Benjamin Noys: The Monstrosity of Absolute Production

Adorno writes, in the dedication of Minima Moralia, that if life should be effaced ‘then the monstrosity of absolute production will triumph’. The contemporary partisans of accelerationism can be characterised as refusing this notion of the monstrosity of production, to instead suggest the embrace of production. To critically analyse this ‘new productivism’ I want to locate the debate in a longer historical consideration of the ‘productive forces’, from Marx to the present moment. While the accelerationists retain a certain fidelity to the Marx, who stressed the development of the productive forces, they underestimate the complex ways in which such ‘forces’ embed and register the seismic shifts of class struggle. In particular, I want to focus this debate around the issue of the machine and around noise: the monstrous noise of industrial production, and the various ways in which this ‘noise’ has been figured aesthetically and politically. This involves reconstructing a brief history of the fraught engagement with the machine and noise, tracing the various attempts to ‘master’ and reconfigure that ‘noise’, as well as how such struggles register the noisy clash of what Marx calls ‘industrial battle’. Contrary to an image of the ‘neutrality’ of such forces, or their availability to simple reconfiguration, they bear the violent marks of class struggle. This suggests the need to rethink the notion of ‘productivism’, which can slide into conformity with the capitalist mode of production, by listening to the sounds of struggle that remain silenced in contemporary debates.

Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative (2010), and Malign Velocities (2014).

Benjamin Noys: Pošastnost absolutne produkcije

Adorno v posvetilu k svojemu delu Minima Moralia piše, da bi v primeru izbrisa življenja ˝pošastnost absolutne produkcije zmagala.˝ Sodobne zagovornike akceleracionizma lahko označimo kot nasprotnike ideje o pošastnosti produkcije, ki namesto tega predlagajo sprejetje njene prevlade. Da bi kritično analizirali ta ‘’novi produktivizem’’ predlagam osredotočenje debate na dolgo historično obravnavo ‘’produktivnih sil,’’ od Marxa do danes. Kljub temu, da akceleracionisti ohranjajo določeno mero zvestobe Marxu, ki je poudarjal razvoj produktivnih sil, podcenjujejo kompleksne načine na katere te ‘’sile’’ utelešajo in naznačujejo tektonske premike v razrednem boju. Posebej bi se osredotočili na vprašanje stroja in hrupa: na pošastni hrup industrijske produkcije in različne načine kako je le-ta fungiral v estetiki in politiki. Tekom tega bomo rekonstruirali kratko zgodovino mučnega spopada s stroji in hrupom ter trasirali različne poskuse ‘’obvladovanja’’ ter rekonfiguriranja hrupa, tako kot tudi načine kako se tovrstni boji odzovejo na hrupni trk tega čemur Marx pravi ‘’industrijska bitka.’’ V nasprotju s podobo nevtralnosti teh sil in njihove dostopnosti za preprosto rekonfiguracijo, le-te na sebi nosijo sledi nasilja razrednega boja. To nas pripelje do potrebe po premišljenju ideje ‘’produktivizma,’’ ki bi sicer zdrsnila v konformnost s kapitalističnim produkcijskim načinom, tako, da poslušamo zvoke boja, ki ostaja utišan v sodobnih diskusijah.

Benjamin Noys je profesor kritične teorije na University of Chichester. Je avtor knjig Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative (2010), in Malign Velocities (2014).

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