#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics

Accel­er­a­tion­ism pushes to­wards a fu­ture that is more mod­ern, an altern­at­ive mod­ern­ity that neo­lib­er­al­ism is inher­ently un­able to generate.


01. INTRODUCTION: On the Conjuncture

1. At the be­gin­ning of the second decade of the Twenty-​First Century, global civil­iz­a­tion faces a new breed of cata­clysm. These coming apo­ca­lypses ri­dicule the norms and or­gan­isa­tional struc­tures of the politics which were forged in the birth of the nation-​state, the rise of cap­it­alism, and a Twentieth Century of un­pre­ced­ented wars.

2. Most sig­ni­ficant is the break­down of the plan­etary cli­matic system. In time, this threatens the con­tinued ex­ist­ence of the present global human pop­u­la­tion. Though this is the most crit­ical of the threats which face hu­manity, a series of lesser but po­ten­tially equally destabil­ising prob­lems exist along­side and in­ter­sect with it. Terminal re­source de­ple­tion, es­pe­cially in water and en­ergy re­serves, of­fers the pro­spect of mass star­va­tion, col­lapsing eco­nomic paradigms, and new hot and cold wars. Continued fin­an­cial crisis has led gov­ern­ments to em­brace the para­lyzing death spiral policies of aus­terity, privat­isa­tion of so­cial wel­fare ser­vices, mass un­em­ploy­ment, and stag­nating wages. Increasing auto­ma­tion in pro­duc­tion pro­cesses in­cluding ‘in­tel­lec­tual la­bour’ is evid­ence of the sec­ular crisis of cap­it­alism, soon to render it in­cap­able of main­taining cur­rent stand­ards of living for even the former middle classes of the global north.

3. In con­trast to these ever-​accelerating cata­strophes, today’s politics is beset by an in­ab­ility to gen­erate the new ideas and modes of or­gan­isa­tion ne­ces­sary to trans­form our so­ci­eties to con­front and re­solve the coming an­ni­hil­a­tions. While crisis gathers force and speed, politics withers and re­treats. In this para­lysis of the polit­ical ima­ginary, the fu­ture has been cancelled.

4. Since 1979, the he­ge­monic global polit­ical ideo­logy has been neo­lib­er­alism, found in some variant throughout the leading eco­nomic powers. In spite of the deep struc­tural chal­lenges the new global prob­lems present to it, most im­me­di­ately the credit, fin­an­cial, and fiscal crises since 2007 – 8, neo­lib­eral pro­grammes have only evolved in the sense of deep­ening. This con­tinu­ation of the neo­lib­eral pro­ject, or neo­lib­er­alism 2.0, has begun to apply an­other round of struc­tural ad­just­ments, most sig­ni­fic­antly in the form of en­cour­aging new and ag­gressive in­cur­sions by the private sector into what re­mains of so­cial demo­cratic in­sti­tu­tions and ser­vices. This is in spite of the im­me­di­ately neg­ative eco­nomic and so­cial ef­fects of such policies, and the longer term fun­da­mental bar­riers posed by the new global crises.

