Structural violence is the largest proximate cause of war- creates priming that psychologically structures escalation
Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois ‘4
(Prof of Anthropology @ Cal-Berkely; Prof of Anthropology @ UPenn)
(Nancy and Philippe, Introduction: Making Sense of Violence, in Violence in War and Peace, pg. 19-22)
This large and at first sight “messy” Part VII is central to this anthology’s thesis. It encompasses everything from the routinized, bureaucratized, and utterly banal violence of children dying of hunger and maternal despair in Northeast Brazil (Scheper-Hughes, Chapter 33) to elderly African Americans dying of heat stroke in Mayor Daly’s version of US apartheid in Chicago’s South Side (Klinenberg, Chapter 38) to the racialized class hatred expressed by British Victorians in their olfactory disgust of the “smelly” working classes (Orwell, Chapter 36). In these readings violence is located in the symbolic and social structures that overdetermine and allow the criminalized drug addictions, interpersonal bloodshed, and racially patterned incarcerations that characterize the US “inner city” to be normalized (Bourgois, Chapter 37 and Wacquant, Chapter 39). Violence also takes the form of class, racial, political self-hatred and adolescent self-destruction (Quesada, Chapter 35), as well as of useless (i.e. preventable), rawly embodied physical suffering, and death (Farmer, Chapter 34). Absolutely central to our approach is a blurring of categories and distinctions between wartime and peacetime violence. Close attention to the “little” violences produced in the structures, habituses, and mentalites of everyday life shifts our attention to pathologies of class, race, and gender inequalities. More important, it interrupts the voyeuristic tendencies of “violence studies” that risk publicly humiliating the powerless who are often forced into complicity with social and individual pathologies of power because suffering is often a solvent of human integrity and dignity. Thus, in this anthology we are positing a violence continuum comprised of a multitude of “small wars and invisible genocides” (see also Scheper- Hughes 1996; 1997; 2000b) conducted in the normative social spaces of public schools, clinics, emergency rooms, hospital wards, nursing homes, courtrooms, public registry offices, prisons, detention centers, and public morgues. The violence continuum also refers to the ease with which humans are capable of reducing the socially vulnerable into expendable nonpersons and assuming the license - even the duty - to kill, maim, or soul-murder. We realize that in referring to a violence and a genocide continuum we are flying in the face of a tradition of genocide studies that argues for the absolute uniqueness of the Jewish Holocaust and for vigilance with respect to restricted purist use of the term genocide itself (see Kuper 1985; Chaulk 1999; Fein 1990; Chorbajian 1999). But we hold an opposing and alternative view that, to the contrary, it is absolutely necessary to make just such existential leaps in purposefully linking violent acts in normal times to those of abnormal times. Hence the title of our volume: Violence in War and in Peace. If (as we concede) there is a moral risk in overextending the concept of “genocide” into spaces and corners of everyday life where we might not ordinarily think to find it (and there is), an even greater risk lies in failing to sensitize ourselves, in misrecognizing protogenocidal practices and sentiments daily enacted as normative behavior by “ordinary” good-enough citizens. Peacetime crimes, such as prison construction sold as economic development to impoverished communities in the mountains and deserts of California, or the evolution of the criminal industrial complex into the latest peculiar institution for managing race relations in the United States (Waquant, Chapter 39), constitute the “small wars and invisible genocides” to which we refer. This applies to African American and Latino youth mortality statistics in Oakland, California, Baltimore, Washington DC, and New York City. These are “invisible” genocides not because they are secreted away or hidden from view, but quite the opposite. As Wittgenstein observed, the things that are hardest to perceive are those which are right before our eyes and therefore taken for granted. In this regard, Bourdieu’s partial and unfinished theory of violence (see Chapters 32 and 42) as well as his concept of misrecognition is crucial to our task. By including the normative everyday forms of violence hidden in the minutiae of “normal” social practices - in the architecture of homes, in gender relations, in communal work, in the exchange of gifts, and so forth - Bourdieu forces us to reconsider the broader meanings and status of violence, especially the links between the violence of everyday life and explicit political terror and state repression, Similarly, Basaglia’s notion of “peacetime crimes” - crimini di pace - imagines a direct relationship between wartime and peacetime violence. Peacetime crimes suggests the possibility that war crimes are merely ordinary, everyday crimes of public consent applied systematically and dramatically in the extreme context of war. Consider the parallel uses of rape during peacetime and wartime, or the family resemblances between the legalized violence of US immigration and naturalization border raids on “illegal aliens” versus