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Mazen Elhosseiny
Professor Oventile
English 1A
10/19/15
Shaviro Essay
In Steven Shaviros masterpiece, No Speed Limit: Three Essays on Accelerationism, he
explains the different aspects of the accelerationism. This perspective is a way to look at the
world; throughout the book, Shaviro explains this perspective thoroughly and provides a wellthought commentary. Relatable pieces of films to Shaviros ideas are Interstellar directed by
Christopher Nolan, and Snowpiercer directed by Bong Joon-ho. These films can be described
through the accelerationist point of view that Shaviro presents for us in his book.
Accelerationism is a perception of how we view the world around us and they can be related to
the films, Interstellar and Snowpiercer.
The accelerationist point of view is the perception that life will always move on, that
speeding up reactions is the better for our future even though some casualties may come with it.
It is the type of perspective in which we see to move forward with technology and new advances
even though humanity may come as a price. When Shaviro proposes the idea of Creative
Destruction, he is trying to portray that in order to move forward with society sacrifices must be
made to better the world, and in creating a better world we have to destroy some of the world
that we already knew (Shaviro, 1). He is also trying to show us that when looking from the
accelerationist point of view we have to risk special valuables that mean something to us, we

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must be able to keep an open mind and take in new ideas. The more we do this the more we can
advance our society; and addition to advancing our society we create a diversity that invites new
ideas and speculations. Shaviro explains this through the political systems of capitalism, in
capitalism there is much room for innovation, which creates a competition that encourages
people to create and invent new products or simply do a better job to create a more efficient
system. Shaviro describes that there is Money to be made [] destruction of the world,
meaning that the basic thought destroying the world is beneficial to the pocket of the rich
(Shaviro, 1). This is true in such ways such as oil companies, creating cars that produce high
amounts of CO2, or companies that create energy that produces lots of waste; these products are
easy to make and bring in a lot of money, however they destroy the Earth as well. The problem
that is observed here is the problem of being selfish or doing actions that will help the greater
good. Being selfish would be the idea to keep producing these harmful toxins that the Earth is
constantly dealing with, and the actions of the greater good will help the whole community and
see a better tomorrow. The accelerationist point of view sees the action of the greater good and
doesnt think it is complete, because in the accelerationist point of view, humanity must move on
to achieve something better instead of staying with the old solutions, it creates more profound
solutions that could be used different ways.
Accelerationism can be described through innovation. Innovation is the constant
production of new ideas, solutions, skills, and elaborations that is produced in a community. It
helps the community in many ways, the economy flourishes and is never constant, it fluctuates
which means the flow of money will fluctuate as well. And if the flow of money increases as
well then it will be easier to give new ideas to flourish and become part of our everyday lives.
Innovation comes accompanied by capitalism, in this way people can reach goals that may not be

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achieved because of lack of encouragement in communism. Shaviro brings up the idea of


Neoliberal Capitalism (Shaviro, 8). This is the idea of a completely free-market economy in
which capitalism prevails at every point of turn in business. This means innovation is needed to
survive and make a living in this economic system. It is an extreme accelerationist movement in
which we society only made up of the smart and strong and casts aside those who cannot help
themselves. It is a natural selection in which the most suited for the economic environment will
prevail while the others suffer; it brings an extreme movement forward for humanity, however,
humanity is somewhat lost because people with low ambition will not survive in this economy.
Shaviro states that only the strong survive, and through this we see a neoliberal capitalism that
takes place. In this statement, Shaviro simply puts that the world is no place for people who have
nothing to offer and nothing to benefit this world, if they simply just live to use the Earths
resources then they will suffer. (Shaviro, 51). In neoliberal capitalism we see innovation at its
fastest rate, hard decisions are made wisely and effectively, and if people cannot keep up with the
rhythm of this extreme capitalism then they will perish.
My thoughts of Shaviros ideas throughout the book were very profound philosophical
opinions on how the world can be accelerated. Shaviro provides a perspective we can see as the
accelerationist movement, and with this movement there is always going to be new wants and
old objects that are have been used. And usually during accelerationism there is a moment of
crisis, in which there is a sudden rupture involved with reckoning. Shaviro expresses this through
his idea of surplus absorption, meaning that the accelerationist point of view creates a
unbalanced scale of taking resources from the Earth without returning or nurturing back what we
have used. (Shaviro, 10). Shaviro proposes that this is also an accerleratioinst view, in order to
quickly advance in our world sacrifices must be made even by the Earth; such as medical testing