5. That the forces of right wing gov­ern­mental, non-​governmental, and cor­porate power have been able to press forth with neo­lib­er­al­isa­tion is at least in part a result of the con­tinued para­lysis and in­ef­fec­tual nature of much what re­mains of the left. Thirty years of neo­lib­er­alism have rendered most left-​leaning polit­ical parties bereft of rad­ical thought, hol­lowed out, and without a pop­ular man­date. At best they have re­sponded to our present crises with calls for a re­turn to a Keynesian eco­nomics, in spite of the evid­ence that the very con­di­tions which en­abled post-​war so­cial demo­cracy to occur no longer exist. We cannot re­turn to mass industrial-​Fordist la­bour by fiat, if at all. Even the neo­so­cialist re­gimes of South America’s Bolivarian Revolution, whilst heart­ening in their ability to resist the dogmas of con­tem­porary cap­it­alism, re­main dis­ap­point­ingly un­able to ad­vance an al­tern­ative beyond mid-​Twentieth Century so­cialism. Organised la­bour, being sys­tem­at­ic­ally weakened by the changes wrought in the neo­lib­eral pro­ject, is scler­otic at an in­sti­tu­tional level and — at best — cap­able only of mildly mit­ig­ating the new struc­tural ad­just­ments. But with no sys­tem­atic ap­proach to building a new eco­nomy, or the struc­tural solid­arity to push such changes through, for now la­bour re­mains re­l­at­ively im­potent. The new so­cial move­ments which emerged since the end of the Cold War, ex­per­i­en­cing a re­sur­gence in the years after 2008, have been sim­il­arly un­able to de­vise a new polit­ical ideo­lo­gical vision. Instead they ex­pend con­sid­er­able en­ergy on in­ternal direct-​democratic pro­cess and af­fective self-​valorisation over stra­tegic ef­ficacy, and fre­quently pro­pound a variant of neo-​primitivist loc­alism, as if to op­pose the ab­stract vi­ol­ence of glob­al­ised cap­ital with the flimsy and eph­em­eral “au­then­ti­city” of com­munal immediacy.

6. In the ab­sence of a rad­ic­ally new so­cial, polit­ical, or­gan­isa­tional, and eco­nomic vision the he­ge­monic powers of the right will con­tinue to be able to push for­ward their narrow-​minded ima­ginary, in the face of any and all evid­ence. At best, the left may be able for a time to par­tially resist some of the worst in­cur­sions. But this is to be Canute against an ul­ti­mately ir­res­ist­ible tide. To gen­erate a new left global he­ge­mony en­tails a re­covery of lost pos­sible fu­tures, and in­deed the re­covery of the fu­ture as such.

02. INTEREGNUM: On Accelerationisms

1. If any system has been as­so­ci­ated with ideas of ac­cel­er­a­tion it is cap­it­alism. The es­sen­tial meta­bolism of cap­it­alism de­mands eco­nomic growth, with com­pet­i­tion between in­di­vidual cap­it­alist en­tities set­ting in mo­tion in­creasing tech­no­lo­gical de­vel­op­ments in an at­tempt to achieve com­pet­itive ad­vantage, all ac­com­panied by in­creasing so­cial dis­lo­ca­tion. In its neo­lib­eral form, its ideo­lo­gical self-​presentation is one of lib­er­ating the forces of cre­ative de­struc­tion, set­ting free ever-​accelerating tech­no­lo­gical and so­cial innovations.

2. The philo­sopher Nick Land cap­tured this most acutely, with a my­opic yet hyp­not­ising be­lief that cap­it­alist speed alone could gen­erate a global trans­ition to­wards un­par­alleled tech­no­lo­gical sin­gu­larity. In this vis­ioning of cap­ital, the human can even­tu­ally be dis­carded as mere drag to an ab­stract plan­etary in­tel­li­gence rap­idly con­structing it­self from the bri­c­ol­aged frag­ments of former civil­isa­tions. However Landian neo­lib­er­alism con­fuses speed with ac­cel­er­a­tion. We may be moving fast, but only within a strictly defined set of cap­it­alist para­meters that them­selves never waver. We ex­per­i­ence only the in­creasing speed of a local ho­rizon, a simple brain-​dead on­rush rather than an ac­cel­er­a­tion which is also nav­ig­a­tional, an ex­per­i­mental pro­cess of dis­covery within a uni­versal space of pos­sib­ility. It is the latter mode of ac­cel­er­a­tion which we hold as essential.

