2015年10月25日日曜日

Return to Freud: Technological Grammatization and Psychic Apparatus. International Conference "Ars/Techne", the Korea University Ocober 24 2015

Return to Freud
Technological Grammatization and psychic apparatus
On Sigmund Freud‘ s  « Note on the ‘magic block’ » (1925)

Hidetaka Ishida (the University of Tokyo)


   Today we use more and more the computer tablet as macintosh i-Pad, which has a strange similarity to the writing tool described by Sigmund Freud in his famous small text of 1925 "Note on the magic block '' ('Notiz über den' Wunderblock '") : the English name of Wunderblock is the "Magic Pad". This parallel between i Pad and Magic Pad, seems particularly interesting, because if the i-Pad has become our everyday tool - our "mental prosthesis" in some way - Freud had elected the Magic Pad as a model to illustrate his conception of the psychic apparatus (psychic) (seelischer Apparat). 
   I'll deliver my reflexions on the implication of informatics apparatus in today's psychic life by tracing the evolution of the theoretical conception of the psychic apparatus - so is his theory of topography - in Freud throughout his work.
   I consider Freud not as abstract thinker; he is more engineer of the human soul. The reflection that I bring today is part of a work that tries to show that contrary to what said Dr. Jacques Lacan, the Unconscious is not structured like a language, but it is structured like a cinematograph: it is graphic - grammatologic - and technologic.

1  « Note on the ‘magic block’ » (1925)

   First, let's see what Freud says on the magic bloc. I assume you have already read the small text and we all understood what is magic block.
   For economy of time, I will not read all the passages I  mention; I refer to quotations by number.

    Freud compares this memory-making tool called the magical blog or Magic Pad to his conception of the psychic apparatus ("if it is examined more closely it will be found that its construction shows a remarkable agreement with my hypothetical structure of our perceptual apparatus.").
    He says. On note paper we can write but can not erase the surface for new writing. On the slate tablet,  writing can be erased but you cannot keep traces. There is an incompatibility between renewable inscription and indefinite registration: between Perception (or Consciousness) and Memory. Freud recalls his distinction of "Perception-Consciousness (Pc-Cs)" and "Memory traces" in his Interpretation of Dreams (Die Traumdeutung 1900), we will return to this work further.
    It is precisely a system making both possible that Freud discovered in this "little instrument" called "Magic block" :

But if it is examined more closely it will be found that its construction shows a remarkable agreement with my hypothetical structure of our perceptual apparatus and that it can in fact provide both an ever-ready receptive surface and permanent traces of the notes that have been made upon it. (SE 209)

The magic block is provided with a "transparent celluloid plate" which serves as a "protective shield against stimuli"; real "stimulus-receiving layer" is located just below the celluloid, which is the "thin translucent wax paper " :

  The celluloid is a "protective shield against stimuli"; the layer which actually receives the stimuli is the paper. I may at this point recall that in Beyond the Pleasure Principle [trans., 1922, 22 ff.; new trans., 1950, 30 ff.]. I showed that the perceptive apparatus of our mind consists of two layers, of an external protective shield against stimuli whose task is to diminish the strength of excitations coming in, and of a surface behind it which receives the stimuli,namely the system Pcpt.-Cs.(SE 210)

These two layers of surfaces are, Freud believed, just like the system "Perception-Consciousness"; since his Project for a psychology (Entwurf einer Psychology 1895), the human psyche (the system Ψ) for Freud is defined as discharging the energy Q of the outside world; it is only the reduced amount of energy Qη that can be invested in the psyche; the Perception is through the φ neurones, the Consciousness by ω, both permeable, while the Memory Traces are formed of impermeable ψ neurons (we'll talk just now "contact barrier" and "facilitation "). This is the apparatus φψω, the first draft of the psychic apparatus.
   The wax tablet constituting the bottom of the magic block which will settle the traces of writing is compared to the "Unconscious" :

