Nick Land / Accelerationism
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Nick Land is a philosopher best known for his popularization of the term Accelerationism as a critical theory for analyzing the effects of capitalism and technological progress. Land was part of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU), a group that also included Mark Fisher, the author of Capitalist Realism. Nick Land's book Fanged Noumena and his theory of accelerationism became a prominent fixture in niche internet politics and philosophy communities following the year 2018, with various tribes encompassing "left/acc," "right/acc" and "unconditional/acc" exchanging memes on Twitter, Discord and Instagram. Land is also known for his Twitter account @Outsideness.
Nick Land began his career as a lecturer at the University of Warwick for 10 years between 1987 and 1998. He and fellow academic Sadie Plant co-founded the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU), an interdisciplinary research group that engaged with what is now called "theory-fiction." The group notably acted as an incubator for Mark Fisher's work, notable in meme culture for his book Capitalist Realism. Land drew from a vast variety of unorthodox influences and is credited for taking CCRU down an academically unconventional path that eventually led to the University of Warwick disassociating itself from the group.
Land is reported to have been an avid user of amphetamines during his time leading the CCRU, as well as a fan of jungle music, a genre of fast-paced EDM. Many credit his amphetamine abuse for his eventual burnout and retirement from public life, after which he reemerged in Shanghai as a reportedly fascist thinker aligned with neo-reactionary white supremacist ideologies.
Accelerationism is a term used in a variety of political and philosophical ideas to describe the intensification or "acceleration" of technological change and capitalist growth as a means for radical social transformation. The theory draws on the post-Marxist idea that social tensions caused by capitalism create instabilities in capitalist regimes, which must be accelerated in order to allow for new social structures. Nick Land is known as a central influence on popular ideas surrounding accelerationism, alongside thinkers Baudrillard, Deleuze, and Guattari.
Land also notably associates himself with Dark Enlightenment or neo-reactionary thought (sometimes called NRx). In 2013, Land wrote a series of essays titled The Dark Enlightenment, which is now heralded as a founding document of the NRx movement.
Nick Land was often discussed on 4chan before 2017, with a December 4th, 2016, /lit/ thread containing a meme about Land (seen below).
In the years leading up to 2017, various white supremacist groups, including the Iron March, began using the word "accelerationism" to describe their political strategies. In 2016, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek asserted that he would vote for Donald Trump if he were American, leading various commentators to label his politics as "accelerationist." On May 11th, 2017, The Guardian then published an article titled "Accelerationism: How A Fringe Philosophy Predicted The Future We Live In."
On July 29th, 2017, Twitter user @glassbeachband posted a tweet about accelerationism, gathering over 500 likes in five years (seen below, left). On October 17th, 2017, Twitter user @380kmh posted a tweet about accelerationism, gathering over 100 likes in four years (seen below, right).
In 2018, the term "accelerationist" came to be used to describe someone that acts contrary to their personal belief with the hope that such support will bring about inevitable failure. On October 11th, 2017, Twitter user @buttpraxis posted a tweet that read, "Making people walk through first-class on the way to their economy seats is great praxis if you're an accelerationist," gathering over 100 likes in over four years (seen below, left). On March 19th, 2018, Twitter user @meakoopa posted a tweet about gay porn star Colby Keller voting for Trump in 2016, gathering over 300 likes in over four years (seen below, right).
A March 20th, 2019, article titled "Accelerationism And The Christchurch Shooter" on Xenogothic outlines the use and possible misuse of the term "accelerationism" by alt-right groups and the Christchurch shooter]
In 2019 and 2020, Nick Land became a prominent fixture on theory-meme pages and subreddits. The earliest known Instagram meme to use Nick Land's name is an April 3rd, 2019, post by @deleuzeanddragons, gathering 50 likes in over three years (seen below, left). On August 12th, 2019, Redditor @alphacoronae posted a Political Compass meme to /r/politicalcompassmemes, gathering over 600 upvotes in over three years (seen below, right).
In September 2018, podcaster Joshua Citarella published a zine outlining what he called "Politigram and the Post-Left," which included a section on Nick Land memes.
 The Guardian – Accelerationism
 CTC Sentinel – The Iron March Forum and the Evolution of the 'Skull Mask' Neo-Fascist Network
 Internet Archive – Richard Coyne
 The Guardian – Accelerationism
 Twitter – glassbeachband
 Twitter – buttpraxis
 Xenogothic – Accelerationism And The Christchurch Shooter
 Instagram – Deleuzeanddragons
 Reddit – PoliticalCompassMemes
 Substack – Politigram And The Post Left
 Internet Archive – The Dark Enlightenment
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