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1

Introduction to Accelerationism

2
terms
5
notes

cites Lee Konstantinou's Pop Apocalypse, which imagines a "Creative Destruction" sect of Marxists (who believe that the only way to get to socialism is by spreading capitalism further)

Shaviro, S. (2015). Introduction to Accelerationism. In Shaviro, S. No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism. University Of Minnesota Press, pp. 1-8

2

[...] science fiction as a genre does not claim to actually predict the future. Rather, it works to extrapolate elements of the present, to consider what these elements might lead to if allowed to reach their full potential. That is to say, science fiction is not about the actual future but about the futurity that haunts the present. It grasps, and brings to visibility, what Deleuze calls the virtual dimension of existence, or what Marx calls tendential processes.

Science fiction takes up certain implicit conditions of our personal and social lives, and makes these conditions fully explicit in narrative. It picks out "futuristic" trends that are already embedded within our actual social and technological situation. These trends are not literal matters of fact, but they really exist as tendencies or potentialities. In the words of Deleuze, they are "real without being actual, ideal without being abstract, and symbolic without being fictional." They are potentials for change, growth, or decay, bu they have not fully expressed themselves or done all that they can do. And they may not ever do so, since (as Marx points out) a tendency is always accompanied by "counteracting factors" that can inhibit or even reverse it.

—p.2 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago

[...] science fiction as a genre does not claim to actually predict the future. Rather, it works to extrapolate elements of the present, to consider what these elements might lead to if allowed to reach their full potential. That is to say, science fiction is not about the actual future but about the futurity that haunts the present. It grasps, and brings to visibility, what Deleuze calls the virtual dimension of existence, or what Marx calls tendential processes.

Science fiction takes up certain implicit conditions of our personal and social lives, and makes these conditions fully explicit in narrative. It picks out "futuristic" trends that are already embedded within our actual social and technological situation. These trends are not literal matters of fact, but they really exist as tendencies or potentialities. In the words of Deleuze, they are "real without being actual, ideal without being abstract, and symbolic without being fictional." They are potentials for change, growth, or decay, bu they have not fully expressed themselves or done all that they can do. And they may not ever do so, since (as Marx points out) a tendency is always accompanied by "counteracting factors" that can inhibit or even reverse it.

—p.2 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago
2

[...] accelerationism is best defined--in political, aesthetic, and philosophical terms--as the argument that the only way out is through. In order to overcome globalized neoliberal capitalism, we need to drain it to the dregs, push it to its most extreme point, follow it into its furthest and strangest consequences. As Bertolt Brecht put it years ago, "Don't start from the good old things but the bad new ones." The hope is that, by exacerbating our current conditions of existence, we will finally be able to make them explode, and thereby move beyond them.

—p.2 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago

[...] accelerationism is best defined--in political, aesthetic, and philosophical terms--as the argument that the only way out is through. In order to overcome globalized neoliberal capitalism, we need to drain it to the dregs, push it to its most extreme point, follow it into its furthest and strangest consequences. As Bertolt Brecht put it years ago, "Don't start from the good old things but the bad new ones." The hope is that, by exacerbating our current conditions of existence, we will finally be able to make them explode, and thereby move beyond them.

—p.2 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago
7

[...] I define neoliberalism as a specific mode of capitalist production (Marx), and form of governmentality (Foucault), that is characterized by the following specific factors:

  1. The dominating influence of financial institutions, which facilitate transfers of wealth from everybody else to the already extremely wealthy [...]
  2. The privatization and commodification of what used to be common or public goods [...]
  3. The extraction, by banks and other large corporations, of a surplus from all social activities: not only from production (as in the classical Marxist model of capitalism) but from circulation and consumption as well. Capital accumulation proceeds not only by direct exploitation but also by rent-seeking, by debt collection, and by outright expropriation ("primitive accumulation").
  4. The subjection of all aspects of life to the so-called discipline of the market [...]
  5. The redefinition of human beings as private owners of their own "human capital". Each person is thereby, as Michel Foucault puts it, forced to become "an entrepreneur of himself." [...]

good overview

—p.7 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago

[...] I define neoliberalism as a specific mode of capitalist production (Marx), and form of governmentality (Foucault), that is characterized by the following specific factors:

  1. The dominating influence of financial institutions, which facilitate transfers of wealth from everybody else to the already extremely wealthy [...]
  2. The privatization and commodification of what used to be common or public goods [...]
  3. The extraction, by banks and other large corporations, of a surplus from all social activities: not only from production (as in the classical Marxist model of capitalism) but from circulation and consumption as well. Capital accumulation proceeds not only by direct exploitation but also by rent-seeking, by debt collection, and by outright expropriation ("primitive accumulation").
  4. The subjection of all aspects of life to the so-called discipline of the market [...]
  5. The redefinition of human beings as private owners of their own "human capital". Each person is thereby, as Michel Foucault puts it, forced to become "an entrepreneur of himself." [...]

