Thursday, July 31, 2014

Quotation Of The Day: We Live In A Pink Police State Edition

James Poulos, an underappreciated public intellectual and social commentator, makes that case that most of dichotomies that we use to discuss politics and government such as public and private or liberal and conservative no longer apply because we live in a "pink police state" that equates justice and health. His analysis also illustrates that every bogeyman buzzword is likely obsolete
. . . .in the new regime, two separate logics and cultures rule two separate, but co-dependent, realms of life. This state of affairs transcends “partisan ideologies” as we know them. The shared neoconservative and neoliberal affinity for enforced health and safety, and their shared fear and loathing of the realm of illness and unquantified risk, plainly shows that one need not identify as a Democrat, liberal, or Progressive in order to champion the new officialdom. The issue is not, as it was with the military-industrial complex, what the elites think policy should be; it is what the elites instinctively think politics is.
Sticking with this line of inquiry allows us to get beyond the many interesting but contending and partial definitions of the relevant elite in America—the “new class,” the “ruling class,” the “country club,” the “crony capitalists,” the “1 percent,” the “east-coast power corridor,” and so on. These are all manifestations or avatars of the only elite that, analytically speaking, suffices as a unit of analysis, because only this analysis indicates what everyone is struggling to surmise, namely, the character of the new American regime.
The new regime is not totalitarian, fascist, socialist, capitalist, conservative, or liberal, according to the accepted and common definitions of those terms. It is not even adequately described as corporatist, although corporatism is very much at home within it. The “pink police state” is not a police state in the sense that George Orwell would be familiar with, but one in which a militarized, national policing apparatus is woven into the fabric of trillions of transactions online and off. Nor is it a “pinko commie” regime in the sense of enforcing “political correctness” out of total allegiance to Party; rather, it enforces the restrictions and permissions doled out by its sense of “clean living.” To invoke Michel Foucault again, ours is an age when governance is inseparable from hygiene in the minds of the elite that rules over both the private and public sector. To them, everything is theoretically a health issue.

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