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335

Terminator vs Avatar

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Needs summary

Fisher, M. (2014). Terminator vs Avatar. In Avanessian, A. and Mackay, R. (eds) #Accelerate: The Accelerationist Reader. Urbanomic, pp. 335-346

339

[...] Hands up who wants to give up their anonymous suburbs and pubs and return to the organic mud of the peasantry. Hands up, that is to say, all those who really want to return to pre-capitalist territorialities. families and villages. Hands up, furthermore. those who really believe that these desires for a restored organic wholeness are extrinsic to late capitalist culture. rather than fully incorporated components of the capitalist libidinal infrastructure. Hollywood itself tells us that we may appear to be always-on techno-addicts. hooked on cyberspace, but inside, in our true selves, we are primitives organically linked to the mother/ planet, and victimised by the military-industrial complex. James Cameron's Avatar is significant because it highlights the disavowal that is constitutive of late capitalist subjectivity, even as it shows how this disavowal is undercut. We can only play at being inner primitives by virtue of cinematic proto-VR technology whose very existence presupposes the destruction of the organic idyll of Pandora.

—p.339 by Mark Fisher 1 year ago

[...] Hands up who wants to give up their anonymous suburbs and pubs and return to the organic mud of the peasantry. Hands up, that is to say, all those who really want to return to pre-capitalist territorialities. families and villages. Hands up, furthermore. those who really believe that these desires for a restored organic wholeness are extrinsic to late capitalist culture. rather than fully incorporated components of the capitalist libidinal infrastructure. Hollywood itself tells us that we may appear to be always-on techno-addicts. hooked on cyberspace, but inside, in our true selves, we are primitives organically linked to the mother/ planet, and victimised by the military-industrial complex. James Cameron's Avatar is significant because it highlights the disavowal that is constitutive of late capitalist subjectivity, even as it shows how this disavowal is undercut. We can only play at being inner primitives by virtue of cinematic proto-VR technology whose very existence presupposes the destruction of the organic idyll of Pandora.

—p.339 by Mark Fisher 1 year ago
342

What, then, is Land's philosophy about?

In a nutshell: Deleuze and Guattari's machinic desire remorselessly stripped of all Bergsonian vitalism, and made backwards-compatible with Freud's death drive and Schopenhauer's Will. The HegelianMarxist motor of history is then transplanted into this pulsional nihilism: the idiotic autonomic Will no longer circulating on the spot, but upgraded into a drive, and guided by a quasi-teleological artificial intelligence attractor that draws terrestrial history over a series of intensive thresholds that have no eschatological point of consummation, and that reach empirical termination only contingently if and when its material substrate burns out. This is Hegelian-Marxist historical materialism inverted: Capital will not be ultimately unmasked as exploited labour power; rather, humans are the meat puppet of Capital, their identities and self-understandings are simulations that can and will be ultimately be sloughed off.

this is dense af & I will probably need to come back to this

—p.342 by Mark Fisher 1 year ago

What, then, is Land's philosophy about?

In a nutshell: Deleuze and Guattari's machinic desire remorselessly stripped of all Bergsonian vitalism, and made backwards-compatible with Freud's death drive and Schopenhauer's Will. The HegelianMarxist motor of history is then transplanted into this pulsional nihilism: the idiotic autonomic Will no longer circulating on the spot, but upgraded into a drive, and guided by a quasi-teleological artificial intelligence attractor that draws terrestrial history over a series of intensive thresholds that have no eschatological point of consummation, and that reach empirical termination only contingently if and when its material substrate burns out. This is Hegelian-Marxist historical materialism inverted: Capital will not be ultimately unmasked as exploited labour power; rather, humans are the meat puppet of Capital, their identities and self-understandings are simulations that can and will be ultimately be sloughed off.

this is dense af & I will probably need to come back to this

—p.342 by Mark Fisher 1 year ago
345

[...] The abstract processes of decoding that capitalism sets off must be contained by improvised archaisms. lest capitalism cease being capitalism. Similarly, markets may or may not be the self-organising meshworks described by Fernand Braudel and Manuel DeLanda, but what is certain is that capitalism, dominated by quasi-monopolies such as Microsoft and Wal-Mart, is an anti-market. Bill Gates promises business at the speed of thought, but what capitalism delivers is thought at the speed of business. A simulation of innovation and newness that cloaks inertia and stasis.