good overview

—p.7 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago
10

What lurks behind this analysis is the frustrating sense of an impasse. Among its other accomplishments, neoliberal capitalism has also robbed us of the future. For it turns everything into an eternal present. The highest values of our society--as preached in the business schools--are novelty, innovation, and creativity. And yet these always only result in more of the same [...] as Ernst Block once put it, in a state of "sheer aimless infinity and incessant changeability; where everything ought to be constantly new, everything remains just as it was."

—p.10 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago

What lurks behind this analysis is the frustrating sense of an impasse. Among its other accomplishments, neoliberal capitalism has also robbed us of the future. For it turns everything into an eternal present. The highest values of our society--as preached in the business schools--are novelty, innovation, and creativity. And yet these always only result in more of the same [...] as Ernst Block once put it, in a state of "sheer aimless infinity and incessant changeability; where everything ought to be constantly new, everything remains just as it was."

—p.10 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago

the condition of self-sufficiency, especially economic, as applied to a nation; a national policy of economic independence

14

Amin's autarkic policies were in fact adopted by the Khmer Rouge

—p.14 by Steven Shaviro
notable
4 years, 10 months ago

Amin's autarkic policies were in fact adopted by the Khmer Rouge

—p.14 by Steven Shaviro
notable
4 years, 10 months ago

the incessant product and process innovation mechanism by which new production units replace outdated ones; coined by Joseph Schumpeter in 1942 as "the essential fact about capitalism"

15

in fact, the very idea of "creative destruction" comes entirely from Marx. Schumpeter is the only significant right-wing, procapitalist economist who actually took the trouble to read Marx carefully and seriously

—p.15 by Steven Shaviro
notable
4 years, 10 months ago

in fact, the very idea of "creative destruction" comes entirely from Marx. Schumpeter is the only significant right-wing, procapitalist economist who actually took the trouble to read Marx carefully and seriously

—p.15 by Steven Shaviro
notable
4 years, 10 months ago
19

But Hayek's market utopia does not take Keynesian uncertainty into account. Since we cannot quantify the future in probabilistic terms, it cannot be captured in terms of the "information" provided by the price system. Despite its supposedly self-correcting mechanisms, the "market" is as subject to unanticipated consequences and inefficient, disequilibrating outcomes as any planning mechanism would be. We should therefore reject the entire dichotomy between central planning, on the one hand, and market "rationality" on the other. Neither mechanism is guaranteed to produce desirable (or efficient) outcomes; neither is likely to reach any sort of equilibrium; both are subject to shocks and ruptures that cannot be contained within probabilistic calculations of risk.

[...] despite Hayek's idealization of the market, no corporation actually works by responding to the "information" conveyed in price signals. Rather capitalist firms themselves engage in massive central planning, in order to manipulate supply, demand, and profit. In other words, planning will take place in any case. It is never as efficacious as the planners wish, but neither is it as futile and ineffective as Hayek claims. The real problem, given the actuality of planning, is to ensure that it is done democratically and accountably, rather than (as at present) by managers and plutocrats accountable only to their corporation's bottom line. [...]

—p.19 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago

But Hayek's market utopia does not take Keynesian uncertainty into account. Since we cannot quantify the future in probabilistic terms, it cannot be captured in terms of the "information" provided by the price system. Despite its supposedly self-correcting mechanisms, the "market" is as subject to unanticipated consequences and inefficient, disequilibrating outcomes as any planning mechanism would be. We should therefore reject the entire dichotomy between central planning, on the one hand, and market "rationality" on the other. Neither mechanism is guaranteed to produce desirable (or efficient) outcomes; neither is likely to reach any sort of equilibrium; both are subject to shocks and ruptures that cannot be contained within probabilistic calculations of risk.

[...] despite Hayek's idealization of the market, no corporation actually works by responding to the "information" conveyed in price signals. Rather capitalist firms themselves engage in massive central planning, in order to manipulate supply, demand, and profit. In other words, planning will take place in any case. It is never as efficacious as the planners wish, but neither is it as futile and ineffective as Hayek claims. The real problem, given the actuality of planning, is to ensure that it is done democratically and accountably, rather than (as at present) by managers and plutocrats accountable only to their corporation's bottom line. [...]

—p.19 by Steven Shaviro 4 years, 10 months ago