the US government- engineered genocide in 1938, known as the Cherokee “Trail of Tears.” Peacetime crimes suggests that everyday forms of state violence make a certain kind of domestic peace possible. Internal “stability” is purchased with the currency of peacetime crimes, many of which take the form of professionally applied “strangle-holds.” Everyday forms of state violence during peacetime make a certain kind of domestic “peace” possible. It is an easy-to-identify peacetime crime that is usually maintained as a public secret by the government and by a scared or apathetic populace. Most subtly, but no less politically or structurally, the phenomenal growth in the United States of a new military, postindustrial prison industrial complex has taken place in the absence of broad-based opposition, let alone collective acts of civil disobedience. The public consensus is based primarily on a new mobilization of an old fear of the mob, the mugger, the rapist, the Black man, the undeserving poor. How many public executions of mentally deficient prisoners in the United States are needed to make life feel more secure for the affluent? What can it possibly mean when incarceration becomes the “normative” socializing experience for ethnic minority youth in a society, i.e., over 33 percent of young African American men (Prison Watch 2002). In the end it is essential that we recognize the existence of a genocidal capacity among otherwise good-enough humans and that we need to exercise a defensive hypervigilance to the less dramatic, permitted, and even rewarded everyday acts of violence that render participation in genocidal acts and policies possible (under adverse political or economic conditions), perhaps more easily than we would like to recognize. Under the violence continuum we include, therefore, all expressions of radical social exclusion, dehumanization, depersonal- ization, pseudospeciation, and reification which normalize atrocious behavior and violence toward others. A constant self-mobilization for alarm, a state of constant hyperarousal is, perhaps, a reasonable response to Benjamin’s view of late modern history as a chronic “state of emergency” (Taussig, Chapter 31). We are trying to recover here the classic anagogic thinking that enabled Erving Goffman, Jules Henry, C. Wright Mills, and Franco Basaglia among other mid-twentieth-century radically critical thinkers, to perceive the symbolic and structural relations, i.e., between inmates and patients, between concentration camps, prisons, mental hospitals, nursing homes, and other “total institutions.” Making that decisive move to recognize the continuum of violence allows us to see the capacity and the willingness - if not enthusiasm - of ordinary people, the practical technicians of the social consensus, to enforce genocidal-like crimes against categories of rubbish people. There is no primary impulse out of which mass violence and genocide are born, it is ingrained in the common sense of everyday social life. The mad, the differently abled, the mentally vulnerable have often fallen into this category of the unworthy living, as have the very old and infirm, the sick-poor, and, of course, the despised racial, religious, sexual, and ethnic groups of the moment. Erik Erikson referred to “pseudo- speciation” as the human tendency to classify some individuals or social groups as less than fully human - a prerequisite to genocide and one that is carefully honed during the unremark- able peacetimes that precede the sudden, “seemingly unintelligible” outbreaks of mass violence. Collective denial and misrecognition are prerequisites for mass violence and genocide. But so are formal bureaucratic structures and professional roles. The practical technicians of everyday violence in the backlands of Northeast Brazil (Scheper-Hughes, Chapter 33), for example, include the clinic doctors who prescribe powerful tranquilizers to fretful and frightfully hungry babies, the Catholic priests who celebrate the death of “angel-babies,” and the municipal bureaucrats who dispense free baby coffins but no food to hungry families. Everyday violence encompasses the implicit, legitimate, and routinized forms of violence inherent in particular social, economic, and political formations. It is close to what Bourdieu (1977, 1996) means by “symbolic violence,” the violence that is often “nus-recognized” for something else, usually something good. Everyday violence is similar to what Taussig (1989) calls “terror as usual.” All these terms are meant to reveal a public secret - the hidden links between violence in war and violence in peace, and between war crimes and “peace-time crimes.” Bourdieu (1977) finds domination and violence in the least likely places - in courtship and marriage, in the exchange of gifts, in systems of classification, in style, art, and culinary taste- the various uses of culture. Violence, Bourdieu insists, is everywhere in social practice. It is misrecognized because its very everydayness and its familiarity render it invisible. Lacan identifies “rneconnaissance” as the prerequisite of the social. The exploitation of bachelor sons, robbing them of autonomy, independence, and progeny, within the structures of family farming in the European countryside that Bourdieu escaped is a case in point (Bourdieu, Chapter 42; see also Scheper-Hughes, 2000b; Favret-Saada, 1989). Following Gramsci, Foucault, Sartre, Arendt, and other modern