Saturday, September 24, 2016

More on "ultimate exit" - thoughts on Accelerationism, Promethianism, and Neoreaction (NRx) - A Repost from Last Year, Roughly

Ernst Juenger's Eumeswil (1977)

My take on the issue of mega-privacy-invading social media networks who effectively turn human populations into "neurolivestock" can best be summed up in the following:

It's not that Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc. are evil.  Maximum freedom, or the inner emigration to untouched and ultimately free space of cyberspace and deep Net - the deep Net being the last frontier of any individualized or personal freedom - is usually thought to occur in literal places where the individual can "escape."  Whether escape from the Cathedral or the reach of the networks, in the end avoiding the reach of any external impediment upon human freedom is the ultimate goal.  (Of course death is the ultimate challenge to human freedom as it ends forever freedom's exercise within the living organism, but freedom taken in the name of profit by the mega-networks who have no regard for privacy let alone the exercise of human freedom takes a close second.  Afterall, if you haven't succumb to the networks and exist as a "brand" you may as well be dead.  You certainly wouldn't be surviving with the necessary social currency to exist - let's put it that way).

Paradoxically, escape is possible through the tools of privacy-invasion and enslavement which are in question.  The key is know-how, awareness, and the ability to "go dark," of course, in addition to mastery over the means of control in question.  If control is exercised over one's self then freedom isn't inhibited, it is enhanced.  This was, to my mind, always the "core" of both Accelerationism and NRx.  It actually doesn't matter if one pull one's self off the grid or technologically accelerates and disappears into the deep Net...both are merely means to an end, but not "the" end itself.  The end in question?  That's simple.  The activity of freedom itself.  (And note well: freedom also means creativity.)

Thus, place so much doesn't matter as does the reality within which one is able to exercise freedom and creativity unimpeded or unrestrained.

Ernst Juenger's scission between an inner realm - an "inner light galaxy" or "inner forest" as he called it - and the ordinary world of perception was a division between one reality which represents radical freedom and creativity and another which represents external restraint and control.  He advocated an "inner emigration" or "flight to the forest" which was to be a retreat to the interior realm of the individual. Such a flight can occur in a number of ways: literal retreat to the forest and hence escape from networks and means of societal manipulation and control, enhancement of the body via technology to augment human ability and re-obtain control over one's own body/information/self, or by altering states of consciousness and achieving insight into the self unfettered be external forces - a true inward "spiritual" retreat to the last bastion of freedom and privacy: one's own personal consciousness.

The above was inspired by "Come With Us If You Want to Live: Among the Apocalyptic Libertarians of Silicon Valley", Harper's Magazine link HERE, and as always, the ultimately venerable Nick Land whose blog Outside In touches upon these subjects and so much more.

Related After Nature Posts:

  • "Nick Land (and Ernst Juenger) on Ultimate Exit" HERE.
  • "Prometheus" HERE.
  • "Accelerationism" tag at After Nature HERE.
  • "The Forest Passage" HERE.