It is true, too, that, once the writing has been erased, the Mystic Pad cannot "reproduce" it from within; it would be a mystic pad indeed if, like our memory, it could accomplish that. None the less, I do not think it is too far-fetched to compare the celluloid and waxed paper cover with the system Pcpt.-Cs. and its protective shield, the wax slab with the Unconscious behind them, and the appearance and disappearance of the writing with the flickering-up and passing-away of Consciousness in the process of Perception. (SE 211)

     Freud wrote that "The magic block can not, anyway," reproduce "from within writing, once it cleared: it would indeed be a magic block if he could accomplish this as our memory. ". But precisely if it was i Pad, it would be possible to update the memory; so that i Pad would actually be the achieved form of magic block as a model of the Freudian psychic apparatus.

   And Freud added that the timing of gestures of detachment of the cover sheet could be compared with the discontinuity of the stream of innervation from within the body of the organism. This final remark shows that he also sees a dimension to illustrate the instance Id he had introduced in his second topography with The Ego and the Id (Das Ich und das Es 1923):

If we imagine one hand writing upon the surface of the Mystic Writing-Pad while another periodically raises its covering sheet from the wax slab, we shall have a concrete representation of the way in which I tried to picture the functioning of the perceptual apparatus of our mind. (SE
212)




   I do not so much talk about the iPad at this stage. I only say that i Pad while constantly renewing our Perception-Consciousness, in permanent liaison with the networks, records and keeps all traces; it is also able to recall them all. This means that our mental apparatus interfaces with the real magic block. Our Pr-Cs - our retention - interfaces with the communicative surface that is renewable at any time (our prosthesis of presence); our memory is assisted by the third memory machine; our Unconscious is traversed right through by this Technical Unconscious, let alone about energy.

2 The Interpretation of Dreams (Die Traumdeutung 1900)


   In the "Note on the 'magic block,'" quoted Freud the psychic apparatus of the Traumdeutung. Indeed, Freud had presented his first psychic apparatus (psychic device) - the "first topography" in chapter VII "On the psychology of the dream process" of the book. The diagram is not actually fundamentally different from that of magic block. Freud apparently adopts the optical metaphor - the systems of the telescope lenses - to explain the diagrams:

    Accordingly, we conceive the psychic apparatus as a compound instrument, the component parts of which we shall call instances, or, for the sake of clearness, systems. We shall then anticipate that these systems may perhaps maintain a constant spatial orientation to one another, very much as do the different and successive systems of lenses of a telescope. (SE 536-537)

  This first Freudian topography is well known: it illustrates in the three diagrams how the psyche called "Ψ Systems" was formed from the Perception (W / Pr), forming the "Memory traces" (Er, Er, ... / S , S ', ...).
   Freud has just abandoned his recently neurological project, that's why he uses the optical and spatial metaphor, but it still remains behind the neurological hypothesis and so there must be read neurological implications.


1      The diagram of  « reflex apparatus » :

The psychic process runs usually from the perceptive end to motor  end (SE 537)

2      The diagram showing the formation of "memory traces" or "memory".

We now have reason to admit a first differentiation at the sensory end. The percepts that come to us leave in our psychic apparatus a trace, which we may call a “memory-trace”. The function related to this memory-trace we call the “memory”.

….
The fact of association, then, consists in this - that in consequence of a lessening of resistance and a smoothing of the ways from one of the Er(Memory)-elements, the excitation transmits itself to a second rather than to a third Er(Memory)-element. (SE 538)
  

  We know that behind this representation according to an optical model, there is a neurological account as he tried to formulate in his Project of Psychology (Entwurf einer Psychology 1895). Freud introduced the neuron theory of contact barriers and facilitations which is a synapse theory in today's terms. These facilitations (Bahnung) are shown in the diagrams through approximation of memory traces in the stimulus current, while smoothed ψ  neurons are invested of Qη energy, if we reinvested the theoretical concepts that had been developed in the Project of 1895.
   Note in passing that the various editions of the Traumdeutung not all faithfully reproduced Freud's diagrams. 




          

Er 1  simultaneity
Er2  resemblance  etc.

