Accelerationist Politics: 03: MANIFEST: On the Future

Accelerationist linksManifestoCapital

left off looking more closely at neoliberalism, with a conclusion to read Capital & that productive forces are "rolled" over from generation to generation. Accelerate Manifesto begins its third section, (#1):

…an accel­er­a­tion­ist polit­ics seeks to pre­serve the gains of late cap­it­al­ism while going fur­ther than its value sys­tem, gov­ernance struc­tures, and mass patho­lo­gies will allow.

there's this little hole in my ear, like a birthmark. in my twenties (i remember this because it was a lovely spring day in LA, and the sun was shining through the green leaves) when a fellow preemie explained what that hole meant: you were born early. i was. she had two holes (one on each ear) mine is on my left ear. the gills are the last thing to close, she told me. she wasn't induced, but i was, and an ob/gyn told me, one day, that when i was born the procedure was still kinda dangerous. so that's why i'm fucked up! anyway... Landian accelerationism involves inducing labor. think of the Accelerate Manifesto as a 2nd opinion (quicker to read, easier to grok, with less mediating work involved).

#1 also defines an "import­ant divi­sion" on the left between the vertical and the horizontal. Obamabotwise, stronger integration is more critical for 2016, i think (but we're working on this).

two points in #2: radical reduction of working hours (a point made by Keynes) & blurred work/life distinction (you're always working). as to the second being true for everyone, see discussion sparked by: Suffering With a Smile & response.

we are 17 years away from Keynes look into the future: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren (1930). Keynes noted there was a slow progress in the standard of life from approximately 2000 BC to the beginning of the 18th century, due "to the remarkable absence of important technical improvements and to the failure of capital to accumulate" Keynes called the absence of the first "truly remarkable", and that the accumulation of capital began our modern age. then, the power of compound interest growing capital a hundredfold vs. fourfold increase in the standard of life (Europe/US). then, increases in technical efficiency leading to technological unemployment. before grasping your pearls: "All this means in the long run that mankind is solving its economic problem". ultimately, absolute needs fulfilled open up "energies to non-economic purposes".

brace yourselves for my conclusion: by 2030 "the economic problem may be solved", meaning, it isn't the permanent problem of the human race. we have just worked ourselves out of our main problem & "mankind will be deprived of its traditional purpose" & will deal with "his real, his permanent problem": leisurethe old Adam may need a three hour work day to avoid a "nervous breakdown". but until that day, "Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still."

awesome must read. beg the question: wouldn't we want to induce the arrival of this "longed-for sweet"? beginning of this essay describes some dread (& maybe this is where climate change issues comes in? (Keynes doesn't mention that bit)):

We are suffering just now from a bad attack of economic pessimism. It is common to hear people say that the epoch of enormous economic progress which characterised the nineteenth century is over; that the rapid improvement in the standard of life is now going to slow down—at any rate in Great Britain; that a decline in prosperity is more likely than an improvement in the decade which lies ahead of us.

I believe that this is a wildly mistaken interpretation of what is happening to us. We are suffering, not from the rheumatics of old age, but from the growing-pains of over-rapid changes, from the painfulness of readjustment between one economic period and another. The increase of technical efficiency has been taking place faster than we can deal with the problem of labour absorption; the improvement in the standard of life has been a little too quick; the banking and monetary system of the world has been preventing the rate of interest from falling as fast as equilibrium requires…

The prevailing world depression, the enormous anomaly of unemployment in a world full of wants, the disastrous mistakes we have made, blind us to what is going on under the surface—to the true interpretation of the trend of things. For I predict that both of the two opposed errors of pessimism which now make so much noise in the world will be proved wrong in our own time—the pessimism of the revolutionaries who think that things are so bad that nothing can save us but violent change, and the pessimism of the reactionaries who consider the balance of our economic and social life so precarious that we must risk no experiments.

My purpose in this essay, however, is not to examine the present or the near future, but to disembarrass myself of short views and take wings into the future. What can we reasonably expect the level of our economic life to be a hundred years hence? What are the economic possibilities for our grandchildren?

just noticed something. Marx never had to tell me about living within structures built before i was born. maybe humanity, after years of survival of the fittest & dog-eats-dog &c, has this internal unconscious compass about the flow of things. deep down we're aware of something. like the dread of not knowing what to do after morning coffee. Landianism cannot out run unconscious desires to keep Old Adam's status quo.

#3. hai, climate change… (meaning, wrong technology (building junk, generating gunk = bad planet) creates the wrong acceleration trajectory).

