Thursday, February 4, 2010

Inequality and Repression

The site, Economists View, discusses how inequality leads to the waste of labor on policing resistance.

Likewise, Althusser described "repressive state apparatuses" that that are used to repress dissent in unequal societies.

The growing use of repressive policing domestically (see the ACLU for examples) points to societal ruptures and contradictions because overt repression is actually the least effective, and therefore last resort, for control.

Growing use of force means that the dominant narratives used to explain the status quo no longer have legitimacy for ever larger sectors of the population.

Societies experiencing crises of legitimacy are headed for social/political upheaval.

I believe the U.S. is experience a legitimacy crisis. More and more of the population have lost the capacity to experience pieces of the "American dream," the dominant legitimacy narrative.

Angry and dispossessed populations resist. Resistance breeds force. Force confirms the societal ruptures and contradictions, therefore leading to greater resistance.

What is concerning is uncertainty about the forms resistance takes. Powerful, undemocratic forces within society are eager to orchestrate and channel popular resistance. Think of Hitler. Think of Mussolini.

I am concerned that the societal dislocations will produce fascist forms of resistance rather than more democratic ones....

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