Where one begins with Acceleration or Accelerationism (or Capitalismism) in the scholarly philosophical sense can not be from any centralized point; this rhizomatic point-of-origin is quite in-keeping with Accelerationist theory. One could begin from Marx’s Fragment on Machines, The Accelerationist Reader, Hyperstition, Nick Land’s Oeuvre, Deleuzeguattarian philosophy, late Nietzsche, CCRU or even niche Twitter subgroups (search-terms: u/acc, l/acc, r/acc, z/acc, #rhetttwitter & #cavetwitter) So where shall I begin, from the list aboves glaring lacuna…
I shall begin with
a the MAP. Unfortunately, this MAP isn’t full of detailed schematics, measurements or routes, no. This MAP is in fact a manifesto, The Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (MAP) If it were a map I’d argue that it’d be so dated in its approach to cartography that we’d be dealing with but a crayon drawing of robo-Marx pointing which direction to go in. So, why begin here as opposed to the other Acceleration labyrinth (Acc-Lab) entry points? The MAP is one of the few entry locations of the Acc-Lab that actually has a defined position which is relative to any agreement; thus far, the MAP Acc-Lab doorway is the only agreed upon entry-point which leads to any constructive discussion as to acceleration. Why is this? To the meat!
As I stated MAP declares a position, which is of/on the left. Their proposition in short is to accelerate technology as a means to emancipate the worker from the shackles of capitalism, the acceleration of technology as a utopian-accelerative gesture.
‘Work for work’s sake is a perversity and a constraint imposed upon humanity by capitalism’s ideology of the work ethic. What accelerationism seeks is to allow human potential to escape from the trap set for it by contemporary capitalism.’ – #Accelerationism: Remembering the Future
It is quite transparently a ‘Marxism for the 21st century’ (Isaac Camacho) and so one may wonder why anyone would take seriously such a proposition, the idea that post/after/beyond/through capitalism lies this Marxist utopia is deluded, capitalism has already subsumed Marxism and unless you wish to make the case that it still exists but as mere internal-cyst upon capitalism’ innards waiting for its day or rupture, then your argument comes to a halt rather sharply. Postcapitalism, if such a nauseating political reality could come into existence, would exist much akin to postmodernism, yearning to be free of its suffix-master, yet perpetually attached via an economic umbilical cord for stability.
Yet this idea of ‘postcapitalism’ allows us to view that which Acceleration is truly indebted to: time. Postcapitalism could only come into existence via the ability of future-construction, via the ability to construct the future: ‘24. The future needs to be constructed.’ – MAP.
‘The notion that the future is less ontologically settled than the past is less transcendentally unsustainable position, it’s a metaphysics of time in a strict critical sense and it’s convenient for political orientation but it’s a philosophically unsustainable commitment.’ – Nick Land
This idea of ‘construction’ is ontologically and temporally muddled, albeit wrong. MAP’s notion of construction implies both a retainment of agency (not surprising from a Marxist perspective), yet it also implies that history presents a choice, and that history is on a divergent wave as opposed to a convergent wave. The ripples move in reverse, back towards the ‘event’, the singularity; capitalism drags and draws the ‘past’ and the ‘now’ from its place in the future. A temporal lasso cuts through common notions of chronic-time and acts out its transcendent selection process. Acceleration is the struggle to keep up with the demands of the future.
If one is in doubt of this strange, outside, diagonal temporal process they may only look upon the influx of subcultures and movements indebted to a non-linear, anti-chronic or atypical theorizations of times: Cyberpunk, Cybergoth, Neoreaction, Archifuture, Retro-progressivism etc. Imminent examples of disorder within the supposedly (currently) ordered security system; the prediction market was reliant on an incorrect form of time and as such…we got a lot wrong. If one returns to the idea of time as a convergent wave, they find that of course prediction markets would be wrong, their predictions were blind darts thrown against the pull of the future.
Back to our entry-point. Why did we enter at L/Acc? Because (as is often the case) it is the left who imply, if not create the first point of reference upon the spectrum. So with an entry at L/Left we now (apparently) have a political left, a directional left, and a positional left, from the trajectory of the MAP one can now – with rough certainty – say their hand is to the Left wall of the Acc-Lab. So with the existence of a Left comes the implication and almost forced (unwarranted) creation of a right. For you cannot have left without the existence of a right, wherever it may lay, and whatever it may be. R/Acc is an inevitable semiotic effect from the coinage of L/Acc.