3      The "Perception-Consciousness W-Bw" / "the Unconscious Vbw" / "the Preconscious Vbw"

    At the motor-end of the process is assigned the system Pcs. In the letter to Fliess in 1896, Freud wrote: "The Preconscious is the third transcription related to verbal representations corresponding to our official ego. Investments arising from this Preconscious become conscious according to certain laws. This secondary cogitative consciousness, which appears later, is probably linked to the hallucinatory reactivation of verbal representations; and neurons in the conscious state would be again perception neurons and in themselves foreign to memory. "(Letter No. 52 of 6-12-1806).
    In Freud, language is conceptualized as word representation (Wort Vorstellung) which is essentially acoustic, whose articulation is active and almost of motor activity. It's articulation give movement to the sound image, to which is associated  the thing representation (Ding Vorstellung or object-representation in the terminology of his Study on aphasia, 1891).
    Thus verbalization becomes a moment of awareness by joining at the second degree the Perception-Consciousness . Thus the system Pcs reached and invested energy of attention and associated with words, Memory trace elements can access to the "cogitative consciousness." The Ψ process is completed, the verbalization will be a reflexive return to the Pr-Cs.

The last of the systems at the motor end we call the preconscious (Pcs.) to denote that the exciting processes in this system can reach Consciousness without any further detention, provided certain other conditions are fulfilled, e.g., the attainment of a definite degree of intensity, a certain apportionment of that function which we must call attention, etc. This is at the same time the system which holds the keys of voluntary motility. The system behind it we call the unconscious (Ucs), because it has no access to consciousness except through the Preconscious, in the passage through which the excitation-process must submit to certain changes.
(Note added in 1919) The further elaboration of this linear diagram will have to reckon with the assumption that the system following the Pcs represents the one to which we must attribute consciousness (Cs), so that P = Cs. (SE 541)


    Freud said that until the system Unconscious is the primary process prevailing in associations, and from the Preconscious the secondary process. This means that until Unconscious system, that is the thing representation, which "consists of an investment, if not direct, of mnemonic images of the thing, at least of the more distant memory traces derived thereof "(" the Unconscious, "1915), with the Preconscious the thing representation is combined with the word representation (that is to say, verbal language in Freud's terms).

   We may note here that contrary to Lacan, for Freud, the Unconscious is not structured like a language. The thing representation is rather polyvalent assembly of sensory and visual images. For facilitations of mnemonic traces of the process Ψ, Freud writes: : 
   On further investigation we find it necessary to assume not one but many such mem-systems, in which the same excitation transmitted by the Perception- elements undergoes a diversified fixation. The first of these mem-systems will in any case contain the fixation of the association through simultaneity, while in those systmes lying further away,  the same material of excitation will be arranged according to other forms of combination; so that relationships of similarity, etc., might perhaps be represented by these later systems. It would, of course, be idle to attempt to express in words the psychic significance of such a system. Its characteristic would lie in the intimacy of its relations to elements of raw material of memory - that is (if we wish to hint at a more comprehensive theory) in the gradations of the conductive resistance on the way to these elements.
 (SE 539)

   The first memory traces system is defined by the elements of simultaneous perception. ; the second and following are defined by the similarities, etc. And then by "the intimacy of relationships with elements of mnemonic raw material", etc.
    In the theoretical metaphor explaining the stratification of memory traces, Freud likened them to "the various telescope lens systems": it is as if this device - metaphorically optical, métapsychologically psychic and secretly "neural" - proceeded to successive shots of the thing representation in the Unconscious, before the process is doubled by the word representation at the terminal of Preconscious. The process is - one might say - cinematographic. These successions of shots - and multiple conjunctions in latence. And with the Preconscious, this  thing representation will be doubled by  word representation of language, a scenario will articulate cinematographic narratives rationalizing but always already leaving unspoken elements under censorship and repressions. The Unconscious is structured as a cinema. This is the very meaning of the Return to Freud.
    This is also why, when in sleep, the junction with the motility is unplugged and the machine is running in reverse, the psychic apparatus begins to make the "regressing" process - this is the "dream process" according to Freud - and to make hallucinatory projection of "images" on the dream screen.

