Annotated #Accelerate (#3)

[Parts one, and two]

03: MANIFEST: On the Future

1. We be­lieve the most im­portant di­vi­sion in today’s left is between those that hold to a folk politics of loc­alism, direct ac­tion, and re­lent­less ho­ri­zont­alism, and those that out­line what must be­come called an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics at ease with a mod­ernity of ab­strac­tion, com­plexity, glob­ality, and tech­no­logy. The former re­mains con­tent with es­tab­lishing small and tem­porary spaces of non-​capitalist so­cial re­la­tions, es­chewing the real prob­lems en­tailed in fa­cing foes which are in­trins­ic­ally non-​local, ab­stract, and rooted deep in our everyday in­fra­struc­ture. The failure of such politics has been built-​in from the very be­gin­ning. By con­trast, an ac­cel­er­a­tionist politics seeks to pre­serve the gains of late cap­it­alism while going fur­ther than its value system, gov­ernance struc­tures, and mass patho­lo­gies will allow.

(Without wanting to insert myself into a family squabble, from outside, the distinction drawn here between flavors of anti-capitalism makes sense.)

2. All of us want to work less. [Entrepreneurs of all kinds excepted.] It is an in­triguing ques­tion as to why it was that the world’s leading eco­nomist of the post-​war era be­lieved that an en­lightened cap­it­alism in­ev­it­ably pro­gressed to­wards a rad­ical re­duc­tion of working hours. In The Economic Prospects for Our Grandchildren (written in 1930), Keynes fore­cast a cap­it­alist fu­ture where in­di­viduals would have their work re­duced to three hours a day. What has in­stead oc­curred is the pro­gressive elim­in­a­tion of the work-​life dis­tinc­tion, with work coming to per­meate every as­pect of the emer­ging so­cial factory.

Getting to Keynes has to be a good thing, as far as theoretical and historical substance is concerned, and this criticism seems solid.

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