This essay confronts policecorruption historically and conceptually, isolating noble cause corruption as a neglected yet powerful motivator of corrupt police behavior. Noble cause corruption is defined in some detail and several specific suggestions are made regarding police training programs to address the issue.
This essay confronts policecorruption historically and conceptually, isolating noble cause corruption as a neglected yet powerful motivator of corrupt police behavior. Noble cause corruption is defined in some detail and several specific suggestions are made regarding police training programs to address the issue.
Monetary intelligence theory asserts that individuals apply their money attitude to frame critical concerns in the context and strategically select certain options to achieve financial goals and ultimate happiness. This study explores the dark side of monetary Intelligence and behavioral economics—dishonesty. Dishonesty, a risky prospect, involves cost–benefit analysis of self-interest. We frame good or bad barrels in the environmental context as a proxy of high or low probability of getting caught for dishonesty, respectively. We theorize: The magnitude and intensity of (...) the relationship between love of money and dishonest prospect may reveal how individuals frame dishonesty in the context of two levels of subjective norm—perceived corporate ethical values at the micro-level and Corruption Perceptions Index at the macro-level, collected from multiple sources. Based on 6382 managers in 31 geopolitical entities across six continents, our cross-level three-way interaction effect illustrates: As expected, managers in good barrels, mixed barrels, and bad barrels display low, medium, and high magnitude of dishonesty, respectively. With high CEV, the intensity is the same across cultures. With low CEV, the intensity of dishonesty is the highest in high CPI entities —the Enron Effect, but the lowest in low CPI entities. CPI has a strong impact on the magnitude of dishonesty, whereas CEV has a strong impact on the intensity of dishonesty. We demonstrate dishonesty in light of monetary values and two frames of social norm, revealing critical implications to the field of behavioral economics and business ethics. (shrink)
How can we enhance police integrity? The authors surveyed over 3000 police officers from 30 U.S. police departments on how they would respond to typical scenarios where integrity is challenged. They studied three police agencies which scored highly on the integrity scale: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina; and St. Petersburg, Florida. The authors conclude that enhancing police integrity goes well beyond culling out "bad apple" police officers. Police administrators should focus on four (...) aspects: organizational rulemaking; detecting, investigating and disciplining rule violations; circumscribing the informal "code of silence" that prohibits police from reporting the misconduct of their colleagues; and understanding the influence of public expectations and agency history. (shrink)
This book is the most systematic, comprehensive and philosophically sophisticated discussion of police ethics yet published. It offers an in-depth analysis of the ethical values that police, as servants of the community, should uphold as they go about their task. The book considers the foundations and purpose of police authority in broad terms but also tackles specific problems such as accountability, the use of force, deceptive stratagems used to gain information or trap the criminally intentioned, corruption, (...) and the tension between personal values and communal concerns. Offering the fullest, most rigorous and up-to-date treatment of police ethics currently available, this book will be a perfect textbook in courses on applied ethics in philosophy departments or police and criminal justice ethics in departments of criminology and law schools. (shrink)
POLICE ETHICS – Abstract Mark Lauchs -/- Police are an essential part of the justice system. They are the frontline actors in keeping the peace, social stability and cohesion. Thus good governance relies on honest policing. However, there will always be at least a small group of corrupt police officers, even though Australians are culturally averse to corruption (Khatri, Tsang, & Begley, 2006). There have been many cases where the allegations of policecorruption have (...) reached to the highest levels of a state police force (Blanch, 1982) and, in the case of the Fitzgerald Inquiry (Fitzgerald, 1989), ended in a commissioner being convicted of corruption. -/- Any public official who places their own interests before those of the public have corrupted a system in which they are supposed to act as agents of the public, will undermine the good governance of a society (Lauchs, 2007). Police officers attract offers of corruption because of their ability to enforce or ignore the law. Police who are unethical or in financial stress are vulnerable to offers of illicit payments. Longstanding arrangements of corruption within a police branch can lead to a corruption network between police and criminals. Organised policecorruption constitutes “social behaviour, conducted in groups within organisations, that is powerful enough to override the officer’s oath of office, personal conscience, departmental regulations and criminal laws.” (Punch, 2000) it is an even greater threat to the community because the damage done has more impact than the sum of the individual acts of corruption. This chapter will discuss the types of policecorruption and focus on the organisation as the source of core police culture. -/- . (shrink)
The author starts from the hypothesis that it is essential for the countries of the region to critically assess the synergy established between systemic, political corruption and a selectively weak,?devious? nature of the state. Moreover, the key dilemma is whether the expanded practice of political rent seeking supports the conclusion that the root of all corruption is in the very existence of the state - particularly in excessive, selective and deforming state interventions and benefits that create a fertile (...) ground for corruption? The author argues that the destructive combination of weak government and rampant political corruption is based on scattered state intervention, while also rule the parties cartel in the executive branch subordinate to parliament, the judiciary and the police. Corrupt exchange takes place with the absence of strong institutional framework and the precise rules of the political and electoral games, control of public finances and effective political and anti-monopoly legislation and practice included. Exit from the current situation can be seen in the realization of effective anti?corruption strategy that integrates preventive and repressive measures and activities and lead to the establishment of principles of good governance. (shrink)
In this book, Seumas Miller develops distinctive philosophical analyses of corruption, collective responsibility and integrity systems, and applies them to cases in both the public and the private sectors. Using numerous well-known examples of institutional corruption, he explores a variety of actual and potential anti-corruption measures. The result is a wide-ranging, theoretically sophisticated and empirically informed work on institutional corruption and how to combat it. Part I defines the key concepts of corruption, power, collective responsibility, (...) bribery, abuse of authority and nepotism; Part II discusses anti-corruption and integrity systems, corruption investigations and whistle-blowing; and Part III focuses on corruption and anti-corruption in specific institutional settings, namely policing, finance, business and government. Integrating theory with practical approaches, this book will be important for those interested in the philosophy and ethics of corruption as well as for those who work to combat it. (shrink)
Monetary Intelligence theory asserts that individuals apply their money attitude to frame critical concerns in the context and strategically select certain options to achieve financial goals and ultimate happiness. This study explores the bright side of Monetary Intelligence and behavioral economics, frames money attitude in the context of pay and life satisfaction, and controls money at the macro-level and micro-level. We theorize: Managers with low love of money motive but high stewardship behavior will have high subjective well-being: pay satisfaction and (...) quality of life. Data collected from 6586 managers in 32 cultures across six continents support our theory. Interestingly, GDP per capita is related to life satisfaction, but not to pay satisfaction. Individual income is related to both life and pay satisfaction. Neither GDP nor income is related to Happiness. Our theoretical model across three GDP groups offers new discoveries: In high GDP entities, “high income” not only reduces aspirations—“Rich, Motivator, and Power,” but also promotes stewardship behavior—“Budget, Give/Donate, and Contribute” and appreciation of “Achievement.” After controlling income, we demonstrate the bright side of Monetary Intelligence: Low love of money motive but high stewardship behavior define Monetary Intelligence. “Good apples enjoy good quality of life in good barrels.” This notion adds another explanation to managers’ low magnitude of dishonesty in entities with high Corruption Perceptions Index. In low GDP entities, high income is related to poor Budgeting skills and escalated Happiness. These managers experience equal satisfaction with pay and life. We add a new vocabulary to the conversation of monetary intelligence, income, GDP, happiness, subjective well-being, good and bad apples and barrels, corruption, and behavioral ethics. (shrink)
