Understanding the Role of Technology in Capitalism as Both a Constructive and Destructive Process – Final Update

I am currently proofreading the final draft of my paper, and will be submitting it later today. Looking back to my original abstract, the final paper diverged some from what I originally expected it to be, particularly regarding insurrection. I did intend for this project to be somewhat exploratory though, so diverging from the original path isn’t entirely unexpected. In particular, this paper ended up being an exploration of accelerationism rather than technology backed insurgency, though with what I have learned this was likely for the best.

 

In the paper, I start by analyzing the concept of hyperstitions, which are essentially social constructs that make themselves real, and how they apply to capitalism. The concept of money is a social construct, but makes itself real through physical economic interactions. The next section discusses why capitalism can not be overcome through revolution, as any attempt to do so would result in a nuclear war that eliminates all life on earth. Instead, the only hope is to accelerate capital to its own destruction. The third section looks at Marx’s role as the first accelerationist, as most accelerationist theory is based heavily on his later works. This leads into an extensive mathematical analysis of Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. This involves both a brief analysis using calculus to find the rate of change in the rate of profit, followed by a more thorough analysis that models a phase space for the rate of profit and finds that there is an attractor where the rate of profit is 0, with a basin of attraction that matches the limits placed by competition on what counts as productive employment.

 

The last two sections cover my own theories on technology and capitalism, that I developed while researching accelerationism. The first is on the concept of AI communism, which says that the acceleration of technology by capitalism will lead to the emergence of sentient AI, which will unite the full productive and technological power of the world into a single omnipotent being. This will notably convert the means of production, which are currently constant capital, into variable capital, creating a new communist mode of production where the AI, which has become the worker, controls the means of production and the rate of profit no longer falls. The second theory is on the role of heat and the 2nd law of thermodynamics as a driving force. By showing the approximate equivalence of the production and exchange of capital with exchanges of energy, capitalism can be viewed as a way of generating vast amounts of heat. Other research has shown energy and heat production can lead to the development of complex systems, suggesting that capitalism accelerates complex development to produce more heat and speed up the heat death of the universe. I think these theories are both interesting and promising, and will likely continue to develop them.

 

Overall, I greatly enjoyed this project, both for the experience it provided me and for the opportunity to investigate interesting and complex ideas.

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