'Shining a Light on the Dark Enlightenment: The Twisted Philosophic Roots of the Neo-Reactionary and the Alt-Right'
Friday 17.5. 2019, 6pm – 8pm,
in MayDay Rooms,
88 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1DH
In this workshop Anthony Faramelli discusses the philosophic roots of contemporary right-wing movements, tying together the Neo-Reactionaries and the Alt-Right, the recent violent fascist atrocities, the upcoming European elections and the theory of accelerationism. Focusing on Nick Land's philosophy, Faramelli questions whether a Left Accelerationist politics can ever be free of its apparently fascist origins.
Respondent: David Hancock. Free admission.
The term ‘twisted’ carries a double meaning. On the one hand, it implies a vast manipulation: a violent change that permanently alters a thing’s structure. On the other hand, it speaks to an evil transformation: something that was once, perhaps, ‘good,’ but has since been transformed and become vile and corrupt. At a performative level, this seminar’s title is intended to summon forth the full weight of this double meaning. Nick Land’s accelerationist and neo-reactionary philosophies are very much a twisted system of thought that has provided contemporary fascisms a semblance of intellectualism.
2019 has been marked by two very inauspicious events that have drawn attention to the Accelerationist movements. The first, the recent publication of the American journal of theoretical humanities, Angelaki, which devoted its entire issue to a reinvigoration of so-called ‘Left Acceleration.’ The second, and significantly darker, event was the revelation that Brenton Tarrant, the white supremacist terrorist who recently killed over 50 people in Christchurch New Zealand, was, in part, inspired by accelerationism. It should come as no surprise that Tarrant was engaged with accelerationism. Steven Bannon, the former Editor of the alt-right website Breitbart, former Senior Counsellor for Donald Trump, co-founder of Cambridge Analytica and apparent reader of Land’s philosophies, has been working for years now to assemble an international ‘alt-right’ network. This political backdrop makes it all the more puzzling that some still want to claim accelerationism for the Left.
This seminar will aim to cast a light on Land’s twisted philosophies, demystifying these violent cultures and, in doing so, teasing out the contradictions therein. This seminar will also pose the question: in the face of its explicit fascist origin, can there be a Left Accelerationist politics?
The political urgency underpinning this seminar is marked by the upcoming European elections, where Bannon’s most recent political organising will be put to the test.
Dr Anthony Faramelli is a lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College and a mental health recovery worker at the London charity SHP. His research focuses on forms of indigenous resistance and Institutional Psychotherapy, specifically the therapeutic practices of Frantz Fanon and Félix Guattari. He is the author of Resistance, Revolution and Fascism: Zapatismo and Assemblage Politics (Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2018) and an editor of Spaces of Crisis and Critique: Heterotopias Beyond Foucault (Bloomsbury Philosophy, 2018).