primacy of transcendental synthesis, but no longer as the synthesis of empirical items, objects of experience anchored in a constituting subject. It’s the self-synthesising potency of what he called intensive materiality. This becomes the key term. It’s a brilliant explication of the logical operation that Deleuze and Guattari carry out vis-a-vis Kantianism in Anti-Oedipus. Matter is nothing but machinic production, self-differentiation, and the fundamental binary that organizes this materialist metaphysics is that between intensive materiality, which he identifies with the body without organs, and death, this moment of absolute indifference as absolute difference. Land is quite explicit about the link to a certain version of Schellingianism here. He explicitly links Deleuze and Guattari to Schelling. The binaries between what he calls intensive zero as matter in itself and every kind of conceptual binary between concepts and objects, or representing and represented: the claim is that by levelling this fundamental dualism, the dualism of transcendental form and empirical content, you get this materialist monism where you explain how matter itself generates its own representation. It generates its own representation, and by this account, representation itself is relegated to the status of a transcendental illusion. It’s a misprision of primary processes; it’s at the level of merely secondary processes. But this materialist critique of transcendental critique, I argue, reproduces the critical problem of the connection between thought and reality. Why? Because the problem then becomes: how can you simply circumvent representation, and talk about matter itself as primary process, about reality in itself? This process, which is obviously the problem which underlies Kantian critique in the first place, re-emerges in an exacerbated form in this materialist subversion of Kantianism. But the problem is particularly acute, and this is where the Landian elimination of the Bergsonian component in Deleuze’s thought becomes awkward, and generates a difficulty for him. Why? In many ways, you can align the Deleuzian critique of representation with the Bergsonian critique of representation. Much of what Deleuze says is problematic about the categories of representation, about representation as the mediating framework that segments and parcels out the world, the flux of duration, into discretely individuated objects… the claim is that you have a sub-representational layer of experience which it is possible to access through intuition. The Bergsonian critique of metaphysics and the destitution of representation intuits the real differences in being, you can intuit the real nature of matter, time; duration in the Bergsonian register. There’s a problem here for Landianism, because he can’t do this. He’s supplanted representation, but he wants to supplant this kind of Bergsonian vitalist phenomenology for an unconscious thanatropism. The point is: how do you access the machinic unconscious? It’s not simply given. Land insists time and time again, nothing is ever given, everything is produced. The problem is that Land’s materialist liquidation of representation, because it doesn’t want to reaffirm, allegedly, the primacy of sub-representational experience, which Bergson and phenomenology do in various ways… he has to explain what it is he’s talking about. He’s doing a kind of materialist metaphysics, and there’s an issue about what kind of traction this extraordinarily sophisticated conceptual apparatus can gain upon the process of primary production, the real as intensive difference, matter in itself, whatever you want to call it. This is an initial philosophical difficulty, which interestingly Land himself in conversation tried to dismiss by saying “well, you have to understand that thinking itself is no longer about representational congruence between concepts and objects, ideas and things, but is itself a productive process.” The discussion of machinic mapping versus representational tracing in the opening plateau of A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari claim that schizoanalysis, or rhizomatics, or whatever you want to call it, is itself a praxis, a doing. There’s a positive feedback loop between what you are thinking about and your thinking. So that your conceptual practice is no longer tracing intelligible structures from a pre-existing, readymade reality, it’s actually tracing movements and tendencies in material processes. It becomes self-legitimating in this sense. The question then becomes one of intensification. It’s no longer an epistemological question of the legitimacy or the validity of your thinking vis-a-vis an allegedly independent reality, it’s simply a question of how your schizoanalytical practice accentuates or intensifies primary production, or on the contrary, delays and inhibits it. Truth or falsity becomes subordinate to the dyad intensificatory/deintensificatory. This is the conceptual trope which becomes translated into a political register. At the level of what it is you’re doing as a machinic materialist, intensifying primary production; all your practices become governed by the imperative to intensify and accelerate. To ruthlessly demolish any obstacle that threatens to delay or inhibit this. I think there’s a problem here, and the problem is this: the concept of intensity becomes fatally equivocal in this register. There’s an equivocation between the Kantian talk of intensities at the level of appearances, and the Bergsonian talk of intensive difference as qualitative difference of experience of duration. When Bergson is talking about intensity, he means a difference in quality which can never be mapped on to magnitude or extensity. But this experience of intensity has a phenomenological correlate. Hence, vitalism is hence all about having intense experiences. But Landianism can’t avail itself of this register of intensification, because he’s not interested in phenomenological subjectivity and he’s not interested in experiences insofar as they are experiences of a subject in the Deleuzoguattarian register: an organism, with a face and a personal identity, etc. These are all the things that are supposed to require destratification. The claim that you can dispense with the need of any epistemological legitimation for your metaphysics by simply saying it’s not about truth or falsity, it’s just about the intensification of the primary process, is incoherent, because matter itself as primary production, or death, is not translatable into any register of affective experience or affective intensity. This is why I find this move unconvincing, the claim that you can just keep on intensifying and intensifying. The second problem arises here: a kind of imperative to affirm re-emerges, because the claim is that, in mapping the process of movements of deterritorialization and partial reterritorialization, you’re mapping activity itself, because it’s nested upon the strata, it occupies an immanent position vis-a-vis these material processes; you no longer have the transcendent exteriority