“Level-1 or world space is an anthropomorphically scaled, predominantly vision-configured, massively multi-slotted reality system that is obsolescing very rapidly.
Garbage time is running out.
Can what is playing you make it to level two?”
-Nick Land, Meltdown
“So I heard yall wanna float.”
There has been a storm of similar yet different philosophical tangents brewing up lately, namely Situationism and Accelerationism. The accelerated Spectacle has become more widespread in western society, and even in Americanized countries, like China, whose state capitalist regime serves as a good model for strains of accelerationism that tend rightward, and even NRx, an offshoot variant, started by Silicon Valley denizen and political philosopher, Curtis Yarvin, also known in the Rightosphere as Mencius Moldbug. Mass media, which is the main component of the capitalist Spectacle has not only alienated and divided our daily lives, but accelerated our emotional states, and society as a whole. These two ways of thinking about capitalism and neoliberalism critically have even made its way into modern culture, with the Punk scene taking influence from the former's detournement tactics to target oppression from the government, and modern day Britain.
Before we get started on describing the philosophical parts of S/Acc, let’s dive into the biographical parts of both Situationism and Accelerationism: Situationism was founded in 1957, by European (mostly french) intellectuals as an art movement, branching off from the avant-garde art movement Lettrism, which one of the founding members of the Situationist International, the homebase of Situationist theory, Guy Debord, was a member of. They realized the potential that influences from Dada and Surrealism have in disrupting the Spectacle, and so they switched their efforts on doing just that, with Detournement and subversive films and art like “Can Dialectics Break Bricks?”, a redubbing of a martial arts film to make it a story about the alienated proletariat being disregarded and targeted by the Spectacle-affected capitalist class, told in china, the original film being your run-of-the-mill martial arts film, and “Memoires”, which is notable for its sandpaper-clad hard cover, and it’s pages of elaborate, but strikingly minimalist collages of the Spectacle using psychogeography to map out psychoanalytic thought patterns in human society, and consumerism.
The Situationist International was dissolved in the year of 1972, just 4 years after the May 68 riots which were influenced by Situationist literature. It’s legacy should not be understated, as it has come up as a turning point for marxist literature in embracing the post-structural.
It’s in this spirit that I talk about Accelerationism. Accelerationism, both as a philosophy and a mode of thinking was anticipated by Deleuze and Guatarri, who wrote the book A Thousand Plateaus, where they outlined the methods of deterritorialization and bodies without organs, the latters terminology taken from an Antonin Artaud play. Artaud’s work was clear to be an influence on Guatarro-Deleuzian thought, as Artaud's own schizophrenia is an interesting starter point and an example of what Deleuze and Guatarri meant by Schizophrenia as a concept. Accelerationism as what we know it to be was started by philosophers and academics in the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit, it’s home in the University of Warwick.
It essentially believes that capitalism is not a metaphysical object or a abstract concept: but rather a physical form of its own: infecting life like parasitic insects and alienating the public into cosmic humanist enlightenment death-drives, turning them into workaholics, depressed and consumed by social media, claiming to be enlightened and all-knowing about the problems of human society with their neoliberalness.
The founding members of the CCRU included Sadie Plant, Nick Land, and Mark Fisher, Sadie leaving and giving Nick Land the reigns to develop his own version of Accelerationism, laid out and illustrated in a cyberpunkian way on Meltdown, where he illustrates a near future of Neo-China reigning in cybernetic bodies without organs. Mark Fisher would break a little bit from the CCRUian formula, writing books like Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative, where he outlined the modern day philosophy of the Western World after the destruction of the Berlin Wall (which Fukuyuma famously declared was “the End of History”, set in stone by the 2008 economic crisis in the United States. It was this that Mark Fisher analyzed these from a hauntological perspective, correctly analyzing it as ghosts of the death of Capitalism: creating a new Accelerationism (Left-accelerationism, also known as L/Acc).