theorists of power-vio- lence, Bourdieu treats direct aggression and physical violence as a crude, uneconomical mode of domination; it is less efficient and, according to Arendt (1969), it is certainly less legitimate. While power and symbolic domination are not to be equated with violence - and Arendt argues persuasively that violence is to be understood as a failure of power - violence, as we are presenting it here, is more than simply the expression of illegitimate physical force against a person or group of persons. Rather, we need to understand violence as encompassing all forms of “controlling processes” (Nader 1997b) that assault basic human freedoms and individual or collective survival. Our task is to recognize these gray zones of violence which are, by definition, not obvious. Once again, the point of bringing into the discourses on genocide everyday, normative experiences of reification, depersonalization, institutional confinement, and acceptable death is to help answer the question: What makes mass violence and genocide possible? In this volume we are suggesting that mass violence is part of a continuum, and that it is socially incremental and often experienced by perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders - and even by victims themselves - as expected, routine, even justified. The preparations for mass killing can be found in social sentiments and institutions from the family, to schools, churches, hospitals, and the military. They harbor the early “warning signs” (Charney 1991), the “priming” (as Hinton, ed., 2002 calls it), or the “genocidal continuum” (as we call it) that push social consensus toward devaluing certain forms of human life and lifeways from the refusal of social support and humane care to vulnerable “social parasites” (the nursing home elderly, “welfare queens,” undocumented immigrants, drug addicts) to the militarization of everyday life (super-maximum-security prisons, capital punishment; the technologies of heightened personal security, including the house gun and gated communities; and reversed feelings of victimization).
**Answers no root cause- because there is no root cause we must be attentative to structural inequality of all kinds because it primes people for broader violence- our impact is about the scale of violence and the disproportionate relationship between that scale and warfare, not that one form of social exclusion comes first
You should privilege everyday violence for two reasons- A) social bias underrepresents its effects B) its effects are exponential, not linear which means even if the only causes a small amount of structural violence, its terminal impacts are huge
(Rob, Rachel Carson Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, pgs. 2-3)
Three primary concerns animate this book, chief among them my conviction that we urgently need to rethink-politically, imaginatively, and theoretically-what I call "slow violence." By slow violence I mean a violence that occurs gradually and out of sight, a violence of delayed destruction that is dispersed across time and space, an attritional violence that is typically not viewed as violence at all. Violence is customarily conceived as an event or action that is immediate in time, explosive and spectacular in space, and as erupting into instant sensational visibility. We need, I believe, to engage a different kind of violence, a violence that is neither spectacular nor instantaneous, but rather incremental and accretive, its calamitous repercussions playing out across a range of temporal scales. In so doing, we also need to engage the representational, narrative, and strategic challenges posed by the relative invisibility of slow violence. Climate change, the thawing cryosphere, toxic drift, biomagnification, deforestation, the radioactive aftermaths of wars, acidifying oceans, and a host of other slowly unfolding environmental catastrophes present formidable representational obstacles that can hinder our efforts to mobilize and act decisively. The long dyings-the staggered and staggeringly discounted casualties, both human and ecological that result from war's toxic aftermaths or climate change-are underrepresented in strategic planning as well as in human memory. Had Summers advocated invading Africa with weapons of mass destruction, his proposal would have fallen under conventional definitions of violence and been perceived as a military or even an imperial invasion. Advocating invading countries with mass forms of slow-motion toxicity, however, requires rethinking our accepted assumptions of violence to include slow violence. Such a rethinking requires that we complicate conventional assumptions about violence as a highly visible act that is newsworthy because it is event focused, time bound, and body bound. We need to account for how the temporal dispersion of slow violence affects the way we perceive and respond to a variety of social afflictions-from domestic abuse to posttraumatic stress and, in particular, environmental calamities. A major challenge is representational: how to devise arresting stories, images, and symbols adequate to the pervasive but elusive violence of delayed effects. Crucially, slow violence is often not just attritional but also exponential, operating as a major threat multiplier; it can fuel long-term, proliferating conflicts in situations where the conditions for sustaining life become increasingly but gradually degraded.
