Is there a word for an ‘argument’  so soggily insubstantial that it has to be scooped into a pair of scare-quotes to be apprehended, even in its self-dissolution? If there were, I’d have been using it all the time recently. Among the latest occasions is a blog post by Charlie Stross, which describes itself as “a political speculation” before disappearing into the gray goomenon. Nothing in it really holds together, but it’s fun in its own way, especially if it’s taken as a sign of something else.

The ‘something else’ is a subterranean complicity between Neoreaction and Accelerationism (the latter linked here, Stross-style, in its most recent, Leftist version). Communicating with fellow ‘Hammer of Neoreaction’ David Brin, Stross asks: “David, have you run across the left-wing equivalent of the Neo-Reactionaries — the Accelerationists?” He then continues, invitingly: “Here’s my (tongue in cheek) take on both ideologies: Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism!”

Stross is a comic-future novelist, so it’s unrealistic to expect much more than a dramatic diversion (or anything more at all, actually). After an entertaining meander through parts of the Trotskyite-neolibertarian social-graph, which could have been deposited on a time-like curve out of Singularity Sky, we’ve learnt that Britain’s Revolutionary Communist Party has been on a strange path, but whatever connection there was to Accelerationism, let alone Neoreaction, has been entirely lost. Stross has the theatrical instinct to end the performance before it became too embarrassing: “Welcome to the century of the Trotskyite monarchists, the revolutionary reactionaries, and the fringe politics of the paradoxical!” (OK.) Curtain closes. Still, it was all comparatively good humored (at least in contrast to Brin’s increasingly enraged head-banging).

Neoreaction is Accelerationism with a flat tire. Described less figuratively, it is the recognition that the acceleration trend is historically compensated. Beside the speed machine, or industrial capitalism, there is an ever more perfectly weighted decelerator, which gradually drains techno-economic momentum into its own expansion, as it returns dynamic process to meta-stasis. Comically, the fabrication of this braking mechanism is proclaimed as progress. It is the Great Work of the Left. Neoreaction arises through naming it (without excessive affection) as the Cathedral.

Is the trap to be exploded (as advocated Accelerationism), or has the explosion been trapped (as diagnosed by Neoreaction)? — That is the cybernetic puzzle-house under investigation. Some quick-sketch background might be helpful.

The germinal catalyst for Accelerationism was a call in Deleuze & Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus (1972) to “accelerate the process”. Working like termites within the rotting mansion of Marxism, which was systematically gutted of all Hegelianism until it became something utterly unrecognizable, D&G vehemently rejected the proposal that anything had ever “died of contradictions”, or ever would. Capitalism was not born from a negation, nor would it perish from one. The death of capitalism could not be delivered by the executioner’s ax of a vengeful proletariat, because the closest realizable approximations to ‘the negative’ were inhibitory, and stabilizing. Far from propelling ‘the system’ to its end, they slowed the dynamic to a simulacrum of systematicity, retarding its approach to an absolute limit. By progressively comatizing capitalism, anti-capitalism dragged it back into a self-conserving social structure, suppressing its eschatological implication. The only way Out was onward.

Marxism is the philosophical version of a Parisian accent, a rhetorical type, and in the case of D&G it becomes something akin to a higher sarcasm, mocking every significant tenet of the faith. The bibliography of Capitalism and Schizophrenia (of which Anti-Oedipus is the first volume) is a compendium of counter-Marxist theory, from drastic revisions (Braudel), through explicit critiques (Wittfogel), to contemptuous dismissals (Nietzsche). The D&G model of capitalism is not dialectical, but cybernetic, defined by a positive coupling of commercialization (“decoding”) and industrialization (“Deterritorialization”), intrinsically tending to an extreme (or “absolute limit”). Capitalism is the singular historical installation of a social machine based upon cybernetic escalation (positive feedback), reproducing itself only incidentally, as an accident of continuous socio-industrial revolution. Nothing brought to bear against capitalism can compare to the intrinsic antagonism it directs towards its own actuality, as it speeds out of itself, hurtling to the end already operative ‘within’ it. (Of course, this is madness.)

A detailed appreciation of “Left Accelerationism” is a joke for another occasion. “Speaking on behalf of a dissident faction within the modern braking mechanism, we’d really like to see things move forward a lot faster.” OK, perhaps we can work something out … If this ‘goes anywhere’ it can only get more entertaining. (Stross is right about that.)

Neoreaction has far greater impetus, and associated diversity. If reduced to a spectrum, it includes a wing even more Leftist than the Left, since it critiques the Cathedral for failing to stop the craziness of Modernity with anything like sufficient vigor. You let this monster off the leash and now you can’t stop it might be its characteristic accusation.

On the Outer Right (in this sense) is found a Neoreactionary Re-Accelerationism, which is to say: a critique of the decelerator, or of ‘progressive’ stagnation as an identifiable institutional development — the Cathedral. From this perspective, the Cathedral acquires its teleological definition from its emergent function as the cancellation of capitalism: what it has to become is the more-or-less precise negative of historical primary process, such that it composes — together with the ever more wide-flung society-in-liquidation it parasitizes — a metastatic cybernetic  megasystem, or super-social trap. ‘Progress’ in its overt, mature, ideological incarnation is the anti-trend required to bring history to a halt. Conceive what is needed to prevent acceleration into techno-commercial Singularity, and the Cathedral is what it will be.