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on lab rats, rats will die so that we will find the proper cure for a sickness, such that is the
sacrifice to keep the human race in a better position. And in doing so the population of the world
will increase which calls for more of a surplus absorption because more people will be needed to
be tended to and cared for.
Accelerationism presents the idea of capitalist realism, in which reality can only be
described through capitalism. This meaning that communism is but a dream that cannot be fully
achieved, the idea that everyone would have equal amount of payment based on how the
economy is doing is ridiculous. And even with this amount of money it would be less than the
calculated sum for the capitalist economy, people would lose interest and encouragement since a
doctor would be paid just as much as a janitor. This world is one that has suffering in it, it is not a
utopia in which everyone has equal chance, and capitalism exemplifies that reality and shows us
that people have to suffer in order for other people to get what they desire. For people to achieve
their highest, some may have ordeal in their life. Shaviro describes that less than All cannot
satisfy man, this meaning that man is born with greed, there is greed in every single person that
lives, however even if given a rich and wonderful life, the satisfaction of having everything that
one could ask for is much greater (Shaviro, 52). This capitalist point of view shows us that with
greed, comes encouragement, and with this encouragement comes more innovation for society,
and the more innovation there is in society, the more accelerationism takes place.
The film, Interstellar by Christopher Nolan has symbolic meaning towards Shaviros
ideas of accelerationism. In this film we see an accelerationism movement in which the Earths
resources are being used up, and the crops from the Earth are becoming more and more difficult
to properly grow. Cooper is the main character in the story as he sees a sign inside the room of
his daughter, Murph, the sign points him to NASA base. Later on in the movie we see two plans

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that are forged; Plan A was to evacuate everyone on Earth once they found a suitable planet to
live on, however Plan B was to create a new life force of humans using a machine, and to leave
everyone on Earth to perish. However the Lazarus Missions were planned to find a suitable
planet and find data that would be able for humans to live on such a planet. Cooper and his team
went to these planets to find out the data that the Lazarus Missions provided. Only soon to find
out that Plan A wasnt the plan all along, Plan B was supposed to be a back-up, however they
found out it was the original plan all along. This is an accelerationist point of view because they
are shying away from bringing all the people who are living on Earth, and are instead creating
new life on the new found planet in order continue the existence of the human race. In the end of
the movie the people are evacuated from Earth by Murph, they live on a station called Cooper
Station, named after her. At this point in the movie the accelerationist point of view changed, the
people that had evacuated Earth, had also accelerated because they moved on from their old
dying planet, and moved on to a fully functioning station which they built themselves.
In the movie Snowpiercer by Bong Joon-ho, people were set upon a train as the last
survivors on the planet after the CW7 formula was released to the planet trying to counter the
effects of global warming. However, the CW7 formula froze the Earth past the point where life
can still exist on the planet. Curtis is the main character in this story and his journey to the front
of the train to Wilford, the man who built the train. In the movie, the high class and lower class
people are separated throughout the train, the high class is in the front while the lower class is in
the back. The lower class gets to eat protein blocks that they later find out are made from insects
and beetles grinded up, while the high class feast on steaks. At the end of the story we see the
revolt that Curtis commands finally reach Wilfords door, and then we realize it was all the plan
of Wilford and allow Curtis to take command of the train in Wilfords place. Wilford talks about

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the theory of natural selection in the movie, and how with so little human beings still living on
the planet, that they dont have time for natural selection to take place. Therefore, the start killing
these people in order to establish their own type of natural selection, to advance the human race,
and that the revolt was the plan that was accompanied by the natural selection. Accelerationism
is active in this point in the story because Wilford desired the human race to move forward so he
decided to have organized times to kill people in order to further advance humanity. And at the
end of the movie we see a polar bear living, which means that life did not cease to exist when the
CW7 formula was released, life was simply restricted, but this began the new beginnings for
humanity and accelerationism with people rebuilding their societies.
Shaviros explanations of accelerationism are thorough and well versed, however in order
to still have sentimental humanity within ourselves we must not extinguish all in our path, even
if it is in the name of saving humanity. Even if we do prevent the fall of humanity it will be for
nothing as long as we have the state of mind that we can leave other humans behind to perish.
Pure accerlerationism is when we do not care about the fall of humanity, but we only care about
the advancement of bigger and better things. Throughout these examples of Interstellar and
Snowpiercer, we see Shaviros ideas mirrored and clearly stated about the advancement of the
human race. Shaviro has shown us many examples of accelerationism through capitalism, but the
movies portray the accelerationism through humanity and the advancement of technology and
life.

Works Cited

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Nolan, Christopher dir. Interstellar. Perf. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica
Chastain, and Michael Cain. Paramount, 2014. DVD.
Shaviro, Steven. No Speed Limit: Three Essays On Accelerationism. N.p.: Univ Of Minnesota,
2015. Print.
Joon-ho, Bong dir. Snowpiercier. Perf. Chris Evans, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris, John Hurt. CJ
Entertainment, 2013. DVD.