The Philosophy and Politics of Accelerationism — Course Out Now!

Following our one-hour promo chat from the other day, I’m very excited to announce that The Philosophy and Politics of Accelerationism, a collaborative course written by James ‘@meta_nomad‘ Ellis and myself is now live at teachable.com.

The course is a two-parter, with James covering the philosophy of accelerationism and me on politics. (I’ll put the full course outline after the jump…)

We’re both very excited to be coming together on this. The course comes in three tiers. Tier 1 (£100) gives you access to all the course materials — almost seven hours worth of video + audio + lecture transcripts; Tier 2 (£150) is the course materials and the opportunity to take part in two seminars with James and myself; Tier 3 (£200) is all of the above and you also get a one-on-one seminar (or more like a threesome) with James and myself as well.

As we discussed the other day, we’re both very excited about the kinds of conversations that the course might generate — Ed Berger has already written a genius blogpost in response to the promo chat. So please join us for what we think will be a really exciting set of conversations.



The Philosophy of Accelerationism

Lecture 1: Kant, Time and Machines

If Accelerationism is anything, it’s a philosophy of time, specifically, transcendental time.

In this lecture we will consider the major role Kantian (critical) philosophy plays in outlining the philosophical underpinnings of Accelerationism, whilst simulataneously understanding the Deleuzoguattarian conception of ‘machines’ via the Kantian lens.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 2: The Outside and Zero

For the process of Acceleration to be possible, we need to ‘let the outside in’.

In this lecture there will be a indepth consideration of the transcendental Outside and the major role it plays in creating difference, as well as aligning the possibilty and potential of difference in relation to ‘Zero’.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 3: The Process of Accelerationism

This lecture is a compounding of the previous 2 lectures into a coherent whole (process), each singular part culminates into a working transcendental model of what it means to philosophically (and actually) ‘Accelerate the process’.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

  • Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari – Anti-Oedipus, The Civilized Capitalist Machine, p257-276

The Politics of Accelerationism

Lecture 1: What Happened?

We must start at the end, so that we are better prepared to go back to the beginning.

In this lecture, we will briefly consider the various slippages in accelerationism’s meaning over the last decade and uncover the crisis of negation that this course will address.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 2: The Crisis in Negation

The negation of the negation is a convoluted process central to Karl Marx’s dialectical materialism. However, this process has been in crisis for some time.

In this lecture, we will discuss how this crisis came to the attention of the blogosphere, following the financial crash of 2007/08 and that one time Slavoj Žižek watched the movie 300

Required Reading:

 Recommended Reading:

Lecture 3: The Impotence of Affirmation

The crisis of negation is complicated by its mirror image: the impotence of affirmation.

In this lecture we will explore how the blogosphere sought to counter Žižek’s contrarian arguments with a Deleuzian ethics of de-institionalised affirmation. This alternative, however, was not without some complications of its own…

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 4: Hauntology and the Potentials of Real Abstraction (Part One)

Prior to the emergence of accelerationism, hauntology ruled the blogosphere.

In this lecture we will uncover hauntology’s peculiar philosophical background and explore how the Gothic — and, more specifically, the xenogothic — as a mode of promethean negation that informs accelerationism’s less hyperactive cousin.

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 5: Hauntology and the Potentials of Real Abstraction (Part Two)

Hauntology oddly predicts accelerationism’s own fate.

In this lecture we will consider the unfortunate downfall of hauntology and its backlash, both in the blogosphere and in the music industry at large. We will consider how this fall in popularity is another kind of crisis in negation and one which accelerationism might have taken heed of…

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 6: Towards an Inhumanities

We spend much time at present thinking about the world-without-us and the ecological ethics of the Anthropocene. To what end?

In this lecture we will consider Ray Brassier’s Promethean nihilism and how it inspired Alex Williams to put forward a view of capitalism-in-itself. This was the founding moment of the accelerationist blogosphere. It is also a moment that accelerationism has yet to escape…

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

Lecture 7: What Next?

By now, we hopefully understand what has happened to accelerationism since 2007. So what happened next?

Many questions remain unanswered, but that is because these are big questions. Rather than follow the Twitter lemmings off the cliff, we should retain a space where accelerationism might be able to finally produce some answers to some of its questions.

Is that space online? Ray Brassier didn’t seem to think so…

Required Reading:

Recommended Reading:

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