It’s been ringing in my ear recently. Like a tune stuck in one’s head, endlessly repeating itself. ‘Disciplinary society’, those are the words, that’s the discordant, repeating, tune.
And the flipside of discipline, is punishment; or, in the more mealy-mouth words of official-speak, the flipside of discipline is ‘sanction’. In practical terms this is a distinction without a difference as anyone who has been sanctioned is likely to tell you. If it looks like a punishment, if it feels like a punishment, then it’s punishment.
And as a society we seem to be getting better and better at creating occasions to threaten and impose punishment or sanction.
Why do I mention this now? It’s simply that over the past couple of weeks or so a few seemingly disparate experiences crossed my path, and, not for the first time, I realised I was seeing a pattern, a system in fact, and not a series of random coincidences. I’d noticed it before and I’m pretty sure that you have to. No claim to novelty here, this is about sharing dismay. Continue reading