This is a depository of early academic research (from the mid-1990s) in the UK – which philosophically explores the theoretical foundations, purpose and possible developmental trajectories – of the emerging internet. One central idea is that capitalism will colonise the internet and will be an unstoppable force. This was considered the most likely scenario given (the then) recent (and seemingly pointless) collapse of the USSR in 1991 – which appeared to be an entirely ‘self-imposed’ dismantling of itself (from within) as if by magic in the face of (external) US capitalist aggression.
Interestingly, the authors suggests that regardless of the apparent ‘egalitarian’ nature of the ‘communicative-space’ that will define the ‘internet’ – the forces of predatory capitalism will quite literally ‘eat’ their way through it and that the only possible response is this inevitable process is to encourage (and assist) its machinations, and get it over-with as quickly as possible – to see what emerges at the other end. This approach is not an endorsement of capitalism, but rather an acknowledgement of its a) presence, b) dominance and c) dynamic nature, etc. This approach is found throughout the work of Marx and Engels – but the authors of this project suggest that the principle of ‘accelerationism’ be applied so that all the forces of predatory capitalism (and self-propelling technology) are a) thoroughly spent, b) all the benefits of predatory capitalism have been encouraged and acquired, and c) a ‘new’ and ‘non-capitalist’ era emerges.
There is a 1960s novel entitled ‘Lord of Light’ (written by Roger Zelazny) which tells the story of a planet colonised by the last survivors on Earth – and is premised upon Hindu theology and Buddhist philosophy as guiding tropes. The Earth-people invade a suitable planet and take control of it by using technology so that they appear to be ‘like gods’ to the indigenous inhabitants. It is believed that the concept of ‘accelerationism’ was lifted from this novel.