What takes place in the hallucinatory dream we can describe it in no other way than by saying that the excitation follows a retrogressive course. It communicates itself not to the motor end of the apparatus, but to the sensory end, and finally reaches the system of perception. If we call the direction which the psychic process follows from the unconscious into the progressive waking state, we may then speak of the dream as having a regressive character. (SE 542)

During the day there is a continuous stream flowing from the Ψ-system of the Perceptio toward the motility end; this current ceases at night, and can no longer block the flow of the current of excitation in the opposite direction. (SE 544)


3.  The Ego and the Id (Das Ich und das Es 1923)

   As we know, it is in the Ego and the Id (Das Ich und Das Es) that Freud introduced his second Topography with the system "the Ego, the Id and the Superego." I consider relative the break with the first topography of the Traumdeutung. Moreover, this article is contemporary of the Note on the magic block (1925).
    The diagram of the psychic apparatus maintained the Pc-Cs function; he added the Pcs in continuity with the "hearing cap" to the left hemisphere. The memory traces are drawn without being named in the Ego, that is to say the system Ψ; the repression is figured while the Incs is not named, while the Id is introduced to mark the internal excitation source. This instance as a psychic force in fact had existed since the era of the Project(Entwurf).


    
    What interests me in this drawing which loosely contains the human brain with cortical outline is the "hearing cap", the famous hat of Freud :

We at once realize that almost all the lines of demarcation we have drawn at the instigation of pathology relate only to the superficial strata of the mental apparatus—the only ones known to us. The state of things which we have been describing can be represented diagrammatically (Fig. 1); though it must be remarked that the form chosen has no pretensions to any special applicability, but is merely intended to serve for purposes of exposition. We might add, perhaps, that the ego wears a ‘cap of hearing’ —on one side only, as we learn from cerebral anatomy. It might be said to wear it awry. (SE 24-25)

That this "cap of hearing" (which would refer to the Wernicke area) is drawn on the line of continuity of Pcs shows that it is the function of language (word representation) that can bring memory traces to Pc-Cs. The model of the magic block had not inscription of this instance Pcs we could possibly add to the diagram of Freud (it is for this reason that the magic block could not recall the memories).

It is also interesting to note that Freud mentions the "cortical homunculus", of which I give the famous drawing by Wilder Penfield :

The ego is first and foremost a bodily ego; it is not merely a surface entity, but is itself the projection of a surface. If we wish to find an anatomical analogy for it we can best identify it with the ‘cortical homunculus’ of the anatomists, which stands on its head in the cortex, sticks up its heels, faces backwards and, as we know, has its speech-area on the left-hand side. (SE 25)

From the Perception to the motility through the language, the sensory, memorial and language functions are thus modelled on the cortical surface as a place of projection of the proper body.

   The place of the Super-ego is not marked in the drawing. But in the advanced variant of the second topography in New introductory lectures on psychoanalysis (Neue Folge der Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse, 1933), we find it is well designed, while the famous "cap of hearing" disappears. 
 Why this disappearance, and the emergence of the Super-ego in the place of auditory function? We find part of the answer in the following passage of the The Ego and the Id :

 it is as impossible for the super-ego as for the ego to disclaim its origin from things heard: for it is a part of the ego and remains accessible to consciousness by way of these word-presentations (concepts, abstractions). But the cathectic energy does not reach these contents of the super-ego from auditory perception (instruction or reading) but from sources in the Id. (SE 51-52)

From there we must probably think that the voice was heard - by telephone - by the "cap of hearing," but the cap has been internalized undergoing energy investments of Id.

The Ψ systems can communicate by telephone from the "speech circuit" of Saussure, while our perception continues to be initialized and our memories to accumulate cinematically on our Magic or i Pads.


