Sunday, 19 December 2010

the thin fluorescent line/ kettled at the palace 30.11.10

Labour of Dyonisus: Weak subjects and the politics of avoidance.

In the development of the postmodern liberal argument State power is not exerted according to what Foucault calls a disciplinary paradigm […]. State power here does not involve the exposure and subjugation of social subjects as part of an effort to engage, mediate, and organise conflictual forces within the limits of order. The thin state avoids such engagement: this is what characterises its “liberal” politics. […]

The liberal notion of tolerance coincides here perfectly with the decidedly illiberal mechanism of exclusion. The thin state of postmodern liberalism appears, in effect, as a refinement and extension of the German tradition of the science of the police. The police are necessary to afford the system abstraction and isolation: the “thin blue line” delimits the boundaries of what will be accepted as inputs in the system of rule. […]

The crucial development presented by the postmodern Polizeiwissenschaft, is that now society is not infiltrated and engaged, but separated and controlled: not a disciplinary society but a pacified society of control. The police function creates and maintains a pacified society, or the image of a pacified society, by preventing the incidence of conflicts on the machine of equilibrium. […]

The method of avoidance then carries implicitly a postmodern Polizeiwissenschaft that effectively, and in practical terms, abstracts the system from the field of potential conflicts, thus allowing the system to order an efficient, administred society.

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