Modern State

1. What does the modern state do? What are the salient features of the modern state? a. intrusive and regulative i. restricts individual freedom ii. control all citizens lives everywhere iii. the state is an omnipresent busy body b. extractive c. coercive i. monopoly over mens of violence ii. coerce us into willing/ unwilling means ALL THE STATES HAVE THESE FEATURES. THE DIFFERENCE IS ONE OF DEGREE RATHER THAN KIND. 2. How has the modern state appeared and evolved? Charles Taily’s argument.

The fundamental root of formation and expansion = the need to prepare wars, fight wars and win wars The STATES that are GOOD at war-making has SURVIVED. Logic of argument Wars get more frequent and/or more lethal and destructive in 17th centurary. Rulers live in constant fear. Fear of being invaded by outsiders insecurity and uncertainty. The overriding imperative of rulers= prepare for potential attacks, fight wars and win wars against enemies. Ence, large, well-equppiment military is essential What is necessary to build up a large well-equipped standing military? a.

Money systematic and ruthless taxation make it madatry to pay on time, in full and regularly b. Manpower military conscription In order to enforce taxation and conscription effectively, the ruler needs to know exactly how many people lie in every village, etc The ruler needs to extend his power over long geographical distance local agents must be assigned to every village Hence, the ruler needs to regulate all people’s lives throughout his territory Roads are not politically neutral means of public transportation, but political tools of penetration into every corner.

Jeffrey Herbst coins the term “infrastructures of state power! ” Why poor law enforcement in Afirca. The more roads, the more state power. Few roads makes state penetration difficult. Assign numbers to all individual citizens such as passports, national ID, student ID Assign numbers for taxable goods. Eg, rubber plantation in Malaysia, each tree is numbered and replanted in straight lines. James scott : Seeing like a state Every state tries to make chaotic society “legible” (=easy to see) Rationale for coercive functions of the state to catch rebellious people Devise systematic punitive laws.

Create and enlarge judiciary at every level of society Create and enlarge police Prohibit the private ownership of weapons = establish monopoly UPSHOT : “ WAR_MAKING SET IN MOTION VARIOUS PRACTICES AND MEASURES THAT LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR MODERN STATE. ” WEEK 6 : MAX WEBER “IRON CAGE VERY IMPORANT!!!! **** Standardization of citizens’ behavior, uniform and conformist behavior is expected, demanded and rewarded. He holds pessimist view : iron cage = dehumanizing human beings- deprived od creative individuality. Weber thinks iron cage is deplorable but inevitable outcome.

3. Why do people obey rules and regulations of the state? ( ALSO week 4) In many countries, the reality is the state obtains people’s compliance without having to make extensive use of coercive institutions, and without having to make many concessions to people. Even in countries that are still under authoritarian rule, people who don’t have political rights, obey. Most people obey state rules as a matter of course without seriously thinking. WHY? : Michel Foucault argument “DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH” Obedience/compliance = plain habit.

Our physical bodies have been habituated or disciplined to obey state policies even if we may not agree with them in our minds. Medieval Europe : guillotine instill fear in the minds of population Japan : Public execution set on fire Now , modern states have less reliance on public exectition. The state now relies on a more subtle, less crude method of rule. More reliant on “panoptic” (all seeing) control over the whole society, which makes people imagine that they are somehow being watched by the state = a new and more effective mode of rule.

PANOPTICON is a microcosm of our society at present. In modern states, it is the installation of surveillance cameras that serves the panoptic purpose. As you avoid speeding over and over again, you come to do so as a matter of habit, even in places when there is no survelliance camera. Initially, you may refrain from speeding cos you don’t want to pay a fine, but over time, you come to avoid without really thinking about it. your body learns to do things that your mind may not agree.

Sarah from Law Aspect

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