Personal tools


From China Digital Space

Revision as of 21:16, 5 August 2020 by Anne (talk | contribs)
Jump to: navigation, search

jiāsùzhǔyì 加速主义

The concept that Xi Jinping is hastening the demise of the Chinese Communist Party by doubling down on his authoritarian rule, often referenced by the mock-title Accelerator-in-Chief. In its original sense, accelerationism holds that pushing the growth of capitalism and technology will hasten sweeping social change. While jiasuzhuyi is mainly deployed satirically, in the West this fringe political theory has become closely tied to white supremacist groups, which believe that violence and discord will topple the current political order and pave the way for their vision of the future.

Jiasuzhuyi was popularized on the Chinese-language forum Pincong in the late 2010s as a form of resistance to the CCP, and has since spread across Chinese social media platforms. Frequently invoked by Chinese liberals and pan-democrats, jiasuzhuyi has no fixed definition, but generally follows a certain logic: If the system is beyond saving, then helping it move along, rather than resisting or trying to fix it, will hasten its demise. In other words, things will not get better until they get worse.

In an op-ed for Initium Media, Wei Qi dissects the moral quandary posed by jiasuzhuyi: the hope is for people's misery to grow such that it upsets the balance of China's system of stability maintenance, an evil means to an ideal end; at the same time, adherents believe they have to stand back and wait for the system to destroy itself, and thus have relinquished their agency as changemakers. In some sense, however, the Hong Kong resistance tactic of laam caau 攬炒 (taking you down with us) is jiasuzhuyi in action.

Some netizens see Xi Jinping as the Accelerator-in-Chief, whose increasingly authoritarian rule will be the catalyst for the implosion of the CCP. (State media often refer to Deng Xiaoping as the "Architect-in-Chief" of Reform and Opening.)

In many respects, jiasuzhuyi is the polar opposite of accelerationism. Nick Land, who first proposed accelerationism as a professor in the UK in the 1980s, moved to the PRC in the early 2000s. His view of Chinese authoritarianism as a case study in accelerationism runs counter to the meaning of jiasuzhuyi in the context of Chinese resistance discourse. In an interview with The Guardian's Andy Beckett, Land shared his admiration for the Chinese party-state as "the greatest political engine of social and economic development the world has ever known."