A Symposium on Tendencies in Capitalism
Contemporary capitalism is an object of high abstraction. The symposium is an invitation to discuss and disclose the anonymous and inner tendencies of capitalism, to study its monetary, algorithmic and energetic viscera. How can one grasp the living drives of financial markets and technological innovation? And more importantly: who really produces and controls those drives and how could any alternative political subject emerge without such a complex knowledge?
The recent debate on accelerationism and the philosophical scene of Speculative Realism just reminded of an old question posed by Deleuze and Guattari: Which is the real revolutionary path? To withdraw from the world market or, on the opposite, to go further and “accelerate the process”, as Nietzsche already suggested long before the current Stillstand? For example today Germany finds itself in the eye of the storm: a mild social democracy at the center of Europe watching neoliberalism freely devastating the rest of the world.
There are multiple strategies of how to cross a stormy passage. In Ballard’s first and prophetic novel The Drowned World (1962), an imbalance in solar radiation causes the polar ice caps to melt and global temperatures to rise, leaving cities submerged by tropical lagoons where flora and fauna restart their evolution. Human population migrates towards the polar circles. Rather than being disturbed, the protagonist is enraptured by the new nature that is replacing the old world and decides to move south towards the sun.
Though encaged within cognitive capitalism, we call for an epistemic acceleration. The symposium convenes to refresh the cartography of the keywords employed in the last centuries to describe economy and the political response to it: development, progress, growth, accumulation, peak, degrowth, revolution, speculation, entropy, singularity, sustainability and so on. Today it is time to anticipate and accelerate, for sure, time for anastrophism and not catastrophism.