Toni Negri reflects on the recent #ACCELERATE MANIFESTO, insisting upon the re-appropriation and disruption of capitalist modes of development and thought.
The Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (MAP) opens by noting the depth of the current crisis – “cataclysm” – and a negation of the future by “coming apocalypses”. No need for alarm however: there is nothing political-theological here whatsoever, so those who came looking for that might as well stop reading now. Absent, too, is the usual refrain about the imminent breakdown of the planetary climatic system. Or rather, it is mentioned, its importance, but it is wholly subordinated to industrial politics, and can be addressed only through the critique thereof.
What is essential is instead “the increasing automation of productive processes” – including “intellectual labour” – which is presented as evidence of the crisis of capitalism. Catastrophism? Improper use of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall? I don’t think so. On the contrary this account succeeds in identifying the reality of the crisis, in neoliberalism’s aggression against the entire structure of class relations as they had been organized within the context of the Welfare State of the 19th and 20th Centuries; and the cause of the crisis, in the stalling of productive capacities – a necessary consequence of the new forms of capitalist control against the new form of living labour.
A steely critique of both political right and left follows – the latter often stuck in unlikely Keynsian resistance strategies (even when at its best), and incapable of imagining any radical alternative. What all this has erased is the future: the political imaginary has been totally paralyzed. The crisis will not end spontaneously. Only a systematic class-based approach aimed at the construction of a new economy and of a new political organization of labour will make possible a new hegemony and put proletarian hands on a possible future.
There is still space for subversive knowledge!