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Showing posts from September 13, 2009

an ass festival to start things off

Oh – if only I had the wings of angels, which are made of gold and good for purchases in most shopping centers and stores! But I have human limbs, and flesh is worth shit, so I bend over texts and correct them. I make suggestions. I must slave and bugger my own imagination, and fall behind every 8 ball that I set up. I would like to be the blogger equivalent of Babe Ruth, pointing to the stands, waiting for the next pitch. But this is not going to happen. I am, rather, the equivalent of some Pinter vaudevillian, full of bile and tags. Still, I am a Sagittarian, and thus stubborn as a mule – or a jackass. I do want to keep going in this thread. And jackasses are, as a matter of fact, the subject of this post. I have already written about asinine philosophy. The thread I am aching to pursue – the growth of police forces in the nineteenth century – should start, I think, with the story of a jackass. The year is 1793. In Lyon, the forces of counterrevolution briefly seized the city.

Marx and Malthus

The two people who have taught me the most about reading Marx over the last couple of years are a., Amie, whose essay on the German Ideology graced this blog (with a bonus pic of Bliss!), and b., N Pepperell at Rough Theory, whose blogposts are such excellent guides to reading Capital that they make fish sing and cats bark. And she is back, with this post about Marx and Malthus.

paper dolls

Fly, informer, spy, confidential agent, double agent, rat, louse, Schlamasse, squeak, squeeler. In 19th century England, it was the universal opinion that the French invented the spy system. We know that, at least for Europe, Napoleon invented the police system. Stendhal and Hazlitt’s Napoleon, the bringer of light, was perhaps the single most important figure in the modern history of European policing, since in the territories France conquered, and those governments which it controlled, Napoleon insisted on a modern police force. He himself had re-organized the urban gendarmerie under Fouche, and instituted a tighter police force in the countryside – and these innovations he pressed upon Saxony, Bavaria, the various Italian principalities. Under Napoleon, it is true, the gendarmerie were more militarized than they came to be by mid-century – that is, where they remained. But Prussia, that excellent copier of a state, soon was instituting its own urban and rural police forces. “… who