General Intellect or Collective Idiocy? Digital Mobs and Social Media Mobilization

Hands, Joss (2014) General Intellect or Collective Idiocy? Digital Mobs and Social Media Mobilization. Popular Communication, 12 (4). pp. 237-250. ISSN 1540-5710

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/15405702.2014.960570

Abstract

One of the most revisited concepts in critical and media theory is that of general intellect, as originally outlined by Karl Marx in his celebrated “Fragment on Machines.” The concept is often framed as containing a liberatory promise, that is, “empowerment” via the destruction of the value of labor power, and thus the capacity of capital to generate surplus value. The article will ask whether, in the context of neoliberalism and social media mobilizations, such intelligence is indeed “intelligent.” It explores the possibility that we are now closer to a general “idiocy” and that the likely decomposition of the common into a privatized neoliberal aggregation of individuals produces something closer to what Martin Heidegger refers to as the “they.” The concluding position is that the most likely route out of idiocy is the self-conscious cultivation of an “active” general intellect for the social media age.

Item Type: Journal Article
Faculty: Faculty of Arts, Law & Social Sciences
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2019 12:49
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2019 12:49
URI: http://arro.anglia.ac.uk/id/eprint/704419

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