Prioritizing everyday violence is key- responding to it later causes error replication and movement burn out, only re-orienting focus away from macro-level violence produces sustainable political coalitions
(Chris, Prof. of Political Science @ U of Cincinnati, “War is not just an event: reflections on the significance of everyday violence”, Hypatia, vol. 11, no. 4 Fall (1994))
Theory that does not investigate or even notice the omnipresence of militarism cannot represent or address the depth and specificity of the everyday effects of militarism on women, on people living in occupied territories, on members of military institutions, and on the environment. These effects are relevant to feminists in a number of ways because military practices and institutions help construct gendered and national identity, and because they justify the destruction of natural nonhuman entities and communities during peacetime. Lack of attention to these aspects of the business of making or preventing military violence in an extremely technologized world results in theory that cannot accommodate the connections among the constant presence of militarism, declared wars, and other closely related social phenomena, such as nationalistic glorifications of motherhood, media violence, and current ideological gravitations to military solutions for social problems. Ethical approaches that do not attend to the ways in which warfare and military practices are woven into the very fabric of life in twenty-first century technological states lead to crisis-based politics and analyses. For any feminism that aims to resist oppression and create alternative social and political options, crisis-based ethics and politics are problematic because they distract attention from the need for sustained resistance to the enmeshed, omnipresent systems of domination and oppression that so often function as givens in most people's lives. Neglecting the omnipresence of militarism allows the false belief that the absence of declared armed conflicts is peace, the polar opposite of war. It is particularly easy for those whose lives are shaped by the safety of privilege, and who do not regularly encounter the realities of militarism, to maintain this false belief. The belief that militarism is an ethical, political concern only regarding armed conflict, creates forms of resistance to militarism that are merely exercises in crisis control. Antiwar resistance is then mobilized when the "real" violence finally occurs, or when the stability of privilege is directly threatened, and at that point it is difficult not to respond in ways that make resisters drop all other political priorities. Crisis-driven attention to declarations of war might actually keep resisters complacent about and complicitous in the general presence of global militarism. Seeing war as necessarily embedded in constant military presence draws attention to the fact that horrific, state-sponsored violence is happening nearly all over, all of the time, and that it is perpetrated by military institutions and other militaristic agents of the state.
The Affirmative’s fear of nuclear war merely recreates Cold War knowledge production making escalation of conflict inevitable
Masco (Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Chicago) 6
(Joseph, The Nuclear Borderlands: The Manhattan Project in Post-Cold War New Mexico, pg. 16-7)
For Cold Warriors, the phantasmagoria of nuclear conflict provoked an imagination that was prolific, resolutely conjuring up, and then institutionally preparing for, the very worst: here one might point to the constant overestimation of the nature of the Soviet nuclear threat by U.S. government officials (i.e., the “bomber gaps” of the 1950s and the “missile gaps” of the 19605 and 19805; see York 1970). In an imaginative economy of terror, the hyperstimulation of the psyche offered by the possibility of annihilation can only be maintained by expanding the degree of threat; hence, the constant acceleration and improvement in the means of destruction far beyond what was useful for a nuclear deterrent. This can also be seen in American Cold War projects that were less central but perhaps more clearly reveal the totalizing scope of the national security mind-set. Take, for instance. the twenty-four year, multimillion-dollar CIA investigation into the military uses of psychics, an energetic response to signs of Soviet interest in the paranormal.” Here, the imaginative economy of the Cold War is revealed to operate not only at the level of military-industrial