Major Tech Investor Calls Architect of Fascism a 'Saint' in Unhinged Manifesto

Silicon Valley's 'techno-optimism' cult believes we should let rich tech guys do whatever they want.
Janus Rose
New York, US
Michael Kovac / Getty Images

According to billionaire tech investor Marc Andreessen, AI is good, fascists are saints, and anyone who stops rich people like him from funding, deploying, and doing whatever they want with tech is a literal murderer.

In a new 5,200 word "techno-optimist manifesto,” Andreessen, the man behind prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)—which has invested in Facebook, Airbnb, Lyft, Skype, and many more well-known firms—argues that the only solution to the various structural problems created by capitalism is to do more capitalism—with uninhibited AI development at the forefront. He does so by invoking an obscure online ideology that has taken hold in some tech circles, but may be totally incomprehensible to the masses of people who ultimately use the products that a16z helps bring to market: “effective accelerationism,” or “e/acc.” 


“We believe any deceleration of AI will cost lives,” Andreessen writes in the sprawling blog post, which reads like the ramblings of a college student who just finished his first reading of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead. “Deaths that were preventable by the AI that was prevented from existing is a form of murder.”

He then goes on to list a number of “enemies,” which are “not bad people, but rather bad ideas”—including sustainability, tech ethics, and risk management. Andreessen doesn’t explain why he thinks any of these ideas are bad, instead describing them as being part of a “mass demoralization campaign” that is “against technology and against life.”

To Andreessen, the researchers who have repeatedly shown the dangers and real-life harms of unchecked AI are just a bunch of Negative Nancys. “We are being lied to,” he begins in the lengthy rant, before dismissively listing a bunch of things that research shows unrestrained technology is actually doing, such as increasing inequality, enabling discrimination, and harming the environment.


The blog post goes on to make various other popular techno-libertarian claims: Universal Basic Income—a policy that would make sure people have enough money to live, and is being explored by governments around the world— “would turn people into zoo animals to be farmed by the state.” Not to worry though, because AI is “a universal problem solver,” and the free market will solve everything, from “car crashes to pandemics to wartime friendly fire”—as long as we stay out of the way and let our wise tech overlords do whatever they want with no restrictions.

Andreesen’s arguments are well-trodden territory for tech capitalists who believe in effective accelerationism, the cultish tech bro dogma that has spread across the upper echelons of Silicon Valley for years. Effective accelerationists essentially believe that tech is universally good, that our planet is doomed, and that the only way to save the human species is by letting capital and resources flow upwards, so that beneficent billionaire autocrats can one day send us to a colony on Mars. Or something. Maybe.

The manifesto is grounded in some eyebrow-raising associations, including fascists and reactionaries. Andreesen lists the "patron saints" of techno-optimism, and they include Nick Land, one of the chief architects of modern "accelerationism" who is better known as championing the anti-democratic Dark Enlightenment movement that casts liberal-multicultural-democratic thinking as embodying a nefarious "Cathedral." Andreessen also calls out Filippo Tommaso Marinetti as one of his patron saints. Marinetti is not only the author of the technology- and destruction-worshipping Futurist Manifesto from 1909, but also one of the architects of Italian fascism. Marinetti co-authored the Fascist Manifesto in 1919 and founded a futurist political party that merged with Mussolini's fascists. Other futurist thinkers and artists exist. To call Marinetti in particular a "saint" is a choice. 

None of this is new or shocking in itself. What is notable is that the rant is being posted unabridged on the blog of a major Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and parroted obediently and uncritically by the mainstream tech press. It gives further weight to viewing effective accelerationism—and its counterparts, “effective altruism” and “longtermism”—as the official ideology of Silicon Valley.

Some of the most prominent proponents of the techno-utopian dogma include disgraced crypto hustler Sam Bankman-Fried, currently on trial for securities and wire fraud, and OpenAI co-founder and billionaire shitposter Elon Musk, who spends his days replying to Nazis on the social media website he bought for $44 billion. Effective accelerationists have also propped up various nonprofits and lobbyist groups to push a vision of “AI safety,” which effectively entails an unregulated AI market with tech billionaires at the reigns. The same people were also behind a recent letter warning of an apocalypse brought on by an advanced Artificial General Intelligence, or AGI, if we don’t act now by giving rich tech executives exactly what they want.

Critics and AI experts have regularly noted the influence of effective accelerationism in the tech industry, and warned of the dangers of letting its proponents maintain control of tech development. 

“It is not surprising that the field has been moving in a direction promising an ‘unimaginably great future’ around the corner while proliferating products harming marginalized groups in the now,” wrote AI ethics researcher Timnit Gebru, in an article for Wired about the group’s influence. “We need to liberate our imagination from the one we have been sold thus far: saving us from a hypothetical AGI apocalypse imagined by the privileged few, or the ever elusive techno-utopia promised to us by Silicon Valley elites.”