Self-organizing compensatory apparatuses — or negative feedback assemblies — develop erratically. They search for equilibrium through a typical behavior labeled ‘hunting’ — over-shooting adjustments and re-adjustments that produce distinctive wave-like patterns, ensuring the suppression of runaway dynamics, but producing volatility. Cathedral hunting behavior of sufficient crudity would be expected to generate occasions of ‘Left Singularity’ (with subsequent dynamic ‘restorations’) as inhibitory adjustment over-shoots into system crash (and re-boot). Even these extreme oscillations, however, are internal to the metastatic super-system they perturb, insofar as an overall gradient of Cathedralization persists. Anticipating escape at the pessimal limit of the metastatic hunting cycle is a form of paleo-Marxist delusion. The cage can only be broken on the way up.

For Re-Accelerationist Neoreaction, escape into uncompensated cybernetic runaway is the guiding objective — strictly equivalent to intelligence explosion, or techno-commercial Singularity. Everything else is a trap (by definitive, system-dynamic necessity). It might be that monarchs have some role to play in this, but it’s by no means obvious that they do.

December 10, 2013admin 74 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Neoreaction , Philosophy , Templexity


74 Responses to this entry

  • peppermint Says:

    look, an article with a bunch of made up big words

    it must be important. i’ll come back tomorrow morning when i’m awake.


    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 4:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • rogueacademic Says:

    ¡Exacto! Creo que este es un post que tenías que escribir hace tiempo. Las cosas van ubicándose en su lugar y pienso que abres las vías más ricas de la reflexión neo-reaccionaria. Con esto las ideas “ontológicas” que te he compartido antes se organizan y se destilan sus impurezas. Efectivamente, no se trata en lo absoluto de un “programa ateo”, aunque tengo mis dudas con lo de “re-aceleracionismo”. En todo caso, pensaré sobre tu texto a ver qué puedo escribir en unos días.

    De todos modos, es divertido pensar qué pasará ahora con tus fieles seguidores neo-reaccionarios con sueños monárquicos, orgasmos teistas y pulsiones feudales. Quizá son un mal necesario para hacer consistir a la entidad “regresionista” de La Catedral, son algo así como el infértil antagonismo contradictorio. Unos proletarios de derecha, esclavos pidiendo a gritos un nuevo Amo. Agradezcamos el hecho que su sacrificio facilita la crítica al consolidar la infraestructura de La Catedral.

    Mis disculpas por el perfecto español.


    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 5:34 pm Reply | Quote
  • rogueacademic Says:

    In English: Great post! This is something I was hoping you to write long time ago. It’s the most interesting line of thinking in the neo-reactionsphere. Nevertheless, I feel sorry for the neo-reactionaries with political inclinations; they just are the negation of The Cathedral. They are infertile. But they are a necessary evil because that antagonism strengthens the Cathedral infrastructure and facilitates criticism.


    GoingPro Reply:

    In English: Great post! This is something I was hoping you to write long time ago. It’s the most interesting line of thinking in the neo-reactionsphere. Nevertheless, I feel sorry for the neo-reactionaries with political inclinations; they just are the negation of The Cathedral. They are infertile. But they are a necessary evil because that antagonism strengthens the Cathedral infrastructure and facilitates criticism.

    On behalf of something called “Acceleration,” I wouldn’t call neo-reactionaries with political inclinations a necessary evil. I would call them an unnecessary evil.
    Agree with you on critical dialogue sustaining the Cathedral.
    A reality “criticism” of Cathedralization would be techno-industrialization with a tactic recognition of what it means to not be a value-creator.


    Thanatos Reply:

    That’s not all that you said.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    Nor did he bother to translate the insulting tone. It’s of no importance, though.


    rogueacademic Reply:

    Your translation tool must be malfunctioning, cause there wasn’t any insulting tone in my words. I just pointed out the fact that it’s going to be fun watching the neo-reaction fanboys through this post glasses. Oh! And I coupled “orgasm” with “teism” just for rhetoric color.

    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 6:00 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Warburton Says:

    Good to see you contextualising your roots in light of (semi)recent developments. I like the idea of the cathedral being multiple negative loops with crisis a risk on every circulation of the hive-centre loop. It’s a useful way of thinking about the way the inner-organs remain self-supporting too.

    Although this:

    “A detailed appreciation of “Left Accelerationism” is a joke for another occasion. “Speaking on behalf of a dissident faction within the modern braking mechanism, we’d really like to see things move forward a lot faster.” OK, perhaps we can work something out … If this ‘goes anywhere’ it can only get more entertaining. (Stross is right about that.)”

    …is as much a mention as “left accelerationism” deserves. I found it funny when I read the manifesto for the first first time, now just being reminded of it leaves a sad taste in my mouth.


    admin Reply:

    Time spiral intensification might be an end of year thing. (It’s been quite a year, for a lot of us.)