This article seeks to explore the relationship between populism, 21st-century socialism, and the emergence of what has been referred to as an ‘ estado delincuente’, in the case of Venezuela. That is, a state structure permeated with transnational organized crime mafias in the executive and the judiciary, in the financial system, the prosecutor’s office, the police, the armed forces, the prison system, state-owned companies, governorships, and city councils, among other state institutions. First, I review conceptual aspects of populism to (...) understand how this served as the basis for creating the postulates of 21st-century socialism, which promoted the institutional destruction of Venezuelan democracy and created the conditions for the unbridled dissemination of state corruption. Second, emblematic cases of white-collar and blood crimes, nepotism and other corrupt activities are discussed to provide an idea of the magnitude of the issues that permeate the state apparatus. To conclude, I provide a critical summary of the consequences of this way of doing politics in contemporary Venezuela. (shrink)
During Abbasid Dynasty, Shurta Institution (Police) was one of the disciplinary and security systems whose duty was establishing order and security as well as fighting against the corrupt people and criminals i.e. Ayyaran. During the third period of Abbasid dynasty, which is known as Buyids era, the institution of Shurta experienced a number of changes in comparison with the first Abbasids periods, some of which were. the direct interference of the governors of buyids in appointing Sahib Al-Shurta (Shurta administrator), (...) paying the guaranty fee of this job to the treasury of Buyids in order to accept those jobs by those who were appointed to do so, and also political considerations in appointing Sahib Al-Shurta. In addition, at the end of the dominance of Buyids on caliphate of Abbasids and the beginning of their decline, another period of caliph’s interference was observed in appointing the administrators of the Shurta of Baghdad. This paper is aims at to study and analyze the function of this institution during the period of Buyids dominance on Caliphate of Abbasids in Baghdad (955-1068) and some of its consequences, as well as dealing with security circumstances of that period. (shrink)
This paper analyses video recorded interactions between police officers and drivers in traffic stops in Russia. The interactions were recorded via cameras installed on the drivers’ car dashboards, and subsequently uploaded to YouTube; a practice to which over one million Russian motorists have resorted to counterbalance perceived high levels of bribery and corruption. The analysis focuses on responses to opening requests for identification in five different encounters. These show that the drivers repeatedly engage in potentially interpersonally sensitive activities (...) in which the vulnerability of face, especially that of the police officer, is interactionally manifested by launching counter requests in return. The organisation of the request–counter request sequences highlights how face and identity related concerns are interwoven in the participants’ attempts to contest each other’s authority. (shrink)
This edited collection recalls the events that led up to the Fitzgerald Inquiry and examines the extraordinary influence the ‘watershed' inquiry has had on police and public sector reform at the state, national and international levels.
The article deals with the study of specific aspects of daily life of management and ordinary workers of the Ukrainian police at the mid 1920's based on the much-discussed in the press "Kievcase". This case was about systematic bribery in Ukrainian police (in modern language - about corruption). In this way we have detected the conditions, causes and mechanisms of the corruption that matter for the modern study of this phenomenon.
Content analysis of 291 cop action films reveals the gendering of heroism by Hollywood filmmakers. Employing Griswold's “cultural diamond” framework, this study frames the genre as product of a Hollywood labor market dominated by men but increasingly integrated. Women among its heroes continue disproportionately to be rookies and to work a narrow range of cases involving undercover operations and the detection of serial killers. Women in cop action films are also more likely than men to begin heterosexual affairs and to (...) arrest or kill their lovers. However, they engage in less combat and do not confront or engage in policecorruption. The most aggressive uses of and contest over state power thus turn out to be men's work in these films. The genre implies a collective common sense among industry professionals about the limits of men's professional ethics and women's professional achievements. (shrink)
Modern science is big business. Governments, universities, and corporations have invested billions of dollars in scientific and technological research in the hope of obtaining power and profit. For the most part, this investment has benefited science and society, leading to new discoveries, inventions, disciplines, specialties, jobs, and career opportunities. However, there is a dark side to the influx of money into science. Unbridled pursuit of financial gain in science can undermine scientific norms, such as objectivity, honesty, openness, respect for research (...) participants, and social responsibility. In The Price of Truth, David B. Resnik examines some of the important and difficult questions resulting from the financial and economic aspects of modern science. How does money affect scientific research? Have scientists become entrepreneurs bent on making money instead of investigators searching for the truth? How does the commercialization of research affect the public's perception of science? Can scientists prevent money from corrupting the research enterprise? What types of rules, polices, and guidelines should scientists adopt to prevent financial interests from adversely affecting research and the public's opinion of science? (shrink)
In this book, Seumas Miller examines the moral foundations of contemporary social institutions. Offering an original general theory of social institutions, he posits that all social institutions exist to realize various collective ends, indeed, to produce collective goods. He analyses key concepts such as collective responsibility and institutional corruption. Miller also provides distinctive special theories of particular institutions, including governments, welfare agencies, universities, police organizations, business corporations, and communications and information technology entities. These theories are philosophical and, thus, (...) foundational and synoptic in character. They are normative accounts of a sampling of contemporary social institutions, not descriptive accounts of all social institutions, both past and present. Miller also addresses various ethical challenges confronting contemporary institutional designers and policymakers, including the renovation of the international financial system, the 'dumbing down' of the media, the challenge of world poverty, and human rights infringements by security agencies combating global terrorism. (shrink)
In the United States today, much interpersonal racism is driven by corrupt forms of self-preservation. Drawing from Jean- Jacques Rousseau, I refer to this as self-love racism. The byproduct of socially-induced racial anxieties and perceived threats to one’s physical or social wellbeing, self-love racism is the protective attachment to the racialized dimensions of one’s social status, wealth, privilege, and/or identity. Examples include police officer related shootings of unarmed Black Americans, anti-immigrant sentiment, and the resurgence of unabashed white supremacy. This (...) form of racism is defined less by the introduction of racism into the world and more on the perpetuation of racially unjust socioeconomic and political structures. My theory, therefore, works at the intersection of the interpersonal and structural by offering an account of moral complacency in racist social structures. My goal is to reorient the directionality of philosophical work on racism by questioning the sense of innocence at the core of white ways-of-being. (shrink)
