Your world and a scary one

“The emergence of what I have described as the oligarchic corporate state is a relatively new form, as too are corporate orders powerful enough to work independently of state regulation and controls. The nation-state may be in decline but it is giving way to a relatively original state order or political/economic formation with multiple state-like effects that is able to act in ways systemic with deterritorializing global processes. What I have labelled the corporate state and the emergence of corporations with state-like effects was developed in the context of nation-states, but through breaking free of state constraints or coming into control of state apparatuses new exploitative possibilities are opened. The corporate apotheosis is already indicating effects reflected in growing poverty, failures in public facilities, and an increased sense of insecurity – dimensions of Beck’s (1992) ‘risk society’. The issue of public order, the Hobbesian legitimation behind the nation-state, has been transformed into the problem of security. This is increasingly a private matter and has been corporatized. Security and surveillance have become a major concern for the corporate state, in many ways a means for protecting ruling interests against the public.
If the nation-state frequently abused the rights of its citizens, this is now a strong potential of the corporate state, which both privatizes the means for violence and turns the greater violent power of economically dominant groups against the general citizenry. State violence takes a new oligarchic and corporate form. The nation-state is ceding the monopoly of violence as embodied in the military increasingly to private corporations, as Singer (2003) demonstrates. Corporations guard or secure themselves against the public, which suggests a vision of the mass that accords with the most abject visions of the essential baseness of humankind (sometimes attributed to Hobbes but vital in the most dismal economistic thinking). If we are in a risk society it is now also a society of intense suspicion. I suggest that this is not so much a consequence of the so-called War on Terror but generated in the very dynamic of the growth of the corporate state whose logic is founded in a dialectic of competition, control and self-protection.” From Kapferer, Bruce. 2005. `”New formations of
power, the oligarchic corporate state, and anthropological ideological discourse” In Anthropological Theory 2005 SAGE Publications
(London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi)
Vol 5(3): 285–299


About flexosaurus

I am an anthropologist and Associate Professor who loves to play guitar and comment on social injustice in whatever form it may take
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