between theory and world. Theory itself is implicated in the reality it’s describing. Then things become unclear. There is a substitution, of a sublimated materialist eschatology, for all forms of rationalist teleology. Why keep intensifying? Because there is always a surplus of stratification. One wouldn’t need to deterritorialize and destratify unless there was always a complement of reterritorialization and restratification. You only need to deterritorialize because there are strata. Why is there stratification in the first place? Because there is an organising dualism. The claim is that, although the real itself is absolutely deterritorialized, the degree zero of absolute intensity, it’s always differentiated and stratified, sedimented in various complex ways. Once thinking itself becomes subordinated to the imperative to intensify and destratify, it’s clear that there must be a limitrophic point of absolute deterritorialization towards which the process of affirmation or acceleration tends. If you’re accelerating, there are material constraints upon your capacity to accelerate, but there must also be a transcendental speed limit at some point. The ultimate limit is not a limit at all for him, it’s death, or cosmic schizophrenia. That’s the ultimate horizon. Land unabashedly endorses this remarkable thesis of Anti-Oedipus, but strips it of all its palliatives, about how this might generate new forms of creative existence, etc. For him it’s just: “at the end of the process is death”. The title of one of Nick’s papers is called “Making It With Death”, a brilliant title. Because death is inherently productive, it’s the motor, the mode of antiproduction which generates all production, the production of production. This is not simply Freud’s “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”, where life itself and all vital differences are unilateral deviations from intensive death. The claim is that you can have a moment of convergence with absolute intensity, or absolute deterritorialization. What is this, who would be the bearer, what vehicle would continue to exist to be the bearer of this thanatropic acceleration? Not the human species, certainly. The claim is that all terrestrial history is a history of intensification, of human social organisation and the developments of advanced technological capitalist society are just a moment or a phase in the process. The continuation or intensification of the process demands the elimination of humanity as a substrate for the process. The question is then, under what conditions? Here I think a fundamental contradiction, a conceptual incoherence emerges: how can you intensify when there is no longer anything left to intensify? If your schizoanalytical practice is fuelled by the need to always intensify and deterritorialize, there comes a point at which there is no agency left: you yourself have been dissolved back into the process. Once secondary production has been re-integrated or feeds back into primary production, ironically what you have is a bizarre mimesis of the serpent of absolute knowledge, except this time, it’s the serpent of absolute production. The point is that organically individuated human subjects cannot position themselves vis-a-vis this circuit or this process. It’s happening without you anyway. It doesn’t need you. The very concept of agency is stripped out. There’s a quote of Land’s: “it’s happening anyway and there is nothing you can do about it.” Something is working through you, there is nothing you can do about it, so you might as well fuse. This is a philosophical problem. It’s a retention of this romantic, Schopenhauerian idea of fusion between the personal and impersonal, the individuated subject and cosmic schizophrenia, the impersonal primary process. But for Schopenhauer it still makes sense to postulate that. The moment at which the will turns against itself governs Schopenhauer’s whole ethical and practical philosophy. For Land, there is no longer any kind of fulcrum for the point of reversion, the conversion from secondary to primary process, because there are no individuated bearers left any more. This convergence does not unfold at the level of experience. In that regard, the whole vocabulary of intensification and disintensification becomes redundant. The paradox is simply this: under what conditions could you will the impossibility of willing? How could you affirm that which incapacitates all affirmation? This is a conceptual problem with interesting practical and political consequences. It has a political valence, because I think it explains Nick’s political trajectory from a kind of radical ultra-left anarchism. From a point when, in a paper called “Kant, Capital and the Prohibition of Incest: a polemical introduction to the configuration of philosophy and modernity”, he says “the state apparatus of an advanced industrial society can certainly not be defeated without a willingness to escalate the cycle of violence without limits.” Interestingly, in this paper, it’s radical guerrilla militant lesbian feminists who are the only revolutionary subjects. He moves from this moment, where he’s perfectly willing to endorse or affirm radicals, where his critique of the Marxist left is that it’s not radical, revolutionary, or critical enough, and then five or six years later he seems to realize there is no bearer of revolutionary intensification left. Therefore politics must be displaced, it must be deputized, and all you can do is endorse or affirm impersonal processes which at least harbour the promise of generating or ushering in the next phase of deterritorialization. What does this mean? It means affirming free markets, deregulation, the capitalist desecration of traditional forms of social organization, etc. Why? Not because he thinks it’s promoting individual democracy and freedom. He has to instrumentalize neoliberalism in the name of something allegedly far darker and more potentially corrosive, but in the process it seems you end up… if your enemy’s enemy is your friend, there comes a dangerous point where you forget the conditions under which you made this strategic alliance, because you can no longer see, you can no longer identify what the goal is any more. You end up endorsing and embracing a kind of neoliberal politics or ideology, and the pretence of instrumental distance, that this could just be the cunning of schizophrenic reason, quickly evaporates because it’s not possible to dissociate praxis from identifiable ends any more. In other words, once you dissociate tactics and strategy–the famous distinction between tactics and strategy where strategy is teleological, transcendent, and representational and tactics is immanent and machinic–if you have no strategy, someone with a strategy will soon commandeer your tactics. Someone who knows what they want to realize will start using you. You become the pawn of another kind of impersonal force, but it’s no longer the glamorous kind of impersonal and seductive force that you hoped to make a compact with, it’s a much more cynical kind of libertarian capitalism.