technology but also in, perhaps, its truer register, the technology of the mind itself. For just as psychics purport to know the future and to make manifest their desires directly through mental prowess, so too did the apocalyptic mirror-imaging between national security states enable Cold Warriors on each side to see their own worst fears manifested in the other, allowing a constant escalation and acceleration of risk. We begin to see here how a global circuit of imaginative exchange supported the Cold War nuclear economy, a psychically charged space of desire and expectation allowing Cold Warriors in the United States and the Soviet Union to “iden- tify” a world of constantly expanding technological terror-a nuclear phantasmagoria—and then set about making that world manifest through a process of international mirror-imaging, misrecogninon, and technophilia. While the nuclear phantasmagoria was undoubtedly instrumental in consolidating certain national projects in the United States during the Cold War,16 one unexpected development is the ease with which citizens now turn an apocalyptic imagination on the government itself, engendering in the post-Cold War period what some have called a “paranoid public sphere.” where a kind of “ambient fear” and conspiratorial sub- text seems to inform much of public life.” The Manhattan Project, in fact, now exists for many citizens as a prototype for a kind of secretive govemmentaliry taken to be axiomatic of modern life, one in which world-changing national projects are only visible in their permanent effects. A suspicion that a secret master-narrative is operating beneath the surface of everyday life is an important Cold War after-image in the United States, one that now informs how many citizens engage (or disengage from) their government. For the post-Cold War period has brought forth a series of revelations about the kinds of national sacrifices that U.S. citizens were unwittingly subjected to in the name of “national security” during the Cold War. Revelations about environmental con- tamination of an unprecedented magnitude, of secret plutonium experi- ments on citizens, of atmospheric releases of nuclear materials to test fallout patterns over the United States, have all problemitized the purity of the Cold War narrative about the “security” enabled by the nuclear complex. We might now interrogate how the overstimulation of the body produced by an all-or-nothing Cold War cosmology, in which the world was always only minutes away from total annihilation, has mutated; how an addiction to the drama of everyday life in the Cold War-the flooding of the senses enabled by the nuclear phantasmagoria---could be unmoored, transforming into something else, in which the government as readily plays the villain. In any case, the U.S. nuclear complex can only appear to be banal because an enormous national-cultural project has worked to make it so, transforming human senses while deflecting attention away from the multitudinous effects of a nuclear economy on everyday lives. These effects have nothing to do with geopolitical strategy as traditionally conceived, or necessarily with a global apocalypse, but have everything to do with how individuals experience a national and a global sphere, in the context of a lived, localized existence.
Pinker’s analysis is useless- entirely ignores role of population growth, which accounts for all of the change he cites
Julian Flynn, Financial Times, “Angel thesis hangs on overpopulation,” December 7, 2011, http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/30bf527c-1cfb-11e1-a134-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1h1lHx8gS
Sir, Gideon Rachman’s article “The long shadow of the 1930s” (Comment, November 29) refers to Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, which makes the case that, statistically, humans have become less violent over the course of history. Mr Pinker deals with percentages of the global population. For example, his book states that the second world war ranks as only the ninth worst atrocity in history. Because he deals with percentages of the global population, his thesis absolutely depends on the exponential overpopulation of our species. The total of 50m-plus second world war dead only seems “smaller” because of the exponential growth of the human population. Mr Pinker’s “let’s be grateful for what’s gone right” message depends entirely on another issue (rampant overpopulation) which is an extremely serious sword of Damocles hanging over our planet.
