[NetBehaviour] Accelerate Marx [Was: Re: Accelerationism]

Michael Szpakowski szpako at yahoo.com
Sun Apr 24 12:03:48 CEST 2016

Hi Rob, everyone, yes - I chose that particular passage because it is so clear. It raises the question "What's new?". The historically progressive role of the bourgeoisie in terms of constantly revolutionising production is an absolute given in Marx.
Equally given and ubiquitous is his back of the hand, swatting a mosquito, demolition of the "if I want it, it's so" utopians - Fourier and his conversion of the oceans into lemonade being a particularly brilliant example,  but it applies equally to Owen, Proudhon, Kropotkin and others... The accelerationists strike me as a version of the utopians but nearly 180 years too late ( and there is such a strong temptation to quote Marx on"the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce" that I'm going to yield) What characterises them is a profound *mistrust* of ordinary people  -the Owens, the Fouriers &c were great system builders -*they* and only *they* would bring enlightenment with their precisely ordered and often deeply odd systems. The key thing being the they were the great enlightened ones.Don't get me wrong -I'm all for dreaming and artists in particular do that well, they are often the storm petrels, the windsocks, of impending social change. But when hen we mistake our dreams and our systems as a substitute for the hard business of actually changing the world , when we fall in love with our own cleverness, the problems start. Cambodia stands as the most terrible practical warning here.

      From: Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>
 To: NetBehaviour for networked distributed creativity <netbehaviour at netbehaviour.org>; Michael Szpakowski <szpako at yahoo.com> 
 Sent: Sunday, April 24, 2016 1:58 AM
 Subject: Accelerate Marx [Was: Re: [NetBehaviour] Accelerationism]
There's also the discussion of machines in the Grundrisse, which the "Accelerationist Reader" book starts with as "Fragment on Machines" (from "once adopted into the production process of capital, the means of labour passes through different metamorphoses, whose culmination is the machine" here:

https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1857/grundrisse/ch13.htm )

This is probably where Left Accelerationism originates as an attitude towards and seeking to work through or escape the process Marx & Engels describe below.

What's particularly interesting in relation to "Inventing The Future" is its discussion of automation and free time. And it touches on the quality of the alien in a way that might, in a funhouse mirror way, be recognizable in *some* other post-70s Accelerationism.

On April 23, 2016 8:38:21 AM PDT, Michael Szpakowski <szpako at yahoo.com> wrote:
Marx & Engels on accelerationism in 1848:
"The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionising the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelledto face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind."   This does the *descriptive* job as well as anything written since and it still stands perfectly well...Sent from my iPhone
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Sent from my Android device with K-9 Mail. Please excuse my brevity.

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