3. Even worse, as Deleuze and Guattari re­cog­nized, from the very be­gin­ning what cap­it­alist speed de­ter­rit­ori­al­izes with one hand, it reter­rit­ori­al­izes with the other. Progress be­comes con­strained within a frame­work of sur­plus value, a re­serve army of la­bour, and free-​floating cap­ital. Modernity is re­duced to stat­ist­ical meas­ures of eco­nomic growth and so­cial in­nov­a­tion be­comes en­crusted with kitsch re­main­ders from our com­munal past. Thatcherite-​Reaganite de­reg­u­la­tion sits com­fort­ably along­side Victorian ‘back-​to-​basics’ family and re­li­gious values.

4. A deeper ten­sion within neo­lib­er­alism is in terms of its self-​image as the vehicle of mod­ernity, as lit­er­ally syn­onymous with mod­ern­isa­tion, whilst prom­ising a fu­ture that it is con­stitutively in­cap­able of providing. Indeed, as neo­lib­er­alism has pro­gressed, rather than en­abling in­di­vidual cre­ativity, it has tended to­wards elim­in­ating cog­nitive in­vent­ive­ness in fa­vour of an af­fective pro­duc­tion line of scripted in­ter­ac­tions, coupled to global supply chains and a neo-​Fordist Eastern pro­duc­tion zone. A van­ish­ingly small cog­nit­ariat of elite in­tel­lec­tual workers shrinks with each passing year — and in­creas­ingly so as al­gorithmic auto­ma­tion winds its way through the spheres of af­fective and in­tel­lec­tual la­bour. Neoliberalism, though pos­iting it­self as a ne­ces­sary his­tor­ical de­vel­op­ment, was in fact a merely con­tin­gent means to ward off the crisis of value that emerged in the 1970s. Inevitably this was a sub­lim­a­tion of the crisis rather than its ul­ti­mate overcoming.

5. It is Marx, along with Land, who re­mains the paradig­matic ac­cel­er­a­tionist thinker. Contrary to the all-​too fa­miliar cri­tique, and even the be­ha­viour of some con­tem­porary Marxians, we must re­member that Marx him­self used the most ad­vanced the­or­et­ical tools and em­pir­ical data avail­able in an at­tempt to fully un­der­stand and trans­form his world. He was not a thinker who res­isted mod­ernity, but rather one who sought to ana­lyse and in­ter­vene within it, un­der­standing that for all its ex­ploit­a­tion and cor­rup­tion, cap­it­alism re­mained the most ad­vanced eco­nomic system to date. Its gains were not to be re­versed, but ac­cel­er­ated beyond the con­straints the cap­it­alist value form.

6. Indeed, as even Lenin wrote in the 1918 text “Left Wing” Childishness:

Socialism is in­con­ceiv­able without large-​scale cap­it­alist en­gin­eering based on the latest dis­cov­eries of modern sci­ence. It is in­con­ceiv­able without planned state or­gan­isa­tion which keeps tens of mil­lions of people to the strictest ob­serv­ance of a uni­fied standard in pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion. We Marxists have al­ways spoken of this, and it is not worth while wasting two seconds talking to people who do not un­der­stand even this (an­arch­ists and a good half of the Left Socialist– Revolutionaries).

7. As Marx was aware, cap­it­alism cannot be iden­ti­fied as the agent of true ac­cel­er­a­tion. Similarly, the as­sess­ment of left politics as an­ti­thet­ical to tech­noso­cial ac­cel­er­a­tion is also, at least in part, a severe mis­rep­res­ent­a­tion. Indeed, if the polit­ical left is to have a fu­ture it must be one in which it max­im­ally em­braces this sup­pressed ac­cel­er­a­tionist tendency.

03: MANIFEST: On the Future

1. We be­lieve the most im­portant di­vi­sion in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of loc­alism, direct ac­tion, and re­lent­less ho­ri­zont­alism, and those that out­line what must be­come called an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics at ease with a mod­ernity of ab­strac­tion, com­plexity, glob­ality, and tech­no­logy. The former re­mains con­tent with es­tab­lishing small and tem­porary spaces of non-​capitalist so­cial re­la­tions, es­chewing the real prob­lems en­tailed in fa­cing foes which are in­trins­ic­ally non-​local, ab­stract, and rooted deep in our everyday in­fra­struc­ture. The failure of such politics has been built-​in from the very be­gin­ning. By con­trast, 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.

