The group Shut Down LD50 Gallery has published a blog post about philosopher Nick Land and his continuing influence on certain segments of the British art world and academia. They write that Land’s philosophy, couched in terms like “Human Biodiversity,” is a dressed-up form of eugenics. They call on institutions that provide a platform for Land to their withdraw their support and to refuse to be complicit in the spread of far-right views. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
Nick Land advocates for racially based absolutist micro-states, where unregulated capitalism combines with genetic separation between global elites and the ‘refuse’ (his term) of the rest. It’s a eugenic philosophy of ‘hyper-racism’, as he describes it on the racist blog Alternative Right, or ‘Human Biodiversity’ (HBD). Here, class dominance and inequality are mapped onto, explained, and justified by tendencies for the elite to mate with each other and spawn a new species with an expanding IQ. Yes, this ‘hyper-racism’ is that daft – and would be laughed off as the fantasy of a neoliberal Dr Strangelove if it didn’t have leverage in this miserable climate of the ascendant far right. Regarding the other side, the domain of the ‘refuse’, Land uses euphemism to stand in for the white nationalist notion of a coming ‘white genocide’: ‘demographic engineering as an explicit policy objective’, ‘steady progress of population replacement’, is the racial threat he describes on the bleak webpages of The Daily Caller.
It is claimed Land has a superior philosophy of capitalism (‘accelerationism’ – you’ve heard of it – the topic of his New Centre course). But like the Nazis before him, Land’s analysis of capitalism produces and is sustained by a pseudo-biological theory of eugenic difference and separation: the redemptive productive labour of well-bred Aryans, for one, the escalating IQ of an inward-mating economic elite for the other. There’s no ‘philosophy’ here to be separated from Land’s far right ‘politics’; the two are interleaved and co-constituting. ‘More Capitalism!’ has always been the essence of Land’s supposedly radical critique, from his early philosophy at the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit (CCRU) to now. Hence it’s little wonder that his philosophy is inseparable from the racism that has always accompanied capitalism as an integral dynamic – from chattel slavery and the blood-bath of colonial expansion, to the passive slaughter of migrants in the Mediterranean and Black populations at the hands of the police, their mundane exposure to death calibrated to the crisis of the labour form. Land’s oh so virulent assault on the ‘Human Security System’, as he framed it in CCRU days, thrilling those who thought him the transvaluation of all values, is revealed to be the latest in a long and monotonous line of tropes that would disqualify the life of particular humans – the working class, minorities, and other ‘refuse’. For hyper-racists can rest assured, the elite’s ‘Human Security System’ is to be bolstered, by capital accrual and the proliferation of hard micro-borders.
That Land’s chosen people are internally homogeneous global classes of high ‘socio-economic status’ and not exclusively ‘white’ should not be the distraction he intends; the physical and psychological violence of racism has its own sorry architecture, but it has always closely partnered with the production and perpetuation of class privilege and pleasure. And inevitably, more traditional racist tropes of fear, hatred, and ridicule of Black people and Muslims, of ‘cucks’ (as the alt-right call those who would live without ‘race’ boundaries), feature with enough regularity in Land’s blog and Twitter (Outside in, @Outsideness, @UF_blog) that his ideas can merrily slop around on social media with the full gamut of racisms.