Land, Accelerationism and the “impending human extinction”
If you want to make the case against Nick Land, you could not do it more completely than the case made against him by Alex Williams. According to Williams, Land seeks to dissolve humanity “in a technological apotheosis”. The terminology is just completely over the top: Land has ‘hijacked’ Deleuze and Guattari, “bringing out an implicit inhuman pro-capitalism.”
Note Williams admit this so-called “inhuman pro-capitalism” is already implicit in Deleuze and Guattari. He cannot possibly accuse Land of having invented it as I have so often accused Marxists of inventing ideas said to originate with Marx. If Land has done anything, it is only to tease out of Deluze and Guattari an inhuman pro-capitalism that was already present.
Thus Land is being excoriated by the very same people who also carry this kernel of inhuman pro-capitalism as the implicit assumption of their argument. It is not unlike the Left in general, who on the one hand complain that the state allies with the capitalists against the working class, yet complain that anarcho-capitalists want to get rid of the state — protector of the working class against the capitalists.
There is a schizophrenic quality to the critique of land that betrays a Left who have no idea what it demands. They want to blame Land for their own confusion, when their critique of capitalism is precisely that it is incompatible with civilized life. When Land points out this anti-human process must ultimately dissolve mankind in a technological apotheosis, they are scandalized.
It never occurs to these idiots that Marx says the exact same fucking thing in the German Ideology:
“The individuals, who are no longer subject to the division of labour, have been conceived by the philosophers as an ideal, under the name “Man”. They have conceived the whole process which we have outlined as the evolutionary process of “Man,” so that at every historical stage “Man” was substituted for the individuals and shown as the motive force of history. The whole process was thus conceived as a process of the self-estrangement of “Man,” and this was essentially due to the fact that the average individual of the later stage was always foisted on to the earlier stage, and the consciousness of a later age on to the individuals of an earlier. Through this inversion, which from the first is an abstract image of the actual conditions, it was possible to transform the whole of history into an evolutionary process of consciousness. ”
The “inhuman pro-capitalism” of which Land stands accused is inhuman precisely in his absolute hostility to “Man” and “Mankind”; his hostility to abstractions that have ruled over and dominated real individuals since antiquity. By creating the material conditions for communism, capital makes the domination of these abstractions over real individuals impossible.
This is the Land from which our dumb Marxists clowns recoil in horror. The very idea that the laborer should be rendered superfluous to the production of material wealth, is expressed in their perverted imaginations as a technological apotheosis, “a species-wide suicide as the ultimate stimulant head rush.”
It never even occurs to our Marxists to ask what sort of “species” are we talking about here, because asking this question would bring them uncomfortably close to confronting Homo Economicus. This peculiar species with its “propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another” faces extinction. All of the concern about the fate of life and of “the species” is nothing more than Homo Economicus suddenly realizing its impending doom.
Alas, no more trucking and bartering for you fools — that shit is over.