AT World Getting Better – Link
This is a new link – neoliberalism has cloaked social injustice to undercut action based on shared responsibility
Professor @ McMaster University in the English and Cultural Studies Department
Henry, “Gated Intellectuals and Ignorance in Political Life: Toward a Borderless Pedagogy in the Occupy Movement,” http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8009-gated-intellectuals-and-ignorance-in-political-life-toward-a-borderless-pedagogy-in-the-occupy-movement
Neoliberalism or market fundamentalism as it is called in some quarters and its army of supporters cloak their interests in an appeal to "common sense," while doing everything possible to deny climate change, massive inequalities, a political system hijacked by big money and corporations, the militarization of everyday life and the corruption of civic culture by a consumerist and celebrity-driven advertising machine. The financial elite, the 1 percent and the hedge fund sharks have become the highest-paid social magicians in America. They perform social magic by making the structures and power relations of racism, inequality, homelessness, poverty and environmental degradation disappear. And in doing so, they employ deception by seizing upon a stripped-down language of choice, freedom, enterprise and self-reliance - all of which works to personalize responsibility, collapse social problems into private troubles and reconfigure the claims for social and economic justice on the part of workers, poor minorities of color, women and young people as a species of individual complaint. But this deceptive strategy does more. It also substitutes shared responsibilities for a culture of diminishment, punishment and cruelty. The social is now a site of combat, infused with a live-for-oneself mentality and a space where a responsibility toward others is now gleefully replaced by an ardent, narrow and inflexible responsibility only for oneself. When the effects of structural injustice become obscured by a discourse of individual failure, human misery and misfortune, they are no longer the objects of compassion, but of scorn and derision. In recent weeks, we have witnessed Rush Limbaugh call Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute"; US Marines captured on video urinating on the dead bodies of Afghanistan soldiers; and the public revelation by Greg Smith, a Goldman Sachs trader, that the company was so obsessed with making money that it cheated and verbally insulted its own clients, often referring to them as "muppets."(2) There is also the mass misogyny of right-wing extremists directed against women's reproductive rights, which Maureen Dowd rightly calls an attempt by "Republican men to wrestle American women back into chastity belts."(3) These are not unconnected blemishes on the body of neoliberal capitalism. They are symptomatic of an infected political and economic system that has lost touch with any vestige of decency, justice and ethics.
AT Inequality Low Now
Politico Reporter Mackenzie, “Wealth gap widening in U.S., globally, report says,” http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/69803.html#ixzz1qTqJ62Q6
The gap between the rich and the poor isn’t just widening in the United States - it has hit its highest level in more than 30 years in the world’s wealthiest countries.
According to an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development report released Monday, income inequality is on the rise in the United States and most other developed countries. The average income of the richest 10 percent across developed countries is about nine times more than that of the poorest 10 percent of the population in those countries, the report found. The U.S. — where the Occupy Wall Street movement exploded to protest the disparity between the richest 1 percent and the remaining 99 percent — ranks in with the fourth-highest inequality level, coming after Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Overall, the report stated, inequality among U.S. workers has risen by 25 percent since 1980. Around the world, income inequality grew in 17 of the 22 OECD countries, the report stated. It rose by more than four percentage points in Finland, Germany, Israel, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Sweden and the U.S., while falling in Greece and Turkey. The gap remained stable in France, Hungary and Belgium. The OECD report recommended that governments combat the issue of income inequality by reviewing their tax systems, creating more jobs and investing in human capital. “The social contract is starting to unravel in many countries,” OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said, according to a press release. “This study dispels the assumptions that the benefits of economic growth will automatically trickle down to the disadvantaged and that greater inequality fosters greater social mobility. Without a comprehensive strategy for inclusive growth, inequality will continue to rise.” And it’s a good time to be part of the U.S.’s one percent: The top earners have more than doubled their share of the national income between 1980 and 2008, moving from 8 percent to 18 percent. And those in the U.S. that make it into the richest one percent typically stay there — only 25 percent drop back into the 99 percent, according to the report. But for anyone in the bottom 10 percent of full-time workers in the U.S., things continue to get worse: The gap between them and the wealthiest jumped by almost one-third, more than in most other developed countries, the OECD found.