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lol @ k to english translator. we need more of those. this is a super long post b/c this is some crazy shit ideas going on here, feel me, and it takes a lot of explaining 

 

right: nick land's argument for cap good isn't cap good per se. its that the process of intensification as history moves forward is a good thing and that capitalism happens to be system at the moment in time that we inhabit. i posted brassier's explanation of land's philosophy below because i think he's super on point here. 

you kind of have to have some sort of understand of D&G and Marx to get land b/c that is where a lot of land's thought derives from

1. thinking = material, and materialism = thinking: "matter generates its own representation"

2. no longer question of whether your thinking = material world (true/false), question of whether your thinking intensifies/accelerates or deintensifies/inhibits generative processes of the world, ie change, transformation

3. death generates production, ie. finitude --> causes us to think, produce, change the world

4. history = process of intensification, cap just a historical point in that process

5. human subject must end as the agent of production, ie. we've set such large historical processes in motion (eg. the Anthropocene) that the next stage = intensification of all matter

6. anticap revolution failed, not the next stage of intensification, eg. the alternative is intensification of cap to intensify the world (leftism = end of destratification/stratification, cap = continuation of those processes)

 

left: capitalism's contradictions ensure that the system is self-destructive. why? look at 2008, the way our financial system works, the way our production/consumption/waste system consumes 3 times a worlwide sustainable amount, etc. their arg is that the current left is trapped within 'folk politics,' ie. on one side of the spectrum we have seattle 1999, occupy, and on the other academics who theorize far too much without ever accomplishing anything. williams and srnicek (leftist accelerationists) argue, as bobby said above, that we need to take the tools of modernity that capitalism has produced (they cite technology, modern mathematics, economic modelling, applied science) and use it to create a 'left hegemony,' ie. a system in which the world is more equitable and not capitalist, but still keeps the trappings of modernity. 

 

Ray's explanation of Nick Land's philosophy. And critique of it. 

