Inter-Asia Cultural Studies: Movements

17.1 visual essay
17.1 visual essay



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  »  Issues Contents  2012-04-17 Rise of the new collective intellect


Rise of the new collective intellect -- from apocalyptic disaster and mass insurrection (2011)
Now, in late 2011, the entire world is bearing witness to mass uprisings, while immiseration of the majority seems to be reaching the point of irreversibility, i.e., especially due to the financial and nuclear meltdowns in ensemble. People who have nothing to lose have begun to take everything into their own hands. Generally speaking, these uprisings consist of innumerable players, and do not seem to be led by any particular movement, organization or individual. Repeating shifts of hegemony from one to the other, the impetus cannot even be called ‘anti-authoritarian’ in the sense that they are not intentionally coordinated as a whole, notwithstanding without any leadership. They are assemblies of desperate and enraged masses of all kinds, of diverging political and affective tendencies from one another. But importantly, what they share in common are the space for action and the means to communicate--or the meeting point between the two. They seem to share the way street action and formation of popular knowledge interact, namely, the way social body and collective intellect interact. But this intellect seems to be different from both individualized intellect (from the Bourgeois modernist model) and the so-called general intellect (from the Post-Fordist model) in the precise sense. Then, what is this?
Author’s biography
Sabu Kohso is a critic and translator. Born in Okayama, Japan, he has lived in New York City since 1980. He has written a number of books in Japanese on urban space and movements, and has translated books by Kojin Karatani, David Graeber and John Holloway. He has involved in anti-capitalist movements in the US and Japan. With Yuko Tonohira, he is working on a website ( for continuing critical and theoretical analyses of the Post 3/11 world.

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