‘Police arrested suspected criminals in a satanic place masquerading as a church … There is no church there, but there is Satanism … Those people are not praying for anything, but they have hypnotised abantu [people]’. Informed by a decoloniality lens in relation to motifs such as coloniality of power and knowledge and being, I argue that mafiarised religions in South Africa thrive through psychic capture theology. Some emerging religious movements subject their followers to unthinkable practices, which makes outsiders (...) question the way in which both religious leaders and adherents operate outside the conventionally accepted practice of religion, and, instead, indulge in practices characterised by manipulation, corruption and mental destabilisation. I respond to two questions: What are the trajectories of a religion that zombifies, and how can the social pathologies of psychic capture theology be addressed? I respond to these questions with special reference to the Seven Angels Ministry and Penuel Mnguni. I argue that some emerging ministries strive to destroy the psychic ability of adherents, to achieve strategic distance that dehumanises, removes people from the zone of being, and causes them to question their ontological density. I end the article by arguing that there is a need for religion to be regulated, and reintroduced, to challenge religious mafias that thrive through mental destabilisation. In doing so, religion can be reconfigured and have relevance in a postcolonial state, such as South Africa, especially in contexts where the rationale of religious discourses is questionable.Contribution: The article contributes to knowledge in the sense that it calls for religion to be problematised and reconstructed within education and sociological space when it dehumanise and removes people from the zone of being. Through this approach, the article fits with the scope for the journal that calls for interdisciplinary approach to the study within the international contexts. (shrink)
In the December 2015 Issue of the Police Journal Sam Poyser and Rebecca Milne addressed the subject of miscarriages of justice. Cold case investigations can address some of these wrongs. The salient points for attention are those just before his sudden death: Milligan was appointed Private Secretary to Jonathan Aitken, the then Minister of Arms in the Conservative government in 1994. The known facts are as follows: 1. Stephen David Wyatt Milligan was found deceased on Tuesday 8th February 1994 (...) at his Chiswick, West London house where he lived alone. His body was found by his secretary Vera Taggart who was told by Julie Kirkbride where a spare key to his London house was kept and who decided to go to his house that day because he was not answering his telephone. Police said he had made one last telephone call on Saturday evening at 9.00pm. 2. Stephen David Wyatt Milligan had been the elected Member of Parliament (‘MP’) for Eastleigh in Hampshire since 1992. 3. The important topics this MP was addressing in 1994 at the time of his death included: (i) rail privatization plans and the impact through job losses on communities, especially his own constituency of Eastleigh; (ii) arms dealings with Saudi Arabia, especially with his previous intelligence gathered as an economics journalist for esteemed publications; (iii) the UK military industry; (iv) homosexuality among senior government Ministers, as revealed by British footballer Fasanu; (v) personal relationship and planned marriage to his fiancée (Julie Kirkbride) who at the time was a political journalist. 4. Stephen Milligan was also appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Jonathan Aitken, Arms Minister and this position must have required that he came ‘up to speed’ on international arms trade and indeed its relation to bribery and corruption across jurisdictions. Milligan’s experience and knowledge as a former high-level political and economics journalist must have been of huge benefit to government minister Jonathan Aitken who was later imprisoned for perjury. 5. Regarding Stephen Milligan’s death in 1994, the Guardian newspaper in their immediate obituary said that ‘The death of one of the government's most outspoken and loyal supporters will pose a stiff electoral test for the Tories to surmount. He was on the left of the Tory party - he had even had a brief flirtation with the SDP when it was formed - and was a noted Euro-enthusiast… the death of one of the government's most outspoken and loyal supporters will pose a stiff electoral test for the Tories to surmount. Regarding Stephen Milligan’s sudden and unexpected death in 1994, MP David Willetts (Conservative, Havant) said in March 2015, in his address in the House of Commons. ‘…The inevitable ups and downs and triumphs and disasters of politics are among the great features of this place. There are colleagues in all parts of the House who are tolerant and understanding. There are friendships that keep the downs as well as the ups of politics in perspective. Having entered the House in 1992, I think particularly of two good friends, Judith Chaplin and Stephen Milligan, who both died within two years of being elected; that loss stayed with me for a long time...’ 6. On 28 February 2000, in the House of Commons, at Column 106, Mr Mike Hancock (Portsmouth) said, on the deaths of Michael Colvin and of Stephen Milligan MP: ‘I knew Michael Colvin for nearly 30 years, from when he was first elected to Hampshire county council. During my time as leader of that council, he and the late former Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, Stephen Milligan, were usually the only Members of Parliament who readily supported the council when necessary. Michael Colvin supported many ventures in the county of Hampshire. He will be missed here, in his constituency, and in Europe, and I stress that Hampshire has lost a staunch supporter. I am sure that the county will at some stage want to record its regret at his death and its deepest appreciation of the part that he played in its life....’ -/- Mike Hancock had, like Stephen Milligan, served on the Select Committee on Defence. It is interesting that he mentioned Stephen Milligan’s support as MP for Eastleigh when Milligan had only been so appointed a couple of years before his sudden death, as compared to 30 years of support from Mike Colvin. 7. Mr Andrew Robathan (for Blaby) said in the House of Commons Hansard Debates on 27 January1997, (Column 62) (on the registering of sex offenders): ‘I remember the death of my honourable friend Stephen Milligan, who represented Eastleigh. The press reports of the time stated that each Metropolitan police station had a police officer in the pay of newspapers. I do not know whether that is true, but I am aware that the police are not renowned for being entirely secure with their information…’ This statement is mischievous and it has been demonstrated time and time again, as being untrue, especially during the recent press inquiry leading to the four-volume Leveson Report, published in November 2012, into phone hacking and the ethics and culture of the UK media, pursuant to section 26 of the Inquiries Act 2005, and ordered by the House of Commons to be printed on 29 November 2012, ISBN: 9780102981063, by the Stationery Office Limited on behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. In Volume 4 of the 2012 Leveson Report, chapter 4 concluded on the Press Complaints Commission (‘PCC’) and its effectiveness and revealed that the PCC does not initiate its own investigations other than those ‘needed to head off criticism of the press or self-regulation- or to accept complaints from third parties across the board and on a transparent basis… and the report states that ‘the resources of the police are limited’ in terms of being able to fully inspect the Press and media reports. (shrink)
The “blue wall of silence” -- the rule that police officers will not testify against each other -- has its roots in an important associational virtue, loyalty, which, in the context of friendship and familial relations, is of central importance. This article seeks to distinguish the worthy roots of the “blue wall” from its frequent corruption in the covering up of serious criminality, and attempts to offer criteria for determining when to testify and when to respond in other (...) ways to the flaws of fellow officers. (shrink)
Bribery is a complicated, multi-dimensional issue. Upon first glance, most westerners would immediately condemn it as an underhanded, unfair means of gaining an advantage in a competitive or legal situation, and so it is in virtually every case in the westernized world. However, the issue becomes much more complicated in the international context, particularly in developing nations, where giving and accepting bribes is often normal and expected. This paper serves to inform ethical decision-making in situations where the “right choice” is (...) unclear with regards to bribery, primarily for individuals performing aid work in foreign countries with corrupt officials and police officers. In such contexts, a simple offering of food, money, or a small trinket may make the difference between a person being able to accomplish meaningful, life-changing work for the local populace or having that work significantly slowed at best and being thrown out of the country, robbed, or imprisoned in worse cases. The larger scale bribery issues in international business and the laws pertaining to them are also discussed. (shrink)
