imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

From the Constitutional State to the Security State

by Giorgio Agamben Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016 at 4:40 AM
marc1seed@yahoo.com

The state of emergency is that arrangement by which totalitarian powers were established in Europe...These three characteristics of the security state-maintaining a generalized state of anxiety, depolitization of citizens and renunciation on any legal certainty-should make us think.

FROM THE CONSTITUTIONAL STATE TO THE SECURITY STATE



By Giorgio Agamben



[This article published in April 2016 in Luxemburg 1/2016 is translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.zeitschrift-luxemburg.de.]



What really is at stake in extending the state of emergency in France [1] can only be understood when this is set in the context of a radical transformation of our familiar state model. Firstly, the statement of an irresponsible politician that the state of emergency supposedly protects democracy should be rejected. History has shown that the opposite is true. The state of emergency is that arrangement by which totalitarian powers were established in Europe. So the social democratic governments [2] of the Weimar Republic often fell back to the instrument of the state of emergency in the years before Hitler’s assumption of power. Germany had already stopped being a parliamentary democracy before 1933.



Hitler’s first official act after his nomination (to Reich chancellor) was the proclamation of the state of emergency that was never retracted (during the NS rule). If one is amazed at the crimes committed with impunity in Germany by the Nazis, one forgets that these actions were absolutely “legal” because the land was subjected to a state of emergency and basic rights and freedom rights were suspended.



Such a scenario could be repeated in France. A rightwing extremist government can be easily imagined that makes use of a state of emergency to which the socialist government accustomed citizens. A fast and permanent damage of the public institutions can occur in a country under a permanent state of emergency where police operations increasingly replace the powers of the judiciary.



KEEPING FEAR ALIVE



This is all the more true when the state of emergency is part of a process where western democracies are changed into something that must be described as a security state. The word security has become a constant element of political discourse. So-called reasons of security (raisons de securite) replace what was earlier called the reason of the state (raison d’ etat). An analysis of this new form of government is overdue. Reflections on a possible definition are important since the security state is neither part of the constitutional state nor what Michel Foucault called the disciplinary society. In the model of the Brit Thomas Hobbes that has greatly influenced our political philosophy; the social contract with which power is transferred to the sovereign presupposes mutual fear and the war of all against all. The state is the institution that ends this fear. This pattern is reversed in the security state. The state is permanently grounded on fear and must keep fear alive at any cost because it has its essential function and legitimacy from it.



Preventing catastrophes and famines was not uppermost when the word security first appeared in the political discourse in France with the Physiocrat governments before the French Revolution. [3] Rather these were allowed and were made themes of profitable government actions.



Security does not aim at preventing terrorist acts (which is extremely difficult if not impossible since security measures are only effective afterwards and terrorism by its nature strikes again and again in different ways). Instead a new relation between persons is produced that consists of a generalized and boundless monitoring. That is the reason for institutions that allow a complete control of the population’s electronic and communication data including the complete copying of all computer data. [4]



The first risk consists in drifting into a state where terrorism and the security state enter in a symbiotic relationship. When the state needs fear to gain legitimacy, it has to provoke terror in the extreme case or at least not hinder its genesis. One only needs to consider the foreign policy of some countries that fuel terrorism which then must fought internally. When weapons are sold to these states, they become known as terrorist organizations.



A second point is the change of the political status of citizens and the people who were considered bearers of sovereignty. In the security state, an unstoppable tendency aims at an increasing de-politization of citizens. Their participation in political life is reduced more and more to inclusion in public opinion polls on the eve of elections. This tendency was all the more alarming when it was cast in theoretical form by Nazi jurists. They defined the people as a politically powerless element whose protection and growth had to be guaranteed by the state.



According to these lawyers, there is only a single method for helping this politically powerless element have a political effect: by referring to common origin and race distinguishing them from foreigners and enemies. The Nazi state and the contemporary security state should not be equated. When citizens are de-politicized, they can only be freed from their passivity and mobilized by the fear of a foreign enemy who is not merely external to them (this is true for Jews in Germany and for Muslims in France today).