The prop­erly accel­er­at­ive gains of neo­lib­er­al­ism have not led to less work or less stress. And rather than a world of space travel, future shock, and revolu­tion­ary tech­no­lo­gical poten­tial, we exist in a time where the only thing which devel­ops is mar­gin­ally bet­ter con­sumer gad­getry.

consumer acceleration vs. human acceleration. neoliberal path is reiterative.capitalist.ret­ro­grade.looping building gadgets at the expense of the planet, technological efficiency, reaching the leisure sweet spot, &c. a technological future realigned with Keynes' vision, which is gradual and non-catastrophic, is a key element in Accelerationist Politics.

#4. We do not want to return to Ford­ism. even if Old Adam needs to work three hours a day.

#5. Accel­er­a­tion­ists want to unleash lat­ent pro­duct­ive forces. In this pro­ject, the mater­ial plat­form of neo­lib­er­al­ism does not need to be des­troyed. It needs to be repur­posed towards com­mon ends. The exist­ing infra­struc­ture is not a cap­it­al­ist stage to be smashed, but a spring­board to launch towards post-capitalism.

see, Marx to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov & my comments, here. lat­ent pro­duct­ive forces, read Marx—and some help expanding, concretizing what this means to manifest & how to unleash lat­ent forces.

#6. made me think of the widening gyre, but The Gift of Harun Al-Rashid is more apt.

#7. Whereas the techno-utopians argue for accel­er­a­tion on the basis that it will auto­mat­ic­ally over­come social con­flict, our pos­i­tion is that tech­no­logy should be accel­er­ated pre­cisely because it is needed in order to win social conflicts.

do not distress yourself with dark imaginings when pondering "word choice"

remember: Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics. also, #8. will generate neo-reactionary red flags (which is good, see #7):

The Road to Serfdom is a book written by the Austrian-born economist and philosopher Friedrich von Hayek (1899–1992) between 1940–1943, in which he "warned of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from government control of economic decision-making through central planning",[1] and in which he argues that the abandonment of individualism and classical liberalism inevitably leads to a loss of freedom, the creation of an oppressive society, the tyranny of a dictator and the serfdom of the individual. Significantly, Hayek challenged the general view among British academics that fascism was a capitalist reaction against socialism, instead arguing that fascism and socialism had common roots in central economic planning and the power of the state over the individual. {source}

#9. when not making cookies or reading your Marx, practice your alchemy (this goes with #8 & other numbers of this Manifesto, quantifically speaking):

#10. Manifesto proposes a cybernetic working group (WG) an interdisciplinary collaboration of researchers working on new research activities. examples: Chilean Pro­ject Cyber­syn & Soviet cybernetics (correct PDF link: Introduction to Slava Gerovitch's From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: A History of Soviet Cybernetics):

Santiago dreaming
Project Cybersyn control room
What this collaboration produced was startling: a new communications system reaching the whole spindly length of Chile, from the deserts of the north to the icy grasslands of the south, carrying daily information about the output of individual factories, about the flow of important raw materials, about rates of absenteeism and other economic problems.

Until now, obtaining and processing such valuable information - even in richer, more stable countries - had taken governments at least six months. But Project Cybersyn found ways round the technical obstacles. In a forgotten warehouse, 500 telex machines were discovered which had been bought by the previous Chilean government but left unused because nobody knew what to do with them. These were distributed to factories, and linked to two control rooms in Santiago. There a small staff gathered the economic statistics as they arrived, officially at five o'clock every afternoon, and boiled them down using a single precious computer into a briefing that was dropped off daily at La Moneda, the presidential palace. {Anthony Stafford Beer}

#11. soci­o­tech­nical hege­ returned 4 results for "soci­o­tech­nical hege­mony": At Home with Computers, Elaine Lally {review). my idea: 20% of Americans still don't have access. a small urban store builds cheap, disposable (i.e., easy to replace if lost, stolen, broken), netbooks connected to city websites (& services). connection via free wifi at local restaurants, libraries, or even the store. printing can be emailable service, printed to your nearest location. &c &c.

#12.,#13. don't be an emo[fill blank w/ your brand].

#14. col­lect­ive self-​mastery… The com­mand of The Plan must be mar­ried to the impro­vised order of The Network. Token ring! one ring to bind us all.