The history of ethical problems and corruption in American law enforcement is well documented. Current law enforcement training lacks a significant focus on ethics training and is in need of modifications which would include a greater emphasis on ethics education. This study drew on cognitive development theory, applied specifically to the domains of moral and conceptual development, to create and implement an educational programme for police officer trainees and college students studying criminal justice. The Deliberate Psychological Education model (...) provided the framework for this educational program designed to promote development of moral reasoning and conceptual complexity among the participants. Significant gains were achieved for participants in the Deliberate Psychological Education intervention when compared with a control group in which the participants received the ethics training in a more traditional lecture format. (shrink)
The so-called 'Dutroux-case'- the revelation of the kidnapping and the murder of four underaged girls and the apparent malfunctions of the judiciary and the police forces, was the most important issue on the 1997 political agenda. Unanimously, the Chamber of Representatives agreed upon the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into the bungled police investigation. Yet the unanimity disappeared quickly when the recommendations on the reorganisation of the police forces had to be implemented.New revelations of the Dassault-case, and (...) the involvement of both socialist parties, put the government underpressure. The events themselves, and the discontent they caused in some majority parties, urged the government to revise the governmental programme. Guy Spitaels, chairman of the Walloon parliament resigned. Guy Coëme, former minister of Defence, alleged ofpassive corruption in the Dassault-case, was referred to the Supreme Court of Appeal by decision of the Chamber of Representatives. (shrink)
We had thought that poetry was a grace beyond biology, except for the biomovements of dancers, athletes, or those we love most. We had thought it a contradictory “organic” perfection in the relatively staying realm of the symbolical. But, no, according to Kristeva’s theory, poetry is essentially antiformal—in fact, so profoundly antiaesthetic that the proper words for describing it are not beauty, inspiration, form, instinctive rightness, inevitability, or delicacy . Instead, it attracts terms drawn from politics and war: corruption, (...) infiltration, disruption, shatterings, negation, supplantation, and murder. Poetry is the chora’s guerrilla war against culture.According to Kristeva, poetry reverses the ritualistic theological sacrifice of the soma, a sacrifice subsequently exacted, like a sales tax, through the “thetic” element of discourse, its determinate articulations. For Kristeva, the “theologization of the thetic” is what culture is —and as such it has no fundamental right to be, since what is fundamental is the chora and not God. I refer here as throughout to the revolutionary Kristeva of the late sixties and early seventies, the Kristeva whose “we,” as she says in “My Memory’s Hyperbole,” was a putatively communist Parisian party for “permanent revolution.”4 Revolution in Poetic Language is a monumental, late end product of this phase of Kristeva’s thinking; indeed, there are signs that she had already surpassed it by the time the book was published. 4. See Kristeva, “My Memory’s Hyperbole,” trans. Athena Viscusi, in The Female Autograph: Theory and Practice of Autobiography from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century, ed. Domna C. Stanton , pp. 219-35. Calvin Bedient is professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles. His most recent book is He Do the Police in Different Voices , a study of The Waste Land. (shrink)
This article explores the case of informal car parkers in Mexico City, to whom drivers regularly entrust the keys to their vehicles. In contrast to literature on social trust that expects institutional trust and interpersonal trust to support one another, the article shows that interpersonal trust improbably arises in the context of corrupt and inefficient institutions. Coercive and market dynamics undergird the interactions among car parkers, police officers, and drivers, making possible the emergence of an informal market and noncontractual (...) agreements. The exchange between car parkers and drivers depends on the performance of class—a performance that becomes legible and formulaic enough to appear safe, precisely because it coalesces classist tropes that are clearly distinct and recognizable. Interpersonal trust becomes possible not only despite class cleavages and institutional shortcomings but, paradoxically, because of them. (shrink)
Joaquin Segura. Untitled (fig. 40) . 2007 continent. 1.2 (2011): 117-124. The interview that follows is a dialogue between artist and gallerist with the intent of unearthing the artist’s working strategies for a general public. Joaquin Segura is at once an anomaly in Mexico’s contemporary art scene at the same time as he is one of the most emblematic representatives of a larger shift toward a post-national identity among its youngest generation of artists. If Mexico looks increasingly like a foreclosed (...) home burning to the ground, Segura could likely be the one walking away, charred matchstick between thumb and forefinger and shit-eating grin on his face. His corrosive attacks on institutions, ideologies, and power reflect a deep general distrust of authority, increasingly evident within the work of younger Mexican artists. It is perhaps most directly the result of President Calderon’s deeply unpopular war against the cartels but no doubt equally the product of decades upon decades of rampant corruption and errant policy within Mexico. Brett W Schultz (BWS): A recurring—if not dominant—theme within your current work and investigation explores ideological extremism in reaction to some perceived political and economic disenfranchisement, especially that espoused and practiced by right-wing groups in United States. That's exactly why I thought of you when I was approached to contribute a piece to an issue on the subject of the moraine—taken metaphorically here to signify a certain set of beliefs that have resurfaced within mainstream American culture in the wake of a probably over-exaggerated political sea-change, marked by Obama's election. You're a Mexican artist who now lives and works in Guadalajara, far from the border cities where such concerns would seem more likely to be relevant to a contemporary artist; of course, you're even farther from the culture that birthed this nature of extremism. What interests you so intensely about this movement, if we can call it that? Joaquin Segura (JS): I think there are several seminal points that you touch on in this particular question. There's a very specific set of interests that make me address the socio-political issues I've been dissecting through my practice in the last few years. First of all, I don't really consider myself a 'mexican' artist. As I've made clear in the past, I don't really believe in the notion of 'identity' or the idea of 'nation', which I find totally laughable and heartwarmingly passé. I'm convinced that these are totally outdated models of understanding our differences and similarities, expanding our already immense and irreconcilable cultural abysses instead of bringing them together, thus resulting in their total dispersion among the complex and extremely arbitrary weaving of contemporary social nucleii. Pretty much a frankly bad joke, if I may say so. The fact that I live and work in Mexico is a completely random geographical and temporal factor, which of course affects what I think and what I do, but I've chosen not to be limited by this specific circumstance. In the past, while working abroad, I've taken advantage of this preconception of Mexico—to be more exact, pretty much all of Latin America—as one of the last barbaric bastions of western civilization. Totally amusing, if you ask me about it. I consider my practice to be, among other things, a gonzo strategy of deceit: there are quite a few roles you can adopt in this approach that may actually reveal themselves to be a privileged vantage point. In my experience, the gentle savage is one of the most effective ones to establish my standing position. Thus, I'm a mexican artist if I need it to prove my point. If it's not necessary in a specific circumstance, I'm not. Quite simple, I think. Said in other words, it's just an ace I can play to win a particular match. It has worked so far, at least for me. L: Hey, America… , 2009. R: The Inaugural Address , 2009. I am interested in the nature of power and the rise and fall of totalitarian ideological and political apparatuses nowadays. But I guess, going even further, I'm essentially fascinated by the fissures and contradictions that have made these structures spectacularly crumble to the ground. I do believe extreme ideologies have played a crucial role in the globalization of socio-political crisis. In the end, our world is nothing more than a fading monument to all things gone wrong—the inspiring triumph of failure, in every sense. I see this as an exciting parable. And of course, it is an undeniable fact that the US, through their influence in world economy, international policies and general attitude towards the rest of the planet is the largest structure waiting to collapse. I think we are all secretly awaiting that moment of splendor, even americans. It'll be disastrous and as nasty as it can get, but it will also be liberating and incredibly inspirational. Not just because it’s the US but because it'll prove that absolutely everything is susceptible to fall. And not only that, most