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The State And Terror - Bentham, Benthics And The All-Seeing Eye

Politics / US Politics Aug 06, 2013 - 12:03 PM GMT

By: Andrew_McKillop

Politics

In a totally childish tantrum due to Putin's humiliating rebuttal of State Dept. attempts to extract Edward Snowden from Russia, it has issued lurid terror warning and closed nearly two dozen embassy and consulate buildings in “terror plagued” Middle Eastern and Arab countries, especially Yemen. Interpol has been wheeled on stage in this naked diversionary tactic, announcing that as many as 150 extremely dangerous prisoners with Al Qaeda links have escaped from prisons “in countries like Iraq and Libya”. When and how they escaped was not communicated. For European holidaymakers there is now the risk of a bearded terrorist being in the next-door-car to you in those traditional holiday 50-kilometre long, 6-lane traffic jams on highways leading to and from Mediterranean tourist venues. The person sitting next to you in those budget airline flights to the same venues could be a terrorist, armed with an explosive toothpaste tube, killer shoes, or whatever. But absolutely not a boxcutter!


A very small number of loyal US allies, the UK, France and Germany, have also made token closures of embassy buildings, mainly in Yemen, “for at least 2 days”. This is presumably the average work week of Al Qaeda operatives. In a quaint additional detail, the State Dept. made it clear that US tourist travelers should not cancel their travel plans and not spend their money – but should exercise special vigilance and register their itineraries with US authorities, who in fact only need to ask NSA to read their e-mails. If it isn't doing that already.

The cult of terror has its All Seeing Eye counterpart, fully exposed by the Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange affairs, of massive and indiscriminate information gathering and surveillance. Whether this is illegal or not literally has no importance, because National Security is under threat. Permanently, we are told.

BENTHAM AND THE BENTHIC ORGANISMS
Benthic organisms such as sea stars, clams, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and sea anemones are by definition “bottom feeders”. In a dislocated and troubled society experiencing mass anomie, even mass schizophrenia, the cult of bottom feeding rules. Like the benthic organisms which are mainly parasitic and feed off already-dead organisms dropping from the surface, the All Seeing State feeds off what it calls security chatter and semi-random information swirling in the Internet cesspool. Also like some benthic organism bottom feeders which produce their own food, the overblown security “apparatus” of states like the USA also produces its own disinformation. In vast quantities.

In 1786-87, the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham travelled to Krichev in western Russia (now Belarus) to visit his brother, Samuel, who was managing industrial and other projects for Prince Potemkin. It was Samuel who conceived the idea of a very large semi-circular factory building at the hub of an even larger compound, enabling a small number of managers to oversee a large unskilled workforce. A small number of observers could efficiently watch and control many workers. Jeremy however saw the concept as firstly and mostly suited to huge prison buildings.

Jeremy Bentham is associated with the concept of human rights, sexual and generational equality,  social equality, the right of divorce and homosexuality, the abolition of slavery and of the death penalty but his main renown is his theory of Utilitariansism. This theory was the ultimate in simple thinking. It states that human beings are solely motivated by pleasure and pain. Nothing else. He decorated his theory, which soon won a lot of supporters, with a few frills such as collective pleasures being more intense than individual ones.

Armed with an easy-to-operate populace, dancing to the tunes of pleasure or pain, the State could move ahead to promote Collective Pleasure or Welfare, and repress Individual Pain as well as its collective version. Very early on - this was the 1780s - Bentham also said the role of the Welfare State was to pursue economic growth, to generate more Collective Pleasure.

Among his direct disciples or admirers we find Adam Smith, Jean-Baptiste Say and John Stuart Mill.

Bentham's theory of the Welfare State included his concept of the Panopticon Prison, (“panopticon” meaning All Seeing Eye) based on the model factory idea of his brother. This huge prison would enable permanent surveillance of all prisoners at all times – but without them being aware of it.  Bentham began to develop this model, to which he added refinements like the supervisory principle of contract management; that is a privatized State prison system where the directors have a pecuniary interest in keeping the average rate of mortality “at modest levels”.

The Panopticon Prison would be cheaper than the prisons of his time, as it required fewer staff. “Allow me to construct a prison on this model,” Bentham said, where “I will be the gaoler and you will see ... that the gaoler will have no salary — will cost nothing to the nation.”