Brassier '10 (Ray, bae, best philosopher ever, PhD from U of Warwick in Philosophy, Associate Prof of Philosophy @ American U of Beirut, Lebanon, "Accelerationism: Ray Brassier," Transcribed from the Backdoor Broadcasting Company, September 30, 2010, http://moskvax.wordpress.com/2010/09/30/accelerationism-ray-brassier/)

 

First of all, Land is operating under the aegis of Deleuze and Guattari’s work. He proposes to radicalise critique, to convert the ideal conditioning of the representation of matter to the material conditioning of ideal representation. In the Landian apparatus, materiality is construed solely as the production of production. Transcendental materialism in its Landian version becomes a materialization of critique. The critique of the Kantian critique of metaphysics, of which there are several versions, supplemented in various configurations by 20th century continental philosophy, is converted into a materialist metaphysics of critique, by collapsing the hierarchy of the transcendental and the empirical. The first move, the really interesting move, and in fact, the key to understanding the Deleuzoguattarian concept of destratification in Landianism, is that the first thing that needs to be destratified is the empirical/transcendental difference. This is seen to be the enabling condition for critical philosophy. But it’s no longer a Hegelian or dialectical sublation of this difference. It’s non-dialectical. It’s a reduction of the difference to matter, because Land claims thinking is a function of materiality, and representational thought, that is to say, conceptual categorization and even, on this account, the logic of the dialectic itself, is simply a circumscribed or depotentiated version of a functional potency generated by matter itself. The claim is that matter itself is synthetic and productive. Matter is primary process, and everything that unfolds at the level of conceptual representation is merely secondary and derivative. Synthesis is primary and productive, and all synthesis is the conjoining of heterogeneous terms. What Land proposed to retain from Kant was the emphasis on the transcendental efficacy of synthesis, the primacy of transcendental synthesis, but no longer as the synthesis of empirical items, objects of experience anchored in a constituting subject. It’s the self-synthesising potency of what he called intensive materiality. This becomes the key term. It’s a brilliant explication of the logical operation that Deleuze and Guattari carry out vis-a-vis Kantianism in Anti-Oedipus. Matter is nothing but machinic production, self-differentiation, and the fundamental binary that organizes this materialist metaphysics is that between intensive materiality, which he identifies with the body without organs, and death, this moment of absolute indifference as absolute difference. Land is quite explicit about the link to a certain version of Schellingianism here. He explicitly links Deleuze and Guattari to Schelling. The binaries between what he calls intensive zero as matter in itself and every kind of conceptual binary between concepts and objects, or representing and represented: the claim is that by levelling this fundamental dualism, the dualism of transcendental form and empirical content, you get this materialist monism where you explain how matter itself generates its own representation. It generates its own representation, and by this account, representation itself is relegated to the status of a transcendental illusion. It’s a misprision of primary processes; it’s at the level of merely secondary processes. But this materialist critique of transcendental critique, I argue, reproduces the critical problem of the connection between thought and reality. Why? Because the problem then becomes: how can you simply circumvent representation, and talk about matter itself as primary process, about reality in itself? This process, which is obviously the problem which underlies Kantian critique in the first place, re-emerges in an exacerbated form in this materialist subversion of Kantianism. But the problem is particularly acute, and this is where the Landian elimination of the Bergsonian component in Deleuze’s thought becomes awkward, and generates a difficulty for him. Why? In many ways, you can align the Deleuzian critique of representation with the Bergsonian critique of representation. Much of what Deleuze says is problematic about the categories of representation, about representation as the mediating framework that segments and parcels out the world, the flux of duration, into discretely individuated objects… the claim is that you have a sub-representational layer of experience which it is possible to access through intuition. The Bergsonian critique of metaphysics and the destitution of representation intuits the real differences in being, you can intuit the real nature of matter, time; duration in the Bergsonian register. There’s a problem here for Landianism, because he can’t do this. He’s supplanted representation, but he wants to supplant this kind of Bergsonian vitalist phenomenology for an unconscious thanatropism. The point is: how do you access the machinic unconscious? It’s not simply given. Land insists time and time again, nothing is ever given, everything is produced. The problem is that Land’s materialist liquidation of representation, because it doesn’t want to reaffirm, allegedly, the primacy of sub-representational experience, which