From: "adam lefstein" <adaml@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2001 10:43:24 +0200
> My personal interest is the strategic situation. It seems to me that
> there's little benefit for the governement to stimulate the torture of
> prisoners, especially because it would make membership of the EEC very
> difficult. So their strategy would be to change the system into a
> western model of discipline and surveillance.
> There seems to be a problem with the guards, who're accustomed to rule
> by fear, why I don't know, but maybe this is an old tradition. Cruelties
> are not AFAIK a very effective means against crime or rebellion. The
> South-American situation seems to me to be one of total power of the
> guards. Some of the cruelties have come out in the open and there still
> are the crazy mothers. The object of those cruelties seems however to
> have been to eliminate opponents. This is not the same as ruling by
> fear, because without opponents there's nobody to rule. If the situation
> in Turkey would be evaluated as being akin to this kind of totalitarism,
> the chances of becoming accepted by the western economic system would be
> very small.
> I wonder if there's much sense in torturing people in prison when
> everybody has private cells and nobody hears about it, because it would
> not inspire fear anymore.
I don't think that Foucault gives an answer to the question of modern
torture. in Discipline and Punish he is concerned about medieval PUBLIC
torture, far different than that taking place in prisons. and i don't think
that modern regimes employ torture purely out of cruelty or because they
haven't read bentham's panopticon. a more complete answer to the question
might be found in elaine scarry's The Body In Pain. has anyone read it?
what do you think?