importantly, it would confirm that radical change may actually be possible and not just one more of the unfulfilled promises modernity has left us to struggle with on our own. BWS: I want to talk first about two of your works in particular: Hey, America... and The Inaugural Address . I feel like your more recent work has a subtle —or even hidden—sinisterness, but these two works are perfect examples of how brutally confrontational your earlier work has been. When we showed Hey, America... at Mexico City's Zona Maco art fair in 2010, there were at least a couple visitors to our stand who were absolutely ready to punch me in my gringo face for having done so. Certainly the shock value of these works is crucial to their central ideas, but can you tell me more about your intentions and how these works relate to your general oeuvre? JS: So funny. Perhaps we do deserve to be punched in the face. I think that's what I'm sometimes looking for, but I hardly ever get it. I do think of such works as some sort of logical trap, a somewhat perverse ambush waiting for someone to walk into head-on. I think what I tried to do with those two specific works, as well as some other past projects, is just emphasize issues or themes that do disturb or make me uneasy and restless. I consider my essential intention a need to make clear that we do not have to look the other way, ignore or forget. We must address, understand and solve these manifestations of senseless violence and absurdity because if we don't confront them this way, they'll end up consuming us. In other words, I do consider these works as a personal need of coming to terms with the nonsense of the world we all are living in. I don't particularly consider myself to be someone with a clear set of beliefs. Perhaps my only certainty would be that everything is there to be denied, demolished and obliterated—even my supposed unquestionability of that particular 'dogma.' My practice is a reflection of that paradox, and I do think that's how these two pieces relate to a wider body of work. Every democratic system and so-called developed contemporary society is deeply flawed on the inside, and that is because each has swept things under the rug. Of course, there's tolerance, good will and eagerness to make a difference but there's also hatred, pain and fear lingering all around. We must learn to relate to both sides of the spectrum. In a way, I approach the themes behind these particular works in what I think to be a non-biased, somewhat 'neutral' way. I do think there's an encryption process going on in the way I work, some sort of formal refinement of this somewhat outrageous content. A digest of infamy, if we can refer to it that way. It is up to the individual experiencing the work to decide which way these pieces lean. They can easily be seen from both positions and I'm ok with that. If you look closely at these works, there's nothing that establishes an unrelenting position—neither support nor rejection. I don't want my personal political views to directly set an agenda for the spectator as that’s essentially propaganda, which is one of the things I absolutely despise. To sum it up, I strive for the spectator to complete the piece in that sense. The work then becomes a reflection of his or her own contradictions, a playground of the mind. I'm interested in achieving a deadpan and deadlock state in the observer. So, in a way, those visitors threatening to beat the shit out of you unconsciously became that particular issue the work is alluding to. Just blind and senseless reaction to god knows what people feel must be defended, the overwhelming virtue of ambiguity. Beautiful. Perhaps you can also think of my practice as a uber-sophisticated and snobbish version of Punk'd. And you wouldn't be far from what I'm trying to convey. Untitled (Disturbance Scenarios #2) . 2010. BWS: To me, an important transitional marker in the overall trajectory of your work is the series, Disturbance Scenarios , which evokes a similar generalized state of panic, paranoia, and impending doom through its incorporation of sensationalist newspaper headlines, yet also suggests this slyly mysterious meta-narrative via the context in which the newspaper itself is placed. How did you arrive at this series and why did you choose photorealistic painting as the medium for it? JS: I consider this series to be a by-product of the process I follow when making work. I spend an important part of my time just doing research, going through documentation and accumulating visual or historical references for the themes or episodes I'm interested in, in that particular moment. These are, of course, valuable assets that connect among themselves in a mysterious and almost undetectable manner, sometimes a few years between one and the other. I've employed similar production strategies in the past, in ongoing series like Random Moments of Urban Decay , in which I document what I consider to be physical traces of ethnic, religious or ideological violence in the form of text graffiti, invisibly scattered in different cities of the world, mostly in the US. Disturbance Scenarios was started in early 2010, following a particularly intense period of traveling here and there that lasted for most of the year. I've always felt compelled by text, as I find quite intriguing the idea of how words can create equally intense evocations of what I call a mental panorama of uneasiness than those produced by aesthetically-charged imagery; of course, if handled right. I have a close relationship to print media—due both to my academic background and to my attraction to its ubiquity and almost unlimited influence, which in the end, is nothing else but power—so I found myself with a growing archive of newspaper headlines snapshots from cities like Melbourne, Auckland, London, and LA. Going through them, I noticed that they had in common a very specific thematic slant: they were all about some sort of conflict: energy crisis, political unrest, local episodes of domestic violence, you name it. So as you very well put it, I felt they all connected through this feeling of anxiety and anguish and I decided to start thinking of them as a body of work. Basically, I felt an interest in creating what I think of as my personal fragmented prefigurements of the end of civilization. There were few elements on the shots that could give away its actual location, geographically speaking, and I liked that. I find this sensation of vagueness and uncertainty quite alluring. The more subtle, the more perverse. The formal resolution of the series—as photo-realistic painting—is linked to my intention of creating distance between me as the artist and the themes I work with. I rarely execute my own work, and that is more a personal choice as I'm more interested in the ideas I mingle with than in the actual outcome of that process, understood as an "art-object" with certain market value. I did some tests with light-jet prints of those snapshots and I found them devoid of that nightmarish, disturbing indistinctness that I felt was so important for them to be able to project the turmoil I experienced upon encountering them and in conceiving of them as a series. So I thought that photorealistic painting would be an interesting resource to play with, as I hardly had worked with that medium before because of my lenient animosity toward painters and their craft. So they were executed like that and I think it turned out to be just right. Homemade (Napalm #2) . 2010. BWS: Though Disturbance Scenarios remains ongoing, it's an interesting contrast to another series of yours, Homemade, which are these beautifully banal photographs of the ingredients used to make improvised explosives. Whereas Disturbance Scenarios still confronts the viewer aggressively with its visual emphasis on loaded texts, in Homemade , you've dropped the surface-level bravado entirely. They're pieces that require explanation to someone not already versed in the fine art of amateur explosive-making. You weren't known for subtlety in your past work; why this change in direction? JS: I'm personally convinced that these are just two angles of the same conceptual preoccupation. I mentioned before my obsession with the idea of encryption. I'm quite enticed by how these processes of translation can politically and semantically alter and deviate purportedly subversive materials such as the ones these works allude to. I do think subversion is futile. I was really troubled by that thought for some time, but I think now I understand that it's not really that important. What is really significant is to elaborate on these alternate views, to envision and refine possible escape routes. It doesn't really matter if they go nowhere, but that is because nothing really matters. A "mute" artwork is a notion that captivates me. When you look at the works you mention, you know there's something off, but it's not fully clear how and why that is. I rely on that insecurity—on that moment of hesitation. And that can also be achieved through an approach like the one I'm now interested in. Let's just call it a smoke screen, a surrogate ruse to get to the same point: to talk about impotence and defeat in contemporary life. The notion that readily accessible information is actually a weapon is a double-edged fallacy: sure, you can make use of whatever resources you can lay your hands on, but