SOBRECUPO

SERIES: SOME ECONOMIES
Sobrecupo - Detalle 1, Alejandro Sanchez

Sobrecupo - Detail 1

Sincere Accelerationism X: Some Economies,
by Alejandro Sánchez

«"Globalization, international politics, and climate change: each of these systems shapes our world, but their effects are so extensive and complicated that it is difficult to place our own experience within them."»
Nick Scrnicek y Alex Williams. 1

The issue here is about recognizing a problem, knowing that it must be addressed, not knowing how to, doing nothing, and, from time to time, feeling bad about it. We don't need to have read Federici, Butler or Jameson 2 to know that someone or something must pay for economic development. In most cases, the metaphor of the sorcerer's apprentice—unable to control the forces unleashed by his curiosity—will suffice as a way to represent the impact our standard of living has across multiple realms. But it bears no relationship to our everyday lives. In our homes, when we get bored enough to reflect and ask ourselves about the truly important issues, we never look further than the device—typically a small one—that we use to get the things we want—typically useless. Then, on our computer—which we almost never turn off—and on our social networks—which are traps—we give a like to posts that claim "we are the plague." We aren't even curious.

We love complex systems, but not their externalities: living in huge cities, consuming too much sugar, driving to a grocery store two hundred meters away, sleeping in high rises, or giving birth to something. We know what this implies, but our response is always thoughtless, mediocre and openly cynical: either we pretend we don't know, or we know and don't care, or we know and make a show of it. These are all wrong, really. But—there will always be room for rhetorical questions—who wants to give up their creature comforts in the name of the greater good, emasculate themselves before fostering the gestation of another shopaholic, leave the city they live in for a job with a 60% pay cut?

The corollary to this problem are the slogans of infinite growth. Those that are constantly repeated to us, and that we repeat to ourselves, made manifest when we give a shallow—that is, a non-dialectical—reading of any French naturalist and truly believe that
«… Tomorrow the secret of aerial navigation will be discovered, and man will conquer the atmosphere even as he conquered the oceans. Tomorrow he will be able to correspond from one to the other end of the earth without wire or cable. Human speech, human gesture will dart round the world with the rapidity of lightning. And that indeed, my friend, is the deliverance of the nations by science, the great invincible revolutionary, who will ever bring them increase of peace and truth. You yourself long ago obliterated the frontiers, so to say, by your rails, your railway lines which have extended further and further, crossing rivers, transpiercing mountains, gathering the nations together in a closer and closer network of intercourse.» 3

In other words, we imagine ourselves in front of a landscape full of promises, but we never think about how we...

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Sobrecupo - Detail 1

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