For precisely these reasons. accelerationism can function as an anti-capitalist strategy-not the only anti-capitalist strategy, but a strategy that must be part of any political program that calls itself Marxist. The fact that capitalism tends towards stagflation. that growth is in many respects illusory, is all the more reason that accelerationism can function in a way that Alex Williams characterises as 'terroristic'. What we are not talking about here is the kind of intensification of exploitation that a kneejerk socialist humanism might imagine when the spectre of accelerationism is invoked. As Lyotard suggests, the left subsiding into a moral critique of capitalism is a hopeless betrayal of the anti-identitarian futurism that Marxism must stand for if it is to mean anything at all. What we need, as Fredric Jameson-the author of 'Wal-Mart as Utopia'-argues, is now a new move beyond good and evil. and this. Jameson says, is to be found in none other than the Communist Manifesto. 'The Manifesto,' Jameson writes. 'proposes to see capitalism as the most productive moment of history and the most destructive at the same time, and issues the imperative to think Good and Evil simultaneously, and as inseparable and inextricable dimensions of the same present of time. This is then a more productive way of transcending Good and Evil than the cynicism and lawlessness which so many readers attribute to the Nietzschean program.' Capitalism has abandoned the future because it can't deliver it. Nevertheless, the contemporary Left's tendencies towards Canutism, its rhetoric of resistance and obstruction, collude with capital's anti/meta-narrative that it is the only story left standing. Time to leave behind the logics of failed revolts, and to think ahead again.

—p.345 by Mark Fisher 1 year ago

[...] The abstract processes of decoding that capitalism sets off must be contained by improvised archaisms. lest capitalism cease being capitalism. Similarly, markets may or may not be the self-organising meshworks described by Fernand Braudel and Manuel DeLanda, but what is certain is that capitalism, dominated by quasi-monopolies such as Microsoft and Wal-Mart, is an anti-market. Bill Gates promises business at the speed of thought, but what capitalism delivers is thought at the speed of business. A simulation of innovation and newness that cloaks inertia and stasis.

For precisely these reasons. accelerationism can function as an anti-capitalist strategy-not the only anti-capitalist strategy, but a strategy that must be part of any political program that calls itself Marxist. The fact that capitalism tends towards stagflation. that growth is in many respects illusory, is all the more reason that accelerationism can function in a way that Alex Williams characterises as 'terroristic'. What we are not talking about here is the kind of intensification of exploitation that a kneejerk socialist humanism might imagine when the spectre of accelerationism is invoked. As Lyotard suggests, the left subsiding into a moral critique of capitalism is a hopeless betrayal of the anti-identitarian futurism that Marxism must stand for if it is to mean anything at all. What we need, as Fredric Jameson-the author of 'Wal-Mart as Utopia'-argues, is now a new move beyond good and evil. and this. Jameson says, is to be found in none other than the Communist Manifesto. 'The Manifesto,' Jameson writes. 'proposes to see capitalism as the most productive moment of history and the most destructive at the same time, and issues the imperative to think Good and Evil simultaneously, and as inseparable and inextricable dimensions of the same present of time. This is then a more productive way of transcending Good and Evil than the cynicism and lawlessness which so many readers attribute to the Nietzschean program.' Capitalism has abandoned the future because it can't deliver it. Nevertheless, the contemporary Left's tendencies towards Canutism, its rhetoric of resistance and obstruction, collude with capital's anti/meta-narrative that it is the only story left standing. Time to leave behind the logics of failed revolts, and to think ahead again.

—p.345 by Mark Fisher 1 year ago

referring to an apocryphal anecdote illustrating the piety or humility of King Canute the Great, in which he demonstrates to his courtiers that he has no control over the elements (the incoming tide), explaining that secular power is vain compared to the supreme power of God

346

the contemporary Left's tendencies towards Canutism

—p.346 default author
confirm
1 year ago

the contemporary Left's tendencies towards Canutism

—p.346 default author
confirm
1 year ago