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Panopticon Society and the Moral Power of an Image

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 2 years ago

The Media 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "James Fallows writes that you don't have to idealize everything about the Occupy movement to recognize the stoic resolve of the protesters at UC Davis being pepper sprayed as a moral drama that the protesters clearly won. "The self-control they show, while being assaulted, reminds me of grainy TV footage I saw as a kid, of black civil rights protestors being fire-hosed by Bull Connor's policemen in Alabama. Or of course the Tank Man in Tiananmen Square," writes Fallows. "Such images can have tremendous, lasting power." We can't imagine all the effects of the panopticon society but one benefit to the modern protest movement is the omnipresence of cameras as police officials, protestors, and nearly all onlookers are recording whatever goes on bringing greater accountability and a reality-test for police claims that they "had" to use excessive force. "What's new is that now the perception war occurs simultaneously with the physical struggle. There's almost parity," writes Andrew Sprung. "You have a truncheon or gun, I have a camera. You inflict pain, I inflict infamy.""

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