What do you think will be the content of the “post-capitalist planning” called for in the Manifesto. How would this be significantly different from schemes, not only of GOSPLAN but also of Technocracy, Inc or Italian Futurism?Our conclusion that post-capitalist planning is required stems from the theoretical failures of market socialism as well as from our own belief that a planned system can distribute goods and resources in a more rational way than the market system. This differs from previous experiments with such a system in rejecting both the techno-utopian impulse of much recent writing on post-capitalism, and the centralised nature of the Soviet system.The Speed of Future Thought: C. Derick Varn and Dario Cankovich Interview Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek authors of the #accelerate Accelerationist Manifesto
With regards to the former – we valorise technology not simply as a means to solve problems, but also as a weapon to wield in social struggles. So we reject any Silicon Valley-ish faith in technology – a problem that the liberal left often falls into. On the other hand, we reject any discourse of authenticity which sees technology as an aberration or as the source of contemporary problems – a problem that the proper left often falls into. The question has to be ‘how can we develop, design and use technology in a way which furthers leftist goals?’ This means thinking how infrastructures, data analytics, logistics networks, and automation can all play a role in building the material platform for a post-capitalist system. The belief that our current technologies are intrinsically wedded to a neoliberal social system is not only theoretically obsolete, but also practically limiting. So without thinking technology is sufficient to save us, we nevertheless believe that technology is a primary area where tools and weapons for struggle can be developed.
With regards to the centralised nature of planning, it should be clear to everyone that the Soviet system was a failure in many regards. The issue here is to learn from past experiments such as GOSPLAN, and from theoretical proposals such as Parecon and Devine’s democratic planning. Particularly inspiring here is the Chilean experiment, Cybersyn, which contrary to the stereotype of a planned economy, in fact attempted to build a system which incorporated worker’s self-autonomy and factory-level democracy into the planned economy. There remain issues here about the gender-bias of the system (the design of the central hub being built for men, for instance), yet this experiment is a rich resource for thinking through what it might mean to build a post-capitalist economy. And it should be remembered that Cybersyn was built with less than the computing power of a smartphone. It is today’s technology which offers real resources for organising an economy in a far more rational way than the market system does.
It has to be recognised then that communism is an idea that was ahead of its time. It is a 21st century idea that was made popular in the 20th century and was enacted by a 19th century economy.
INQUIRY PART ONE:
I'M POOR AND I HAVE QUESTIONS.
DO WE HAVE A CHOICE IN BEING CREATORS OF DISTRACTIONS?
HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO ONLY GET PAID TO MAKE CUTE BULLSHIT?
IS THERE SUCH A THING AS AN 'INDEPENDENT DESIGNER' THAT ISN'T ON FOOD STAMPS?
IS A STARVING DESIGNER REALLY JUST A STARVING ARTIST?
DOES THAT OFFEND ARTISTS?
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU CAN NO LONGER PRODUCE EVEN THE IMMATERIAL?
WOULD YOU GET A PART-TIME JOB AT MCDONALD'S TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR SMALL PUBLISHING LABEL?
WOULD YOU SUBSCRIBE TO A DESIGNER'S IMAGE FEED IF YOU HAD TO PAY A LITTLE FOR ACCESS LIKE A PORN WEBSITE? IS THIS WHAT THE AIGA DOES?
ARE SCHOOLS STILL PROPAGATING THAT GRAPHIC DESIGN IS A CAREER THAT TAKES YOU PLACES EVEN THOUGH YOU'LL BARELY EVER MOVE FROM YOUR DESK?
IS DESIGN STILL AN 'EXCITING' CAREER?
IS ANY CAREER?
WHY DO WE HAVE TO WRITE, DESIGN, AND PRINT OUR OWN WORK ONLY TO SHARE THEM WITH OUR PEERS ON 10 PLATFORMS THAT SAY THE SAME THING?
IS IT ANY LESS AMAZING WHEN WE POST "AMAZING NEW WORKS BY [NAME OF DESIGNER]" A DOZEN TIMES IN A ROW ON OUR INSPIRATION BLOG?
WHAT DO WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY SOMEONE'S WORK IS "INTERESTING"?
ARE THERE PRINTERS THAT WORK ON BARTER/TRADE?
THERE ARE SO MANY
WHY HAVEN'T WE ESTABLISHED MODELS THAT EXIST OUTSIDE OF SERVICING TIRED, OUT-OF-TOUCH MARKETING STRATEGY? BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE SLEAZY MONEY?
HOW IS CRITICAL™ DESIGN DIFFERENT FROM CRITICAL DESIGN?
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A DESIGN SKEPTIC AND A DESIGN CRITIC?
ARE DESIGN CRITICS JUST MALCONTENTS IN IT FOR THE ART MONEY?
HOW MUCH INVESTMENT CAPITAL DOES IT TAKE TO CUSHION A 'SPECULATIVE PROJECT'?
CAN WE START A QUARTERLY KICKSTARTER FOR A GUARANTEED LIVING WAGE?
THAT'S ALL FOR NOW.