Authors: Stewart R. Clegg
Addresses: University of Technology, Sydney, Australia
Abstract: The history of the present is assessed in terms of forecasts that proved to be spectacularly incorrect. Debate about power in the past was largely state-centred but the realisation that the opposite of the state is not a free market but a political anarchy seems to have been forgotten. The society of the spectacle, to use Guy Debord|s concept, reigns supreme today, but in ways unimagined by European situationists. The spectacle ignites a new politics of identity, constituted in terms that depart radically from the older terms of class analysis. While some analysts have spoken of the rise of the risk society it is necessary today to add the state of insecurity to contemporary characterisations, whether represented in reality or rhetoric. Global identities constituted by religiosity sit uneasily within nation states as containers of identity and the attempts of states to reaffirm national identity in the face of its rejection by significant subsections of the population is most likely to achieve a rhetorical racheting up of tensions. Consequently, the state of insecurity leads to increasing surveillance and control as a societal project for which every failure is the guarantee of further resources, tighter surveillance and an increasing simulacrum of control.
Keywords: power; terrorism; state of insecurity; identity; security; business; surveillance; control.
Global Business and Economics Review, 2008 Vol.10 No.2, pp.184 - 196
Published online: 27 Jun 2008 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article