You Are Not An Accelerationist

I have become embroiled in a fun conversation about accelerationism on Reddit and came upon a way of explaining why calling yourself an “accelerationist” is dumb that felt worthy of sharing more widely here:

As far as I see it, there’s no such thing as “being an accelerationist” because there’s nothing I can do to impact the process of acceleration. It is something that is happening to us already (and has been for centuries) rather than something I can do. It’s naive to think any of us have our foot on the throttle of global capitalism. In that sense, “accelerationism” is a bad name. “Hauntology” is a better term for the political impact of the process but it’s also just as misunderstood. (I wrote about this recently too.) “Accelerologist” maybe? Even that’s bad.

The point is this: having an interest in accelerationism and calling yourself an accelerationist is like saying you’re interested in “ontology” as a philosophical topic and therefore you are an ontologist. That’s the only way in which it makes any sense but no one calls themselves an “ontologist” because that’s dumb.

Update: @Moctezuma_III points out they made much the same point back in December 2017:

Update #2: To be clear, having received a few comments on this, I am not denying the existence of the word “ontologist”. I am merely pointing out that you sound like a wanker if you use it.

Update #3: It’s also worthy noting that this use of the word “Accelerationist” isn’t evenly distributed. For something like G/Acc, which centres the subject, the term makes sense, but it doesn’t apply to any of the popular usages.

As someone suggested in a reply on Twitter, “Accelerationist” is a fine word to use if you are expressing the fact that acceleration is your object of study. That is precisely the form of Accelerationism being fought for here but no one to whom that would apply seems to like using the term as openly as those who do at present, precisely because of the word’s association with Reddit anons who want to set the world on fire.

Update #4: See also: “You are not a postmodernist”.


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