#15. situated in a human space… which allows the unfolding of the "hodological" space (Sartre). Race and Feminist Standpoint Theory, Anika Maaza Maan {Standpoint theory} : "because we are situated in a human space and not by spatial, or temporal, locations, our identities are situated by others. Given the human experience of intersubjectivity, Sartre attempts to give a concrete description of our experience of being in community, or solidarity, with others by explaining the notion of the 'we,' or undifferentiated nous. In the experience of the 'we' (being-with or Mit-sein), the recognition of subjectivities is analogous to the self-recognition of the nonthetic consciousness, in which a plurality of subjects recognize others as subjectivities, or transcendences-transcending. Therefore, unlike the objectifying look of the Other, no one is an object in the 'we'. He says that the 'we' experience cannot ground our consciousness of the Other because being-for-others grounds the possibility of being-with others; put differently…"

#16.,#17.,#18. three medium term con­crete goals: (a) [B]uild an intel­lec­tual infra­struc­ture. Mim­ick­ing the Mont Pelerin Society of the neo­lib­eral revolu­tion: Friedrich Hayek, Karl Popper, Ludwig von Mises, George Stigler, and Milton Friedman; (b) wide-scale media reform; (c) recon­sti­t­ute vari­ous forms of class power.

#19. Groups and indi­vidu­als are already at work on each of these, but each is on their own insuf­fi­cient. What is required is all three feed­ing back into one another, with each modi­fy­ing the con­tem­por­ary con­junc­tion in such a way that the oth­ers become more and more effect­ive. A pos­it­ive feed­back loop of infra­struc­tural, ideo­lo­gical, social and eco­nomic trans­form­a­tion, gen­er­at­ing a new com­plex hege­mony, a new post-​capitalist tech­noso­cial plat­form. His­tory demon­strates it has always been a broad assemblage of tac­tics and organ­isa­tions which has brought about sys­tem­atic change; these les­sons must be learned.

#20. To achieve each of these goals, on the most prac­tical level we hold that the accel­er­a­tion­ist left must think more ser­i­ously about the flows of resources and money required to build an effect­ive new polit­ical infra­struc­ture. Bey­ond the ‘people power’ of bod­ies in the street, we require fund­ing, whether from gov­ern­ments, insti­tu­tions, think tanks, uni­ons, or indi­vidual bene­fact­ors. We con­sider the loc­a­tion and con­duc­tion of such fund­ing flows essen­tial to begin recon­struct­ing an eco­logy of effect­ive accel­er­a­tion­ist left organizations.

#21. Promethean politics (bring down the fire; see #9). The Promethean Politics of Milton, Blake, and Shelley, Linda M. Lewis.

For more than two millennia, the myth of Prometheus has fascinated writers and artists. The complex and resonant story of the rebellious Titan who stole fire from the Olympic gods to bestow it upon humanity has remained the prototypical commentary on tyranny and rebellion. Examining the political core of this myth as presented in the poetic tradition, Linda M. Lewis traces Promethean figures and imagery in the major poetry of Milton, Blake, and Shelley. Although the significance of the myth in Western literature has often been noted, Lewis's study is unique in recognizing an ambiguity in Promethean depictions that persists from Greek drama through the English Romantics. While Prometheus is a benefactor and savior, he also takes the role of sophist and trickster. Lewis convincingly articulates this tension and relates it to the ambiguous political relationship between ruler and subject. Drawing primarily upon Paradise Lost, Lewis shows how Milton's use of Prometheus is significant not only because of Milton's undisputed influence on the Romantics, but also because his Promethean figures reflect the myth in all of its facets, from the traitorous Satan and disobedient Adam to the Son in his salvational role. Blake's responses to Milton and to Dante are closely related to his recasting of the Prometheus myth in his prophetic works, particularly through the revolutions associated with his fiery character Orc. Lewis concludes with a chapter on Shelley, focusing on Prometheus Unbound, but also providing a fascinating look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, which was subtitled The Modern Prometheus. An afterword extends this insightful analysis of Promethean icons by examining those used by such late eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century women writers as Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. This volume will be of special interest to students and teachers of seventeenth-century studies and English Romantic poetry, in addition to those interested in myth, iconography, and semiotics.

#22. when you get stuck you go back to basics. read Marx.  i get bootstrapping (like, this is a hard restart flipping Capitalism=Good to Capitalism=Bad). David Harvey's Marx intro: 0:07:10, laying aside preconceptions… just reading the text… to find out what it really was Marx was trying to say. which is not easy… due to our intellectual history & formation… sometimes governed by disciplinary concerns…

#23. sec­u­lar crisis of acceleration? what is the current avg. work week for the avg. Old Adam & Old Eve

#24. done in the first part.