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Number 1,101, January 17, 2021

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“Accelerationism” and the Ruling Class
by Paul Bonneau

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Not long ago, the political meaning of acceleration or “accelerationism” meant something not much more complex than right-wingers voting for Hillary rather than Trump. (Of course, left-wingers voting for Hillary, had nothing to do with accelerationism.) I’d like to use it in a broader sense, but first I have to delve into the ruling class model. What recipe for domination and control do all or nearly all ruling classes follow?

Ruling classes, and their minions, are a parasitic group. There may be one ultimate ruler (dictator) or multiple ones, or some informal grouping (oligarchy); but that is not important. The ruling class always has a police force (e.g. Praetorian Guard) to subdue any opposition and to throw fear into the peons (the productive class), and a Ministry of Propaganda (AKA priestly class) to convince the peons that decent, civilized society is not possible without ruling class parasites, and to get them to voluntarily submit to the parasites. So, the ruling class are parasites on the host organism of the productive class. All governments follow this model; and in particular, the U.S. government follows it. All the noise about courts and separation of power and will of the people and representative government and democracy and the stately buildings are now a production of the Ministry of Propaganda; although far into the past they might have had some element of validity.

One part of this ruling class model, is the policing model. In America today there are about 500 peons for every cop, which means about 1000 peons for every on-duty cop. The ruling class cannot afford to pay for many more cops than that. Now, in pure physical terms, it would be hard for each cop to make even a single peon submit, never mind 1000 of them—if the peons are armed. If they are not, each cop might handle 5 or 10 peons, as there are still a lot of other ways besides shootouts for cops to lose in a confrontation. So, how does one cop per 1000 peons ever work?

The peons, in what we will here call “normal times”, are convinced by the Ministry of Propaganda to “self enforce”. Inside each and every one of us is a hidden policeman, nurtured in government schools and in other venues. These hidden cops are why each real cop can handle 1000 peons. In each 1000 peons there are a variety of people, but most of them are either decent normally, or at least they fear arrest and incarceration. There will be a few who are criminals, but not so many that that one cop can’t keep things under control and running smoothly for the ruling class.

Part of the “normal time” policing model is the dog pile. Given that the odd criminal peon will commit some crime now and then, if the police ever catch up to him they all come and dog pile the guy, taking him with overwhelming force, which lowers the risk for individual cops. That works because most nearby cops are available to jump on the dog pile, and that is so because criminal activity is rare. Of course most criminal activity is not even detected in this model, never mind being caught; but that is not very important. What is important is that cops now and then DO catch criminals, thus justifying the existence of the cops. Keep in mind that if criminal activity ceased, there would be no “need” for cops; this is why cops depend on turning innocent activities (like smoking pot or gun “violations”) into crimes, to keep the whole enforcement machinery working.

Now, what does all this have to do with accelerationism?

Well, we have recently made the transition from “normal times” to “abnormal times”. There are soon going to be many more laws proscribing what most people (despite their indoctrination, which is imperfect) consider to be innocent or even virtuous activities. What’s more, the ruling class has essentially declared war on the most productive—and dangerous—of the peons, white Christian males.

All these tendencies come together to break the policing model.

“Criminal” activity will no longer be rare. Neighboring cops will not be available to jump on the dog pile; hell, even now cops are losing support from mayors and city councils, which means yet fewer cops avalable for each dog pile. Cops will ultimately end up one-on-one with some very hard cases—we might call such hard cases “patriots”. How many dead cops will it take before they start looking for a safer line of work, en masse? How long will it take for the cops themselves to start joining militias and vigilance committees, in opposition to the ruling class?

Even in “normal times”, the policing model looked pretty shaky at times. Think about Malvo and Mohammed shooting up the DC metro area for weeks, or the Dorner manhunt. Think about all the rural cops who said “no way” when legislatures ordered them to enforce some bullshit gun law.

Bruno Bettelheim was an accelerationist: “But this was only a last step in giving up living one’s own life, in no longer defying the death instinct, which, in more scientific terms, has been called the principle of inertia. The first step was taken long before anyone entered the death camps. It was inertia that led millions of Jews into the ghettos that the SS created for them. It was inertia that made hundreds of thousands of Jews sit home, waiting for their executioners, when they were restricted to their homes. Those who did not allow inertia to take over used the imposing of such restrictions as a warning that it was high time to go underground, join resistance movements, provide themselves with forged papers, etc., if they had not done so long ago. Most of them survived.... I have met many Jews, as well as gentile anti-Nazis, who survived in Germany and in the occupied countries. But they were all people who realized that when a world goes to pieces, when inhumanity reigns supreme, man cannot go on with business as usual. One then has to radically re-evaluate all of what one has done, believed in, stood for. In short, one has to take a stand on the new reality, a firm stand, and not one of retirement into even greater privatization.... The Jews of Europe could equally have marched as free men against the SS, rather than to first grovel, then wait to be rounded up for their own extermination, and finally walk themselves to the gas chambers. It was their passive waiting for the SS to knock at their door without first securing a gun to shoot down at least one SS before being shot down themselves, that was the first step in a voluntary walk into the Reich’s crematoria.... This book then is most of all a cautionary tale, as old as mankind. Those who seek to protect the body at all cost die many times over. Those who risk the body to survive as men have a good chance to live on.”
— Forward by Dr. Bruno Bettelheim, Auschwitz: A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account by Miklós Nyiszli, 1960

Eric Hoffer was an accelerationist: “It is probably better for a country that when its government begins to show signs of chronic incompetence it should be overthrown by a mighty mass upheaval—even though such overthrow involves a considerable waste of life and wealth—than that it should be allowed to fall and crumble of itself. A genuine popular upheaval is often an invigorating, renovating and integrating process. Where governments are allowed to die a lingering death, the result is often stagnation and decay—perhaps irremediable decay.”
— Eric Hoffer, The True Believer

Vladimir Lenin was an accelerationist. He is supposed to have said, “The worse, the better.” However, when the policing model breaks, it doesn’t look better for the current ruling class, seems to me. Having a ruling class that appears leftist does not save it from its inevitable destruction.

Patrick Henry was an accelerationist, too.

I see on more reading, that “accelerationism” is not a very clear-cut term. Some arm-waving articles even try to make it just another phrase for “doing Nazi shit”. I don’t find that very credible, nor do I see it as coming from any particular part of the political spectrum—which is itself just another construct. To me, it is recognizing the change in reality and adjusting one’s behavior, to help speed the collapse of a current rotten political structure, often by doing things you would previously have opposed. It does seem to imply we can affect the current reality, something which individually is very questionable. Mostly we just float along on the river current, without affecting it much, and go over a waterfall now and then.

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