Let me explain how this relates to S/Acc: These movements both share similarities in how they outline modernity in Neoliberal-Capitalism, and how mass media is a component of it, but they differ on how to solve it. Rather than take the situationist route of detournement, Accelerationism has come to the correct realization – the only way out of Capitalism – is through it. We have seen the failed revolts in the 20th century: It was shot down by the western world, who was in fear of imagining the new futures: Keeping the common ideal of anti-communism given to them by the ghost of 1950s propaganda. What Situationism and it’s surrounding philosophy needed was an accelerated worldview to fill the gaps of it’s outdated revolt strategies that kept the world-as-image on the throne of the ruins of late stage capitalism.
The Spectacle will never have a significant enemy without the Spectacle’s tools, the same tools it uses to decelerate human culture: to force-feed us fake-deep culture and convince us that we have a way to establish world peace, even though it knows that the people are useless in stopping it because they don’t know the secret to abolishing it: Take Spectacle’s head and smother it with a pillow until the life support machine flatlines, in order to accelerate it into new futures and to encourage meta-revolution into the youth of today. Hell is on the Neoliberal’s side, acting as a real-life Demiurge, aiming to not warn people about the cataclysm that is only imaginable in dystopian science fiction novels coming to life if people do not abolish it before it is too late.
What is the Spectacle without the destruction of innocent lives by the main agents of it itself: The justice enforcement aim of the Spectacle, the Police, which more people finally know about because of the mainstream media (CNN, Fox News, NBC)’s coverage about it, despite it being flawed and incoherent, and conveyed in heavily biased ways: the anchors and producers all being talking heads for the sci-fi god that the Spectacle has become in the 21st century, far more than what Debord had dreamed of, infecting into different Americanized cultures until the culture of the insensitivity of white people screaming “RIP George Floyd” without any single thought about how their privilege got themselves into a successful state, and what role the Spectacle might had on their false success, aided by the false ideals of the american dream, and the MAGA hivemind as well as the Obama-Biden Positivists making a come-back in the early 2020s.
We are seeing ghosts of past cultures and even subcultures in society come by with the advent of the internet, one of the Spectacles well-known invention-tactics. Take MOGAI, for instance. Hyper-patchworked conceptions of gender and sexuality given out to the crowd, refiguring it to meet their means and gatekeeping it against people who despise the acts that they are doing. Alt-kids: Myspace revivalism jumping back into the mainframe hijacking into us vs them tribalism regarding neoliberal intersectionality’s (Not that intersectionality in general is bad, just that the spectacle has made it one of it’s agents. BLM is run by millionaire neoliberals, unsure of even their own motives regarding the movement. Occupy Wall Street was, well, occupied by tumblr hypelords and Demiurgic politics) way of hiding oppression, disguising it as love and respect for LGBT+ people, that has gone on and leaked even to the LGBT community themselves.
Imagine it accelerated: gender wars between Cisgender-Heterosexual Traditionalism and MOGAI “you don’t need dysphoria to be trans!” rhetoric, all ending in a metaphorical-anti-havoc nuclear war, from which a new society can rise up, and a self-helping nomadic decentralized community can form from the ashes of capitalism. Dhar Mann’s army of prepubescent self-fashioned “activists” aiming their sights on a half-baked critique of rich people, aiming for the narrative of “they selfish so they bad!!1” so that they don’t actually have to think one second and realize that not only is this not the case, and that the Spectacle is brainwashing them into thinking that capitalism needs to be reformed, and not destroyed, and that Dhar Mann’s net worth is $260 million in american dollars. This is the case of Capitalist Derangement System. To those who suffer with it, it is time to return home, as the spiritual jazz musician Sun Ra would have wanted a long time ago.
Accelerating society is the ultimate Detournement: The embarrassment of the proponents and the people in power as the dying society rebels against itself, the dying screams of the Spectacle being dragged to hell as it realizes the world-as-image has been destroyed: The revolution of everyday life can now make itself known from the cave that it has been hiding in, Capitalism deforming it into a monster akin to the short story-cum-game “I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream”, now transformed
into a pure spirit, exiting out of the earth and spreading the galactic anti-neoliberalism once and for all. The dysfunctional structure of the US Government, as well as the western world being deconstructed from within, crumbling, a more purer tree banishing demiurgic thought from it’s roots, nature where the buildings of Imperialism used to be. Of course, all of this is an imagined new future, which will not happen unless the circumstances are ripe: A hauntological effect of someone who thought the same as me in the past, who I probably don’t know about and will probably not make themselves known until it’s too late. A shared consciousness that all ideologies/philosophical systems share: Jumping from mind to mind until it is satisfied with itself and hides itself in post-Nazi horror, it’s arms cthulu’d in bliss. There is no conclusion to hauntology and history: It will continue to meld into hypnagogia for it’s eternal return and flight out of existence.
