Are Our Monsters with Long Teeth’s or Laathi’s?
The debate of Force and Power has been around right from the time of how the concept of State emerged and what we as humans understand it to be has shifted perspectives with kingdoms rising and falling. It is obvious that Force and Power can be looked at through the Lens of RSA and as Althusser, proposed the ideology of the two trajectories of State Apparatuses, namely Ideology State Apparatus and Repressive State Apparatus identifies it under RSA.
The Ideological state apparatus is a construct where the ideology is more institutionalized and gets penetrated into our societies very consciously through Educational institutions. The RSA which is known as the Repressive State apparatus as defined by Althusser is that a set of opinions or interests are attained by the use of force or repression in the form of Police and Law. The essential, social capacity of the RSA is opportune intercession to legislative issues for the interests of the decision class, by quelling the subordinate social classes as required, either by brutal or peaceful coercive methods. (Althusser, 80)
This essay will purview the series of happenings that led to the contemporary resurgence of ‘nationalisms’ and the Repressive State Apparatus as a means to deal with public dissent. It will look at issues such as ‘Mob Lynching, Protests, and Policing, Indonesia using RSA means to battle out Covid-19, George Floyds, and Felix, Jayaraj murder cases.
The question of force has been a haunting political reflection from the outset, according to two distinctive perspectives. On the one hand, the disenchanted observers of political contexts juxtapose force to cunning, viewing them as modes of human resourcefulness in the pursuit of intended ends. The growing hostility that is witnessed amongst the public especially in recent times with regards to the pandemic and also that of those in the past with the whole idea of Police and Government has hit its brink.
Tracing back in history, with the introduction of Universal Adult suffrage and nations becoming democratic, freedom of expression peeking in the forefront gave rise to a kind of liberation that the masses felt and has been in practice ever since.
How much of control is control? And why should fear even be a reality when the priority is to secure masses and does RSA overstep its authority in cases such as those mentioned above. The pivotal aspect of any democracy is to actually have dialogues and with dialogues, there are always going to dissent and it is only then shall one know the pro’s and con’s to the decisions made, and it is every citizen's right to pose informed opinions and questions to his/her government when there are discomforts in its functioning’s and this is also a clause in the Constitution.
Whether reifying living beings by destroying them physically or enslaving them psychically, force names a descent: the descent into matter, into the binding laws of mechanics and metabolic maintenance. In this sense, it names the impassive empire of nature as a necessity. “Force handled by another,” Weil observes in the essay on the Iliad, “is as imperious upon the soul as extreme hunger, for it involves a perpetual power over life and death. And this is an empire as cold, as hard as that exerted by inert matter” (Weil, 30).
1. Geroge Floyd, Fenix and Jayaraj Murder:
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died in Minneapolis on Monday while he was being restrained by the police. Video footage of the incident, which was broadcast by the media and went viral on social media platforms, showed an officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he gasped for breath. According to the police, Floyd “physically resisted” the arrest after he was told to exit his car, a claim that was belied by mobile phone footage recorded by several passers-by. A white police officer then went on to restrain Floyd, and kneeled on his neck for at least seven minutes despite the 46-year-old gasping for breath and repeatedly saying “I can’t breathe”.
This is surely shocking and it did send through a great set of rage on social media and followed widespread protests in the US and justice did take a while, it however did eventually. Thinking about how history will respond to incidents such as these of armed battalions, Police, and other Repressive means it is quite a letdown looking at this from the perspective of humanity.
The incident happened on June 19, when 59-year-old P Jayaraj and his 31-year-old son Bennicks (Fenix) were picked up by the Sathankulam police in Thoothukoodi district for allegedly violating lockdown guidelines by keeping their cellphone shop open over business hours. They died at a hospital in Kovilpatti on June 23. This blew up on social media platforms when the news of their death broke out on June 23. Eyewitnesses had alleged that they were stripped naked, their knees were smashed and their chest hair was ripped out. They further claimed that the cops inserted metal objects into the victims’ rectum leaving them bleeding till their lungis had to be changed seven times in about 5 hours.
2. Indonesia battling out Covid-19 using RSA means:
The South East Associations have had to face immense difficulties since the formation of ASEAN with regards to its acceptance and the laws that govern these countries, and with the awful circumstance like that of the Pandemic of Coronavirus, it’s been hit badly. The other nations are battling out health crises and economic crises, however, for Indonesia, the government is being the biggest threat. In the early days of April 2020, the government of Indonesia decided to have its public adhere to the RSA means of control in order to “Strengthen the public order”, which saw a series of protests in the country by the public as it was a threat to their privacy.
The Indonesian government has chosen to use RSA in managing data and predicting the Covid-19 peaks, rather than presenting the virologists’ studies based on sciences. This condition is in line with the anti-science regime that denies and underestimates risks. It was claimed by a number of Indonesian officials that the country was “safe” because of the power of prayers; even this ‘faith’ led to the appointment of corona immunity ambassadors (Ahmad Arif, 2020).
Police had also begun to arrest groups of people and confiscate books on charges of vandalism and riots (CNN, 2020). The standards that had been created by RSA tend to neglect and violate freedoms and human rights. Police and military interest revealed by Lindsey and Mann was only a manifestation of the Government’s political stabilization agenda (Jakarta Post, 2020).
These two instance does define the act of authority and how dissent plays an important role in sculpting any government and the history that it creates and mob lynching, policing and the several injustices that the public has been victims of goes off the charts. The brave new world and its mode of dissent must be that which is in solidity, and when there are masses who believe and stand for what is right it does spread like wildfire, and thus it’s important to always look through both sides of the story and make unbiased informed opinions.
All great leaders believe in the idea of voicing out and youth taking the forefront and our history holds evidence and as citizens of the country, we must always remember our roots and tweak it accordingly in the current scenarios.
Voicing out and expressing opinions can be done by anybody what matters the most is what should we say and how should we say it? Police Brutality, does not just come with the power it also comes with the sheer act of being able to do it and it’s a problem with the whole psyche of individuals who engage in such monstrous agenda’s and with that is the added notion of greed for power, position, and money. God save Democracy.
Hope you enjoyed reading, do share your feedback and views on the same, you never know this could lead you to fresh ideas.
Until Next Time Folks!!
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Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Inrestigation).” Media and Cultural Studies: Keyworks 80 (2012).
Arendt, Hannah. On violence. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1970.
Barbot, Oxiris. “George Floyd and our collective moral injury.” (2020): 1253–1253.
Douglas, William O. “The dissent: A safeguard of democracy.” J. Am. Jud. Soc. 32 (1948): 104.
Dreyer, Benard P., et al. “The Death of George Floyd: Bending the Arc of History Toward Justice for Generations of Children.” Pediatrics 146.3 (2020).
Gangwar, Shivangi. “It’s immoral to use the army & the police to crush civilian protests.” (2020).
Lewis, Jeff. “Manufacturing dissent: New democracy and the era of computer communication.” International journal of cultural studies 3.1 (2000): 103–122.
Mitra, Subrata K. “When area meets theory: dominance, dissent, and democracy in India.” International Political Science Review 29.5 (2008): 557–578.
Weil, Simone. The Iliad, Or, The Poem of Force. New York: Politics, 1945.
 Retrieved from an Op-ed by James Reinaldo Rumpia on https://shapesea.com/op-ed/covid-19/at-the-brink-of-national-terror-repressive-state-apparatus-in-indonesias-covid-19-situation/