Call for Debate/Call for Papers – Speculative Realist Politics and Xenoeconomics

Given the posts at Splintering Bone Ashes (1, 2, 3) K-Punk’s responses (1. 2) as well as No Useless Leniency’s Comments (1, 2), Planomenology’s Comments (1) and connections here and here – It seems sensible to dedicate a space to these debates which center on capital, nihilism, utopia, hauntology and the neologisms of xenoeconomics and accelerationism.

To throw in my own two cents: it would seem that, on the most fundamental level, that the issue is the relation of structure and novelty – of Badiou’s early push of destruction and his later championing of subtraction – of nihil as clearing the field or as radical refusal or as…?

The plasticity of capitalist structures, humanism and the status of remainders and exceptions (haunts, agency) have also been called into question – the doom saying surrounding the Hadron Collider luckily slid right into the economic chaos.  This is also a prime avenue for discussing Reza Negarestani’s Cyclonopedia – in particular petropolitics and sun economies – capitalism as a “planetary inevitability” and that it is an entity existing prior to the human merely waiting for a host (p. 27).

As a point of comparison – my own clumsy forays into a possible Speculative Realist politics are here and here but they centered on ecological issues and only briefly touched on the economic.

[Update #1:]

Planomenology – Notes for the Debate: Alien vs. Specter

Eliminative Culinarism – Hauntology, or a Shady Vitalism

K-Punk – Spectres of Accelerationism

Schoolboy Errors – Theory and Accelerationism/Xenoeconomics

Poetix – Capital Rules Everything Around Me

Poetix – Unlived Life

Schoolboy Errors – Theory and Accelerationism/Xenoeconomics II

No Useless Leniency – Capital and Agency (Encore)

Splintering Bone Ashes – Some Aims Regarding Speculative Realism and Politics

Splintering Bone Ashes – We are the Dead: Disconnected Thoughts on Spectrospheric Agency

[Update #2:]

While it is impossible to know the shelf life of any particular brand of academic excitement – I think that there is too much in the ongoing debates to let slide.  I think a virtual CFP for a virtual (or material?) conference might be warranted.  The broad theme would be Capitalism without Humans asking for works engaging:

Agency and Capitalism

Hauntology and Capitalism

Xenoeconomics as a Politics

Nihilism and Capital

Crisis and the Structure of Capitalism

Speculative Realist Politics

Papers would be sought which investigate the varying degrees to which the thinking against or without the human (humanism/agency etc) is a viable political project in the age of Late Capitalism.  How can a hyper-negative or darkly vitalist politics work within a capitalist frame without merely sinking into the common apathy of broadly marketable attitudes?  Can capitalist life be truly haunted in a way which is politically generative?

Suggestions of a timetable would be appreciated.

8 thoughts on “Call for Debate/Call for Papers – Speculative Realist Politics and Xenoeconomics

  1. I think focusing and unraveling this debate is a great idea. I have certainly enjoyed reading and responding to all of these discussions and want to see where they’ll take us. It’s been quite a happy surprise to have such an immediate opportunity to apply what I’ve been working on for over a year now. Did you have anything in mind for this space? Thanks for the mention, btw.

  2. Its great to see this being discussed- the issue of speculative realist politics seems essential, especially given say Brassier’s slow erasure of that dimension in his work. That the core of it all can be thought as the two eras of Badiou is also totally key- indeed I am eagerly awaiting the Bosteels translation of Theorié du Sujet as I suspect it may have extremely useful applications in delineating the destructivist potential of strong/cold accelerationism (though having read Planomenology’s recent posts I have a hunch Laruelle might equally be a legitimate path to grounding xenoeconomical praxis). I’m working on a post delineating precisely how important Badiou is to this debate at the moment. But a virtual or actual conference on this seems a fantastic idea, especially as this recent series of exchanges has demonstrated the thrilling energy of the academic blog-nexus.

  3. I’m game for a the CFP too, I’ve already started outlining something. It really is quite thrilling, this collective and differential engineering of concepts, it seems like a really radical way of doing philosophy. I mean of course philosophy has always involved dialogue, debate, et cetera, but this seems different, I suspect something really novel is going on here…

  4. I’m definitely in for a virtual conference of some kind too. A real conference would be ideal, but I don’t imagine we have the resources for it. Although if any readers have suggestions, they’d be appreciated!

    SBA, your posts have been brilliant. But it’s interesting that you bring up Badiou here. Isn’t one the reasons why he moved away from the destructivist tendencies in Theory of the Subject because there ultimately needs to be that creative moment? Hence his later work’s emphasis on truth procedures and forcing as the way in which the present is not only destroyed, but fundamentally changed (immanently). In the same way, your accelerationism seems to be solely a negative moment – the destruction of all limits to capital-machines and the destruction of the human. You suggest that this will lead to something qualitatively new, but I’m not convinced yet (and even less convinced that it’d be something worth striving for). I think – and this has been raised on your own blog – the ultimate question comes down to what are the destructivist tendencies of accelerationism good for? In that regards, I think the suggestions you’ve made about a discourse of neither alienation nor vitalism are important. But I’m not sure that pure accelerationism/destructivism is sufficient by itself for whatever end might arise.

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  6. As an outsider fascinated and somewhat confused by advanced critical theory I would lke to sugest a few empirical points.

    There is so much toxic speculation piled up, gamble upon gamble that all the major American and EU banks are bankrupt.

    They cannot be allowed to disappear, because if they did credit would disappear. The holes are so deep that it will cause governments, in their desperate attempt to salvage the system to loose control over the money supply thereby bringing about eventually a worldwide hyper inflation.

    The deep worldwide recession is generally perceived as being caused by financiers on Wall Street. There is a tsunami of populist opinion totally enraged, flaying about and clueless how to take revenge.(Just watch CNBC -USA, or read Nuriel Roubini’s Dr. Doom blogs.

    By now prices on the stock exchange have fallen so far they they make absolutely no sense. High level corporate pape yielding 15%, PEs of two and three, and hundreds of companies trading below net cash. This means tha the sense of asset value has been destroyed even for the trading and investment community. Put simply no body hasa clue what things are worth.

    TThis much I think I know…Obama and Co. might try governing from the center right . By the time some semblance of stabilty will emerge neo-liberalism will be kaput and most people who work for a living will know at the most visceral level that capitalism is not self regulating, or have a natural tendency towards equilibrium.

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