MIND OVER MIND, NOT MATTER

One key psywar aspect of his Penticon Prison concept was that because the watchmen cannot be seen by the prisoners, they need not be on duty at all times because the prisoners will believe they are there

– similar to littering the streets with video surveillance CCTV cameras – whether they work or not. Also similar to letting the people know all their e-mails can be read, whether they are read or not. Bentham conceived the basic Panopticon plan as equally applicable to factories, hospitals, schools, offices, and asylums, but for him the Prison was most important. He called it: “a new mode of

 

obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example”. Through permanent surveillance he said, all antisocial and uncooperative persons in society could be worn down to dust, as in a mill. He called the Panopticon prison “a mill for grinding rogues honest”.

Bentham was so enamoured by Panopticon, that his writings and speeches of the period say that even the choice of businesses, as well as how to operate them is set by Panopticon. He promoted the concept of manufacturing as the main choice, most suited to his “perfect organization plan” which now existed. He said only one type of industrial and manufacturing organization was needed. Through creating huge Panopticon factories across Great Britain, the only problem which could exist would be “the greatest number of hands that can be comprised” in these factories. Their output, although enormous and able to “overstock the market” of Britain, would have an unlimited global market open to them.

To be sure, foreigners would be much too stupid to think of building their own Panopticons!

In Bentham's time CCTV did not exist, but in today's Great Britain estimates of both State and private CCTV cameras in operation extend well above 7.5 millions – meaning 1 camera for every 8 persons. As already noted, it does not matter if they work or not – the public believes they work. Road safety and traffic management authorities and their private sector partners in the UK claim that on all major highways today, it is possible to film the licence plate of every single vehicle using these highways, at all times. An increasing number of street CCTV installations in major cities such as Brighton and London are now also equipped with loudspeakers, to order the public and inform offenders they have committed an infraction.

THE PUBLIC IS OUT TO LUNCH FOR HOW LONG?
As we know, US government-friendly media has rushed to aid Obama and the State Dept. in their self-elected task of terrorizing – and infantilizing – the public. Snowden, for them is a traitor when he is not an egoist or an eccentric. Manning was of course a homosexual, as well as a traitor. Unfortunately, as Bloomberg was forced to report, July 10, a comfortable majority of U.S. registered voters consider Edward Snowden is a whistle-blower, not a traitor. Most of the interviewed persons also said that government anti-terrorism efforts have gone too far in restricting civil liberties.

As Bloomberg was also forced to report – probably not with pleasure – the present attitude of Americans is a reversal since January 2010. In a similar survey 63 percent of interviewees then said anti-terrorism activities didn’t go far enough to protect the U.S. from attacks, and only 25 percent said that surveillance and anti-terror activities had gone too far.

In the Arab states, before Arab Spring, it was generally accepted by security experts that the most efficient and powerful police state “apparatus”, outside the extremes of Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf states,  existed in Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's Tunisia, and in airforce general Hosni Mubarak's Egypt. In Ben Ali's case, before his regime collapsed and he fled to safe haven in Saudi Arabia, his police state is “credited” with the murder of at least 10 000 political opponents, and the total surveillance of all schools, colleges and universities, for “dissenting opinion”.

Numerous western companies with the full knowledge of the governments concerned, provided Ben Ali's regime, like Mubarak's regime, and those of the autocratic police states of the Arab Gulf, and Libya's Khadafi with sophisticated security and monitoring equipment – for decades. This notably included equipment and systems for intercepting e-mails and tracking Web site visiting.

Despite the high-tech monitoring and intrusion of privacy, the denial of the human right of opinion, the physical repression, the torture and killings – Ben Ali and Mubarak were overthrown by massive street protest, the most basic form of democracy that is possible.  Nothing whatsoever prevents this also happening in the crony capitalist “democracies” of the Western world – when the supine and cowardly populace, forcefed with consumer goods and services like ducks forcefed to produce “foie gras”, finally understands its real interests and its real enemies.

By Andrew McKillop

Contact: xtran9@gmail.com

Former chief policy analyst, Division A Policy, DG XVII Energy, European Commission. Andrew McKillop Biographic Highlights

Co-author 'The Doomsday Machine', Palgrave Macmillan USA, 2012

Andrew McKillop has more than 30 years experience in the energy, economic and finance domains. Trained at London UK’s University College, he has had specially long experience of energy policy, project administration and the development and financing of alternate energy. This included his role of in-house Expert on Policy and Programming at the DG XVII-Energy of the European Commission, Director of Information of the OAPEC technology transfer subsidiary, AREC and researcher for UN agencies including the ILO.

© 2013 Copyright Andrew McKillop - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisor.

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