NO PIPELINE: Activism in the Age of Acceleration

Left activists are reluctant to accept overt capitalistic solutions to the issues they care about and as such, acceleration in relation to left activism has not been considered. If left activists let the principles of right-acceleration and capitalism drive their actions, they may find long term solutions to the hyper local issues they fight for. The first example I will take on is the NO PIPELINE battle, which follows the typical left v. corporate America narrative. It’s a battle that’s being fought in communities all over the country, but I’ll use the specific example of the struggle that’s taking place in my hometown of Charlottesville, VA, where the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is being forced into existence by Dominion Power Company and by the politicians who are beholden to them. Activists in the region are digging in for a long fight, and their case is strong. There will be environmental consequences, environmental racism is a factor in the construction of the pipeline, and on top of that the cost of energy to consumers will actually increase after it’s completion. However, unless underdog Democrat Tom Periello wins the 2017 gubernatorial race for VA, they will likely lose this battle, and the construction could begin as early as late 2017. And that raises an important question: If all the evidence points towards the inevitable construction of a useless pipeline, why spend so much time fighting it’s construction? Why not look for a solution that includes an accurate vision of the future? That is, one with a pipeline running through it. Then try to imagine the fastest and most efficient way to turn that pipeline into a purposeless husk running through Central Virginia.

So how do you go about making a pipeline obsolete? The answer should be pretty obvious. Activists in this particular case should abandon their protests and put their weight behind the acceleration of the growth of clean energy in the region. The demise of the fossil fuel industry is not going to come about by resistance but by the omnipotent fist of capitalism itself, and the unfortunate NO PIPELINE protest is only slowing the brutal process.

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