Monday, 13 September 2010

Accelerationism tomorrow

Looking forward to it, although wish I wasn't quite so tired after Maastricht (my own Katzenjammer - see below)... One thing that I was thinking on (again) was the relation of Marxism and accelerationism (prompted by a train conversation with Ray Brassier). While I always argued accelerationism is a Marxist heresy, and conforms to the tendency of Marxism to embrace capitalism as the condition of communism, I still don't think that we have to correlate that with absolutisation of capitalism or absolute acceptance of the conditions capitalism 'offers'. After all, the replacement of accumulation as key value(form), might led to 'enrichment'/acceleration in different forms, but I do think it would have to lead to a certain slowing down as well, in terms, to take one key example, of preservation of planetary resources (although the last thing we want is a 'barracks socialism' introduced merely to save capitalism). Therefore, we might imagine a future temporality of socialism/communism along the lines of Marx's comment from the 18th Brumaire:

Bourgeois revolutions, like those of the eighteenth century, storm more swiftly from success to success, their dramatic effects outdo each other, men and things seem set in sparkling diamonds, ecstasy is the order of the day – but they are short-lived, soon they have reached their zenith, and a long Katzenjammer [cat’s wail] takes hold of society before it learns to assimilate the results of its storm-and-stress period soberly. On the other hand, proletarian revolutions, like those of the nineteenth century, constantly criticize themselves, constantly interrupt themselves in their own course, return to the apparently accomplished, in order to begin anew; they deride with cruel thoroughness the half-measures, weaknesses, and paltriness of their first attempts, seem to throw down their opponents only so the latter may draw new strength from the earth and rise before them again more gigantic than ever, recoil constantly from the indefinite colossalness of their own goals – until a situation is created which makes all turning back impossible, and the conditions themselves call out:
Hic Rhodus, hic salta!

1 comment:

it said...

I would definitely translate Katzenjammer simply as 'hangover' (or maybe 'comedown' would be more appropriate for Warwick-era accelerationism). I am told that female cats 'wail' because male cats have barbs on their members, which is a quite different set of associations. See you later.