Volume 20, Issue 2, 2017
Social Acceleration and the New Politics of Time
Critical theory has recently charted the rise of an unprecedented wave of social acceleration transforming Western capitalism. Within that body of work, a tendency has emerged to frame this new temporality as a stable structure lacking in the possibility for visions of alternatives, let alone for substantive revolt or challenge. This essay argues that recent struggles like Occupy and 15-M experimented with an alternative, utopian temporality that challenged and disrupted acceleration, revealing the latter to be prone to generating and expanding the conditions of temporal struggle. Acceleration is therefore unstable, and cannot be adequately understood apart from its increasing cultivation of visions of and experiments in other temporalities.