Can you hear that clicking, hissing and screeching in the distance? It’s the noise of a hundred shitposters frothing at the mouth at the prospect of R/Acc articulation.
R/Acc, that grand phantasm of accelerationist thought. It is easiest to begin from comparison. In the traditional sense the political spectrum has on its left Liberalism and Communism, and on its right Conservatism and Fascism. So where L/Acc see a constructed future once again pertaining to Marxist thought, R/Acc sees (amongst a few perceptions – Wait your turn!) the possibility of acceleration only existing with a reversion to some form of hierarchical structure; this is where we see the convergence of Neoreaction and R/Acc, both taking the blackpill in acceptance of deterritorialization as capitalism – ‘it sees capital’s oppressive reconfiguration of the social space as the inevitable price techno-industrial development.’ – So, Acc
More recently both ends of the spectrum have altered in mirrored ways (as they would). We have seen the left become increasingly more egalitarian, more inclusive and more tolerant, to the point of ignorance, frustration and delusion. What the Left wishes to tuck neatly under the rug and act as if it will simply disappear once/if technological emancipation is achieved, the right wishes to bring to the fore and accept as a means to ‘prove’ and foster the idea that either we need a reversion, or more recently ‘It’s too fucking late!’
R/Acc: An increasing proportion of the industrial surplus is being absorbed by the task of masking bio-social deterioration.
Z/Acc: Over 100% soon.
U/Acc: Oh c’mon.
L/Acc: Look, a squirrel! – Nick Land (Outsideness)
The discrepancies of an R/Acc definition come about precisely because in its origination it was anti-capitalism. To paraphrase Moldbug ‘Just because you’re no longer a red, doesn’t mean you have to become a blue.’. R/Acc were anti-capitalist, but they weren’t/aren’t those anti-capitalists, they can’t be, otherwise the spectrum just shot up its own arse. R/Acc’s form of anti-capitalism begins from the idea that (for R/Acc) capitalism and acceleration are synonymous, and thus, they are not anti-capitalism in the strict, empirical, political sense, no. They are anti-capitalism in the sense of understanding that capitalism’s ‘industrial surplus is being absorbed by the task of masking bio-social deterioration’ and as such this isn’t a convergent wave leading anywhere pleasant. But then again, who ever said the singularity was going to be pleasant?
If one is to refer to the root of Deleuze and Guattari’s now semi-famous ‘accelerationist passage’ one can find articulation. The root of the accelerationist ritual ‘Accelerate the process!’ (Anti-Oedipus) is of course to be found is the latter fragmented jottings of Nietzsche’s nachlass The Will to Power: ‘The levelling of the European man is the great process which cannot be obstructed; it should even be accelerated.’ What does this quote reveal to us of both L/Acc and R/Acc? It reveals priorities: L/Acc dumbfoundedly wishes to control the ritual process, whereas R/Acc are primarily focused on what the levelling does to European man. Or: It’s all well and good ‘levelling European man’ but if that process results in a dysgenic, IQ shredding, weak, slave-like mess then perhaps it’s best to question the method. (I would add here for those interested that Neoreaction focuses more on European man that levelling or its effects.)
R/Acc is L/Acc’s compensatory reterritorialized element, yet unlike the L/Acc R/Acc has not chained itself to archaic theory set in chronic time, and as such acts as a reterritorialization acting and moving in relation to L/Accs consistent compiling of ignorance. This would be my personal argument against the idea that R/Acc needs or has a consistent political position, R/Acc’s inherent understanding of agency within unhinged time allows them to acquire the blackpill-visors and metaphorically witness capital’s convergent lasso come forth. With L/Acc searching for the – supposed – true agent of acceleration exterior to capitalism, which in the view of R/Acc is capitalism itself. Thus the spectrum upon which both L and R/Acc coexist is one of ontology, wherein one side (L/Acc) promote an ontologically objective structure of time, with humanities agency at the wheel, and the other end (R/Acc) accepting the ontology of the future as a constant. R/Acc accept that capital is critique.
Thus the circuit diagram of both L/Acc and R/Acc remain the same, their ontology however, is entirely different. The circuit diagram itself is Acceleration pure.