4 Provisional Conclusion


  Freud formulated the analytic aim: "Wo Es war, soll Ich werden" (where Id was, the Ego should happen." Since Freud, our situation has been fundamentally transformed by our technological environment. Our mental apparatus is connected to the immense quantity of energy Q of machines. Our internal motility is imbued with tremendous excitements. Our Perception-Consciousness is constantly in interface so to the electro-computer interfaces of type i Pad. The contact barriers and synaptic facilitations of our systems Ψ are directly in sync with neuronal pulses machines.
  It is precisely this situation that the psychic apparatus of Freudian model makes possible to think, for where it was, in this technological environment, also our psyche should happen.

 How can this future be emerging ..?
 That is our question.



2015年10月23日金曜日

"Catastrophe, Risk and Democracy " by Hidetaka Ishida, Korea University Lecture October 22, 2015

Catastrophe, Risk and Democracy 

By Hidetaka Ishida (The University of Tokyo)

0. Preamble
My talk today is about “Catastrophe Risk and Democracy”.

One year and a half ago, last year in Seoul at an annual conference held here at this university, I told about “Catastrophe and Media”: I told how media reported catastrophic events -- the Earthquake of 3/11 2011, the Tsunami which devastated  the East Cost of Japan and the Nuclear Power Plant Accident of Fukushima.

Today I will try to ask what is the implication of the catastrophe for the human society.
I will deliver a “second elaboration” of my reflection on catastrophe and society.

If I take a Japanese case, this is not to speak only about a particular japanese case. My intention is to reflect on the catastrophe and the risk in general, because I think our world is more than more concerned by this problem of catastrophe. At this regard, it is not at all important to make too much importance to a particular Japanese case.

My conviction is that we could try to open a vast interdisciplinary study field on catastrophe, naming it “Catastrophe Studies” for example.

In the events of 3/11 in Japan, with a gigantesque Earthquake of 9.0 on Richter scale, a Tsunami which caused near 20,000 casualties and Nuclear Disaster, we discovered so many agenda for such studies: what is the catastrophe? How one can formulate the question of civilization vis-à-vis the catastrophe (we remarked a possibility for a geo-history of civilization)? We began to see possible studies on the imaginary of catastrophe: we could for example envisage an approach of “Popular culture and Catastrophe”. For example, the animation genre in the Post-War Japan develops on axis of the thematic of Catastrophe: it is not by chance that the genre had a nuclear problem in the birth of Testuwan Atom, that many works have a post-apocalypse world as setting. We can observe geo-historical theme and ecological interrogation or thematic of risk, as in the animation works of Miyazaki.

  In the communication in disasters and in behaviors of people  we remark that communications are made not only for living persons but communications with dead spirits are also important for population in disasters. So in the Tsunami disaster of 3/11, people sought to join kinship by portable phones(keitai) but also ihai(ancestral tablet) to reestablish communication with ancestors.

  And it was discovered that religious monuments likes Shinto sanctuaries are monuments for remembering the disasters, and the names of places are also inscriptions of tsunami. So there are so many strata of collective memory that are inscribed on the geological levels, etc. The question of memory is very important one, so that we wonder whether we have a appropriate concept of history which make possible to think catastrophe, I think personally that we must envisage a sort of new conception of history which is more geological or even physic: namely geo-history or physics of history.

  So the stratification of media, the collective memories and the geo-history are linked by very complex relationship.

  That is why it will be important to continue in interdisciplinary way the interrogation on the catastrophe problematique.
 

Today I introduce the theme “Catastrophe, Risk and Democracy”

Firstly I would like to develop on the structure of the catastrophe:

1. Structure of the “catastrophe”

A. The “Power Law” :  
Indeed, our world seems increasingly traversed by various types of disasters. You can remind that our century began with the 9/11, we knew many many cases of  Earthquake, Hurricane, Typhoon, Tsunami, Nuclear Catastrophe, but also Financial Clash, Biological, etc.

We are more than more in the Era of Catastrophe.

There are:
1 ecological, climatic and biological disasters
2 technological and human disasters
3 financial and speculative disasters, etc.