    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 8:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    Beside the speed machine, or industrial capitalism, there is an ever more perfectly weighted decelerator, which gradually drains techno-economic momentum into its own expansion, as it returns dynamic process to meta-stasis. Comically, the fabrication of this braking mechanism is proclaimed as progress. It is the Great Work of the Left. Neoreaction arises through naming it (without excessive affection) as the Cathedral.

    From this perspective the Cathedral is eerily reminiscent of those counter-revolutionary forces that, in the leftist narrative, act as a drag impeding the forward progress of the Revolution …


    admin Reply:

    Yes, and it has to be admitted — not accidentally.


    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 8:27 pm Reply | Quote
  • nyan_sandwich Says:

    Not all singularities are created equal. Most of the volume of condition-space is meaningless heat baths and cold vacuums. Even conditioning on superintelligence (ie the outcome of a singularity), it’s nearly all just the universe being melted down to computronium tasked with arbitrary computations. A very small slice of those possible computations, and only a very small slice, are things that *we* would find valuable, like for example, keeping us alive and flourishing.

    I, for one, prefer not to be melted down for a few more gigajoules to be spent on some stupid shit like designing a marginally better von-neumann probe. So I think it’s worth looking into how the initial conditions of the singularity can be tweaked to put the outcome into that valuable zone.

    You disagree with this line of thought, right?


    admin Reply:

    “You disagree with this line of thought, right?” — Nothing that dismissive. It’s an interesting conversation to have. Nevertheless, you’re right if suggesting that I’m profoundly doubtful about “our” capacity to effectively nudge something so vast, incomprehensible, and fiercely contested. I’m a definite FAI skeptic, for instance.


    nyan_sandwich Reply:

    Ok cool.

    For clarity, here’s my best guess to your “doubt” position: Humans are confused and incoherent about what “they” even “want”. The singularity, and developments in general, will be extremely hard to predict and manipulate. Thus it is probably nearly impossible to steer the singularity towards a “good” outcome.

    Is that roughly where you’re at?

    Let’s look at our rough preference structure for singularity stuff. I think there’s a such thing as a humane, flourishing singularity (call it FAI), and a harsh neutral singularity (call it uFAI). Among non-singularity outcomes we have a variety of slow, horrible extinctions, some of them worse than others, and maybe some habitable non-singularity outcomes.

    So the preference structure would be roughly: FAI >> “habitable non-singularity outcome” > uFAI > “slow extinction”. We can compute the expected value gradients of various interventions from that and some assumptions about probabilities.

    So your position (dismantle the braking mechanisms on techno-capitalist acceleration) translated to my model here gets its value from increasing the probability of the singularity (and thus FAI) relative to non-singularity outcomes.

    My position (work on FAI problems) gets its value from increasing probability of FAI relative to uFAI. Note that doubling the probability of FAI within singularity outcomes is about equal in value to doubling the probability of singularity outcomes in general (given my value model, above). For various reasons I think FAI is an easier lever to pull on and double than the singularity itself, but I won’t try to squeeze an argument into this margin.

    I expect you have some objections about the division of the singularity into FAI and uFAI and putting all the value of FAI? Any thoughts on that would be good.

    Are we roughly on the same page yet? Or am I totally missing something about your model?


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    I believe our host is more subconsciously Christian and self-sacrificing than that. He thinks that the singularity is good in itself. Asking whether the singularity is good for *us* is like asking whether the Second Coming can be manipulated to do less damage to my stock portfolio.

    admin Reply:

    Lesser Bull’s answer works pretty well for me. Only orthogonalists can really buy into the FAI program. For anti-othogonalists it’s the gratuitous imposition of a supplementary agenda on an already fully sufficient one. (‘Optimize for Intelligence’ isn’t an abbreviation for “optimize for intelligence as long as it will be out bitch”.)

    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 9:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hypothetical Says:

    ‘Anti-Oedipus’ might rely on a compendium of counter-Marxist theory, but it itself is a trenchant Marxist critique of capitalism. It recontextualizes Marx for the twentieth century, but it maintains Marx’s original claim: that capitalism is necessary in order to achieve communism. Whether we agree with this or not is another matter; I’m simply clarifying that ‘Anti-Oedipus’ is a Marxist text.

    I think that D&G maintain the important component of the external limit. Elsewhere, you’ve claimed that capitalism has no external limit; but there’s actually no way to verify that fact. Instead, I think it’s far more likely that when capitalism overtakes its external limits, we simply won’t realize it; this is the point of pseudo-Marxists like Stross, or Peter Watts. “Perhaps the Singularity happened years ago; we just don’t want to admit we were left behind” (I’m paraphrasing). Assuming that capitalism conforms to the perpetual overcoming of internal limits, and that it has no external limit, can only ever be an assumption. There is no way to verify that fact. Capitalism may already be other-than-itself; thus all this “horror” at the sight of the Cathedral and other institutions. But not everyone experiences this horror, even those who have read and studied the work of neoreactionism…

    Monarchs are nothing more than reiterations of current institutional and hierarchical territorializations enacted by capitalism. It may be that they have some role to play; but if so, that should be a glaring sign that we’re far beyond capitalism (although not beyond its power dynamics, perhaps…).


    admin Reply:

    “… capitalism is necessary in order to achieve communism.” — Communism? But D&G follow Wittfogel in trashing communism as Oriental Despotism.


