Fragment on the Event of “Unconditional Acceleration”

To condition the sensible is to place it in a new condition, to bestow upon it a reason for and a context of appearing; but it is also to place it under condition. This condition of possibility is that of its legibility, its univocity. [1]

Since Deleuze and Guattari advised that we must “accelerate the process” of deterritorialisation, rather than withdraw from it, we have perhaps assigned far too much human agency to this ‘we’, as if the propulsive teleology of such a process were open to affectation by ‘us’ at all; as if time itself were susceptible to our wills.

Theirs is rather a call to enter into the process; to become immanent to the deterritorialising processes of immanentisation in themselves. We must view ourselves from within the depths of things in order to fully recognise the flows that flow through, with and around us. Our task is only to make ourselves worthy of the process.

In this way, theirs is a consideration of the event of acceleration rather than a consideration of acceleration in and of itself as an “object” of study. The prevalence of a tendency towards the latter has nonetheless taken hold, occasioning the conditioning of acceleration, following Bonnet above, into a dichotomy of -isms on the political left or right.

These conditionings have done well to legitimise and personalise that which is inherently impersonal. In conditioning acceleration, we restrict it to a univocity which is in fact a denial of its nature. We, as “actors”, too often disengage acceleration from its abstract line, as if to hold it in our hands, manhandling it in such a way that it loses itself in becoming an object for us. (In this way, acceleration has been manhandled as uselessly as “hyperstition“.)

[W]hile left-accelerationism (L/ACC) and right-accelerationism (R/ACC) seek to recompose or reterritorialize Leviathan in accordance with each of their own political theologies, U/ACC charts a course outwards: the structures of Oedipus, the Cathedral, Leviathan, what have you, will be ripped apart and decimated by forces rushing up from within and around the system, which in turn mobilize the entirety of the system towards its own dissolution point. [via]

U/ACC instead argues that what is open to ‘us’ is perhaps only the possibility of, as Deleuze writes in Logic of Sense, a “becoming the quasi-cause of what is produced within us”. There remains much which is inherently outside ‘us’, however. All we are able to do is produce “surfaces and linings in which the event is reflected”. [2]

In accelerating the process, Deleuze and Guattari nod purposefully towards Nietzsche, and, in light of the limits of what we are able to produce, we should remember that what is key for Deleuze in Nietzsche’s thought is his amor fati; his love of fate. Fate for Nietzsche is not our theistic destiny in the hands of God but the affirmation of a life caught up in its own flows. It is in this way that Deleuze writes of becoming worthy of the Event, of a life made impersonal.

For Deleuze: “A life is everywhere, in all the moments that a given living subject goes through and that are measured by given lived objects: an immanent life carrying with it the events or singularities that are merely actualized in subjects and objects.” [3] A life is that force which is outside the subjects and objects that we reduce our lives to. As such, this “mere” actualisation is inherently superficial, relative to a life in itself — it is “entirely different to the actualisation of the event in the depth of things”, which is without subject or object in its deterritorialisation. [4]

In living life (as opposed to my life — privileging the immanently impersonal over the segregated and territorialising personal), the task is “to become worthy of what happens to us, and thus to will and release the event, to become the offspring of one’s own events, and thereby be reborn, to have one more birth, and to break with one’s carnal birth — to become the offspring of one’s events and not of one’s actions, for the action is itself produced by the offspring of the event.” [5]

This is, as Deleuze and Guattari suggest, the “revolutionary path”: to become immanent with the acceleration that already occurs in the depth of things, impersonally, without condition.

[1] François J. Bonnet, The Infra-World (Falmouth: Urbanomic, 2017), 6.

[2] Gilles Deleuze, Logic of Sense (London and New York: Bloomsbury Revelations, 2015), 153.

[3] Gilles Deleuze, Pure Immanence (New York: Zone Books, 2001), 29.

[4] Gilles Deleuze, Logic of Sense, 155.

[5] Ibid., 154.


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