The paper by Vicente Rafael, Professor, Department of Communication, University of California, San Diego states ”This is a work in progress; please do not quote from this draft or cite without the author’s permission. I welcome feedback; please feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]” I have emailed and asked permission to link and quote – will remove if not granted. I link this because I have the question on my mind about the class nature of info tech generally, about its impact as part of the forces of production, but also about the use of communications, does it impact what actually happens in a qualitative way. Does a better linked crowd become more revolutionary or just more potent? How does the flatness of the net impact on leadership? Does the group have a life of its own and can we trust it? Vicente L Cell Phone and the Crowd
From the perspective of Generation Txt, a certain kind of crowd comes about in response to texting. It is one that bears, in both senses of that word, the hegemony of middle class intentions. Texting in its apolitical mode, sought to evade the crowd. But in its reformist mode, it is credited with converting the crowd into the concerted movement of an aggrieved people. In the latter case, the middle class invests the crowd with a power analogous to their cell phones: that of transmitting their wish for a moral community, whereby the act of transmission itself amounts to the realization of such a community. Such a notion assumes the possibility of endowing the crowd with an identity continuous with that of middle class texters. However, this assumption had another aspect. Not only did it lead to the fantasy of ordering of the masses under bourgeois direction. As I demonstrate below, the middle class interest in ordering the crowd also tended to give way to a different development. At certain moments, we also see the materialization of another kind of desire this time for the dissolution of class hierarchy altogether. How so?