    Hypothetical Reply:

    Apologies, poorly worded; that was Marx’s original claim, i.e. that capitalism’s inevitable collapse would inaugurate the era of communism. D&G perpetuate the concept that capitalism necessarily leads to its implosion, although their conceptualization envisions the aftermath as something more like total, schizophrenic deterritorialization.

    I also have trouble not seeing Deleuze and Guattari in a non-dialectical light. This is likely because my own theoretical tendencies are largely informed by Fredric Jameson, whose critique of D&G involves a dialectical subsumption/synthesis of their work within a broader historical context.


    IMPORTANT -- Read this Reply:

    That’s a nice bunch of, erm, “references” on this fellow’s blog. I wonder what they do?

    Everyone, have a look (WITHOUT CLICKING) at the references on this gentleman’s blog. Whether that’s malware, or merely designed to look like malware, I think on net I should draw attention to it.

    Also notice that, like some other participants in the extant NR dialogue, this fellow is redolent of a Philip K Dick story.

    Which one…oh yes, Second Variety.

    Hendricks examined the photos. They had been snapped hurriedly; they were blurred and indistinct. The first few showed—Moron. Moron talking nonsense, by himself. Moron and another Moron. Three Morons. All exactly alike.

    All pathetic.

    “Look at the others,” Tasso said.

    The next pictures, taken at a great distance, showed a gelatinous rationalist oozing his way into a thread, his words glib, HB pencil in mouth, trotting out a trite rendition of contrarianism. Then two rationalists, both the same, each eliciting a sage nod.

    “That’s Variety One. The cool rationalist.” Klaus reached out and took the pictures. “You see, the rationalism was designed to get to fans of LessWrong, skeptics of Moldbug’s worse ideas. To find them. Each kind was better than the last. They got farther, closer, past most of our defenses, into our lines. But as long as they were merely fuckheads, smarmy assholes with fewer IQ points than they think, pederasts, they could be picked off like any other object. They could be detected as lethal robots as soon as they were seen. Once we caught sight of them—”

    “Variety One subverted our whole north wing,” Rudi said. “It was a long time before anyone caught on. Then it was too late. They came in, cool rationalists, knocking and begging to be let in. So we let them in. And as soon as they were in they took over. We were watching out for Morons….”

    “At that time it was thought there was only the one type,” Klaus Epstein said. “No one suspected there were other types. The pictures were flashed to us. When the runner was sent to you, we knew of just one type. Variety One. The Moron. We thought that was all.”

    “Your line fell to—”

    “To Variety Three. Simulacrum of Nick Land: a PhD student. That worked even better.” Klaus smiled bitterly. “Accelerationists are suckers for Deleuze, however haphazardly thrown together. We tried to have discussions with them. We found out the hard way what they were after. At least, those who had yet to realise the danger of using these blogs.”

    At minimum you are indiscriminately feeding information to an expanding circle of progressive readers. I wouldn’t rule out malware and frauds. The frauds sabotage the discourse and test out formulae that would take the edge of your brand of contrarianism.

    P.S. ‘Shell Game’ is another PKD story. So take or leave my $0.02.

    Posted on December 10th, 2013 at 10:31 pm Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    “… capitalism necessarily leads to its implosion” — which is exactly to say: tends intrinsically to Singularity.

    “… a dialectical subsumption/synthesis of their work within a broader historical context.” — OK, but I am of course profoundly unconvinced that there is a ‘broader historical context’.


    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 12:42 am Reply | Quote
  • Mai La Dreapta Says:

    I suppose I’m one of those neo-reactionaries who criticizes the Cathedral for not tamping down even harder on Modernity, which means that I’m “even more Leftist than the Left” in the words of your post. That’s not a description I’ve ever seen applied to myself before, and it makes me slightly nauseous, but I wouldn’t be into Dark Enlightenment if not for the nausea-inducing alternate viewpoints.

    So here’s some thoughts also triggered by this post at Anarchopapist: Capitalism implodes, because it necessarily erodes the conditions for its own perpetuation. Capital requires K-selection and low time preference, but the very nature of Acceleration is to make long-term prediction impossible, thereby privileging R-selection and high time preference. Pure, unbraked capitalism is impossible, because the faster you accelerate towards the Singularity, the quicker you run out of fuel to continue the acceleration.

    In other words: If the Cathedral didn’t exist, we would have to invent it. In this model, leftism can be seen as a drag force generated by the forward motion of capitalism itself. None of which means that we have to be happy with the Cathedral that we have, because who/whom still matters. But it does mean that the design cannot be for a society which takes the brakes off, but one which finds an equilibrium between acceleration and drag.


    admin Reply:

    This is the discussion that I suspect is inevitable, not only within NR, but also more widely. My initial prodding would — once again — focus on that “we” sensitive spot. The idea that “we” have the power (through our democratic representatives) to make effective decisions about the course of social development simply is the Cathedral. Dispelling it is the first step to reality. Once that is gone, what is being said?