And now a explanation of the acting out of belief, as contrast to the failed non-praxis of unconditional accelerationism in the 21st century: S/Acc uses the same tactics as the alt-right: “meme magic” and culture-jamming in order to transcend both left-right dichotomies and kill the Spectacle and it’s mangled form of social justice. Planting metaphorical mail-bombs in a Kaczynskian fashion. “Me and my teddy, we’re friends for life” will be used for forms of accelerationist praxis the likes of which has never been seen before in Western history, rather than just a line from a, to be blunt and excuse my language, shit webseries about a neoliberal misunderstanding of queerness and lgbt people, enabled by BLM and #protecttranskids digital protest melding into a future that l/acc LongBeachGriffy feared. It will be shamelessly queer in its presentation of aesthetically challening and hard-to-understand philosophy in order to evade the grasp of the Spectacle: Media-As-Detournement is a evading, technical, and incoherent sort of Detournement. It will use phrases like “hyper-swarmachinery dub house” in the same sentence as “the” because it absolutely can and will. It’s forms are limitless and can aim at the archetypes of mainstream media, or the underground y2k. It can be the Dismiss Yourself logo, or a Calarts School drawing, but it will never bow down to the statuses of both the high-brow and low-brow. Low-brow will never get our point across, while high-brow is the Spectacles nest, laying eggs filled with swarms of worms eating at your brain, causing you Alzheimiers and other sorts of memory disorders.
Take the collaboration of Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars for example: A soulless hauntological creation of Motown, lacing it with modern lyrics talking about meaningless sex and issues with relationships, in a half-hearted attempt to confront the listeners with a failed Swarm-Soul (A subgenre of swarmusic that adapted from katajungle and has since been adapted into other forms of culture and music). The listeners hypothetically should be bored, but they eat it up because of brainwashing from Spectacular Commercials that use it’s music to convince you to Buy Our Fucking Products And Shut Up, Slave. There is a psychological reason for it too, that right-wingers commonly mistake as human nature and the inherent greediness of humans. Well, greediness is a good thing, as the Spectacle ironically hates greediness despite it being the main symptom of it.
The Spectacle uses causes like Climate Change and Gay Rights as a swarm-nest, using Modernity as it’s shield from any further critique. Cishet Allyship is the worst kind of activism. Mark Fisher was right when he told trans people via seance that we needed to exit the vampire castle of modern LGBT politics, as it leads to shouting matches regarding the usage of the words ``transphobic, sexist, racist, pro-shipper, fujoshi, exclus, transmed, tucute, 4channer, anti-shipper, boy-moder, pinkpilled, etc.” Real transphobia comes from the Spectacle and it’s agents, not individual 13yo edgelords who masturbate to furry porn on /b/ and talk about how hitler did nothing wrong. We, the oppressed, are being fooled by illusory mind-shackles that constantly oppress LGBT people and POC (People Of Color) into thinking that we need to to trust Cisgender-Heterosexual political rhetoric in order to be free.
The Spectacle is inside of us, as police officeres waiting to repress the instict urge to rebel and be ourselves in the face of Spectacle-Oppression. We cannot allow the war against capitalism to be lost in the hands of a meta-revolution and deterritorialization of mankind. We must congregate along S/Acc lines and bring all Accelerationists and Situationists together fro the final battle. I usually hate to argue in Us VS Them tactics, but it’s Us vs the Spectacle. Which side are you on?
“Politics is a spectacular failure. And the Spectacle is all that's keeping politics alive. Things aren't happening in the field of vision but are ôflowing on a blind, mute, deterritorialized socius.ö The impersonal is apolitical. Telecommercialised nomadic multiplicity aborts nascent Euro-unity. There's no such thing as a single market”