“In times of political sensitivity in China, security in the capital city Beijing can get pretty intense. The government, it seems, really does not want any political disturbances during this week’s Party Congress, in which the country will change leadership. This means that Beijing officials are deploying, among other things, what has got to be one of the more unsettling measures against dissent: firefighter teams in Tiananmen Square. Why, you ask, are there firefighters hanging out in Tiananmen Square? It’s a natural question, since they’re standing in the middle of a giant open square, with nothing flammable anywhere nearby. Except, that is, for the other people in the square, which may be exactly what they’re worried about. More specifically, the firefighters are likely there to put out any protesters who attempt to set themselves on fire. . . .”
This is as clear an illustration of power psychosis as you could hope for. Political control is often treated as a basic requirement for social order to be possible. But social control does not produce social order. It only suppresses the appearance of disorder. Actual social harmony is achieved by removing the cause of social disorder — by removing coercion from social relationships, not by hiding the symptoms of coercion.
- —Rad Geek @ 9:02 am