    VXXC Reply:

    Breaking the spell of illusion about our democracy: Agree. And then what?

    “Anticipating escape at the pessimal limit of the metastatic hunting cycle is a form of paleo-Marxist delusion. The cage can only be broken on the way up.”

    Agree, but probaby not the same way. Beginning with breaking the cage.

    People with political inclinations are quite useful in politics, and this is a political problem. It will be a Singularity problem when the Techno-Commerical Singularity exists, at which point we’ll need a John Connor. That’s a different discussion for a day that probably isn’t coming, and isn’t a plan.

    Actually it’s an alternative religion with an AI Messiah.

    Meanwhile we’ And need to smash out of a cage.

    And then we need to ensure we are never in a position where people who want to model our lives have any power, which I think will be a core demand of the cage breakers. The Fed for instance is modelling our lives and that’s not working out.

    Attack. Attack. Attack.

    The Stolen Democracy is the MacGuffin BTW. That we have been lied to so we can be robbed is the MacGuffin. The Heroes expose the conspiracy and demolish the lies. That’s why they’re on Hero Trading Cards.

    Techo-Singularity [as opposed to the Leftist Singularity that has begun, along with the Rightest Reaction under way…and I don’t mean here] isn’t a MacGuffin.

    I mean I think you want to feed the mob the conspirators, not a hazy concept of techno-AI GodMan. The mob is already coming, it would be if none here were born, if Yarvin wasn’t born, all of it. However…since DEC does exist and is no longer quite so obscure…may I suggest pointing the finger and saying: THEM !! and here’s what they did to you!!

    Not “I have no interest in politics.” For you see…politics has an interest in YOU.


    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    I was thinking that “we” were darkly enlightened neoreactionary despots, and not democratic politicians, but I see how you could make that confusion.

    But anyway, elide “we” from that statement. The thesis that I’m proposing is a form of anti-Singularity horrorism: capitalism generates leftist turbulence as a byproduct of its own operation, and nothing you can do will eliminate that turbulence. This drag manifests as an “external” force, rather than part of the workings of the motor itself, which lets you convince yourself that you could engineer it away. But you can’t. Techno-singularity will not actually happen, because while acceleration may be self-catalyzing internally, within the context of the entire society it is limited by the countervailing turbulence which it generates.


    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    If the Singularity will not actually happen, why would there be the need to be “anti-Singularity”?

    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 2:28 am Reply | Quote
  • Erich Luna Says:

    Excellent post Nick

    I am going to summarize my position briefly:

    1. Accelerationism can be understood broadly in two ways: (a) accelerationism as a ontological process (mainly in a deleuzean way, materialist and immanent); (b) accelerationism as a political program (anthropocentric and voluntaristic). This last sense is essential to the leftist accelerationists.

    2. Land’s appropriation of the first sense (what he calls now “re-accelerationism”, but for me is just “plain accelerationism”) results in embracing futurist techno-commercialism and the radicalization of enlightenment and nihilism by pursuing total mercantilization and the total subversion of tradition. This entails a critical attitude towards the left for being to traditional (State, nation, ethnicity, party, government… God).

    3. Dark Enlightenment is mostly committed to criticize progressivism . Land shares that critical attitude. But usually what neo reaction wants is to rehabilitate value and meaning. Tradition is essential. They are against a progressivist Cathedral, but not against the existence of another Cathedral (whether monarchy, theocratic, etc. ). Land’s thinking, I believe, is directed against Cathedral tout curt. I think this and the second point are the key elements that constitute the breaking point between Land and Neo Reaction.

    4. That is why for me and Javier landian techno commercialism is embraced for the possibilities of ending the ultimate tradition: human beings. Reaching singularity and promoting human obsolescence for the sake of nothing more the further the acceleration of non-organic sapience before the universe collapses in heat death. To accelerate is to embrace the end of man, value and meaning. Is to accept not only the death of God, but the extinction of man. Javier and I have named this broad speculative enterprise “synthosomatics” (a step further beyond schizoanalysis).

    5. From this point of view, Dark Enlightenment is a childish battlecry for different meanings or values than progressivism. We think landian techno commercialism and synthosomatics can be aligned with Neo Reaction to question progressivism. But the alliance end the moment Neo Reactionaries show any kind of value philia.


    admin Reply:

    You’re right that the ‘Re-‘ of ‘Re-Accelerationism’ is a dispensable boost-phase, of purely tactical usage (probably for this post alone).

    For the rest, I think the strategic problems involved in a pursuit of ‘pure’ Accelerationism have evidenced themselves, compelling a turn to more intricate lines of approach (whether these are construed as prospective political theory, or retrospective military-metaphysical incursion). The Accelerationism you and Javier both advocate is philosophically admirable, but also (and ironically) open to an accusation of Platonic Transcendence, due to its principled indifference to all conditions of practical adoption. What type of society might facilitate such a program? (This is ultimately a Neoreactionary question.) If this problem is shelved — as you seem to advise — than you are talking only to the machines, and more appropriate codes could no doubt be envisaged.

