So awhile back, someone on twitter sent me some links regarding a hashtag called #rhettwitter. This person told me that this is a “group of acceleration who criticize both Right and Left acceleration as Utopian praxis.” This person goes further into his explanation by saying “Most of us are market anarchists and take our ideas from Nick Land, Deleuze, Guttari (especially Anti Oedipus) Marx’s Capital 3, & Proudhoun.” As soon as the articles were posted, I started reading them for a week and it was intriguing at first but then I started to see some problems with it. But before I state my problems, lets look at some definitions.
The first definition I want to mention is praxis and that is “… a form of critical thinking and comprises the combination of reflection and action” (1) Now it may be difficult to comprehend at first, but praxis is essentially viewed as a progression of cognitive and physical action which includes
-Considering the impacts of action
-Analysing the results of the action by reflecting upon it altering and revising conceptions and planning following reflection
-Implementing these plans in further actions
Actions in the political sense have a goal that they want want to achieve, but the problems is what method are people going to use? Well, one of these methodswould be accelerationism, which is “…the idea that capitalism, or various processes attached to it, should be deppend or “accelerated” in order to prompt radical change.”(2) The origin of this word generally comes from Marx and its lead to many thinkers and writers that make up #rhettwitter which starts my criticism of it in general.
The first problem with this group is they want capitalism to be destroyed through acceleration, yet has no real replacement for it. They attempted to make up a solution but yet as we can see from this person, this is what they came up with so far.
“Control systems always rely on a high degree of legibility, the ability to observe a given territory (physical or otherwise) down to its minutia and classify and categorize the elements within it in order to properly enable generalized management and specific intervention.iv Any and all forms of planning require legibility and the capability to tabulate and command every potential variable – yet this becomes its very Achilles’ heel. Consider Andrew Pickering’s description of the conclusions gleamed by the cybernetician Ross Ashby’s research into homeostats: “The only route to stabilisation is to cut down variety – to reduce the number of configurations an assemblage can take on, by reducing the number of participants and the multiplicity of their interconnections.”v The reason that this is immediately is because the control system, regardless of its inflexibility or flexibility or how centralized or decentralized its planning is, operates in a manner akin to that of the homeostat: the movement of a spectrum of variables in play towards a zone of equilibrium in order to promote generalized stability through the system. Pickering at length:”(3)
This person goes on to talk about many ways in which control systems could be implemented in the future but they cant figure out which one will actually succeeded. Later in this article, edmundberger focuses on some “good” aspects of many different ideas in order to build later on a better system. It wont work because he is taking different parts of many unrelated theories without building a coherent structure and it results in a lack of practicality in the real world. Its all based on assumption and it wont go anywhere without at least some concrete structure that is flexible enough to adapt to certain tactics for certain circumstances. However, edmundberger might object my proposition by saying this.
“The rejection of collective intervention does not, in the first instant, derive from a normative political claim, though it can (and should up to a certain degree, in my opinion). Instead, U/ACC calls attention to the manner through which collective forms of intervention and political stabilization, be they of the left or the the right, are rendered impossible in the long-run through overarching tendencies and forces. Thus, while left-accelerationism (L/ACC) and right-accelerationism (R/ACC) seek to recompose or reterritorialize Leviathan in accordance with each of their own political theologies, U/ACC charts a course outwards: the structures of Oedipus, the Cathedral, Leviathan, what have you, will be ripped apart and decimated by forces rushing up from within and around the system, which in turn mobilize the entirety of the system towards its own dissolution point. Unlike L/ACC and R/ACC, U/ACC is not at the bottom a political theory; it is one of mobilizing materialism.”(4)
What he is saying is unconditional acceleration(U/ACC) will eventually be carried out through outside forces and then will make the current system collapse. But then what next? You will have political factions either allying or fighting each other in one country, causing more conflict with a lot of people dying and suffering. Even if everything worked out in the end, you will have opportunists in your own group seeking ways in which to get power from themselves.
The second problem is that I have is the false sense of hope being displayed to individuals. What I mean by this is a false promise that individuals will be able to preserve their own self interest while having a productive system. An Egoist looks at this with complete mockery, knowing that’s a flat lie considering it means “My” intentions need to be put down as we can see from this quote from Edmund Berger once again.
“So instead of redressed communism, how about a new hyperstitional configuration: fully automated individualist anarchism. Instead of using the mass industrial system as its launching point (which is, at the end of the day, little more than a symptom of capitalism’s repression of technoscientific development, not its apex), this mode of insurrectionary technopolitics will look towards an as-yet unformed productive system whose genesis lies in the shops, garages, basements, and pop-up labs in anonymous urban zones and boring suburbs (and not to mention already-existing spaces such as Italy’s Emilia-Romagna or China’s Shenzhen!) An intellectual lineage can even be crafted, beginning perhaps with Marx’s observations on technology and scientific knowledge in the Grundrisse, but augmented through Hayekian knowledge problems and positive-liberty philosophies. Fully automated individualist anarchism even comes with ready-made slogans. Instead of “all power to the Soviets”, how about “all power to the general intellect”? Instead of a “world to win”, why not a “future to design”? We have targets for immediate action, be the creation of knowledge commons or the setting-up of funding systems for technological development, so why let the Marxists and technocrats claim anti-work politics for their own?”(5)
As you can see, not only is this “new system” not figured out by this person, but it demands a new name in order to hide the “old coat of paint” known as tyranny. If someone could promote a Union of Egoists model, that would actually work in my opinion because it benefits each individual by working on your strengths and securing your own interests. If worst comes to worst, (like a friend) you can leave that union at any time with no consequences whatsoever.