2. All of us want to work less. It is an in­triguing ques­tion as to why it was that the world’s leading eco­nomist of the post-​war era be­lieved that an en­lightened cap­it­alism in­ev­it­ably pro­gressed to­wards a rad­ical re­duc­tion of working hours. In The Economic Prospects for Our Grandchildren (written in 1930), Keynes fore­cast a cap­it­alist fu­ture where in­di­viduals would have their work re­duced to three hours a day. What has in­stead oc­curred is the pro­gressive elim­in­a­tion of the work-​life dis­tinc­tion, with work coming to per­meate every as­pect of the emer­ging so­cial factory.

3. Capitalism has begun to con­strain the pro­ductive forces of tech­no­logy, or at least, direct them to­wards need­lessly narrow ends. Patent wars and idea mono­pol­isa­tion are con­tem­porary phe­nomena that point to both capital’s need to move beyond com­pet­i­tion, and capital’s in­creas­ingly ret­ro­grade ap­proach to tech­no­logy. 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. Relentless it­er­a­tions of the same basic product sus­tain mar­ginal con­sumer de­mand at the ex­pense of human acceleration.

4. We do not want to re­turn to Fordism. There can be no re­turn to Fordism. The cap­it­alist “golden era” was premised on the pro­duc­tion paradigm of the or­derly factory en­vir­on­ment, where (male) workers re­ceived se­curity and a basic standard of living in re­turn for a life­time of stul­ti­fying boredom and so­cial re­pres­sion. Such a system re­lied upon an in­ter­na­tional hier­archy of colonies, em­pires, and an un­der­developed peri­phery; a na­tional hier­archy of ra­cism and sexism; and a rigid family hier­archy of fe­male sub­jug­a­tion. For all the nos­talgia many may feel, this re­gime is both un­desir­able and prac­tic­ally im­possible to re­turn to.

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.

6. Given the en­slave­ment of tech­nos­cience to cap­it­alist ob­ject­ives (es­pe­cially since the late 1970s) we surely do not yet know what a modern tech­noso­cial body can do. Who amongst us fully re­cog­nizes what un­tapped po­ten­tials await in the tech­no­logy which has already been de­veloped? Our wager is that the true trans­form­ative po­ten­tials of much of our tech­no­lo­gical and sci­entific re­search re­main un­ex­ploited, filled with presently re­dundant fea­tures (or pre-​adaptations) that, fol­lowing a shift beyond the short-​sighted cap­it­alist so­cius, can be­come decisive.

7. We want to ac­cel­erate the pro­cess of tech­no­lo­gical evol­u­tion. But what we are ar­guing for is not techno-​utopianism. Never be­lieve that tech­no­logy will be suf­fi­cient to save us. Necessary, yes, but never suf­fi­cient without socio-​political ac­tion. Technology and the so­cial are in­tim­ately bound up with one an­other, and changes in either po­ten­tiate and re­in­force changes in the other. 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.

8. We be­lieve that any post-​capitalism will re­quire post-​capitalist plan­ning. The faith placed in the idea that, after a re­volu­tion, the people will spon­tan­eously con­sti­tute a novel so­cioeco­nomic system that isn’t simply a re­turn to cap­it­alism is naïve at best, and ig­norant at worst. To fur­ther this, we must de­velop both a cog­nitive map of the ex­isting system and a spec­u­lative image of the fu­ture eco­nomic system.

9. To do so, the left must take ad­vantage of every tech­no­lo­gical and sci­entific ad­vance made pos­sible by cap­it­alist so­ciety. We de­clare that quan­ti­fic­a­tion is not an evil to be elim­in­ated, but a tool to be used in the most ef­fective manner pos­sible. Economic mod­el­ling is — simply put — a ne­ces­sity for making in­tel­li­gible a com­plex world. The 2008 fin­an­cial crisis re­veals the risks of blindly ac­cepting math­em­at­ical models on faith, yet this is a problem of il­le­git­imate au­thority not of math­em­atics it­self. The tools to be found in so­cial net­work ana­lysis, agent-​based mod­el­ling, big data ana­lytics, and non-​equilibrium eco­nomic models, are ne­ces­sary cog­nitive me­di­ators for un­der­standing com­plex sys­tems like the modern eco­nomy. The ac­cel­er­a­tionist left must be­come lit­erate in these tech­nical fields.

10. Any trans­form­a­tion of so­ciety must in­volve eco­nomic and so­cial ex­per­i­ment­a­tion. The Chilean Project Cybersyn is em­blem­atic of this ex­per­i­mental at­ti­tude — fusing ad­vanced cy­ber­netic tech­no­lo­gies, with soph­ist­ic­ated eco­nomic mod­el­ling, and a demo­cratic plat­form in­stan­ti­ated in the tech­no­lo­gical in­fra­struc­ture it­self. Similar ex­per­i­ments were con­ducted in 1950s – 1960s Soviet eco­nomics as well, em­ploying cy­ber­netics and linear pro­gram­ming in an at­tempt to over­come the new prob­lems faced by the first com­munist eco­nomy. That both of these were ul­ti­mately un­suc­cessful can be traced to the polit­ical and tech­no­lo­gical con­straints these early cy­ber­net­i­cians op­er­ated under.

11. The left must de­velop so­ci­o­tech­nical he­ge­mony: both in the sphere of ideas, and in the sphere of ma­terial plat­forms. Platforms are the in­fra­struc­ture of global so­ciety. They es­tab­lish the basic para­meters of what is pos­sible, both be­ha­vi­our­ally and ideo­lo­gic­ally. In this sense, they em­body the ma­terial tran­scend­ental of so­ciety: they are what make pos­sible par­tic­ular sets of ac­tions, re­la­tion­ships, and powers. While much of the cur­rent global plat­form is biased to­wards cap­it­alist so­cial re­la­tions, this is not an in­ev­it­able ne­ces­sity. These ma­terial plat­forms of pro­duc­tion, fin­ance, lo­gistics, and con­sump­tion can and will be re­pro­grammed and re­formatted to­wards post-​capitalist ends.

12. We do not be­lieve that direct ac­tion is suf­fi­cient to achieve any of this. The ha­bitual tac­tics of marching, holding signs, and es­tab­lishing tem­porary autonomous zones risk be­coming com­forting sub­sti­tutes for ef­fective suc­cess. “At least we have done some­thing” is the ral­lying cry of those who priv­ilege self-​esteem rather than ef­fective ac­tion. The only cri­terion of a good tactic is whether it en­ables sig­ni­ficant suc­cess or not. We must be done with fet­ish­ising par­tic­ular modes of ac­tion. Politics must be treated as a set of dy­namic sys­tems, riven with con­flict, ad­apt­a­tions and counter-​adaptations, and stra­tegic arms races. This means that each in­di­vidual type of polit­ical ac­tion be­comes blunted and in­ef­fective over time as the other sides adapt. No given mode of polit­ical ac­tion is his­tor­ic­ally in­vi­ol­able. Indeed, over time, there is an in­creasing need to dis­card fa­miliar tac­tics as the forces and en­tities they are mar­shalled against learn to de­fend and counter-​attack them ef­fect­ively. It is in part the con­tem­porary left’s in­ab­ility to do so which lies close to the heart of the con­tem­porary malaise.

13. The over­whelming priv­ileging of democracy-​as-​process needs to be left be­hind. The fet­ish­isa­tion of open­ness, ho­ri­zont­ality, and in­clu­sion of much of today’s ‘rad­ical’ left set the stage for in­ef­fect­ive­ness. Secrecy, ver­tic­ality, and ex­clu­sion all have their place as well in ef­fective polit­ical ac­tion (though not, of course, an ex­clusive one).

14. Democracy cannot be defined simply by its means — not via voting, dis­cus­sion, or gen­eral as­sem­blies. 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. The com­mand of The Plan must be mar­ried to the im­pro­vised order of The Network.

15. We do not present any par­tic­ular or­gan­isa­tion as the ideal means to em­body these vec­tors. What is needed — what has al­ways been needed — is an eco­logy of or­gan­isa­tions, a plur­alism of forces, res­on­ating and feeding back on their com­par­ative strengths. Sectarianism is the death knell of the left as much as cent­ral­iz­a­tion is, and in this re­gard we con­tinue to wel­come ex­per­i­ment­a­tion with dif­ferent tac­tics (even those we dis­agree with).

16. We have three me­dium term con­crete goals. First, we need to build an in­tel­lec­tual in­fra­struc­ture. Mimicking the Mont Pelerin Society of the neo­lib­eral re­volu­tion, this is to be tasked with cre­ating a new ideo­logy, eco­nomic and so­cial models, and a vision of the good to re­place and sur­pass the ema­ci­ated ideals that rule our world today. This is an in­fra­struc­ture in the sense of re­quiring the con­struc­tion not just of ideas, but in­sti­tu­tions and ma­terial paths to in­cul­cate, em­body and spread them.

17. We need to con­struct wide-​scale media re­form. In spite of the seeming demo­crat­isa­tion offered by the in­ternet and so­cial media, tra­di­tional media out­lets re­main cru­cial in the se­lec­tion and framing of nar­rat­ives, along with pos­sessing the funds to pro­secute in­vest­ig­ative journ­alism. Bringing these bodies as close as pos­sible to pop­ular con­trol is cru­cial to un­doing the cur­rent present­a­tion of the state of things.

18. Finally, we need to re­con­sti­tute various forms of class power. Such a re­con­sti­t­u­tion must move beyond the no­tion that an or­gan­ic­ally gen­er­ated global pro­let­ariat already ex­ists. Instead it must seek to knit to­gether a dis­parate array of par­tial pro­let­arian iden­tities, often em­bodied in post-​Fordist forms of pre­carious labour.

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. We de­clare that only a Promethean politics of max­imal mas­tery over so­ciety and its en­vir­on­ment is cap­able of either dealing with global prob­lems or achieving vic­tory over cap­ital. 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. Instead we pro­pose that the prob­lems be­set­ting our planet and our spe­cies ob­lige us to re­fur­bish mas­tery in a newly com­plex guise; whilst we cannot pre­dict the pre­cise result of our ac­tions, we can de­termine prob­ab­il­ist­ic­ally likely ranges of out­comes. What must be coupled to such com­plex sys­tems ana­lysis is a new form of ac­tion: im­pro­vis­atory and cap­able of ex­ecuting a design through a prac­tice which works with the con­tin­gen­cies it dis­covers only in the course of its acting, in a politics of geo­so­cial artistry and cun­ning ra­tion­ality. A form of ab­ductive ex­per­i­ment­a­tion that seeks the best means to act in a com­plex world.