that doesn't set you free because freedom is impossible. Still, that doesn't mean you can't blow up stuff during the process, metaphorically or not. I didn't understand the nature of subtlety before. I used to think that you needed to be loud and manifest anger and unconformity in the most aggressive manner possible. Then I finally realized that you can actually permeate and rarify a battleground—because after all, this is low-intensity war—if you actually aim at silently building up the contradictions and making the symbolic value of ideas and acts clash within themselves. Or perhaps it is that I am just getting old. I guess I used to be an angry kid until recently. Now I think of myself as a disenchanted post-teenager, and of course that reflects in my work and my approach to art-making. Kind of a rite of passage and I laugh at it because, overall, it has been overwhelmingly fun. And that doesn't mean that I'm not ready to stick it in someone or something's face again if I feel like it. BWS: You're now taking the subtlety of the Homemade series even further with your newest series, Definitive Reader For a Botched Revolution , in which you photograph a series of politically-charged books side-on, negating their content entirely—essentially reducing them to purely aesthetic objects in which the subject matter is only revealed in the title of the work. Can you talk about the ideas behind this series? Furthermore, is your recent interest in this idea of the "botched revolution" an indication of a general attitudinal or philosophical shift you've since adopted? JS: This new series of works is the logical outcome of a brief period I went through. Probably the last couple years, in which due to a number of circumstances that don't really have to do with my art-making, I was forced to renegotiate my ideas, my beliefs and practically everything that surrounds me. It was quite distressful and turbulent, but in the end, I think it was also almost epiphanic. I came to terms with myself and now I'm calm and serene. That is, of course, my personal take on it but I mention it because I do think it's important to address this shift you mention. The idea of an artwork as a container for latent revelations enthralls me quite a bit. That's how I see these particular works: art as an incendiary agent. It's up to the artist and the spectator to do whatever they please with it. I think the detachment and almost surgical cleanliness from the Definitive Reader series is also my take at poking fun of the way some art is totally innocuous and uncompromising. These images may be pleasing to the eye, but there's something twisted and rotten within them, well hidden beneath. You'll either see it or not, but without a doubt, it will not cancel its presence. This series is intrinsically linked to Homemade . I'm pretty much horsing around with similar ideas and statements here. And well, yes, I do think any revolution is a botched one. There's nothing too heavy about their own downfall. Decay and breakdown are here and will not go away. Perhaps we must learn to embrace them in one way or another, for our own sake. L: Untitled (T.A.Z.). R: Untitled (United States Marine Guidebook of Essential Subjects) . 2011. BWS: Finally, let's discuss the near future. You've got an upcoming solo show at the Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros [SAPS] in Mexico City this summer. What can we expect from that? What else do you have planned? JS: I'll go and get seafood as soon as I'm done with this interview. It's pretty good here in Guadalajara. That's my top priority at this very moment. About my solo project at SAPS, it's due to open in late July. I'm quite looking forward to it. I'm still closely working with the curator on the general feel for the show but I can say that it'll be more of a revision of past works that have not been shown in Mexico City except for a couple pieces. It definitely won't be a showcase for new projects, although we may include one or two previously unseen works. What you can expect is a rereading of what I've been working on during the past few years. In a way, that's exciting to me because for some reason I don't really care about, I'm not that active in Mexico City even though that's where I lived and work for years. I've hardly shown there after my solo project at Yautepec in February of 2010. It'll be nice to see how it all comes together and I'm more thrilled about it because I totally love the space and I think they're doing an excellent job with their programming and its direction. And in a certain way it feels like going back home. About everything else, I need a period to reflect and fully understand what I've been thinking and working on. I've got a few group shows here and there: New York, San Francisco, and Melbourne are the ones happening soon. I will present my censored project Untitled ( Gringo Loco ) as part of the programming of the Museo de Arte de Zapopan in Guadalajara, two years after being escorted at gunpoint from the installation site by police sent by the extreme right-wing mayor of the city, which I found pretty amusing for an otherwise typical Saturday afternoon. I'm also involved in a couple "curatorial" projects. In my case, "curatorial" means that I help put together stuff I like and I'm interested in. One of them will open in late September of 2011 at Arena Mexico Arte Contemporaneo, and I will work with three of whom I consider to be some of the best artists in a lively and active scene such as the one here in Guadalajara. But most importantly, I've been doing heavy research so there are also a number of projects that I've yet to finalize. That'll be my main focus during the rest of the year, even though I really enjoy procrastination. There'll be time for that later. Or maybe not. We'll see. About Joaquin Segura The action, installation, intervention and photographic work of Joaquin Segura (b. Mexico City, 1980) has been shown in solo and group exhibitions in Mexico, the United States, Europe, and Asia. Some spaces that have featured his work include La Panaderia, Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, Centro de la Imagen and Ex-Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City; El Museo del Barrio and apexart, New York, NY; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain; National Center for Contemporary Art, Moscow, Russia; and Palace Adria in Prague, Czech Republic. In 2008 and 2009, Segura was an artist-in-residence at the International Studio and Curatorial Program, New York, NY and at the 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, CA. He is represented YAUTEPEC in Mexico City and by Arena Mexico Arte Contemporáneo in Guadalajara. Further Reading Joaquin Segura’s website YAUTEPEC artist page for Joaquin Segura Capps, Kriston. “ID-ENTITY: Washington, DC.” ART PAPERS . 2009. (shrink)
Place mouse over image continent. 2.1 (2012): 36–39. From an ethical and political perspective, people and property can hardly be separated. Indeed, the modern political subject – that is, the individual, the person, the self, the autonomous actor, the rational self-interest maximizer, etc. – has taken shape in and through the elaboration, institutionalization, and enactment of that which rightfully belongs to it. This thread can be traced back perhaps most directly to Locke’s notion that the origin of the political state (...) occurs when people rise above the state of nature by ceding the power to prosecute offenses. The rule of law begins then with a defense of the right to property. People become subjects by adhering to the social contract, which they do by deferring the defense of their own property to the state. In this light, the response of the United States federal government to the financial crisis of 2008 appears to many as a breach of the social contract. The chant “banks got bailed out, we got sold out” states the claim plainly. Why exactly did some subjects (e.g., the banks) have their property defended by the state (i.e., through the variety of programs including TARP, the discount window at the US Federal Reserve, etc.), when other subjects (e.g., homeowners) found themselves without protection of their property rights, forced to default on mortgage debts and face dispossession? Even if the rhetoric about “too big to fail” can be believed, and the collapse of the financial system would lead to negative consequences for people who had little or no connection to the activities that brought it about, such consequences need not call into question the notion that everyone stands equally before the law. To occupy, then, appears as a form of civil disobedience, an intentional, retaliatory breach of the social contract by those who feel that they have lost the support of the state to which they ceded their power as sovereign agents. The visible and the invisible The violation of property rights of people who have recognition, protection and power under the law destabilizes their very status as citizens and tests the limit of democracy. Does the financial system force the dematerialized victimization of individuals? Do people become numbers, or worse still, percentages of unemployed, tranches of defaulted mortgages and foreclosures? Are they perhaps instead disenfranchised prospectively from the privileged position occupied by virtual entities and actors such as those involved in the