Bergson and phenomenology do in various ways… he has to explain what it is he’s talking about. He’s doing a kind of materialist metaphysics, and there’s an issue about what kind of traction this extraordinarily sophisticated conceptual apparatus can gain upon the process of primary production, the real as intensive difference, matter in itself, whatever you want to call it. This is an initial philosophical difficulty, which interestingly Land himself in conversation tried to dismiss by saying “well, you have to understand that thinking itself is no longer about representational congruence between concepts and objects, ideas and things, but is itself a productive process.” The discussion of machinic mapping versus representational tracing in the opening plateau of A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari claim that schizoanalysis, or rhizomatics, or whatever you want to call it, is itself a praxis, a doing. There’s a positive feedback loop between what you are thinking about and your thinking. So that your conceptual practice is no longer tracing intelligible structures from a pre-existing, readymade reality, it’s actually tracing movements and tendencies in material processes. It becomes self-legitimating in this sense. The question then becomes one of intensification. It’s no longer an epistemological question of the legitimacy or the validity of your thinking vis-a-vis an allegedly independent reality, it’s simply a question of how your schizoanalytical practice accentuates or intensifies primary production, or on the contrary, delays and inhibits it. Truth or falsity becomes subordinate to the dyad intensificatory/deintensificatory. This is the conceptual trope which becomes translated into a political register. At the level of what it is you’re doing as a machinic materialist, intensifying primary production; all your practices become governed by the imperative to intensify and accelerate. To ruthlessly demolish any obstacle that threatens to delay or inhibit this. I think there’s a problem here, and the problem is this: the concept of intensity becomes fatally equivocal in this register. There’s an equivocation between the Kantian talk of intensities at the level of appearances, and the Bergsonian talk of intensive difference as qualitative difference of experience of duration. When Bergson is talking about intensity, he means a difference in quality which can never be mapped on to magnitude or extensity. But this experience of intensity has a phenomenological correlate. Hence, vitalism is hence all about having intense experiences. But Landianism can’t avail itself of this register of intensification, because he’s not interested in phenomenological subjectivity and he’s not interested in experiences insofar as they are experiences of a subject in the Deleuzoguattarian register: an organism, with a face and a personal identity, etc. These are all the things that are supposed to require destratification. The claim that you can dispense with the need of any epistemological legitimation for your metaphysics by simply saying it’s not about truth or falsity, it’s just about the intensification of the primary process, is incoherent, because matter itself as primary production, or death, is not translatable into any register of affective experience or affective intensity. This is why I find this move unconvincing, the claim that you can just keep on intensifying and intensifying. The second problem arises here: a kind of imperative to affirm re-emerges, because the claim is that, in mapping the process of movements of deterritorialization and partial reterritorialization, you’re mapping activity itself, because it’s nested upon the strata, it occupies an immanent position vis-a-vis these material processes; you no longer have the transcendent exteriority between theory and world. Theory itself is implicated in the reality it’s describing. Then things become unclear. There is a substitution, of a sublimated materialist eschatology, for all forms of rationalist teleology. Why keep intensifying? Because there is always a surplus of stratification. One wouldn’t need to deterritorialize and destratify unless there was always a complement of reterritorialization and restratification. You only need to deterritorialize because there are strata. Why is there stratification in the first place? Because there is an organising dualism. The claim is that, although the real itself is absolutely deterritorialized, the degree zero of absolute intensity, it’s always differentiated and stratified, sedimented in various complex ways. Once thinking itself becomes subordinated to the imperative to intensify and destratify, it’s clear that there must be a limitrophic point of absolute deterritorialization towards which the process of affirmation or acceleration tends. If you’re accelerating, there are material constraints upon your capacity to accelerate, but there must also be a transcendental speed limit at some point. The ultimate limit is not a limit at all for him, it’s death, or cosmic schizophrenia. That’s the ultimate horizon. Land unabashedly endorses this remarkable thesis of Anti-Oedipus, but strips it of all its palliatives, about how this might generate new forms of creative existence, etc. For him it’s just: “at the end of the process is death”. The title of one of Nick’s papers is called “Making It With Death”, a brilliant title. Because death is inherently productive, it’s the