Capitalism's Meltdown and the Body (III)
The financial system is ‘ill’, capitalism is on the verge of ‘collapsing’, a drastic ‘cure’ has to be found quickly, ‘toxic’ funds need to be ‘eradicated’, and so on. Terms from the vocabulary of medicine and biology have been largely used to describe the systemic crisis of the latest capital, often comparing it to the body in pain. Probably, in an attempt to localize and make more understandable the phantasmagoria of the trillions to Mr. and Mrs. Smiths, the taxpayers, the backbone of the economy.
On the other hand, people protesting their dissent at the 20 ‘surgeons’, who gathered in London for the world summit, were confined, squeezed, made literally prisoners in public space by a well established police tactic, in Wednesday’s protest in the City of London. For seven hours, they have been left without basic services, water, food, or a chance to move away, compressed in a tight space by the police, armed in full anti-riot gear. A colleague of mine, a PhD research student, so described to me in a private email the scene: “…most people around us were totally calm and peaceful till the police penned in thousands upon thousands of people without giving reasons for their actions, without access to food or water or toilets. Disgusting!”. A journalist from the Times (Murdoch’s paper) so comments: ” The police wilfully criminalised and alienated 4,000 innocent people. If I were to design a system to provoke and alienate, I could not do better”.
What would have Foucault thought of this, I wonder?