derivatives markets, always already exiled back into the physical, visible realm? The line of conflict appears to be drawn between invisibility/absence/deferral and visibility/presence/realization. The demonstrators occupy an excess property of those subjects, namely, the banks and financial elite, who did receive recognition and protection under the law. By domesticating this excess property, rendering its invisibility visible within the political economy, the protesters raise a new form of threat to the hegemonic order. To occupy, then, involves a rejection of the order under which the “99%” have been subjected to erasure. The occupation seeks creatively to establish a new means of communication and law for its subjects. In the face of an existing power structure that is increasingly disenfranchising the majority of people while consolidating nodes of power and influence, the “occupation”, or the work of the Occupy movement, involves seizing a space that refuses the rules of the existing, allegedly corrupt sovereign state. This refusal of governance extends even to include a steadfast refusal to articulate a strategy, to formulate a list of demands, to converse with the sovereign power on the grounds of its own conventions, to put forth a leader, to resolve the ambiguity of the movement into a discreet identity, face, or voice. Do these tactics provide a resolution to the problem that was its genesis? Not in such a direct and easily resolved manner, but it remains difficult to imagine a direct and simple resolution to the problematic of the breach of the social contract. The ambiguity of the situation has generated significant interest within the broader populace, though many people sympathetic to the cause appear to be frustrated because the movement has not simply put forward a short list of concrete demands, or even a set of leaders and spokespeople, much less a resolution. And yet, this lack of coherence appears as a resolution of a problem generic to protest movements in the past, where individual leaders can be removed or discredited, and lists of demands can be co-opted by others holding more political power. Meanwhile, the ambiguity has compelled imitations on a global scale, with the Occupy Wall Street participants consciously taking actions that can be replicated by anyone anywhere without significant cost. These actions have taken place not in a peripheral location such as a parking lot in New Jersey, but instead close to the centers of power and governance, adjacent to Wall Street, close to the White House, on college campuses, etc. This spontaneous archipelago of protests becomes an irritant, a negation of the accepted order of protests, but when the protesters themselves move outside of their encampments, they are escorted by the police, constantly monitored and maintained so that a permanent state of paranoid persecution takes hold. To occupy, occupying, occupation – these actions involve a variable degree of danger – are you willing to step into a different space, where the rule of law is unclear and evolving? Are you presenting yourself as a representative of the majority, the 99%? Who has a sense of belonging to the 99%? This previously invisible population becomes a focal point of political power, garners increasing public support, infects the public dialogue. The government recognizes this population by forcing it from the occupied space, removing the element of possession of property. It is at this point of conflict, in the struggle to hold the physical property, where the greatest friction and violence occurs. Scaling the rule of law While occupied, the property calls for a redress of grievances, a restoration of the rule of law. The Occupy movement does not select and put forward individuals or leaders, it puts forward places – the occupied property represents the point of conflict, not the individual. And it is this very property that the government then tries to reclaim. The movement remains faceless, anonymous, uncounted, or rather counted only as a mass, the self-labeled mass of 99%. These spaces are like refugee camps or favelas, but constructed to unite the political life and private life of the protesters. This objective is presented as a tactical necessity, as all other means of protest and communication have failed, leaving only the option of seizing, holding, occupying a property. But to what end, exactly? Can anyone deliberately return to the prior social contract, embrace, affirm, and govern in strict accordance with the earlier relationship to property, following the logic of Locke’s arguments? In this respect, the contemporary crisis indicates a new, transitional phase in the way that property operates, or rather, in the balance between real and virtual value. The roots of the crisis lay in the massive overvaluation of property caused by lax lending practices, as more people were encouraged to borrow more money, which drove up the prices of property. At the same time, these individual properties, these mortgages for homes actual families lived in and worked to support, were bundled into securities that could be bought, sold, and speculated on. The reduction of a physical house or piece of real estate to an almost incalculably small element in an investment vehicle appears as a scaling of the hedge that radically diminishes the value of any individually owned property. Moreover, a number of recently-innovated financial products allow investors to hedge in new ways, to deliberately spread risk around a portfolio in hopes of bringing returns even when the individual mortgage defaults. At the level of the ‘free’ market, these virtual negative valuations are designed to balance the physical positive valuation, though many of the biggest lenders are now being investigated for controlling both sides of this valuation, the positive and the negative, to facilitate both the creation and failure of the investments and to profit from both. The ability to benefit from both the negative and positive value of an investment is a result of a technologically enabled capacity to operate within a complex field. These layered and scaled investment vehicles and the simultaneous negation of their value together represent a commingling of the virtual and physical existence that is both complex and multiple. The valuation of a virtual property has tremendous power to change the valuation of the physical - either injecting it with or depriving it of funds, pumping in or draining life and energy. This situation has roots of its own – the notion of property advanced e.g., throughout the enclosure movement in Britain was, from the outset, an imposition of virtuality (i.e., the concept of law, the institutions associated with ownership, etc.) on the physical reality of land. 1 The difference today is that technological trading platforms combined with innovations within the financial services industry have enabled the reduction of each individual property receiving or losing value in scale to an almost atomic level. In turn, the number of properties held simultaneously and valued as a massive, multiple wholes – i.e., the derivatives market in mortgage-backed securities – is a new phenomenon made possible through the application of similar technologies and institutional structures. And those actors who can trade in these layers of complexity can then profit from the new phase of disassociation of the virtual and the physical – unconcerned with and operating at such a virtual distance from the individual residing physically on a particular piece of real estate that they no longer feel the tug of the physical tying them back to the physical, operating literally as in a video game, in a virtually distanced world. What can or should be done about this situation? Answers lie outside the scope of this current essay, but merit consideration in the near future… NOTE 1) Hernando de Soto has emphasized this dimension by empirically demonstrating its non-existence in many countries in The Mystery of Capital. (shrink)
ABSTRACTCase summary, by James Cook :In the final issue of the 2015 volume of the Journal of Military Ethics, we published a case study entitled “Coining an Ethical Dilemma: The Impunity of Afghanistan’s Indigenous Security Forces”, written by Paul Lushenko. The study detailed two extra-judicial killings by Afghan National Police personnel in an area stabilized and overseen by a US-led Combined Task Force. To deter further EJKs following the first incident, the CTF’s commander reported the incidents up his chain (...) of command and used the limited tools at his disposal to influence local indigenous officials directly. Apparently, the ANP unit took no notice. In his commentary on the case study, Paul Robinson considered moral compromise in war more generally. Coalition troops in Afghanistan, for instance, have encountered not just EJKs but also sexual abuse of minors, killing of non-combatants, kidnapping, torture, and widespread corruption. What should the soldier on the... (shrink)