We are more than more approaching the critical phase of civilization that is properly crisis of civilization. And the problematique of criticality comes to the foreground.

All these catastrophes have a quite common structure, i.e. their distribution is structured by the “Power Law”.

The Power Law is a mathematical distribution law discovered in many physical phenomena and often formulated in terms of Complexity Theory:

“In statistics, a power law is a functional relationship between two quantities, where a relative change in one quantity results in a proportional relative change in the other quantity, independent of the initial size of those quantities: one quantity varies as a power of another. For instance, considering the area of a square in terms of the length of its side, if the length is doubled, the area is multiplied by a factor of four.” (Wikipedia “Power Law”)

B. Self-Organized Criticality(SOC)
The earthquake obeys to the Power Law: the “law of Gutenberg-Richter” is one of types of the Power Law.
The reason why there are so many phenomena following the Power Law is that they are results of the so called  “Self-Organized Criticality”(SOC).

“In physics, self-organized criticality (SOC) is a property of (classes of) dynamical systems that have a critical point as an attractor. Their macroscopic behavior thus displays the spatial and/or temporal scale-invariance characteristic of the critical point of a phase transition, but without the need to tune control parameters to precise values.” (Wikipedia “Self-organized criticality”)

One illustrates this “self-organized criticality” by the example of “the sandpile or ricepile model”.  The catastrophe (the slide) occurs necessarily but one cannot predict when and where: a catastrophe is necessary but properly unpredictable.

C Fractal patterns
 The reason why they obey to the Power Law is that the universe reduplicates a similar pattern at every level producing the multiplication

Physics names patterns of this type, “fractal patterns”:

“A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. It is also known as expanding symmetry or evolving symmetry. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a self-similar pattern. An example of this is the Menger Sponge.[1] Fractals can also be nearly the same at different levels. This latter pattern is illustrated in the magnifications of the Mandelbrot set. Fractals also include the idea of a detailed pattern that repeats itself.”((Wikipedia “Fractal”) 


2. Risk Society
  We face a series of different phenomena of catastrophe which would be explained by the unified theory of SOC with the probability of Power Law.
  My question is what implication this problematic of catastrophe entails for our conception of social and individual life.
  One element of response could be found in the approach of social theory of the “Risk Society” formulated by U. Beck and A. Giddens.

 “According to British sociologist Anthony Giddens, a risk society is "a society increasingly preoccupied with the future (and also with safety), which generates the notion of risk,"[3] whilst the German sociologist Ulrich Beck defines it as "a systematic way of dealing with hazards and insecurities induced and introduced by modernisation itself (Beck 1992:21)". (Wikipedia “Risk society”)

  Actually we live in Risk Society:

We live in a society where the ontological security is threatened.
We face chronic financial catastrophe.
We face natural climatic or seismologic catastrophes.
We face human-and-technological catastrophe.
We face ecological or biological catastrophe, etc. etc.

3. Information Society
 There is a third order of question in our age: the information order which is also and properly self-organizing system. The same logic of self-organized criticality with Power Law distribution works in organization of information order of our society.


  The consequence of this is that we immediately have a masse of information in the moment of catastrophe. So that in our age, a catastrophe – natural, human, nuclear, financial or other -  is also and immediately a catastrophe of information.
  As we saw in the days of 3/11, that the information order with development of social media, is more than more self-organizing: never such gigantesque archives of imag
es weren’t constituted automatically;  we hadn’t see in real time so many images of real catastrophic events.
  The contemporary catastrophe is always and already an informational catastrophe. The financial catastrophe is an exemplary example of this information catastrophe.
  The information is ubiquitous but not distributed in equilibrium in space and time. Ubiquitous means simply universally connected. And this universal interconnections make develop the self organizing process with its fractal patters and SOC.
The information in web connection typically follows the power law distribution.

4 Memory Troubles in Social and Psychological Individuation
  Forgetting or social amnesia of the catastrophe is a strange phenomenon.
It is strange that people seem to have “forgotten” the catastrophe of 3/11.

