domenica 7 settembre 2014

Obsolete Capitalism: Microsociology: the ballistic contagion and widespread catatonias (Pt. VII - The Birth od Digital Populism)

Microsociology: the ballistic contagion and widespread catatonias

'In homage to Gabriel Tarde (1843–1904)' opens the chapter on Tarde’s microsociology in Deleuze and Guattari’s 1933: Micropolitics and Segmentarity- a reference text for this very collection of writings and interviews. Gabriel Tarde is an avant-garde French sociologist who in the late nineteenth-century suggested a bold sociological theory that was based on micro-relationships and on the contagious power of those everyday influences that occur at infra-social levels. Tarde’s emphasis is upon individual acts and imitation as a ‘phenomenon of contagion of belief and desire,’ otherwise defined as ‘non-logical nor teleological phenomenon of transmission of two intimate forces.’ Therefore, the obedience of crowds- seen as a perpetual process- no longer takes place on large macro segments, such as classes, but rather on ‘infinitely delicate’ cerebral sub-levels. According to Tarde, sociology must sink ‘its roots in the heart of the most intimate and dark psychology and physiology. Society is imitation and imitation is a kind of sleepwalking.’ At the dawn of mass society, Brownshirts and Blackshirts understood and successfully exploited this reading of society on a molecular level. Authoritarian mass-parties enacted the occupation of every social dark corner as a daily practice – as Deleuze-Guattari rightly describe in their chapter on microfascism, which is inspired by the sociological analysis of Gabriel Tarde:

Rural fascism, city fascism, neighborhood fascism, youth fascism and war veteran's fascism…Fascism of the couple, family, school, and office. Only the micro-fascism can answer this global question: why does desire long for its repression? How can it desire its very own repression? (...) 

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