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Have you noticed that it’s no longer PC Dixon of Dock Green who mediates the relationship between the state and its citizens as he goes about his beat in your neighbourhood? Instead, it’s a Kevlar-armoured, video-monitored, taser-equipped, drone-surveilled, spit-masked supplied soldier, straight out of Star Wars, who now staggers along under the weight of an industrialized capitalism, visibly physically disconnected from the citizens they monitor by their bullet-proof uniforms, that more resemble a rack of tools in your local hardware store than the Bobby on the beat.
In fact every aspect of our lives today are mediated by an industrial capitalism that serves two purposes: firstly it disconnects the servants of the state from its citizens and secondly it makes that relationship an extremely profitable one for capitalism. There is now virtually no aspect of life that is not mediated by privatised industrial technology in some form or other and technology that has made that relationship one based on extracting profit through the act of controlling and monitoring our actions and our behaviour.
Our streets are monitored by the now ubiquitous CCTV, millions of them, or the drones hovering invisible, high above, smart phones track our movements, our buying habits and who we hang out with, or as we drive, by the ANPR systems, all the way to our health system, it too is now a relationship mediated by privatised technology whether it be the pills manufactured by industrial chemical plants or the machines that monitor and mend us. Our hospitals now resemble the production line of a factory rather than places that are hospitable to the patient’s recovery.
Our education system too, is now a supermarket for machines that monitor, miseducate and grade the students’ work and of course, continually monitor the students’ activity and behaviour, as well as extract valuable (to capitalism and the state) statistical data about the students’ performance as they are prepared for life as an obedient worker and consumer (assuming they have a job to go to).