The state should represent the public interest but special interests or private interests seem to be in the driver’s seat with privatization, deregulation, liberalized markets, speculation, tax havens, and corporate tax evasion. In “Escape from Freedom,” Erich Fromm explained that fear of the new and fear of the future can lead to authoritarianism.
The state of emergency is that arrangement by which totalitarian powers were established in Europe. The security state is neither part of the constitutional state nor what Michel Foucault called the disciplinary society.. The security state is permanently grounded on fear and must keep fear alive at any cost because it has its essential function and legitimacy from it… The three characteristics of the security state-maintaining a generalized state of anxiety, de-politization of citizens and renunciation on any legal certainty-should make us think. Here is a link to Giorgio Agamben’s article “From the Constitutional State to the Security State” published in Luxemburg 1/2016 in April 2016:
Will the future be open and dynamic or closed and static? Will the economy be part of life or a steamroller crushing self-determination and creativity? Will government react to computers, robots and software eliminating millions of jobs? Will all personal and corporate success be seen as dependent on state investment in roads, schools, hospitals, airwaves, food safety, water quality and community centers? Can we be cloud workers and story-tellers instead of cogs gazing at the stories of office buildings? Can the US become part of a multipolar world sharing power and closing most of its 700 military bases and becoming more secure?
We are now still ruled by the myths of the self-healing market, the invisible hand, markets returning to equilibrium and dishwashers becoming millionaires. The alternative to these myths is the social state and the interventionist Keynesian state. Public squalor exists alongside private opulence but countermeasures and community centers (as in Vancouver B.C.) can reverse exploding inequality, precarious work, one-dimensional economics, profit worship and destruction of nature.
Hope comes from outside the box, from the cultural shock of O Canada, from exchanging roles and intercultural learning and from the wonder of free internet books, movies and audio books at www.openculture.com.