McKenzie Wark (A Hacker Manifesto, and The Beach Beneath the Street) has been kind enough to send us his detailed response to the “#Accelerate” piece which has been circulating around the internet. Since the aim of that original piece was, in part, to polemically intervene in a number of contemporary debates in the UK and US left, it’s been encouraging to see both critical and supportive responses to the vision it set out. Wark’s response here forms a significant and comprehensive commentary on that vision.
It should be emphasised though that “#Accelerate” was written in manifesto form, which means it was presented with the rhetorical force of declarative certainty. Yet while we are confident in the broad strokes of this approach, the specifics are open to debate and we’ve only begun to think through the issues involved. The idea of the manifesto was, first, to initiate and generate conversations about the longest term viewpoint on left politics at a profound moment of crisis. It was meant as a provocation that would raise questions, broach some neglected topics, and put certain key themes on the table. The manifesto was, second, intended to put forth what we believe to be a unique set of possible answers – ones that will hopefully generate further research. Yet, we are not trying to create a new doctrine, nor to determine in advance what must be an experimental process involving the creativity of mass politics. The emphasis, both here and in the manifesto, is on experimentation beyond traditional leftist tactics, in order to discover what works in practice.
Wark’s response is available here. And you can find the original manifesto here. More texts are available at Synthetic Edifice.
Fabulous to see you guys relighting the fuse – it’s exciting to see this – and it’ll be great to see where subsequent explosions take us! For now, though, one small (and perhaps pedantic) point re 03.19 – do you here intend “positive feedback loop” as in chaos, noise, disorder, Dionysian, entropy, Jimi Hendrix, rather, that is, than negative feedback loop as in order, Apollo, organization, etc? I’m fine with the chaos if that’s what you intend – but the context seems to suggest something more ordered = negative? Maybe? Cybernetics is really counter-intuitive on this one i know…
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The manifesto and response are both stimulating and excellent. I still observe a number of problems, and have written a constructive and intentionally provocative critique of the Manifesto over at the Anticapitalist Initative – http://anticapitalists.org/2013/05/30/nowhere-fast-a-brief-critique-of-the-accelerationist-manifesto. I hope it’s of interest and in turn stimulates new reflections on the current impasses of the Left.
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