[NetBehaviour] Accelerationism

Rob Myers rob at robmyers.org
Sat Apr 30 21:50:27 CEST 2016

On 24/04/16 04:52 PM, Gretta Louw wrote:
> Death to the ludicrous, imperialist notion of 'mastery'!

>From the Manifesto:

"14. [...] Real democracy must be defined by its goal — collective
self-mastery. This is a project which must align politics with the
legacy of the Enlightenment, to the extent that it is only through
harnessing our ability to understand ourselves and our world better (our
social, technical, economic, psychological world) that we can come to
rule ourselves. We need to posit a collectively controlled legitimate
vertical authority in addition to distributed horizontal forms of
sociality, to avoid becoming the slaves of either a tyrannical
totalitarian centralism or a capricious emergent order beyond our control."

"21. [...] This mastery must be distinguished from that beloved of
thinkers of the original Enlightenment. The clockwork universe of
Laplace, so easily mastered given sufficient information, is long gone
from the agenda of serious scientific understanding. But this is not to
align ourselves with the tired residue of postmodernity, decrying
mastery as proto-fascistic or authority as innately illegitimate."

I allege that what is under discussion here, however unfortunate the
label and however incompletely, is the concept of "justice" rather than
that of "domination".

But Patricia Reed is also critical of this element of the Manifestio in
their response to it ("Seven Prescriptions For Accelerationism"),
arguing that:

"...the undertones of a revised Modernism peppering the Manifesto are of
deep concern: they leave untouched the violence and injustice inherent
to the universalist repercussions of the Modernist project untouched."


"While the Manifesto admirably takes on the full scale of global
reality, a more nuanced version of universality (not to mention
questions of global justice) needs to take root if the ideas driving
Accelerationism are to contain the seeds of an ethics that embrace
non-totality and the constant struggle for inhuman (epistemic) revisionism."

Srnicek & Williams take up Reed's "situated universality" in their
follow-up to the manifesto ("Inventing The Future") by again referring
to the negative model of neoliberalism.

As well as critiquing the Manifesto, Reed addresses some of its critics:

"There are several aspects of the Manifesto to debate, confront, refute,
argue and so forth; but to deny the possibility for a politics of such
scale tout court (a scale we seem to have no trouble swallowing in the
context of the omnipotence of the global neoliberal economy) is as
totalising and absolutist as the claims made against the projected scale
of Accelerationism."

Laboria Cuboniks embrace this scale in the Xenofeminist manifesto,
writing of:

"...a future in which the realization of gender justice and feminist
emancipation contribute to a universalist politics assembled from the
needs of every human, cutting across race, ability, economic standing,
and geographical position. No more futureless repetition on the
treadmill of capital, no more submission to the drudgery of labour,
productive and reproductive alike, no more reification of the given
masked as critique."

and a Promethean feminism:

"In the name of feminism, 'Nature' shall no longer be a refuge of
injustice, or a basis for any political justification whatsoever!

If nature is unjust, change nature!"

(Xenofeminist music is a thing:

https://soundcloud.com/yoneda-lemma/sets/d-n-e )

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