UNCERTAINTY AND TERROR



On this background, the disgraceful bills on the decheance de nationalite (expatriation) for persons with double citizenship must be considered. The 1926 fascist law on rescinding Italian citizenship for “unworthy citizens” and the Nazi laws on expatriating the Jews should be recalled. [5]



A third point that may not be underrated involves the criteria according to which truth is produced today in the public sphere. A radical shift has occurred here…



The fact of a crime can only be officially ascertained in a constitutional state with the help of a legal procedure… Sometimes rumors and gossip seem more important than serious findings. The security state has an interest in keeping people in uncertainty as to what threatens them. Uncertainty and terror go hand in hand. [6] The security state has to ensure their security.



The legal text of November 20, 2015 that established the present state of emergency in France is marked by vagueness. [7] Special arrangements are in force for “any person whose conduct represents a threat for public security and order.” This arbitrariness could refer to any person at any moment. In a security state, vague targeted formulations become the norm even though they are always criticized by lawyers as violations of the principle of legal certainty.



DE-POLITIZATION OF CITIZENS



The same vagueness and the same ambiguities mark statements of politicians who say France is “at war against terrorism.” The talk of a “war on terrorism” is a contradiction in itself because the state of war includes identifying a combative enemy. In contrast, the enemy must remain oblique in the security state so whoever can be defined this way – internally or externally – doesn’t matter.



These three characteristics of the security state – maintaining a generalized state of anxiety, de-politization of citizens and renunciation on any legal certainty – should make us think. The security state to which we are moving does the opposite of what it promises. While security means the absence of worry (Latin sine cura – without worry – as the root for the French word securite), the security state foments permanent fear and terror. The security state is a police state that increases the police’s freedom of decision by suspending the power of the judiciary. The state of emergency that becomes daily routine and acts as the sovereign more and more becomes the normal case.

The security state breaks out of familiar politics to move to an indeterminate zone where public and private whose borders are hard to define become ever more blurred – through the increasing de-politization of citizens. This article first appeared on December 23, 2015 in the Le Monde journal.



NOTES

1 Inzwischen wurde der Ausnahmezustand erneut bis Ende Mai 2016 verlängert (Anm. d. Ü.).

2 Agamben meint hier eher die Brüning- und die nachfolgenden Regierungen in den Jahren von 1930 bis Anfang 1933, die jedoch zur bürgerlichen Rechten zählten. Zwar hatte die SPD den sogenannten Blutmai am 1. Mai 1929 in Berlin zu verantworten, aber die Notverordnungskabinette waren keine SPDRegierungen (Anm. d. Ü.).

3 Es handelt sich um eine ökonomische Schule, die um 1768 entstand und von 1774 bis 1781 den Generalkontrolleur der Finanzen des Königs stellte (Anm. d. Ü).

4 Diese Praxis war bei den über 3 000 Hausdurchsuchungen außerhalb richterlicher Kontrolle, die auf der Grundlage des Ausnahmezustandsgesetzes seit Mitte November 2015 durchgeführt wurden, zunächst gang und gäbe, wurde jedoch als einzige Maßnahme am 19. Februar 2016 vom französischen Verfassungsgericht in der bisherigen Form für unzulässig erklärt (Anm. d. Ü.).

5 Die französische Regierung plant, die bereits bisher in rechtlich engen Grenzen mögliche Ausbürgerung von DoppelstaatbürgerInnen auf weitere Personenkreise auszudehnen. Voraussetzung dafür wäre eine Verurteilung wegen »Verbrechen oder Vergehen, die fundamentale Interessen der Nation verletzen«. Der Gesetzentwurf dazu wurde in erster Lesung am 10. Februar 2016 in der Nationalversammlung angenommen. Er bedarf jedoch einer noch ausstehenden Verfassungsänderung, um rechtskräftig zu werden (Anm. d. Ü.).

6 Hier auch im ursprünglichen Wortsinne von Schrecken gemeint (Anm.d.Ü.).

7 Gemeint ist das Gesetz, mit dem das französische Parlament den Ausnahmezustand für die Periode vom 26. November 2015 bis zum 26. Februar 2016 erstmals verlängert hat (Anm. d. Ü.).

8 So bedarf es nach geltendem Ausnahmezustand keinerlei richterlichen Kontrolle mehr etwa im Vorfeld von Hausdurchsuchungen oder bei der Verhängung von Hausarrest (Anm. d. Ü.).

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy