France: Politics as the construction of a security state

A proposed law that extends the powers of municipal police (e.g., permitting them to participate in the control of public demonstrations, intervene to control infractions in public space), private security services (e.g., they may be allowed to participate in public security operations and the surveillance of suspected terrorist activity), that generalises the use of cameras and drones for surveillance and police intervention in real time (e.g., in case of fear of public disorder), that weakens the limits on the carrying and use of service weapons by the police while penalties are increased for the sale to and use of pyrotechnical material by nonprofessionals, that prohibits and makes punishable the dissemination of images malveillant [with evil intent] of the police on active duty (Article 24: “Disseminating, by any means whatsoever and by whatever the medium, with the aim of harming their physical or psychological integrity, the image of the face or any other element of identification of an agent of the national police or the national gendarmerie other than their individual identification number when acting within the framework of a police operation is punishable by one year of imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros.”) are part of a package of measures aptly called the “Law of global security” by the french government. (paris-luttes info)

As only the latest in a long series of measures (and echoed in other nation-States) aimed at assuring “public security” (against “disorder”, “crime”, “terrorism”, pandemics”), the law will permit the general surveillance of the population and the control of political opponents of the reigning political order.

Security (of the conditions of managed and exploitable physical survival) is the idol of modern politics, and all forms of life not reducible to this aim are deemed dissident.

This last Saturday, November 28th, half a million filled the streets of the country’s cities in protest.


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