Political acclamation, social media and the public mood

Mitchell Dean
European Journal of Social Theory

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tag-as Acclamation on 8/26/2019, 5:33:52 PM

excerpt Analytics of publicity on 8/26/2019, 5:34:06 PM

excerpt We can broadly define acclamation in its classical form as a public rite with both oral and gestural performative elements. It is an exclamation of praise, triumph, or disapproval accompanied by the waving of flags or handkerchiefs, applause, or the raising of hands (Agamben, 2011: 168–9). Its more ritual expressions concern a desire for victory, long life, good health, strength and salvation. For Peterson, it acquires a juridical value in the expression of the people’s consensus (Agamben, 2011: 169). In its simplest form, as in the voicing of approval, with or without the raising of hands or clapping them together, it is an expression of a form of collective assent. The latter form is still extant within everyday human groupings and is a common procedure of professional and academic associations and on executive boards of companies and other organizations. More ela- borate forms survive in music concerts and at the theatre, and especially in the sporting arena, as well as at political assemblies and demonstrations. Acclamations have been witnessed recently in the Occupy Movement and continue to be used by guerilla forces, such as the Columbian FARC. After Marcel Mauss and Paul Fauconnet (2005: 10), we might describe acclamation as a social institution in the sense of ‘a grouping of acts and ideas already instituted which individuals find before them and which more or less imposes upon them’. Nicolas Mariot argues (2011: 208–11), following this, that an acclamation is an institution in the sense that it does not require its participants to form an idea of its meaning, to believe in the cause acclaimed, or to fully partake in the jubilation they suppose others must feel, for them to join in and perform it. To applaud, stand up and shout ‘bravo’ in the theatre does not require an individual to experience an inner feeling of approval and then seek to find a way to express it. It is simply enough to perform the gestures and make the sounds of an existing, established practice – a social institution – to join in the public expression of joy, happiness or approval that is shared with other members of the audience. To participate in acclamation is to participate in a public rite that itself expresses a collective affect rather than search for an appropriate vehicle for individual or private feelings on 8/26/2019, 5:37:05 PM

quote Public opinion is the modern type of acclamation on 8/26/2019, 5:44:03 PM

cites Three Forms of Democratic Political Acclamation on 8/26/2019, 6:35:23 PM

references Carl Schmitt on 9/7/2019, 12:44:21 AM