مجتمعات المراقبة / Les Sociétés de contrôle



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دولوز, جيل; Deleuze, Gilles; برادة, محمد; Berrada, Mohamed

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics

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[This short text by the French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, sheds light on crucial dimensions concerning the question of human rights. It essentially redefines the word "rights" which conventionally signifies the material and ideal aspects foregrounded by the French Revolution. For Deleuze, the concept of "rights" must include the right to establish and safeguard the "humanity" of the modern world citizen against all attempts, by structures of authority, to rob human beings of their humanity through manipulative forms which appear, on a surface level, to be democratic. In mapping the historical relationship between the individual and structures of authority, Deleuze distinguishes between three forms of societies which evolved throughout the history of this relationship: "absolutist societies," (sociétés de souveraineté) emerging during the Napoleonic era; "disciplinary societies," (sociétés disciplinaires) which characterize the nineteenth century; and finally, "societies of surveillance," (sociétés de contrôle) which have gained ground since the end of World War II. If the first model has concerned itself with monopolizing production rather than organizing it, the second, i.e., "disciplinary societies," has enforced patterns of containment beginning with the family and proceeding to the school, the factory, the hospital and ultimately the prison itself. Today, Deleuze argues, we are living in the age of "societies of surveillance" which are structured along a different, serpentine logic. This new monster is a model based on numbers as well as the further refinement of structures of containment, already present in "disciplinary societies." Hence, within this new form, the company replaces the factory; the computer, the machine and the magnetic card become at once the secret word that opens closed doors as well as the instruments that monitor the very breathing of the modern citizen. After Deleuze dismantles the dynamics of "societies of surveillance," he points out a route for resistance which would enable the individual and the group to regain their freedom and become conscious of the dangers of the impressive technological "improvements" which rob them of their humanity. For him, both the trade unions and the young generation must develop new forms of resistance to this new monster before it devours them.]

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