Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Post-Structuralist Police-State


It's official. Far removed from its original intention of being a revolutionary project, post-structuralism has been appropriated by the oligarchy as a tool to obscure and simultaneously, to enforce, their own arbitrary police-state powers.

Justice Mark McEwan, perhaps oblivious to the dangerous precedent he was setting, or perhaps fully cognizant of it, has declared that police reports are all unverifiable garbage. They're the random jottings of confused, shell-shocked individuals who cannot be expected to have accurate memories of traumatic, fast-moving events; even when they were the agents behind the so-called "event." (We speak of an "event" as if it is some concrete manifestation, embedded in the past, to be easily retrieved, as if from an old-fashioned filing cabinet, when really all we have left are stories: assemblages of symbols and signifiers produced by the neurons firing in the brain in response to a bewildering array of sense perceptions.)

Even when the individual police reports of all the police officers involved seem to agree with each other (as in; they all recollected the "event" in the same erroneous way), the fact remains that these poor benighted souls were only desperately organizing their own individual thoughts as quickly as possible after the "event" in question, and any similarities in their testimonials must be attributed to the randomness of chance.

But what do we mean by "similarities" anyway? I am "similar" to Shaquille O'Neill in that I'm a male homo-sapiens-sapiens, even though he's 60 centimeters taller, and several orders of magnitude wealthier than I am. And I am "similar" to a male elk in that I am a mammal who can produce sperm to impregnate a female of my species. So, taking the phrase "similarities in their [bullshit] testimonials" really doesn't point to any deliberate collusion.

 Justice McEwan certainly isn't going to privilege technology over humanity, that's for sure. Because there are other witnesses who said that Dziekanski might have waved his arms around at some point in his distress, we can add that to the testimonials of the four officers against the video of the "event" that we can all see and decide that it's anyone's guess what really happened.

We had inklings of this truth when the Canadian Forces field reports were discredited by General Natynczyk when they seemed to portray CF personnel transferring an Afghan prisoner over to agents of our narco-warlord allies who proceeded to beat him. Evidently the CF has the time and the resources to regard official field reports as just the first draft of each day's events. Each day's field reports goes through a rigorous editorial process, and the principals involved are all summoned to give testimonials to attempt to verify or corroborate the initial accounts until, after this lengthy process, we are to imagine

It's all about the uncertainty principle, isn't it? You can't judge george w. bush's policies as failures based on lies; history will be his judge. And, since history itself is a construct, debated over by people who were never there, there cannot be and there will not be a judgment on george w. bush.

Disgraced bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales knew more than he realized when he babbled "there are no rules" when he tried to account for his previous action (as  bush's Whitehouse legal advisor) of trying to get Attorney General John Ashcroft to sign-off on bush II's overreach on domestic spying (or some such thing) when Ashcroft was recovering from surgery and someone else was the acting Attorney General. In his stammering, stuttering testimony, Gonzales unintentionally laid bare the chilling reality that in a random universe, we are all blindly swimming in fast-flowing waters, reaching out for anything and everything, trying to navigate our way to our eventual deaths. "Rules" indeed!

Finally, rotund Rob Ford's crack video scandal represents the ultimate in unknowability. Sure, the New York based gossip website "Gawker" can't be said to have had a vendetta against Ford. They probably hardly knew he existed (at best). But they're part of the "media" (after a fashion), and the Toronto Star is very certainly a part of the media and it does have a vendetta against Ford. Therefore, perhaps neither the Gawker person, nor the two Toronto Star journalists saw the video.

And I'm sure Jean Baudrillard could therefore say something about the rush to condemnation as a result of three people's agenda-driven recollections about some arrangements of pixels on a tiny screen. Just because several members of his staff and his executive committee either resigned or called him to account doesn't mean that Ford actually smoked crack.

In this current neo-liberal, post-structuralist police-state, not even the laws exist with any degree of certainty. They appear to apply to some people and not others. There were no war crimes in Afghanistan. We can't even begin to judge whether propping-up a rapist narco-state like Afghanistan will be a success until a century has passed, and then the moment is past anyway. It's impossible to arrive at any consensus about what happened anywhere that our politicians and their police enforcers are acting. Nothing happened and nothing ever will.

12 comments:

Linda Shellington said...

The only way things really work well, is with oversight. CONS are not known for their management skills.Ireland's 'SIU' changed their police force. In contrast, the CONS have, now, their own private Idaho (militia).

Linda Shellington said...

I have a dream...WE'RE gonna win.

Alison said...

these poor benighted souls were only desperately organizing their own individual thoughts as quickly as possible after the "event" in question

Or perhaps not.
According to ex-SIU director and Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin on CBC on Wednesday, he has complained multiple times to SIU that Toronto police lawyers represent multiple officers and write up their notes for them. I wonder if the RCMP also do this. Would go some distance to explaining why multiple accounts are all wrong in similar ways.
If a common practice, this really needs some serious looking into and some serious follow-up press about it.

thwap said...

Alison,

I read your post about that after I wrote the post.

It certainly gives everything a new perspective. I just didn't know how to incorporate it.

thwap said...

Linda,

The system's aversion to accountability and to cosequences is going to be fatal to our democracy.

Alison said...

Thwap : So I've done some further reading.
An Ontario Court of Appeal decision in 2011 ruled 3-0 that officers are not permitted to have a lawyer vet or help prepare their notes, but the police appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court in April this year who have not yet handed down their decision.
As of March this year, Marin maintains the practice continues, with officers refusing to say whether or not their notes are prepared by lawyers.

thwap said...

Alison,

Thanks for the info. It makes the whole concept of "facts" all the more ephemeral.

These stooges go out, commit crimes and then have some slippery cop lawyer lie about it later.

"Rule of law" my ass.

Linda Shellington said...

Wanna get married in a fever? Thwap?

thwap said...

Linda,

I don't want to marry anyone, in any state. I noticed a lot of comments from you today.

Having a bit of a holiday are we?

Linda Shellington said...

Thwap? I've noticed an aversion to hope, with you. "Cuse Me"...What up?

Linda Shellington said...

P.S Someone else might get it. SHEESH. Johnny Cash??

opit said...

Late to the party, I know. But looking at this thread ( I hadn't used the browser for weeks and the article was still on it ) reminded me of the Wikipedia entry for kleptocracy - in fact the subsection for narco kleptocracy. The government is a chameleon disguising its true nature. You can't call it fascism : fascism was an offspring of the critter. Just remember that government grew out of bands of thieves.