17 thoughts on “The Myth of Accelerationism

    • “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett, Westward Ho

      “And the lesson is, in both cases, that of Kant as well that of Mao , the same, namely that we take from Beckett’s Worstward Ho: “Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”” – Slavoj Zizek, In Defense of Lost Causes

      I’ve read Inventing the Future by Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams, which did a careful appraisal of the Left in the first 3 chapters and the quagmire it is entangled in; and, then in the next few chapters they began to promote a positive movement, trying to establish a framework for their project – where as they say in the conclusion they say:

      “We have argued that the most promising way forward lies in reclaiming modernity and attacking the neoliberal common sense that conditions everything from the most esoteric policy discussions to the most vivid emotional states. This counter-hegemonic project can only be achieved by imagining better worlds – and in moving beyond defensive struggles. We have outlined one possible project, in the form of a post-work politics that frees us to create our own lives and communities. Triumph in the political battles to achieve it will require organising a broadly populist left, building the organisational ecosystem necessary for a full-spectrum politics on multiple fronts, and leveraging key points of power wherever possible.”1

      Modernity is a return to some form of the Enlightenment project of progressive democracy… how they will accomplish this I’m not completely sure about since much of the major thought in current philosophy and political philosophy is decentering the Enlightenment project of the Liberal humanist Subject… and, in doing that we will be moving out of modernity into something else … I think the value system of modernity is dead, caput… there can be no return. Something else must come… whether one chooses a completed nihilism such as Nietzsche/Deleuze project; or, the Generic Collective Subject ala Badiou-Zizek; or, the Promethean Neorationalism of Brassier-Negarestani… or, some other form of Reason beyond Enlightenment Instrumentalism… I’m just not sure… I’m not a prophet.

      I think they know how difficult such a project is, and what costs it would entail to implement; and, that their book is but a proposal, not the whole shebang… and, I understand they have a book on Platform Capitalism (Democracy?) in the works… probably filling out more details of their project.

      As for Pete… I think he was defending the points made in the book, against the reviewer who was more of a satirist and lambaster who provided erroneous and false information about the project. Enough said.

      As you can see in the humorous quote from Fitzgerald above there is a sense of the old game of Simon Says… 3 steps forward 2 back… the faster one runs, the slower things move, and even as one accelerates faster and faster one begins to move backward rather than forward the faster we accelerate… the question you have to ask: Is Accelerationism a Time Machine? Is it moving forward into the new, or is it returning to failed projects in Zizek’s and Beckett’s sense of fail and fail better…? Is Accelerationis a retroactive causlity reaching back in time to awaken old failed projects, engines, and platforms that were never given room to breath? Or, is it outside the Kierkegaardian either/or dilemma altogether, a movement that is more Janus faced: moving forward and backward at the same time seeking what will work and slaying what will not… a critical project of becoming rather than static being, picking and choosing on the fly – a bricolage technique of “let’s try this…”?

      In some ways their book was a “call to arms,” a call to the sleepwalkers of the Left to open their eyes and see the real movement of the world around them and quit bickering and tinkering with dead worlds that never were or could be. It’s a wake up call to quit looking at one’s failures and whining about it forever, and rather to pick up one’s arse up off the ideological dust heap of history and try again, fail again, fail better.

      Nick Srnicek; Alex Williams. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work (Kindle Locations 3447-3452). Verso.

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    • No. postmodernism unlike the modernists was a turn toward irony and the undermining of modernism. Whereas modernism was trying to shore up the ruins of the past against the rot and decay of modern democracies, postmodernism relished the ruination of everything including our precious democracies. It sought other things by other means…

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      • Yes. That is what the postmodernist say, to argue their distinctiveness.
        But I would argue along with some other people that they didn’t get anywhere, that they merely presented an avenue by which people could view themselves still within an access to freedom, and yet still be controlled within a single vision. I would argue that the idea of multifocality is towards, and not away from, and effort I control.

        The effect is now we get the whole picture. We get the whole possibility of being human in the world. And even your explanations and my expirations merely serve to fill out what the possibility of this world may be – but not to any some sort of essential freedom or some sort of liberation. The only thing these discourses serve is to control, into the ability to control the possibility of being human. Every position that supposes an exit, every chaotic or random behavior Merlis serves as another plot point, another variable becoming control group. In this way the whole idea of postmodern just goes together with modern to show the potential of human being.

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      • … I mean if you look at the facts that here we are I kind a got to admit that postmodernism failed. I would say , and I could use many postmodern text to show my point, that there is was a last ditch effort at the transcendence that the modernist supposed in there modernity. It was like a child throwing a temper tantrum. But then also I would say that much of the readings of the postmoderns was misconstrued as it was misapplied and still is misapplied… But those are topics for books and books… 😛

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      • Depends on what you mean by failed… they accomplished a great deal, so nothing ever fails; one works one path, then another, then another… and, and, and… failure lives in a world where one knows some distinction of what is success and what, failure… I don’t think we live in that world where we can make such distinctions. For better or worse we all live the failure of our forbears, now.