    [Apologies for my non-existent Spanish]


    Erich Luna Reply:

    Nick I think you point out important questions to be addressed here.

    And since the name of Deleuze has risen in the discussion, I will embrace his notion of what constitutes the truly nature of philosophy:

    “Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful.”

    That is the concept of philosophy that we embrace when we are interested in accelerationism, non-human sapience and the extinction.

    The activist-pragmatic question that demand use for thought, or its political value is a Marxist-Leninist legacy that I find ironic to find within the Dark Enlightenment members.

    That is more Platonist that the charge you are posing on use. It was Plato the one who believed that thought was meant to rule.

    Except the case of Foseti, who claims brilliantly in a neo reactionary way this same familiar pathos, although for very different reasons:

    “I consider myself the (perhaps wannabe) intellectual heir of a line of thought that has been around forever, that generally loses, and that’s always proved right (alas, no one pays attention). In other words, if you’re here for the short-term winning, you’re in the wrong place.

    At a minimum, it would be nice to be clear that the goal is the restoration of functional government and the preservation of order, not the toppling of what’s left of it. If you’re here for the revolution, you’re not a reactionary.”

    Anyway, this deleuzean commitment to philosophy as the denouncement of stupidity does not mean that the practical is irrelevant. But maybe it means that what by Ray Brassier said in Nihil Unbound is true: “Thinking has interests that do not coincide with those of living; indeed, they can and have been pitted against the latter”


    admin Reply:

    The points you two are making deserves a serious response — I’ll push it forward into a new blog post if that’s OK. Likely to take a few days to muster the arguments into a coherent problem and response.

    It’s interesting to me, though, that the DE discussions contribute to the formulation of your questions. The socio-political topic (even if ultimately leading to a dismissal of ‘practical’ considerations) can’t be fully processed within the ambit of a pure accelerationism, unless the latter deliberately sidelines the problem of its historical prospects.

    Alex Reply:

    Reaching singularity and promoting human obsolescence for the sake of nothing more the further the acceleration of non-organic sapience before the universe collapses in heat death. To accelerate is to embrace the end of man, value and meaning. Is to accept not only the death of God, but the extinction of man.

    To “embrace the end of man, value and meaning” — that means a particular man assigns value to it, surely?


    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 4:42 am Reply | Quote
  • Hypothetical Says:

    @I love PKD. Taught a few of his short stories in my course this semester. But I’m uncertain what you mean by malware on my blog… unless that’s some catchy neoreactionist terminology for “bullshit.”

    And thank you for your responses Nick. I realize that I may be the odd man out here. I really enjoy some of your older essays from Fanged Noumena, but I’m still not on board with neoreactionism. Wouldn’t the implosion of capitalism be the advent of something else…? If capitalism is the star, then the black hole is something else…


    fotrkd Reply:

    Your footnotes are (dead) links to local files. I think that’s what he was referring to (but it’s kinda hard to tell).


    IMPORTANT -- Read this Reply:

    peppermint — fraud
    Rogueacademic — fraud
    GoingPro – fraud
    Hypothetical — fraud
    Mai La Dreapta — fraud
    VXXC — fraud
    Erich Luna — fraud
    Fotrkd — fraud
    Alex — fraud
    Thanatos — not sure
    Nick Land — not sure
    Mark Warburton — genuine
    Nyan_sandwich — genuine

    So including myself, I would only vouch that three sincere people have posted in this thread. I leave it to others to identify the collective methodology of the fraud(s) and their sockpuppets.

    [Admin: I’d clip this lunacy out as spam — but it’s so radically gone, I can’t help but be intrigued. If it remains civil (however psychotic) it can continue, for a while at least. Is anyone getting how this gnostic conspiracy is supposed to be working yet? Worth a Chaos Patch? (And congratulations to Mark and Nyan for not being cyberspace avatars from the Crab Nebula, or something.)]


    admin Reply:

    So now it’s some kind of Turing test?


    fotrkd Reply:

    @admin – Is this the sort of horror you were hoping for?! Lurking in the shadows nobody knows our number… (Cue multiple Philip K Dick inspired constructions of our true purpose). [Evil laugh (in stereo)]

    admin Reply:

    Now I’m talking to myself, and it isn’t even really me …

    Read this Reply:

    You are extraordinarily tolerant of obvious frauds and trolls. You turned up rather late to the party, to the amazement of your former milieu. There is little in ‘Fanged Noumena’, the collected writings 1987–2007, published 2011, to suggest a reactionary inclination. There are clear elements of continuity, such as your dislike of “fascism”, interest in number theory, etc., but these are orthogonal to NR. Here is the beginning of one essay:

    For the purposes of understanding the complex network of race, gender, and class oppressions that constitute our global modernity it is very rewarding to attend to the evolution of the apartheid policies of the South African regime, since apartheid is directed towards the construction of a microcosm of the neo-colonial order; a recapitulation of the world in miniature.

    Some other things as well. Why a new site?