Our memory is traversed by the “Power Law” of information
The Perception or the “sensibility” relies on Short Term Memory in terms of cognitive psychology. That is a working memory which constitutes the perception-consciousness of present time i.e. the “primary retention” in husserlien vocabulary.
And nowadays not only our perception but also our long memory is exteriorized in form of technological recording. And we have difficulty to adapt these prosthetic memories to our proper human memories. Then there are so many memory troubles. It is very difficult to have a appropriate temporal perspective in our memory. Just as we have the Power Law distribution exactly in events, in the same manner we have the non-linear distribution of quantities of memories of theses events.

Especially face to complex non linear phenomena, it is difficult to keep the mapping of the events on linear representation of human memories in the fluctuations of huge information flows.

The perception-consciousness, “primary retention” (Husserl-Stiegler)(or “the short term memory” or “working memory”) is prosthetized by television or Internet. The archive or third memory(“third retention”) come short-cut the second retention (faculty of remembering)  (the human memory in proper sense). This informational amnesia phenomenon makes difficult to establish a social and psychological synthesis of recent past. This is a phenomenon that I call a “memory trouble” of the society. Our memory is short-cut in the flow of information in real time and by infinity of technological prosthetic memory (here we find again the famous question of Pharmakon in Plato’s Phaedrus).

We know the catastrophe happened but we are not sure of the understanding of it due to the lack of temporal perspective.
We don't think the events due to a failure of synthesis for “Apperception”(Kant) of our cognitive faculties.


5. Politics of Stupidity 
 In this general situation of cognitive failure, we discover a strong stupidity win the intellectually week part of the political and economic world. The temptation is strong to adopt a strategy of the ostrich policy. Decision makers  decide not to think.  Here comes the age of domination of the idiocy.

 Actually the Japanese government adopted this very policy of idiocy: politic of  laisser faire the stupidity.  The neo-liberalism of state (so called “Abenomics”) is policy of reflation, augmenting a monetary masse to boost the speculative cycle of finance and to remake the infernal financial capitalism cycle. They adopt also the dogma of economic growth, etc. They decided to restart Nuclear Power Plants,  while the consequences of Fukushima Daiichi are not yet at all resolved. The list of idiocy is too long to waste time in this lecture.

  The informational idiocy is not the privilege of the government. There are so many grass roots fascisms self-organized via internet: xenophobia, racism of different kinds, and so on. The fascism self-organizing by bottom-Up process -- with  echo-chamber and cyber-cascade effects (C. Sunstein) --  of informational interconnections joins the national fascism of the state – top-down process of state fascism. This is a fundamental scheme of the “conservative revolution” going on in the shift towards the right of the national politics.

6. Reflex of Civil Society
 Longtime, the Japan has been a strange society that did not see any significant political movement in direct democracy during three or four decades. Before 1975, there were very active and violent social movements especially student movements. After that period, total absence of significant political civil movements.
  After 1970’s, since the Japanese society entered in the age of so called “Consumption Society” or “Postmodernity”, almost total evacuation of  political issues was effective and in this sense the domination of consumerist capitalism was total.
  But recently, this is not the case anymore. After 3/11 and the Fukushima Nuclear Accident, commenced a new political impulsion. The direct democracy movements began to renovate their method utilizing the social media, there was a certain innovation of demonstration culture inspired by street culture. Influences of “Occupy Wall street” movement, and more recently the Sunflower Student Movement in Taiwan(march 2014), Umbrella Revolution (sept. 2014) in Hong Kong could be also found in these phenomena.
  Sine two three years, young people invented different style of demonstration and a new design of political events, new design culture, new expression inspired by hip hop music, new message out of routine , etc.(http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34581340

SEALDs Revolution
  This summer, I personally was quite actively committed in movement against the bills for military legislation and so I collaborated very closely with a new wave of student movement. With other intellectuals and professors colleagues, we constituted the Association of Scholars against 2015 Japanese military legislation with 14000 signatures and more. The Students movement SEALDs (Students Emergency Action for Liberal Democracy http://www.sealds.com ) is in the heart of this movement.
  Mon aim here is not to introduce the student movement. But to deliver my reflection on these worldwide tendencies of youth to resist domination of the neoliberalism order and challenge the shift to the right of political world.

