The agents of biomass

There were days in the 70s when studying a subject at university and participating in a cultural and social revolution seemed like one and the same thing. When you were studying something like biology there was nothing the least bit strange in the fact that `biomass' became political student slang for the mass of biology students who constantly had to be `mobilized' against the bourgeoisie's reactionary measures directed against the experimental Roskilde University, university Marxism, long student careers and other benefits of the new society. And it seemed quite a matter of course that the biomass could not itself be a revolutionary subject, so it had to be mobilized from without, by the party or the `critical' avant-garde. I don't want to gloat over the romantic revolutionary naiveté of the period - plenty of others do that, although one is unlikely to understand history through irony and condemnation. But in this particular context the thought of the mobilizable mass came up again. Perhaps the very notion of masses - very generally - involves the idea that masses must be without a will of their own, or if they have one, that it is at any rate not very rational and must be given some..
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