I didn’t see this post in April when it was first published but I should have: “Against Accelerationism – For Marxism”, by reidkane. According to the writer, accelerationism aims to force down the wages of the working class and thus goad them to organize and fight back:
“‘Acceleration’ is ambivalent; it is regressive in that it is the mechanism by which the conditions of the working class are forced downwards, but progressive to the extent that this is mediated by political radicalization.”
This a quite wrongly stated, at least insofar as the idea can be traced to Marx and Engels.
The accelerationist project as Marx and Engels explained it
Here is what I do understand about Accelerationism, and it is all taken from a couple of sentences in the Communist Manifesto, written, as you probably know, by the original accelerationists, Marx and Engels — a couple of guys I tend to trust when it comes to historical materialism because they invented it:
“We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy.
“The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible.”
The first part is probably uncontroversial: the proletariat aims to displace the bourgeoisie as the ruling class of society. We can agree with this idea, at least insofar as it implies the previous ruling class is pushed off the stage and forced to get a real job. Leaving aside whether Marx and Engels could get a quorum for this idea is another question, as well as whether this made sense. In any case, they thought it might be nice for the working class to organize itself as the ruling class of society as it first step. They thought this — there is no controversy about this; no one suggests Nick Land came up with the idea of seizing political power on his own.
Continue reading “For Marx’s Accelerationism – against Post-war Marxism”