(Konczal 2012) Against law, for order

Konczal, Mike. Against law, for order. Jacobin. 2012 Spring; 6:13–17. Available from: http://jacobinmag.com/spring-2012/against-law-for-order/.

Konczal traces the practice of mass incarceration in the USA to a repressive tendency in the dominant neoliberal ideology, which circumscribes the law-governed exercise of freedom within a single social domain: the economic “free market”. Activities outside the market are not entitled to any presumption of rights or freedom, and are not governed by an explicit code of laws enforced through due process. Instead, neoliberals see the sphere outside the market as a dangerous source of potential disorder, a menace to the market and to civil society generally, to be policed in a way that is responsive to a vague and informal concept of order defined by the visceral responses of the dominant elements in society, without reference to legal formalities. The general model for such policing was laid out in Kelling and Wilson’s 1982 article “Broken windows”. The result is what sociologist Loïc Wacquant has described as

a “centaur state.” The state governs with “a liberal head mounted upon an authoritarian body” – laissez-faire for those at the top, but “brutally paternalistic and punitive downstream.”



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