An Atomist Reading of Accelerationism: The Machinic Clinamen

We begin here with Lucretius, the Roman poet and philosopher, or more aptly poet-philosopher. A thinker whose work within physics, especially his Atomism can be described as Deleuzian, and thus you should know about it, as it’s in and of and with the future already. So here we have it –

– a laminar flow. A series or parallel lines running next to each other, put very simply, let’s make it clearer for you –

– now the lines or ‘the flow’ are/is heading downwards. This laminar flow, or laminar plane consists of a series of atomic threads or lines, each parallel to the next and entirely stable within the void, heading downwards on an/the ‘extreme descent’ eternally – all thanks to the law of the optimal path – now, think of this laminar plane as time, or as a temporal laminar plane and the resulting possible/potential shifts of the atomic threads as possible/potential alterations to the physical world…due to the fact time has been altered.

Now, let’s begin the exciting bit. What is called ‘the swerve’ or more academically the ‘clinamen‘:

When atoms move straight down through the void by their own weight, they deflect a bit in space at a quite uncertain time and in uncertain places, just enough that you could say that their motion has changed. But if they were not in the habit of swerving, they would all fall straight down through the depths of the void, like drops of rain, and no collision would occur, nor would any blow be produced among the atoms. In that case, nature would never have produced anything. – Lucretius, De rerum natura

So, that is, one of those atomic threads within the laminar flow is changed, altered, swerved etc. it is no longer parallel or in harmony or eternal with the rest of the threads, and as such a change within history has been made. One could think of the laminar flow as an extremely simplistic cybernetic circuit for the entirety of human history if they liked, it wouldn’t matter much, for an Accelerationist reading will bring our demise, so let’s begin.

Acceleration(ism) enters. And due to the very nature of the laminar flow the only way in which something can alter the flow itself is to enter it diagonally, for the flow is vertical. This diagonal movement made by Accelerationism – remember Accelerationism is synonymous with Capitalismism – is a temporal movement, a movement in time, and as this movement is not simply in-keeping with the eternal Sisyphean drudgery of those other parallel atomic threads one can begin to analyse its – this new diagonal line’s – end, for that which is changing the course of such eternal descending bliss must have way of conclusion or end. So one should assess Accelerationism’s approach to obstacles.

Well, what are Accelerationism’s obstacles? Literally that which could potentially hinder its self-fulfillment, which, due to its very nature is very, very few things. How do we assess its approach? Well we give an assessment of its/our current access, presence, absence, strength, weakness and availability of that which could either constrain or bolster its direction towards its end goal. Or more succinctly:

“How well is capital doing?”

“Help me! They’ve commodified my every thought!”

It’s doing well. So well in fact that it routinely surprises even the most Bear Grylls-esque Outside-investigators as to its methods of temporal self-fulfilment. Rarely do such temporal end goals exist in such clear cut ways, rarely is there such finality to a temporal movement. That’s because it’s not just one thread being pulled.

The diagonal alteration of the laminar flow by Accelerationism, or, the machinic-clinamen, is itself capital. Capital which is going to alter or ‘swerve’ each and every singular atomic flow it needs to as a means for its own machinically desired end. That is capital swerves the laminar plane hyper-diagonally into the temporal circuitry of a cybernetic market process which utilizes the entirety of ‘history’ (meaningless in context to the plane) and agency (also meaningless) as a means for its own self-fulfillment, its own immortality…its own becoming.

Welcome, one and all to a future already designed, the culmination of multiple perfectly machnically-swerved atomic threads that have always-already instigated their own birth. To say you’re a meat-puppet, that’s the understatement of eternity.


TL;DR: Capitalism(ism) isn’t just reaching into the future & past to control its own becoming, but is in fact taking control of the very physics of being as a means for its own becoming.