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“the fundamental power struggle is the battle for the construction of meaning in the minds of the people.” (8) I’m interested in superimposing the signification-representation-identification / circulation-mass-image framework from Terranova/Halpern on this: what’s the relationship between mass movements and new political representations/meanings? Castells writes that movements require a combination of affective engagement and intensification, spreading through networks quickly [fear and enthusiasm, 13], alongside some signifying catalyst [“an unbearable event suffered by someone with whom they identify” (15)]. In other words, some degree of identification is necessary in order to convert underlying, shared emotion into a meaningful political movement, even while such a shift carries the individual into the deindividuated, asocial mass. w/r/t Victor’s critique, Castells writes, “only a democratic policy can ensure an economy that works as if people’s lives mattered.” (315) What does it mean for a life to matter? This implies not just [and I’m not sure what the relationship between these two is] political representation but also some degree of coherent interpellation: Terranova (138) discusses how the mass arises in an individual when their interpellation becomes impossibly contradictory and fractured. If, then, those “for which full citizenship is impossible as a feature of the current political and economic organization” cannot count on democracy, it’s because of this gap between the political and the social – signifying political representation isn’t commensurable with affective social interpellation. But they’re related: social exclusion is required? for the presumption of an egalitarian political field. So then what do social/protest movements give us, and how can they impact our understanding of the social/political beyond the movement itself?

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