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

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 12:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 12:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 4:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J10 11:58PM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M30 10:20PM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 12:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 1:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 2:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 3:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 2:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 1:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 1:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 4:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 1:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A26 10:37PM

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

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

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Asian Countries:Cambodia, Vietnam, N. Korea do not permit unlawful immigration J16 8:06PM

Children Incorporated Earns 4-Star Rating on Charity Navigator J16 11:24AM

Democratic Socialists of America J14 4:57PM

Leonard Peltier Non Violent Native American Political Prisoner since 1970's J14 4:18PM

Paraphysique miscellanées de l'aggiornamento J14 12:54AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Cleanup J13 4:14PM

FBI Investigated LA County Sheriff Baca,Why Not Hank Skinner's Persecution? J13 3:52PM

Updated Partial List Of Famous Vegetarians, Vegans, & Fruitarians J13 2:59PM

The Shortwave Report 07136/18 Listen Globally! J12 4:36PM

Social Policy as Social Infrastructure J12 3:38AM

Vol I: 84 Varieties Of GOP Election Fraud J12 1:50AM

Texas Can Call it An Execution,But It is A State Sponsored Murder of Hank Skinner.. J11 6:48PM

June 2018 Honduras coup update J11 3:35PM

Maria Estrada doubles down on racist support J11 1:40PM

New York Women in Film & Television Announces 2018 NYWIFT Ha Phuong Scholarship Recipients J11 10:14AM

Trapps de la domination, trapps de l'aliénation J11 1:31AM

Please Work For The Defeat Of Brett Kavanaugh And Why J09 8:54PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 1:27PM

Transinhumanisme ( transe inhumanisme ) J09 12:44PM

Google, World's Biggest Censor, Was Founded By The CIA J09 10:25AM

For a World Free of Nuclear Risks J09 8:29AM

Corrupt CDC Ignores Meat Fish Recalls J09 4:55AM

The (Temporary) End of Globalization J09 3:03AM

Aternatives to Abortions such as Plan B the pill, condoms and IUD J08 4:03PM

U.S Congressional Legal Minds Know Better Than Allowing Texas To Murder Hank Skinner J08 3:37PM

ACLU in many US states defends in court KKK and American Nazis Sometimes for Money J07 11:28PM

Judge Brett Kavanaugh: 12 Of Many Reasons To Oppose Him J07 9:00AM

Insensibilité engrammée J07 2:37AM

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