22. We need to re­vive the ar­gu­ment that was tra­di­tion­ally made for post-​capitalism: not only is cap­it­alism an un­just and per­verted system, but it is also a system that holds back pro­gress. Our tech­no­lo­gical de­vel­op­ment is being sup­pressed by cap­it­alism, as much as it has been un­leashed. Accelerationism is the basic be­lief that these ca­pa­cities can and should be let loose by moving beyond the lim­it­a­tions im­posed by cap­it­alist so­ciety. The move­ment to­wards a sur­passing of our cur­rent con­straints must in­clude more than simply a struggle for a more ra­tional global so­ciety. We be­lieve it must also in­clude re­cov­ering the dreams which trans­fixed many from the middle of the Nineteenth Century until the dawn of the neo­lib­eral era, of the quest of Homo Sapiens to­wards ex­pan­sion beyond the lim­it­a­tions of the earth and our im­me­diate bodily forms. These vis­ions are today viewed as relics of a more in­no­cent mo­ment. Yet they both dia­gnose the stag­gering lack of ima­gin­a­tion in our own time, and offer the promise of a fu­ture that is af­fect­ively in­vig­or­ating, as well as in­tel­lec­tu­ally en­er­gising. After all, it is only a post-​capitalist so­ciety, made pos­sible by an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics, which will ever be cap­able of de­liv­ering on the promis­sory note of the mid-​Twentieth Century’s space pro­grammes, to shift beyond a world of min­imal tech­nical up­grades to­wards all-​encompassing change. Towards a time of col­lective self-​mastery, and the prop­erly alien fu­ture that en­tails and en­ables. Towards a com­ple­tion of the Enlightenment pro­ject of self-​criticism and self-​mastery, rather than its elimination.

23. The choice fa­cing us is severe: either a glob­al­ised post-​capitalism or a slow frag­ment­a­tion to­wards prim­it­ivism, per­petual crisis, and plan­etary eco­lo­gical collapse.

24. The fu­ture needs to be con­structed. It has been de­mol­ished by neo­lib­eral cap­it­alism and re­duced to a cut-​price promise of greater in­equality, con­flict, and chaos. This col­lapse in the idea of the fu­ture is symp­to­matic of the re­gressive his­tor­ical status of our age, rather than, as cynics across the polit­ical spec­trum would have us be­lieve, a sign of scep­tical ma­turity. What ac­cel­er­a­tionism pushes to­wards is a fu­ture that is more modern — an al­tern­ative mod­ernity that neo­lib­er­alism is in­her­ently un­able to gen­erate. The fu­ture must be cracked open once again, un­fastening our ho­ri­zons to­wards the uni­versal pos­sib­il­ities of the Outside.


  31 comments for “#ACCELERATE MANIFESTO for an Accelerationist Politics

  1. Rachel Kneif
    18 March 2014 at 10:39 pm

    OK. so here are the paradigm shift guyes hiding , me not knowing whom to ad­dress.
    Acceleration– great. Because time is run­ning. Thought as much I can’t pos­sibly be the only person on this wavelenth–
    Quick out­line of my ap­proach, with


    based on the Charters of UN/​UNESCO

    pri­or­it­izing Human rights ;Gender equality and fight against poverty

    with the ob­ject of promoting

    –re­search + ana­lysis into com­plex sys­tems and self-​regulation
    –in­ter­dis­cip­linary stu­dent ori­ent­ated edu­ca­tion
    –Teacher re­hab­il­it­a­tion
    –Education and im­ple­ment­a­tion of con­tem­porary art
    –Democracy (me taking a po­s­i­tion of „Anarchy“)
    –Individuality and freedom
    –global com­mu­nic­a­tion and peace
    –fest­ival cultures

    Pilot pro­ject: search title
    Rachel Kneif
    Contemporary artist, “com­plex system surrealism”

    Interactive patch­work Installation on a large scale, cov­ering UN headquarters

    second hand fab­rics
    matrix con­struc­tion, en­gin­eering form
    breaking pre­con­ceived judge­mental pat­terns of gender
    Observation and ex­per­i­ment
    Process orientation,

    sens­it­ivity to cul­ture and value without forceful con­trol or dom­in­a­tion
    blanket:giving warmth, com­fort and hope
    Enveloping the mas­cu­line UN (highest bid) with pat­terns of global har­mony
    Encouragement and em­power­ment
    Treasure beyond fin­an­cial gain

    Need key contacts

    finance/​resources (crowd­funding)
    trans­port (new

    safety and health
    members )‘=

    Regards. Rachel Kneif
    web­site in construction

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