Neoliberalism hides inequality by throwing all of the Black males in jail
PhD Candidate in Criminology @ Cambridge
Johann, “Inequality and Criminal Justice II: Neoliberal Penality,” http://www.thephronetics.com/2012/01/inequality-and-criminal-justice-ii.html
Here’s a possible answer. In a fabulous book critiquing the genesis and development of neoliberal thought, the University of Chicago’s Bernard Harcourt has tried to reconcile what seems like an unusual divergence of principle: he asks how America’s professedly neoliberal government, which espouses minimalist intervention in the lives of its citizens (recall Bill Clinton’s famous claim that “the era of big government is over”) manages simultaneously to justify enormous government intervention in the penal sphere. America maintains the largest prison system in the developed world, and it does so without sensing any contradiction. This is due in large part to the Enlightenment belief in “natural order” proposed by a coterie of French thinkers who styled themselves as the “Physiocrats”. This idea was then refined by the Chicago School in the 1960s in order to arrive at the system of governmental dualism that we have today: one standard of governing is appropriate for economic matters, and a different standard applies when dealing with penal matters. Forgive the lengthy quotation, but the summary is apt: It’s the messianic belief in natural order in economics—in spontaneous order, as Friedrich von Hayek called it—or today in the efficiency of free markets, conjoined with a faith in strong government to deal with those who are outside the natural order—who are out-of-order, or disorderly. It’s the combination of those two paradoxical tenets—of government incompetence when it comes to regulating the economy and government competence when it comes to policing and punishing—that links these thinkers… For both the Physiocrats and the Chicago School, there is an orderly inside but also an outside—and for those outside, there is the iron fist of the state. The Physiocrats called for “legal despotism.” “The only object of man-made, positive law is to punish severely men whose passions are out-of-order,” Quesnay wrote in 1767. These two paradoxical tenets were joined together for the Physiocrats, and you can hear it well, again, in Quesnay: “All that is required for the prosperity of a nation is to allow men to freely cultivate the earth to the greatest possible success, and to preserve society from thieves and rogues [“des voleurs et des méchants”]. The first task is governed by self-interest; the second is ensured by civil government.” Looking back at Quesnay’s writings offers us a kind of recul—a French term for stepping back to see better—on how the idea of natural order would evolve into the invisible hand and laissez-faire, later into spontaneous order, and ultimately into a theory of free markets. By the same token, it lets us see better how the idea of legal despotism evolved into a theory of the state as “night watchman,” into Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon prison, and finally into Richard Posner’s argument that the “major function of criminal law in a capitalist society” is to prevent “market-bypassing.” This neoliberal ‘double standard of government’ advocating state intervention in the penal sphere while eschewing intervention in market activity is central in my mind to understanding not just Harcourt’s thesis about where governmental intrusion is appropriate, but also why social inequality in the penal system is acceptable to adherents of neoliberalism. As Harcourt notes, some of the early liberal conceptions of appropriate state intervention were a distortion of its authors’ beliefs in significant ways: Cesare Beccaria, for example, who is credited with originating many of the cameralist arguments in favour of a strong police state, was also an impassioned proponent of state intervention in economic matters, too. However, his views on economics were conveniently overlooked in the early formation of classical liberalism. Similarly, some of the key arguments proposed by Rousseau about social inequality were either neglected or dismissed by the Physiocrats in their dogged pursuit of “legal despotism” and the belief in natural order. While Rousseau contended that all social inequalities were a product of man’s laws and therefore could (and indeed should) be rectified by legal intervention, Mercier (who was the intendant of Martinique) believed entirely to the contrary. Mercier adamantly refused to concede that social inequalities were the result of anything but the inherent rank ordering of man’s initial condition – in this respect, Mercier represented the triumph of Aristotelian principles of natural inequality. Ultimately, Mercier and the Physiocrats prevailed, and Rousseau’s belief in the state’s obligation to eradicate systemic inequality (especially in the penal sphere where state intervention was condoned) dissipated. Fast forward to today, and we have a pastiche of different sets of beliefs concerning neoliberalism that have evolved over the intervening years since the Physiocrats. This pastiche borrows certain elements from some parts of liberal traditions, but foregoes other elements in order to arrive at a systemic worldview that happily elides what would otherwise be a source of acute cognitive dissonance. We accept the notion of state incompetence in matters economic, and laissez-faire free market policies have triumphed as a result. At the same time, we have been persuaded into subscribing to the iron fist of governmental penalism in dealing with all those who fall outside of, or disrupt, the operation of the rules of the market. If man’s natural condition predisposes certain categories or types of people to that form of state supervision, then so be it. This brings us back to the 2012 election, and the question of why social inequality in the criminal justice system isn’t more salient a concern than we might suppose. In reality the neoliberal agenda, including a commitment to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’, entails no commitment whatsoever to ensuring social equality. The Physiocratic belief in man’s natural social inequality disposed of Rousseau’s belief in the government’s responsibility to assuage that inequality on the simple basis that doing so would necessitate eradicating civil society in its entirety. We have been left with a political philosophy that successfully reconciles two ideas that are, rather than being contradictory, in fact entirely compatible with one another: the belief in every man’s “freedom to pursue life’s goals” on the one hand, and the repeated, systemic targeting of one slice of the population for criminal justice institutionalization on the other. So why aren’t the presidential candidates suffering from an acute cognitive dissonance? The answer is simple: sadly, the overrepresentation of uneducated black males in the prison system is a feature of neoliberal penality, and not a bug.
