Strategy without strategiser? - Joanna Pope

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Shared January 13, 2020

Left accelerationism models itself as a movement ‘at ease with complexity’—not only in its embrace of sophisticated techno-futures, but also in its philosophy of political strategy. In this way, left accelerationism defines itself in opposition to both locally-oriented “folk politics” and the machinic linearity of Landian right accelerationism.

By opening up to the possibilities of positive feedback loops and processes of emergence seen in complex social and ecological systems, left accelerationism seeks to engage in a war of position with neoliberalism, building a counterhegemony that expands its influence in a partially autonomous manner—in this way winning the leverage and support needed to accelerate towards a fully automated post-work utopia.

But left accelerationists are not alone in these efforts. Degrowth has long been in the trenches of this war, emerging as its own counterhegemonic force comprised of diverse actors, networks and narratives shifting the Overton window on social and ecological limits to capitalism and possible post-growth futures beyond it. This talk will map the affinities between left accelerationist and degrowth theories and methods of partially autonomous counterhegemony, before asking: Which movement is in a better position to realize an impactful left politics?

Joanna Pope is a researcher and writer with a focus on degrowth and ecocriticism. She is a contributing editor at Uneven Earth.