motor, the mode of antiproduction which generates all production, the production of production. This is not simply Freud’s “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”, where life itself and all vital differences are unilateral deviations from intensive death. The claim is that you can have a moment of convergence with absolute intensity, or absolute deterritorialization. What is this, who would be the bearer, what vehicle would continue to exist to be the bearer of this thanatropic acceleration? Not the human species, certainly. The claim is that all terrestrial history is a history of intensification, of human social organisation and the developments of advanced technological capitalist society are just a moment or a phase in the process. The continuation or intensification of the process demands the elimination of humanity as a substrate for the process. The question is then, under what conditions? Here I think a fundamental contradiction, a conceptual incoherence emerges: how can you intensify when there is no longer anything left to intensify? If your schizoanalytical practice is fuelled by the need to always intensify and deterritorialize, there comes a point at which there is no agency left: you yourself have been dissolved back into the process. Once secondary production has been re-integrated or feeds back into primary production, ironically what you have is a bizarre mimesis of the serpent of absolute knowledge, except this time, it’s the serpent of absolute production. The point is that organically individuated human subjects cannot position themselves vis-a-vis this circuit or this process. It’s happening without you anyway. It doesn’t need you. The very concept of agency is stripped out. There’s a quote of Land’s: “it’s happening anyway and there is nothing you can do about it.” Something is working through you, there is nothing you can do about it, so you might as well fuse. This is a philosophical problem. It’s a retention of this romantic, Schopenhauerian idea of fusion between the personal and impersonal, the individuated subject and cosmic schizophrenia, the impersonal primary process. But for Schopenhauer it still makes sense to postulate that. The moment at which the will turns against itself governs Schopenhauer’s whole ethical and practical philosophy. For Land, there is no longer any kind of fulcrum for the point of reversion, the conversion from secondary to primary process, because there are no individuated bearers left any more. This convergence does not unfold at the level of experience. In that regard, the whole vocabulary of intensification and disintensification becomes redundant. The paradox is simply this: under what conditions could you will the impossibility of willing? How could you affirm that which incapacitates all affirmation? This is a conceptual problem with interesting practical and political consequences. It has a political valence, because I think it explains Nick’s political trajectory from a kind of radical ultra-left anarchism. From a point when, in a paper called “Kant, Capital and the Prohibition of Incest: a polemical introduction to the configuration of philosophy and modernity”, he says “the state apparatus of an advanced industrial society can certainly not be defeated without a willingness to escalate the cycle of violence without limits.” Interestingly, in this paper, it’s radical guerrilla militant lesbian feminists who are the only revolutionary subjects. He moves from this moment, where he’s perfectly willing to endorse or affirm radicals, where his critique of the Marxist left is that it’s not radical, revolutionary, or critical enough, and then five or six years later he seems to realize there is no bearer of revolutionary intensification left. Therefore politics must be displaced, it must be deputized, and all you can do is endorse or affirm impersonal processes which at least harbour the promise of generating or ushering in the next phase of deterritorialization. What does this mean? It means affirming free markets, deregulation, the capitalist desecration of traditional forms of social organization, etc. Why? Not because he thinks it’s promoting individual democracy and freedom. He has to instrumentalize neoliberalism in the name of something allegedly far darker and more potentially corrosive, but in the process it seems you end up… if your enemy’s enemy is your friend, there comes a dangerous point where you forget the conditions under which you made this strategic alliance, because you can no longer see, you can no longer identify what the goal is any more. You end up endorsing and embracing a kind of neoliberal politics or ideology, and the pretence of instrumental distance, that this could just be the cunning of schizophrenic reason, quickly evaporates because it’s not possible to dissociate praxis from identifiable ends any more. In other words, once you dissociate tactics and strategy–the famous distinction between tactics and strategy where strategy is teleological, transcendent, and representational and tactics is immanent and machinic–if you have no strategy, someone with a strategy will soon commandeer your tactics. Someone who knows what they want to realize will start using you. You become the pawn of another kind of impersonal force, but it’s no longer the glamorous kind of impersonal and seductive force that you hoped to make a compact with, it’s a much more cynical kind of libertarian capitalism.