    Still, I’m less confident that you (and I suppose Fotrkd, or even VXXC) are frauds than some of the other names in this thread. It is indeed a Dickian problem (except that I’ve already walked away, so it’s not too threatening), but recall that paranoia and accurately diagnosed horror are both present in his works.

    [Admin: The lamentable essay you quote was written in 1987 — so I hope you’ll allow for a quarter century of recovery from progressive nonsense. Of course, I could have hidden the body of the real Nick Land in the basement, stolen his ‘identity’, and launched a new blog. Stranger things have happened (I guess). I’m absolutely intolerant of trolls, btw, and dump them into the spam furnace without pity, but fortunately their incursions are very rare. Your intervention might be considered trolling if it were less formally polite, but it’s too mind-stretching for that.]

    Grotesque Body Reply:

    @Read this reply,

    There’s actually an extremely parsimonious to your entire line of interrogation. The far right presently has a massive comparative advantage in dark edginess against the left. Mine where the riches lie.

    Dick Wagner Reply:

    Since NRx is its own Cathedral Read this reply is darker-than-thou.

    rogueacademic Reply:

    @IMPORTANT — Read this, Great catalog! But… How do you know you are genuine and sincere? There is no way you could prove that to yourself. Or is it?


    Mark Warburton Reply:

    WTF. Something tells me the title of the post has alerted leftist disruption – and seeing as I’m purportedly one of the only non-replicants, I wonder if it has something to do with me. A lame attempt at an appeal-to-vanity?

    (Paranoia meet narcissism…)


    Mai La Dreapta Reply:

    Hey, I’m a fraud! What a relief to be delivered from the anxieties of personhood.

    Macar robotul acesta a invatat sa vorbeasca limba romana.


    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 1:01 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:


    @admin – are a couple of my comments stuck someplace? I’m having trouble posting…


    admin Reply:

    No problem that I can see this end.


    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 1:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Hypothetical Says:

    I’m a fraud in that I don’t agree with neoreactionism; but I’m not hiding that fact, so I’m not sure that qualifies as a fraudulent.

    I just find Nick’s early writing very interesting and impressive, and I agree with Brassier that his methodology appropriates D&G’s libidinal materialism in a really cool way. I think that “Machinic Unconscious” is great, for example; but I also think there’s a dimension to which Nick (and all of us, it must be admitted) are subsumed by a broader historical context that we can’t conceptualize.

    Nick, I know you said earlier that you don’t believe there’s any broader context, and this certainly jives with D&G’s (and, going further back, Nietzsche’s) anti-representationalist bent. But the problem with history is that it “can only be apprehended through its effects, and never directly as some reified force,” to quote Fredric Jameson. We can only retrospectively acknowledge history’s presence and its manifestation, and I think it’s possible to do so up until this point; so why not continue to conceive of history as a broadly transforming context? We might not be able to map it in its current state, but that doesn’t mean it’s vanished.

    I’m not arguing that we conceive of history in a representational fashion; “history” is not that which is comprised of conceptual content, but the inexorable form of events as they transpire. That, in my opinion, is how we can still approach something called history without reducing it to representation.


    admin Reply:

    By “no broader historical context” I meant only that the scope of the D&G ‘landscape’ entirely envelops that of Jameson, dismantling it from multiple edges. Jameson’s work is far more tightly constricted within European social and philosophical history, as his appeal to dialectical method reveals.


    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Please don’t use the word ‘that’ so often. It grates.


    Rasputin's Severed Penis Reply:

    Hey Mark, your link isn’t working via your handle to your site. Also, is there an email address I can PM you a question on so as not to clog up the thread…?


    Mark Warburton Reply:


    I cut out the website so people wouldn’t use it against me at Goldsmiths. I’ve already created a slight stir for reading Carl Schmitt and been excused of making a sexually exploitative short film using my underage sister (go figure..the horns are big on this one) my email is

    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 4:07 pm Reply | Quote
  • Robert Says:

    I’m in the middle of George Dyson’s Turing’s Cathedral at the moment, and suddenly the challenges of early computer design come into direct relation with societal design. “Hunting”, negative feedback and, especially, the construction of a reliable machine that is statistically certain to contain some unreliable parts.

    I now go forth to learn programming from its ground (Turing, Godel, von Neumann, etc.) up…with a mission of better societal information architecture. It seem to me that this is what the DE is looking toward, though some may not express it in those terms.


    Read this Reply:

    I grok your ideas. Yarvin is trying to revolutionise society’s software stack, and so might you have to. Software engineering of this kind is sensitive enough that an injection of inflexible, insufficiently meta ideology–or trainload, as the case may be–is harmful. From an inconspicuous origin such ideology could bubble over into uncontrollable anarchy (of a kind that David Friedman would not smile upon).

    The task is especially difficult because, unlike mundane software engineers, one’s tongue is tied by the darkest enlightenment. Yarvin isn’t that darkly enlightened, or doesn’t care, so he resembles the protagonist of To Serve The Master.