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      • … Yes perhaps failed is not the correct term. But I would say that they both are involved with a certain transcendence, with the attempt to enact or somehow involved the transcend it in our daily affairs. I think it is by this view that I have come upon what I call two routes. Because I would say the route of transcendence failed and yet Persists.

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      • Transcendence implies religious notions of beyonding, not the immanent notions of change that is history in movement… I think people use the notion of transcendence like a battering ram in a way that have nothing to do with ‘transcendence’ as a concept. There is no secular transcendence, only religious. So to say that all change in history or time implies transcendence is just plain fishy… Change implies immanent relations on what Deleuze termed the “plane of consistency” or “plane of immanence”.

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      • For the four ‘ biggies’: Deleuze and Guitar. A rhomizone is a transcendence from ‘under’, and Derrida really pulls no punches with ‘spirit’. Layotard I think is really the only one that does a good job at sticking with what right there; but I would say immanence it’s just another one of saying communion with transcendence. Both of these ideas never deal with what’s right here; they are both attempting to situate some other with some presents or however one wants to situated and varied terms and Clausel schemes.

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      • There is no ‘right here’ – no static substance, no timeless present… there is only movement and becoming; so whatever you’re implying is strangely disquieting and goes against every aspect of philosophical non-dialectical or dialectical thought… that is, unless you are harkening back to Plato and Aristotle and substantive formalism in which all Ideas are Real and Present which to me is foolish nonsense.

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  1. … At least I would say even the term immanence it’s kind of fishy, because imminant to what? To itself? Why wouldn’t I need a term to describe the state that is going on as a self identity in relation to… What? Others? If this is the case I would say that object oriented discussions do a better job and actually talking about the real situation.

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    • Plane of immanence is a founding concept in the metaphysics or ontology of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze. Immanence, meaning “existing or remaining within” generally offers a relative opposition to transcendence, that which is beyond or outside. Deleuze rejects the idea that life and creation are opposed to death and non-creation. He instead conceives of a plane of immanence that already includes life and death. “Deleuze refuses to see deviations, redundancies, destructions, cruelties or contingency as accidents that befall or lie outside life; life and death were aspects of desire or the plane of immanence.” This plane is a pure immanence, an unqualified immersion or embeddedness, an immanence which denies transcendence as a real distinction, Cartesian or otherwise. Pure immanence is thus often referred to as a pure plane, an infinite field or smooth space without substantial or constitutive division. In his final essay entitled Immanence: A Life, Deleuze writes: “It is only when immanence is no longer immanence to anything other than itself that we can speak of a plane of immanence.”

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      • So when there is a plane of eminence( please excuse the miss spelling because the voice dictation can’t discern between eminence and eminence. Lol and I’m tired of going back and correcting it). It means that it is eminent to itself such that it is a plane and minutes so then in what way can this plane discern itself from anything else? I have read to lose and to me most of what he saying reduces to an ultimate nothingness, and I see the significance of his writing is that he’s basically saying nothing at all.

        I think the significance of Deluz lay in the simple fact: that if you really take what he is saying to heart it really means that he’s referring to nothing at all, that the plane of eminence is that plane that is occurring in the very reading of what he saying. The significance of what he saying about a plane of eminence is thus that it means nothing yet people can read it and gain some sort of meaning as if he’s meaning something larger than what the discourse is evidencing in itself.
        The significance is found or can be found in the subsequent authors, The people that we’re still young enough such that these post modern philosophers where their mentors, or at least considered older.

        Authors like Badiou and Laruelle notice this precipitative do alley and attempt to account for each in their own respective ways.

        Indeed one could say that Nick land notice this also, and took this reductive duality as an indication that the only route left was an ideological political manifestation. Zizik is similar in this regard. Harmon and the speculative real list can be understood with reference to the postmoderns to simply put it aside as meaning what it means which is nothing at all, which is end, and start a new beginning upon a totally different bases, The basis of difference that can be construed out of the postmodern situation.

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      • Landzek go back and study Deleuze… you have said nothing of what Deleuze is teaching about immanence; in fact, your erroneous notions are not even philosophical, much less worthy of even you. Did you not read his works? You used him as an example before, but you’ve misinterpreted every aspect of what immanence is. I can’t write you a book on the subject. You will have to pursue that on your own. I clarified it to the best of my ability. Take it or leave it… no matter to me at this point. What I see in you is this eternal argument, not with me, but with your own ignorance. Nick Land pushed Deleuze’s immanence to the nth degree. You don’t even understand Deleuze, how could you even begin to understand Land. As for Laruelle: who gives a fuck… certainly not I… I’ve said that before. As for Zizek… why bring him into this: He’s as far away from immenence as you can get – he’s a dualist and a firm believer in transcendence of the Void. As for Harmon: he’s a revitalizer of substantive formalism… so, his ideas have nothing to do with Deleuze, either. You really do need to actually sit down, take a deep breath, and realize that your wrong about this…. if your a defender of Transcendence, then believe me my blog is not for you, and never will be. Understand?

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