24 July, 2014

Government by moral panic | a paper bird

Government by moral panic | a paper bird:

Corporate conglomerates, a military-industrial complex, rich and
insecure churches, noisy social movements (more of them on the Right
than the Left), local governments carving out their own extortion zones,
and many more mini- and mega-oligarchies multiply. As happens when a
once coherent power is privatized, each tries to establish its own small
dictatorship over whoever it can influence. This Russia, one scholar says,
is ” a highly corrupt state that still cannot fully control its
borders, monopolize the legal means of violence, or clearly articulate
its role in the contemporary world.” For all his shirtless preening,
Putin is no muscle-man able to wield top-down control. Instead he must
exhort, scare, cajol, and distract the rest of society till he gets his

Government by moral panic is a way of governing when the government
fears impotence, as in a morning nightmare where your legs won’t
move: its power shaling into paralysis, its strength sloughing off like