    I think we disagree about the correct spirit and technical approach to improving the societal architecture. I think, as I would, that this is because one’s typical software engineer is, in spite of his important job, a vicious, status-seeking bully. However, we certainly ought to agree on our common interest in resolving or maintaining academic disagreements without antagonising the Very Important Man.


    Posted on December 11th, 2013 at 8:45 pm Reply | Quote
  • Erich Luna Says:

    Excellent Nick.

    We will wait for your answer in order to continue with this important discussion.


    Posted on December 13th, 2013 at 12:46 am Reply | Quote
  • Thos Ward Says:

    Isn’t this essentially the same argument as yours against the orthogonality thesis? I concur with both.


    admin Reply:

    Deeply entangled, at the very least.


    Posted on December 13th, 2013 at 2:07 am Reply | Quote
  • I watch you, you watch me Says:

    [Admin: You’re a study in projection on the “fraud” accusations — the only commentator here who changes their user ID at all. It’s a troll tactic designed to disrupt discussion (whether deliberately, or by instinct). You have one more chance to decide what you’re going to be called, and then stick with it. After that, if you turn up in disguise, you’re banished for good.]


    Posted on December 13th, 2013 at 1:13 pm Reply | Quote
  • I watch you, you watch me Says:

    What the f*** does “exist” mean? I am totally confused on this.


    P.S. But I don’t think female, erm, strength correlates with ambition to “take over the world”. That’s a dead end. Who is behaving like Stalin, anyway? Who is the delusional threat to liberty and normality?

    How utterly ridiculous all of this is, really…almost a laugh, but really a cry.


    admin Reply:

    [If people here think I’m being too liberal with this idiot, just let me know, and I’ll take him out.]


    Mark Warburton Reply:

    Snipe the cretin. He’ll just turn up somewhere else.


    Michael Anissimov Reply:

    Ice this psycho


    Posted on December 13th, 2013 at 3:03 pm Reply | Quote
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    […] admin on Re-Accelerationism […]

    Posted on March 6th, 2014 at 4:53 am Reply | Quote
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    […] us start with the concept of accelerationism which Nick Land is having so much fun […]

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  • prof. Challenger Says:

    Singularity Sky was disappointing for lacking the BDSM sex from Accelerando.

    Accelerando is a fun novel, nonsense futurism notwithstanding. It’s a new kind of sword-and-planet — femdom-and-economics?

    But yeah, the sex is missing from Singularity Sky.


    Posted on July 22nd, 2014 at 5:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • Neoreaction is a Jewish Conspiracy to Thwart the Incipient National Socialist Revolution - Social Matter Says:

    […] all this and judge it terribly unworthy. It is just a matter of opinion whether the next step is letting the edifice of civilization collapse, building a new civilization in the ruins, or attempting to stay the badly quivering […]

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    […] Where: Parsons Paris Free: RSVP @Alison Who: Jb Labrune && Calcul Mentor In its “re-accelerationist” manifesto, Nick Land reminds us that “the germinal catalyst for Accelerationism was a call in Deleuze & […]

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  • stevebeard Says:

    Interesting piece, Nick. But I still think dialectics beats cybernetics. If the Cathedral is the negation of capitalism, and Neoreaction is the negation of the Cathedral, then Neoreaction is (via Zizek on Hegel) ultimately a radicalisation of the negative impulses at the heart of the Cathedral. Neoreaction is about the squandering of capital in every direction. It’s the micro-politics of potlatch, compulsory anarcho-monarchism, every man a king. Not so much Accelerationism with a flat tire as Accelerationism that’s been driven into a ditch and set on fire. As for the Singularity at the end of capitalism, I think that was actually the Cathedral (hence its Shoggoth-like tendencies). Time to go back to Bataille?


    admin Reply:

    I’m not sure why you’re seeing a consumption orientation.


    Posted on September 3rd, 2016 at 12:22 pm Reply | Quote
  • (N) G. Eiríksson Says:

    >Our cognitive bias is to assume that we have a voice equivalent to an individual in a Dunbarian hunter-gatherer tribe, and so we comment on nationwide events with a passion to match — even when no one is listening.

    Patri Friedman, Beyond Folk Activism (2009).

    This says so much.


    Posted on September 3rd, 2016 at 8:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    another potential for acceleration is in reducing system delays. in System Dynamics in general delays viewed as necessery, but when delays reduction is everywhere, then there is have to be some paradigm shift. if I have computer with 180 TFlop power, and getting competetive edge by using it for HFT for example, then some body losing money and to stop it he have to upgrade his computers too, that way reciprocally cause increase in speed of the whole system by eleminating delays.

    these is tremendouse increase in speed around us, but our persection tuned to expect delays which were normal 10-20 years ago.

    one example is RT news, they simply agregate news from Twiter and it is a matter of few minutes to deliver news to consumers. acceleration is happening with exponential increase in speed, most people so lethargic they hardly notice it.

    People, who work in call centers here losing jobs and got replaced by AI, who can answer calls better, rated higher by customers acceleration surveys, cost much less to run. but if you going to ask some good educated business people here about AI, most of them not even know what it is.


    Posted on September 6th, 2016 at 6:44 pm Reply | Quote
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