re neocam syndicalism → Unconditional Acceleration and the Question of Praxis: Some Preliminary Thoughts
just realised i can't get hooked from hanging out in scuttlebutt, because of the people i happen to follow there (the most famous): randomly reading their posts throws me off so much i get a huge sense of rejection and leave.
if you're on scuttlebutt please tell me!
(i'm fine with having them keep updating the software 😇)
Unconditional Acceleration and the Question of Praxis: Some Preliminary Thoughts | Deterritorial Investigations
If we step back take praxis in its most broad sense – the higher form of acting in the world – then U/ACC is hardly anti-praxis; it simply asks that the limits and the inevitable dissolution of things be acknowledged (there is no contradiction between posing this alongside the Xenofeminist mantra “if nature is unjust, change nature”). No, U/ACC manifests an anti-praxis line when a very specific sort is proposed, that is, the political-territorial subordination and navigation of the forces in motion by a mass subject – the politics of striation. For this reason, perhaps it is best to view U/ACC not as anti-praxis, but as anti-collective means of intervention.
Instead, U/ACC calls attention to the manner through which collective forms of intervention and political stabilization, be they of the left or the the right, are rendered impossible in the long-run through overarching tendencies and forces. Thus, while left-accelerationism (L/ACC) and right-accelerationism (R/ACC) seek to recompose or reterritorialize Leviathan in accordance with each of their own political theologies, U/ACC charts a course outwards: the structures of Oedipus, the Cathedral, Leviathan, what have you, will be ripped apart and decimated by forces rushing up from within and around the system, which in turn mobilize the entirety of the system towards its own dissolution point. Unlike L/ACC and R/ACC, U/ACC is not at the bottom a political theory; it is one of mobilizing materialism.
Yet it is not so straightforward as simple control hierarchies. Through the passage of time, the prevailing organizational dynamics have shifted not only at the immediate, everyday level (say, on the factory production line or in the corporate boardroom), but at the civilizational level as well. Hunter-gatherer societies often organized in clusters based on direct hierarchy, while the passage from early civilization to the industrial revolution(s) saw this hierarchy move from wider chain-of-command systems to be dynamic entanglements. With each passing iteration, the status of the hierarchical formation itself declines as the relations tend towards the network, or even post-network, formations. This is precisely because, Bar-Yam notes, of a rise in the ‘complexity profile’ being shaped within civilization. As the nonlinear processes driven by cascading positive feedback intensify and rise, organization itself becomes more complex, more heterogeneous, more multiplicitious, and less congenial to control systems. Rising complexity, in the end, trashes the orderly nature of organic wholeness.
The L/ACC critic might stop here and decry the construction of a strawman. “Of course we aren’t for firm hierarchy,” they are probably saying. “We’re interested in flexible forms, in hybridity and multiplicity.” They might add, as their neo-communist cousins are oft to do, that they even reject planning as traditionally conceived: “we support decentralized planning”. Allow me to respond to these oppositions quickly: flexible control, modular hierarchy, and decentralized planning all fall victim to the same forward rush of rising complexity as their more formalized and concrete kin.
It is at this point where one might happen on something that looks like U/ACC praxis. If one’s goal is the dissolution of the state and/or rule by multinational monopoly capitalism, then why recourse to the very systems and mechanisms that seek to stabilize these forms and shore them up against the forces that undermine them? This question is at the core of Deleuze and Guattari’s insight in the ‘accelerationist fragment’ that to “withdraw from the world market”, as opposed to going deeper into the throes of it, is a “curious revival of the fascist ‘economic solution’”.ix The intellectual complicity of the broad left with this ‘economic solution’ is also why Nick Land – in a moment of incredible anti-fascist theorizing – charged that
re-Hegelianized western Marxism degenerates from the critique of political economy into a state-sympathizing monotheology of economics, siding with fascism against deregulation. The left subsidies into conservatism, asphyxiating its vestigial capacity for hot speculative mutation in the morass of a cold depressive guilt-culture.
To accelerate the process, and to throw oneself into those flows, leaves behind the (already impossible) specter of collective intervention. This grander anti-praxis opens, in turn, the space for examining forms of praxis that break from the baggage of the past. We could count agorism and exit as forms impeccable to furthering the process, and cypherpoliticsxi and related configurations arise on the far end of the development, as the arc bends towards molecularization of economic and social relations. It is in these horizons that conversation and application must unfold.
No more reterritorializing reactions. No more retroprogressivism.
On turning left into darkness
On the other hand, any culture of absolute kindness becomes a conservative system of unspoken violence insofar as painful truths get repressed and all participants become deformed over time.
I should like to become a worthy opponent of the smart wings of the new reaction, rather than merely pretend they are stupid; for I consider it a great embarrassment that the revolutionary left has yet to generate anything as genuinely interesting and creative as The Dark Enlightenment or Unqualified Reservations. If so-called left-acclerationism is our best response, then we’re in deep trouble (see below). Fortunately, I think we can do much, much better, but we won’t know until we try.
This idea that it is ethically or politically wrong to entertain a certain frame of debate is a fatal error in both the normative and empirical sense of that term. First, on the normative level, the idea of refusing to engage people with certain frames of reference dehumanizes people who have no access to anything other than those frames of reference. In short, this objection writes off large swaths of humanity as inhuman. I believe that this monopoly on humanity claimed by educated leftists is now, on net, a more violent and reactionary phenomenon than any legitimacy that would be given to racism by even talking with a proper racist (let alone decent people who merely have dicey or controversial positions).
It is my view that the revolutionary left is absolutely obligated to treat such people as the humans they truly are despite the dehumanization they have been subjected to. When the “humane” leftist says thou shall not engage with any racist “framing” of a conversation, they are saying that large swaths of essentially innocent people do not have the right to think, speak, or participate in public life, i.e. this position coldly writes off the past and continued dehumanization of literally millions of people. Leftists think they are being radically humane, guarding the last line of defense against the collapse of human equality, but the horrifying mistake nobody is willing to reflect on is that this is actually saying “keep those filthy animals out of the little circle of humanity I still get to enjoy with my educated friends.”
Thinkers of the respectable-radical left, people such as Paul Mason or Srnicek and Williams are selling a hope of technological super-abundance, but they are too sweet to tell any of their left comrades that all of the people you would need to actually produce that super-abundance are off building hyper-exploitative super-capitalism in part because they once went to an activist meeting and everyone treated them like fascists.