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.