My last problem is that they misinterpret Marx and Marxism by cherry-picking it in order to suit someone else’s agenda. On a personal note, I find Marx a bit confused as to the future and made assumptions based of presuppositions. Nevertheless, I try not to take anyone else out of context and every-time I see someone misinterpret any persons work, I will gladly point out that they are wrong. In this situation, I am not sure if this particular article was being dishonest but let me show you what this guy posted first. The Author starts talking about Marx and then brings up a passage from “Critique of a Gotha Programme” in order to prove his own conclusions
“The basic reason for this nineteenth- and early twentieth-century socialist neurosis is, I think, something more fundamental. Marx’s late works amount, in their intellectual direction, to an uncompromising rejection of socialism as a regulatory political project. In the ‘Critique’, he already mocks viciously the idea of the ‘sovereignty of the people’ and of redirecting state institutions to serve the working class:
After the Lassallean “iron law of wages”, the physic of the prophet. The way to it is “paved” in worthy fashion. In place of the existing class struggle appears a newspaper scribbler’s phrase: “the social question”, to the “solution” of which one “paves the way”. […] From the remnants of a sense of shame, “state aid” has been put—under the democratic control of the “toiling people”. […] One does not get a flea-hop nearer to the problem [of the transformation of the state] by a thousand-fold combination of the word ‘people’ with the word ‘state’.
Now, this part of the problem will not, conceptually, come as news to many Marxists. Marx is still insisting here on the future inevitability of a ‘revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat’, and of course Marx was not a utopian socialist—the transition to socialism is a social revolution, not a coup d’état! The state is an instrument of class domination, so of course a ‘democratic republic’ is nonsense! (We’re only left to wonder why so many Marxists continue to insist both on the need for formal democracy and on the tactic of the vanguard coup d’état.)”
“But Capital III, where humanist Marx has been forgotten and terminal Marx rules everything, takes the argument to its conclusion: the ‘revolutionary process of transformation of society’ is not being undertaken by well-meaning socialists like the Lassalleans in resistance to capitalism. The revolutionary process is capitalism itself. The ‘organisation of labour’ is simply a ‘cardinal fact of capitalist production’. In some delirious way, legitimate socialism is, radically, an identity with the evolutionary process of capitalism.
Put the question another way: Given his prior rejection of state-socialism as a political project, how does terminal Marx think we can end capitalism? In Capital III, this is where we truly enter the heart of darkness.”(6)
You see, he leaves out some parts of the quote to make it seem like he was for individual autonomy, but once you read the context, Marx doesn’t seem like he is advocating for that at all.
“After the Lassallean “iron law of wages”, the physic of the prophet. The way to it is “paved” in worthy fashion. In place of the existing class struggle appears a newspaper scribbler’s phrase: “the social question”, to the “solution” of which one “paves the way”.
Instead of arising from the revolutionary process of transformation of society, the “socialist organization of the total labor” “arises” from the “state aid” that the state gives to the producers’ co-operative societies and which the state, not the workers, “calls into being”. It is worthy of Lassalle’s imagination that with state loans one can build a new society just as well as a new railway!
From the remnants of a sense of shame, “state aid” has been put — under the democratic control of the “toiling people”.
In the first place, the majority of the “toiling people” in Germany consists of peasants, not proletarians.
Second, “democratic” means in German “Volksherrschaftlich” [by the rule of the people]. But what does “control by the rule of the people of the toiling people” mean? And particularly in the case of a toiling people which, through these demands that it puts to the state, expresses its full consciousness that it neither rules nor is ripe for ruling!
It would be superfluous to deal here with the criticism of the recipe prescribed by Buchez in the reign of Louis Philippe, in opposition to the French socialists and accepted by the reactionary workers, of the Atelier. The chief offense does not lie in having inscribed this specific nostrum in the program, but in taking, in general, a retrograde step from the standpoint of a class movement to that of a sectarian movement.
That the workers desire to establish the conditions for co-operative production on a social scale, and first of all on a national scale, in their own country, only means that they are working to revolutionize the present conditions of production, and it has nothing in common with the foundation of co-operative societies with state aid. But as far as the present co-operative societies are concerned, they are of value only insofar as they are the independent creations of the workers and not protégés either of the governments or of the bourgeois.”(7)
The next thing this article does is point out how Marx was a “accelerationist” by quoting Capital’s Volume 3, Chapter 15. Looking back into that chapter, Marx was describing how the rate of profit made capitalism accelerate production, it was in no way contextual to state he supported acceleration in that specific book. What people need to understand is Marx’s Capital comprises of three volumes, each of them describes a different aspect within the socio-economic system known as Capitalism. Some of it is outdated mind you, but this is just describing it in three different ways.
While I like how these people express their opinions on capitalism and expose many of the flaws behind it, they lack focus on solutions from the current system. Not only that but it mixes completely different ideologies in order to create a new system that is totally “not Utopian” but “its just around the corner.” Overall I think this is just a new “spook” that people are making continuous errors that our predecessors made. What I would suggest to these people is think about how some ideas can apply to reality and see where it goes from there.But hey, what do I know? I am just a guy on the internet posting blog-posts.
(3) “Unconditional Acceleration and the Question of Praxis: Some Preliminary Thoughts “ Posted on March 29, 2017 by Edmund Berger, Retrieved From https://deterritorialinvestigations.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/unconditional-acceleration-and-the-question-of-praxis-some-preliminary-thoughts/
(5)“Fully Automated Luxury Individualist Anarchism” by Edmund Berger
(6)”Accelerate Marx,” March 20, 2017 by Vincent Garton
(7) Karl Marx’s “Critique of the Gotha Programme”, III, retrieved from https://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/gotha/ch03.htm