allergic to complicity

Andrew Culp thinks D&G would be anti-accelerationists (especially re: capitalism), and against assisting the opposition in any way. Perverts take notice:
Deleuze and Guattari are less used than abused in the early accelerationism proposed in Nick Land’s “Machinic Desire” which fundamentally relies on the opposition between humans and machines—a distinction that is nonsensical within Deleuze and Guattari’s post-naturalist framework (something demonstrated quite cogently in Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto”). There is also an odd “boomerang dialectic” interpretation of accelerationism that borrows the affective tonalities of Land’s misanthropy. According to the boomeranger, things have to get worse to get better. Similar to the physics of a pendulum, energy is introduced in one direction to break stasis, with the eventuality of it swinging back in the opposite direction. While Deleuze and Guattari do use a certain energetics, even at their most destructive, their critique of dialectics makes them fundamentally allergic to any strategy based on assisting the opposition. This is why the accelerationist citation of Anti-Oedipus is so perverse.
The devotion to deterritorialization (albeit never actualized in day-to-day behavior) evinces a complicity with the ravenous processes of capitalist wealth accumulation and pubic consumption that are killing the biosphere. Period. Capital is no god – it’s the trick played on us by psychopaths at the helm of toxic institutions.
“The revolutionary contingent attains its ideal form not in the place of production, but in the street, where for a moment it stops being a cog in the technical machine and itself becomes a motor (machine of attack)…” – Paul Virilio, Speed and Politic
This is not to suggest some sort of classical, standardizing humanism. Current trajectories are primarily driven by processes far beyond (above and below) any given hominid intentional fantasy concoctions. The infrastructures of the dominant modes of production and their corollary algorithmic institutions generate an ecology of affordances (material and semiotic) with automatic processes that humans are to a high degree captured by / entangled within.
“Will we one day be able to, and in a single gesture, to join the thinking of the event to the thinking of the machine? Will we be able to think, what is called thinking, at one and the same time, both what is happening (we call that an event) and the calculable programming of an automatic repetition (we call that a machine). For that, it would be necessary in the future (but there will be no future except on this condition) to think both the event and the machine as two compatible or even in-dissociable concepts. Today they appear to us to be antinomic” (Jacques Derrida, ‘Without Alibi’ (2002), p. 72).
As I have pointed out numerous times, however, there are invested and devoted and dedicated decision-makers (and groups of decision-makers) who inflect and maintain (and approve) particular projects and their related causal operations. Certain individuals and groups embody specific unit operations that diffract and later the forces of primary production in significant but never determining ways. This has to be acknowledged, or it is a failure of political ontography – one that fundamentally glosses and blocks any affective adjustment of the essential nodal properties of systems. Indexing ‘events’ of inflection along with wider nonhuman processes (‘machines’) is a more complete and useful story.
“There is no dialectic between social and technical relations but only a mechanism that dissolves society into the machines whilst deterritorializing the machines across the ruins of society…” (Nick Land, Fanged Noumea (2011), p. 294)
The blanketing ideology of alien synthetic Capital is a mental virus imagined and perpetuated by those (mostly Caucasian males, and now trans-radicals) who worship the corrosive tendencies (“deterritorialization”) of particular world-eating war machines – if only because they believe such algorithms will either a) liberate them from the worst aspects of traditional cultures AND vapid everyday habits, or b) there is no escape.
But these capital driven systems do not liberate agents, they erase them via the work of making the neo-liberal subject. Embracing Capital as a totalizing tendency/entity that is the supposed destiny of a machinic cosmic (“nature”) movement *is* hyper-capitalist realism. It is a theology of productive force that reduces and limits collective solidarity and dignity, and delimits individual potentials.
“Modernity invented the future, but that’s all over. In the current version, ‘progressive history’ camouflages phylogenic death-drive tactics, Kali-wave: logistically accelerating condensation of virtual species extinction.” (Nick Land)
It is true that one way out may be through, but it is equally true that this ‘out’ may be extinction proper (and not the sexy technofantasy of transhumanism). And this death-drive induced self-loathing misanthropy is a self-incepted pathology platforming a still indiscernible machinic ascendancy. To be an accelerationist today is to be either a sadist or a coward.

 

6 responses to “allergic to complicity

  1. “Capital is no god – it’s the trick played on us by psychopaths at the helm of toxic institutions. ” Excellent rabble rousing quote! If only my clients who live this exeperientialy would come to understand it. The contra positive or whatever that wants to emege is that neoliberalism says, Warklike, “Capital wants to be free” It is no god but does have an anaimal spirit which effects its own agency wherever it lands. The cursed penny one finds on the street lead s to investment and war in Somalia. D+G, not he fashion label, were jouissance in the moment people and would have been repulsed by Nick’s (Hey wasn’t it just yesterdy we heard him at New Centre, fuck,) accelerationism unless it meant a dinner party such as Bunuel’s Discrete Charm except that everyone is massacred at the end. The point about Haraway getting it right about the inherent contradiction in NL is both misleading and bittersweet and maybe should be read against Bryant’s Onto-Cartograhy: An Ontology of Machines and Media. Each defines the other and there is a metal machine messiness (M3, trademark that!) which forms cyborgs.

        • I think evil is a very primitive concept. If you mean a destructive force (or complex of forces), then sure there are certain tendencies that could “get their way” (prevail) regardless of what we puny humans desire, individually or collectively.

        • I’m no classical humanist. Current trajectories are primarily driven by processes far beyond any given hominid intentional fantasy. The infrastructures of certain modes of production and the corollary algorithmic institutions are an ecology of affordances (material and semiotic) and automatic processes that humans are to a high degree captured by / entangled within. Full stop.

          “Will we one day be able to, and in a single gesture, to join the thinking of the event to the thinking of the machine? Will we be able to think, what is called thinking, at one and the same time, both what is happening (we call that an event) and the calculable programming of an automatic repetition (we call that a machine). For that, it would be necessary in the future (but there will be no future except on this condition) to think both the event and the machine as two compatible or even in-dissociable concepts. Today they appear to us to be antinomic” (Jacques Derrida, ‘Without Alibi’ (2002), p. 72).

          As I have pointed out numerous times, however, there are invested and devoted and dedicated decision-makers (and groups of decision-makers) who inflect and maintain (and approve) particular projects and their related causal operations. This has to be acknowledged, or it is a failure of political ontography – one that fundamentally glosses and blocks affective adjustments of essential nodal properties on the systems.

          The blanketing ideology of alien synthetic Capital is a mental virus imagined and perpetuated by those (Caucasian males and trans-radicals) who worship the corrosive tendencies (“deterritorialization”) of particular world-eating war machines – if only BECAUSE they believe such algorithms will liberate them from the worst aspects of traditional cultures AND vapid everyday habits. It doesn’t. Embracing Capital as a totalizing tendency/entity that is the supposed destiny of a machinic cosmic movement (“nature”) *is* hyper-capitalist realism; a naturalization of a very particular historical process. It is a theology of productive force that reduces and limits collective solidarity and dignity, and delimits individual potentials.

          “Modernity invented the future, but that’s all over. In the current version, ‘progressive history’ camouflages phylogenic death-drive tactics, Kali-wave: logistically accelerating condensation of virtual species extinction.” (Nick Land)

          It is true that one way out may be through, but it is equally true that this ‘out’ may be extinction proper (and not the transitory sexy technofantasy of transhumanism). And this death-drive induced self-loathing misanthropy is a self-incepted pathology platforming a still indiscernible machinic ascendancy.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s