In the spirit of Dominic Fox’s comments, I thought I would post a few thoughts about the recent discussion between Anthony Paul Smith and Pete Wolfendale.
One of the things that’s striking to me is the call, on the part of Accelerationists, for interpretive charity. I mention this not primarily because I want to protest it, nor because I want to defend a certain flippancy in responding to Accelearationism (which no doubt I could be pinned with at times), but simply to analyze it. My question, very simply, is why it is that critiques of Accelerationism seem to be received as if they were lacking in charity. Is it because the Accelerationist project is imagined as having a value such that too hasty critique of it would lead to a dismissal that would be ultimately unfortunate? (If so, in virtue of what is this value derived?) Is it because the Accelerationist project is imagined as being fundamentally right, such that critiques of it could not touch its essence but only stem from seizing on an accidental misphrasing? … Again, these are serious / honest questions – I don’t mean to phrase them in such a way that they are already read to be lacking charity.
On a related point, I wanted to clarify a bit about the nature of the critique of Accelerationism that I, at least, advance. It is, rather (perhaps too) bluntly, that it is a developmentalist project, which is to say that it is, in the narrative and possible positions it sets up, structurally complicit in the colonialism and anti-black racism that are entangled in modernity. (Perhaps this could be disentangled – I don’t think so, but in any case, given the historical reality I think the burden of demonstrating this disentanglement is on those who advance the modern project, and this means, at the very least, that critical awareness of such entanglement ought not be pathologized in advance as a kind of refusal to participate in a “positive” project of emancipation or “space of reasons.”) Read the rest of this entry »