AT War Declining Now
Editor of History Today Kathryn, “Alarming increase in wars,” July, http://www.historytoday.com/blog/2011/07/alarming-increase-wars
New research by Professors Mark Harrison from the University of Warwick and Nikolaus Wolf from Humboldt University has revealed that between 1870 and 2001, the frequency of wars between states increased steadily by 2% a year on average. Between 1870 and 1913, the frequency of ‘pairwise’ conflicts (the numbers of pairs of countries involved in conflicts) increased on average by 6% per year. The frequency of wars increased by 17% per year in the period of the First and Second World Wars, and by 31% per year during the Cold War. In the 1990s, the frequency of wars between states rose by 36% per year. Professor Mark Harrison explained how: ‘The number of conflicts has been rising on a stable trend. Because of two world wars, the pattern is obviously disturbed between 1914 and 1945 but remarkably, after 1945 the frequency of wars resumed its upward course on pretty much the same path as before 1913.’ The graph below illustrates this increase in pairwise conflicts. It only includes wars between states and does not include civil wars. Conflicts range from full-scale shooting wars and uses of military force to displays of force (sending warships and closing borders, for example). Although Harrison and Wolf’s study does not measure the intensity of violence, it reflects the readiness of governments to settle disputes by force.
Neoliberalism creates a shift to internal warfare – their data ignores hunger as a modality of warfare and is excessively macropolitical
(Jasmin, M.A. candidate in Sociology at York University, Toronto, Freedom and Democracy or Hunger and Terror: Neoliberalism and Militarization in Latin America, Social Justice, Vol. 32, 2005, questia)
IN LATIN AMERICA, THE PROCESS OF CONCENTRATING WEALTH WITH WEALTH AND poverty with poverty began 500 years ago, but it has dramatically accelerated in the last 25 years under neoliberal policies. Latin American countries that followed the free-market prescription and inserted themselves fully into the global economy in the expectation that freedom and democracy would ensue found such promises to be chimera fabricated by the preachers of market liberalization. Real freedom under neoliberalism is enjoyed only by capital. Large sectors of society are denied basic human rights and dignity, while local elites allied with transnational companies have grown stronger, as has the determination to eliminate all remaining barriers to capital's search for resources, cheap labor, and markets. As millions are born, live, and die in the wreckage left by neoliberalism's plunder, the elite version of democracy counsels the hungry to patiently wait for wealth to trickle-down to them. Such democracy offers citizens the freedom to choose whether to spend their income on clean water, medicine, or food, to sell their dignity, or to become an "internal enemy." The promise of democracy by those seeking to maintain their unchallenged privileges translates into increased repression and violence against those who stand up for social justice and the protection of life. The neoliberal model is based on the assertion that poverty is best alleviated by opening societies to market-based competition, since an unregulated free market promotes economic growth and a democratic and just development process. Most Latin American countries have adopted this model and have experienced it for over two decades. Much evidence now suggests that this economic system produces poverty, aggravates existing poverty and inequality, impedes social development by turning human rights into commodities, and destroys sustainable livelihoods by granting corporations unprecedented rights and freedoms (Hristov, 2004). Fantu Cheru, an independent expert on the effects of structural adjustment policies (SAPs) on human rights, concluded that SAPs--a primary component of the neoliberal agenda--represent a political project of social transformation at the global level that aims to make the world safe for multinational corporations (MNCs). These policies reduce the role of the state in national development, erode the social welfare of the poor, and deny their economic, social, and cultural rights (Singh, 1999). Since it is unresponsive to the needs of the majority, the continued existence of neoliberalism requires a political counterpart capable of suppressing opposition to it. "The modern army of financial capital and corrupt governments advances in the only way it is capable of: destroying" (EZLN, 1998a: 12). This explains the emergence of war not between countries, but within them, waged by states against the poor (the majority of their populations). The weapons in such wars go beyond hunger to include military dimensions.