7. Democratic ethos in Risk society
  Longtime, the student movement was dominated by Marxist or pro-Marxist and leftwing movement model. I characterize it as a manifestation of political romanticism(Carl Schmitt). Ideal of another world, liberation and utopia, etc.
  This model of social action is obsolete.

  In the Quarrel of Postmodern in 1980’s, Lyotard diagnosed the “End of grand narrative”. The Marxist narrative was one of these grand narratives which plot the evolution of history by mapping the political mutations on the linear temporal axis of the History.
  In 1980’s, the grand narrative of social reformation was supplanted by the mini individualist narrative of the consumption society. So, the postmodernism was an ideology of the consumption society.

  Nowadays, neither the scenario of grand narrative of becoming of the history nor the mini narrative of individual consumption are not credible.

  In the society in which risks are ubiquitous and natural resources limited tied by boomerang effect, in the age that the economic growth is not evident and the population diminishes, sudden crystallization of political consciousness happens on the themes of defense of the “individual dignity”, of  “ontological security” or simply for youth on the theme of the defense of their  “future”.

  I think it is quite common to all people who recently commenced to organize their political consciousness notably in young generations.

  Not to be a silent consumer, not to be a-political individual, to be responsible of the future, etc. we remarks numerous new political issues crystallized in their movement.

  I have the feeling that there emerges a new political attitude which would be a political ethos (Max Weber) of the age of Risk society.

  The students of SEALDs underline the devise of the article 12 of the Japanese Constitution: “The freedoms and rights guaranteed to the people by this Constitution shall be maintained by the constant endeavor of the people…”.  This seems to be a ethics of meta- tability in this changing world with nonlinear catastrophic age.

  I think there would be a possibility of new civilian ethos as new type of individuation in risk society. This is not a revolt for utopia, this is not a movement for classes, but a claim for a more just society, for a sustainability and resilience, a claim for respect of dignity. At each point of their claims, you can find the critical points of problems of complexity, as I explained in my talk today. These young students defend this very real world, so we can say they are somehow “conservative” in a very specific sense, I would say “partisan of sustainability”, they try to defend in short their “future” in this age when our  “future” is surely not “sure”.
  I’m now quite confident of this younger generation, because nobody until now never had formulated so well the very problematique of our world. And despite despairing political situation of our country we might count on the lucidity of young generations who are renovating now the principle of democracy in our world.

Thank you for your friendly attention.             H.I.


Bibliography:
Ulrich Beck (1992) Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity. New Delhi: Sage. (Translated from the German Risikogesellschaft) 1986.
Beck, Ulrich, Giddens, Anthony, Lash, Scott (1994) Reflexive Modernization. Politics, Tradition and Aesthetics in the Modern Social Order. Stanford University Press
Buchanan, Mark(2000), Ubiquity: The Science of History… or Why the World is Simpler Than We Think , Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London
Husserl, Edmund(1990 [1928]), On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time (1893–1917),. Brough, J.B., trans. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Lyotard, Jean-François (1984), The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge. Trans. Geoffrey Bennington and Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, [La Condition postmoderne: Rapport sur le savoir. Paris: Éditions de Minuit, 1979]
Schimitt, Carl (1986), Political Romanticism. Guy Oakes, trans.MIT Press,. Original publication: 1919, 2nd edn. 1925
Stiegler, Bernard, (2010) Technics and Time, 3: Cinematic Time and the Question of Malaise (Stanford: Stanford University Press) [ La technique et le temps. Tome 3: Le temps du cinéma et la question du mal-être. 2001]
・ Sunstein, Cass R. (2002). Republic.com 2.0. Princeton: Princeton University Press
Weber, Max(2002), The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism: and Other Writings, trans. (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) (Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus 1904-1905)