So since anti-cap movements failed to intensify the movement of the squo, we need to now focus on cap in order to produce a world post-cap? Doesn't all this assume a future? I'm pretty sure Nick Land is all about The Singularity in which the anthropocene is decentered...is this what he's hoping to achieve?

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So since anti-cap movements failed to intensify the movement of the squo, we need to now focus on cap in order to produce a world post-cap? i suppose, but land doesn't find anything wrong with a "cap world" per se, it's just that he sees it more conducive to the process of intensification/deintensification discussed above, that is also basically verbatim the position of leftist accelerationists Doesn't all this assume a future? yes, it does, for the left, they believe that inbuilt cap crisis presents an opportunity for left hegemony to take power, and i'd guess that land's response to this arg is dependent on political systems -> neoreactionary forms of govt I'm pretty sure Nick Land is all about The Singularity in which the anthropocene is decentered...is this what he's hoping to achieve? probably, if you read his blog he posts articles about advancements in electronics and technology often, and meltdown seems to point towards that. idk why though. 

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I'm pretty sure Nick Land is all about The Singularity in which the anthropocene is decentered...is this what he's hoping to achieve? probably, if you read his blog he posts articles about advancements in electronics and technology often, and meltdown seems to point towards that. idk why though. 

 

It seems a pretty good way to get to death. Not the best section (this one's more about dance music and bodily deterritorializations but there's a hint of cybernetics in it), but the earliest that came to mind.

in "No Future" (Fanged Noumena p. 398):

 

Desocialization waves desolate telecommercial space, until impending human extinction becomes accessible as a dance-floor. What is the scale of now? It isn't a matter of informing the mind, but of deprogramming the body. Amongst the strobes, artificial cool, and inorganic attack

beat, dark-side K-war machinery resiliently persists, luring the forces of monopolism down into free-fire zones of fatal intensity, where  promiscuous anorgasmic sexualities slide across tactile space, meandering fractally into wet electric distributed conflicts continuous with their

terminal consequences. Dropping endlessly tracks the passage of evaporating subjectivity on the zero-degree plane of neuroelectronic  continuity.

 

Also, taking the position of a Luddite is probably detrimental to accelerating, especially taking capitalism as a starting point.

in "Cyberspace Anarchitecture . . ." (Fanged Noumena pp. 407-408):

 

When technophobia becomes frictional it operates K-positively, as an inertial immuno-reflex folding the security datascape into a metric cyberspace reconstruction, neuromantic nuclear mono-mind twisted into self-apprehension, configuring its source in machinic commerce

as positive technomic nonlinearity, auto-propelled into terrestrial hypermedia-fusion. Cross-cumulative trends to interconnection, digitalisation, and simulation plot forward the interexcitation-trajectories of electronic cash and market-oriented software to their convergence in commoditechnic intelligent-money. Time-compression infinitises. No future.

 

Am I just interpreting this incorrectly? It seems a pretty fluid progression from intensifying and accelerating to embracing the means of doing so (haha Principle of Moral Substitutability for all you Sinnot-Armstrong hacks)

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Also, taking the position of a Luddite is probably detrimental to accelerating, especially taking capitalism as a starting point.

in "Cyberspace Anarchitecture . . ." (Fanged Noumena pp. 407-408):

 

1. When technophobia becomes frictional it operates K-positively, as an inertial immuno-reflex folding the security datascape into a metric cyberspace reconstruction, neuromantic nuclear mono-mind twisted into self-apprehension, configuring its source in machinic commerce

as positive technomic nonlinearity, auto-propelled into terrestrial hypermedia-fusion.

 

2. Cross-cumulative trends to interconnection, digitalisation, and simulation plot forward the interexcitation-trajectories of electronic cash and market-oriented software to their convergence in commoditechnic intelligent-money. Time-compression infinitises. No future.

 

Am I just interpreting this incorrectly? It seems a pretty fluid progression from intensifying and accelerating to embracing the means of doing so (haha Principle of Moral Substitutability for all you Sinnot-Armstrong hacks)

I agree with your assessment, but I feel that there are two separate arguments in that paragraph. The first sentence would agree with that conclusion (well assuming that "positive technomic nonlinearity" means something vaguely along the line of what I think it means). 

The second sentence however seems to be referring to a different concept, as I doubt that luddites would be using "cross-cumulative trends in interconnection, digitalization..." The conundrum for me is the use of the word "infinitises," because on my first look I thought it said intensifies, which would agree with the conclusion that technology allows for acceleration, but the word infinitises would appear to suggest something along the lines of collapsing the idea of linear time entirely, hence his remark of "no future." Everything, present, future, it all happens at once, aka time compresses (to a single point). The impact of this I don't believe is in the quoted material, so when I can check my copy of Fanged Noumenia I'll get back to this.

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Sorry Lenny, that's definitely not the argument. Or maybe you were being sarcastic, who knows.

 

Accelerationism argues that we can act within the capitalist system to gain the tools to plan for the world post-revolution. The radical revolution always fails because we just rush to the revolution, and are clueless after the revolution, which just turns the impact.

 

I believe Lexington runs an Accelerationism aff.

  

Weird. Someone did not do the explaining right in our round :P

$1,000,000,000 in Non-capitalist fun money if either one of you make a performance accelerationism aff that play "0-100" by Drake.

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I'll be really pissed if Lennie breaks that against me.

But it'd be interesting to watch, and you gotta do it for the other(s).

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