Little Red Blogger

This blog looks at radical politics(with a libertarian socialist slant), music and culture. Marx to Mises, Girls Aloud to Steve Reich...

Location: Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Manufacturing Consent...One School Pupil at a Time.....

To paraphrase what the Jesuits used to say if you gave them a child when they were 5 yearsold the church would have that child for life, much the same is true of our ever creeping surveillance state with schools being in the front-line of this particular battle between a citizen's privacy andthe states desire to keep tabs on one. The pupils at a north London sixth form are an example of how this friction between individual liberty and the rationalizing technocratic and totalising aspects of the modern state will play itself out over the coming decades. The key bureaucratic innovation for this particular school is to let the 6th form pupils sign themselves in and out of school via their fingerprints, this of course entails that their fingerprints be held on a centralised school database to enable such a system to work properly. From the schools point of view, and the wider idea of bureaucratic rationality the idea of logging pupils makes perfectsense as it is more 'efficient', gives the pupils more 'control' over when they sign in and out and streamlines the administration of the school. As with most of these seemingly administrative measures, what appears innocuous and merely bureaucratic tidying up makes people more tolerant and willing to accept he monitoring tracking of their every day activities. So this biometric fingerprinting scheme by the schools is a straw in the wind, and another means of socialising people towards a total surveillance society.

Unlike some Anarchist/Libertarian types I am not a conspiracy theorist on the whole, the surveillance society is not part of some evil master plan by the ruling classes to control society, in fact it would be an easier menace to combat if it were the case..but I digress, the surveillance state is the logical culmination of many different trends, both technologically and socially. The police, security services and related spooks are hard-wired to want more control and to extend their capabilities from their perspective the desire to use these technologies is unfortunate but understandable. Technologically Moore's law and the explosion of modern telecommunications technology have made the nightmare of total surveillance and monitoring a real possibility. Politically with the so-called War-on-Terror being in full swing it has provided perfect cover embracing and enhancing these technologies without fear of a public backlash. The British are of course one of the most heavily monitored societies in the western world, CCTV cameras, numberplate tracking and other intrusive technologies are quietly accepting with nary a murmer by the public. The old saw of: if you've got nothing to hide then you've got nothing to worry about is all too readily accepted.

These social and technological trends were of course present pre 9-11 madness and 7/7 bombings, but these events have been used by opportunistic politicians and their cunning enablers within the police and security services to further restricit liberty and to pilfer a phrase manufacture consent. Biometrics in schools are the merely the start and if the current insanity in the middle east continues, be more afraid....

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

testing testing

Monday, July 10, 2006

Beowulf's not dead, only sleeping...

A long hiatus..but I'm back as I have finally installed and set-up Ubuntu on my system and intend to blog more frequently... so apologies for my absence and back to bloggin'