The Accelerationist (Acc) ritual is as follows: “Accelerate the process.” It’s best repeated at the end of a long, didactic blog post which alludes to multiple niche sources. The ritual in its usual form comes from Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus, and is to be found at the end of a section titled ‘The Civilized Capitalist Machine’, which along with the earlier sections on ‘The Desiring-Machines’ are all must reads for anyone interested in Acc and the Acc-sphere. The ritual itself is often taken for granted. For we have all read vast amounts about ‘acceleration’ now, and so the ritual seems self-explanatory, yet it this so? Has not the latter part of the ritual, ‘the process’ been left alone, if not mistaken for acceleration itself. The ritual is to be found like so:
“Or might it be to go in the opposite direction? To go still further, that is, in the movement of the market, of decoding and deterritorialization? For perhaps the flows are not yet deterritorialized enough, not decoded enough, from the viewpoint of a theory and a practice of a highly schizophrenic character. Not to withdraw from the process, but to go further, to “accelerate the process,” as Nietzsche put it: in this matter, the truth is that we haven’t seend anything yet..” (p276, Anti-Oedipus)
In relation to Anti-Oedipus this quote is – surprisingly – quite self-explanatory. That is, the Deleuzoguattarian ‘acceleration of process’ is the acceleration of the decoding and deterritorializing that is inherent within capitalism, to allow the markets and capitalism itself to continue its production of producers-of-production – roughly speaking. Yet what if one is to take a single step back and withdraw to the source of the ritual, to Nietzsche’s The Will to Power:
“The strong who are to come. In the past, it was only by a combination of necessity and chance that the conditions for the production of a stronger kind of man were occasionally realized. But now, we can understand and consciously choose them: we can create conditions under which such an elevation is possible.-” (p510, a898, The Will to Power)
Nietzsche here speaking of his rope, from animal to man to Superman, or perhaps merely a greater form of man as a means for the coming of the Superman, either way Nietzsche’s point of conscious choice and creation of conditions is in conflict with the supposed apolitical nature of Deleuze & Guattari’s ritual.
“So far, ‘education’ has sought to benefit society: not as much as possible for the sake of mankind’s future, but for that of present-day, established society. What was wanted were ‘tools’ for its use. But suppose the accumulated wealth of energy were greaterm we could contemplate the possibility of setting aside a certain amount of that for the purpose of investing, not in society, but in the future. The present form of society is undergoing such a powerful transformation that at some point it will no longer be able to exist for its own sake, but only as the instrument in the hands of a stronger race. The more the extent of this transformation is understood, the more urgent it will be to set such a task.” (ibid)
The quarrelsome education system stuck within its own contemporary loop, unable to set aside assets for the future, unable to allow itself to even attend the future, even in the most hopelessly meagre ideas. You’ll notice too that Nietzsche doesn’t talk of investing in a future society, but only future, for the ‘society’ of the future, (hopefully) inclusive of a greater form of man would be so different to contemporary society that taking such an investment trajectory would be futile.
“The progressive diminution of man is precisely what compels us to consider the cultivation of a stronger race: a race which would have a surplus of precisely that in which the diminished species had become weak and was growing weaker (will, responsibility, self-assurance, the ability to set goals for oneself). The means to accomplish this would be those which history teaches: isolation by virtue of the fact that one’s needs and interests are contrary to those which are usual nowadays; practice in the contrary value judgements; distance as pathos; a clear conscience about is today most belittled and forbidden.” (ibid)
This section actualizing a bastardized form wherein L/Acc & R/Acc are flattened and stripped down to something quite horrific. The remaining flattened entity is that which has drawn out the process of man’s emancipation via capitalist acceleration, yet has retained its trajectory atop convergent waves. The emancipation, self-actualization, will and weight of man utilizing the immanent force of right-accelerationist convergent waves as a means for its own ascension.
“That great process, the levelling of European man, is not to be retarded; it should even be accelerated.” (ibid)
Man must be consciously flattened, made horizontal.
“This levelled species requires a justification, once it has been attained; its justification is the service it provides to a superior, sovereign species who stands upon it and can arise and accomplish its tasks only upon this basis.” (ibid)
“only upon this basis.” as such the process must come prior, man must become levelled prior to anything, man as the actualizer of the superior is a notion that still stands whether we ‘accelerate’ or not. And so to accelerate without this process of the levelling of [European] man in place one could argue that man is merely letting the future take the wheel, allowing conclusionless convergent waves take hold, without the levelling of man we accelerate along reversed temporal ripples that are heading towards a non-event, towards 0 itself.
The process, with thanks to Deleuze & Guattari, has become overcomplicated, ‘the process’ in its conservative (Nietzschean) state is quite straightforward, it is the cultivation of “that in which the diminished species had become weak and was growing weaker (will, responsibility, self-assurance, the ability to set goals for oneself).” (ibid)
The levelling, the conscious choosing, the creation of conditions is a must. Acceleration without conditions is allowing humanity to wither within an entropic-feedback loop of its own despair (contemporary progress), until it eventually fades into nothingness, dragging the ritual with it. As such, Acceleration must have conditions, for if it doesn’t what is it other that dull, decadent nihilism?