Consider the following problem. A multinational corporation is expanding its operations to a developing country. The developing country in question is now a democracy or is in the process of becoming one, it has a (fairly) independent and corruption-free judiciary (or is in the process of establishing one), its human rights record, while not perfect, is improving, and its bureaucracy and police are not now terribly corrupt. But not too long ago, none of these things were true. A (...) few years back, the nation was run by a dictator, and the bureaucracy, judiciary, and police were all corrupt. Business people, and everyone else, had to operate within this corrupt system, and for business people this usually involved—at a minimum—lending tacit support to the existing regime, paying bribes, making financial “donations” to the ruling party, overlooking various “activities”, and so forth. (shrink)
continent. 1.4 (2011): 242—252. Introduction The following two works were produced by visual artist Jonas Staal and writer Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei during a visit as artists in residence at The Bag Factory, Johannesburg, South Africa during the summer of 2010. Both works were produced in situ and comprised in both cases a public intervention conceived by Staal and a textual work conceived by Van Gerven Oei. It was their aim, in both cases, to produce complementary works that could (...) be read “through each other,” in which the movement of artistic construction would be imitated by textual deconstruction and vice versa. Both works deal with the way in which capital, apartheid, and monumentality are interwoven in South-African society. The Missing Link addresses a monument for democracy, erected on the premises of a private corporation running both an amusement park and the Apartheid Museum franchise. The textual intervention accompanying this public intervention investigates the limits of the inclusiveness of the anti-discrimination section in the South-African constitution, itself a monumental work of democracy. The Monument for the Distribution of Wealth deals with the history and eventual dissolution of a monumental square, commemorating the Soweto Uprising, in one of the poorest townships of Johannesburg. The history accompanying this public dismemberment of memory is equally fragmented, which is expressed by the many voices recounting uncertain and perhaps even irrelevant “facts” about the genius loci, the way in which the memorial space has actually entered into the memory of the inhabitants surrounding it. Next to their individual practices, Staal and Van Gerven Oei have worked together on a number of projects ever since 2007, including several art residencies. Their work involves an investigation of the different interfaces between art, politics, and public space in media ranging from theater and public interventions, to video installations and (co-authored) textual works. The Missing Link Missing Link (1) Missing Link (2) Missing Link (3) Intervention on the monument entitled The Seven Pillars of the Constitution , part of the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Seven Pillars represent the constitutional values propagated in South Africa since the abolition of the apartheid regime. The monument and museum were built by the Gold Reef Resorts corporation, which is also responsible for the theme park and casino next to it. By placing the word “capitalism” on the wall surrounding the museum, the capitalist system and the constant social divisions that it implies are interpreted as sophistic continuations of apartheid politics. Through the capitalist system, apartheid is still operational within South African society. Whereas during the apartheid regime, the separation clearly ran along race divisions, in the current, “democratic” system, the same actual separation is sustained without it being an explicit element of the foundations of the country, i.e. the constitution. This intervention foregrounds the constant role of capitalism is both periods. At the same time the intervention acknowledges that contemporary Western artisthood is a mirror of the privileges that are offered by the capitalist system, and the type of artist that it produces. The intervention initiates a critical discourse concerning the capitalist system situated within the disaster of capitalism itself, in other words: through the desire to break with the presumption that art would be able to operate outside the capitalist system and to confirm that art—and the artist himself—is in fact modeled on this system. The public intervention by Staal was supplemented by a textual intervention by Van Gerven Oei: a proposition to alter the seventeenth amendment of the South African constitution. Even though the anti-discrimination legislation in South-Africa is one of the most stringent and inclusive in the world, one factor—wealth—remains outside its scope, thus continuing the schisms along racial lines produced during the apartheid regime: §9.3. The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, birth, and wealth. Monument for the Distribution of Wealth Intervention concerning the June 16 Memorial Acre in Central Western Jabavu, one of the poorest townships of Johannesburg. The monument comprises a park on which different are placed recalling an important protest the black population against the former apartheid regime. In 1976, from a school adjacent to the park, they started a massive protest against the introduction of Afrikaans in the school curriculum. The police reacted violently, and shot several hundreds of students. The construction of the June 16 Memorial Acre was started in 2005, and from the start was the paragon of corruption. Coordinated by local politicians, some family members of the protest leader from 1976 gained control of the realization of the monument, outside the regulation through external institutions. The available budget of 41 million rand (at that time well over 5 million euro) was largely embezzled. In the meantime, the monument has become fully dilapidated and defaced. The park has become overgrown with weeds and covered in a layer of dirt, and the local population is slowly plundering the square to use the material for the construction and decoration of their own houses. The Monument for the Distribution of Wealth develops the dynamics already existent around the June 16 Memorial Acre. Without obtaining official permission in advance, several local inhabitants were hired to break down the monument, sort the materials, and offer it to the neighborhood. Thus, the redistribution of wealth after the fall of the apartheid regime is finally taking place, albeit from the mere remains of the capital that was once invested in the community. The words “monument” and “for free” are spray-painted on the stacks of material, both in English and Zulu, as these are locally the most common languages. Van Gerven Oei supplemented Staal’s public intervention with an account of the history of the monument based on a series of interviews. The account clarifies how the different interests within the protest 1976 are reflected in the exceeding decay of the park, and how in the end those interests were represented by the June 16 Memorial Acre. Monument for the Distribution of Wealth 1: Removing stones Monument for the Distribution of Wealth 3: Pulling down statues Monument for the Distribution of Wealth 4: Offering the material Monument for the Distribution of Wealth 5: Offering the material Monument for the Distribution of Wealth 6 The next day A Fragmentary History of the Monument for the Distribution of Wealth, Formerly Known as the June 16 Memorial Acre in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei The following text, based on interviews and online research aims to provide parts of a history of the park in front of Morris Isaacson High School in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto. The idea for the transformation of the park into a memorial site has its source in the events of June 16, 1976: the start of the the student uprising in Soweto. The development of the park was started in the early 1980s, and the actual transformation into a memorial site, the June 16 Memorial Acre, was initiated in 2005. Over the last few years, several monumental additions have been made to the park: A marble monument with three pillars was revealed on June 16, 2006. A sculpture of a book and several billboards on June 16, 2008. A sculpture of student leader Tsietsi Mashinini on June 16, 2010. The park was transformed into the Monument for the Distribution of Wealth on August 3, 2010. According to the entry “Youth Struggle” on the website South African History Online, the Bantu Education Act was introduced in 1953 . In 1954 , Dr Verwoerd, Minister of Native Affairs, stated: “What is the use of teaching the Bantu child mathematics when it cannot use it in practice? That is quite absurd.” According to the entry “Soweto uprising” on Wikipedia, the Afrikaans Medium Decree was issued in 1974 , forcing all black schools to use Afrikaans and English in a 50-50 mix as languages of instruction. The Regional Director of Bantu Education (Northern Transvaal Region), J.G. Erasmus, told Circuit Inspectors and Principals of Schools that from January 1, 1975 , Afrikaans had to be used for mathematics, arithmetic, and social studies from standard five (7th grade). English would be the medium for general science and practical subjects. Indigenous languages would be used for religion instruction, music, and physical culture. According the entry “Soweto uprising” on Wikipedia, on April 30, 1976 , students from the Orlando West Junior School in Soweto went on strike, refusing to go to school. Their example was followed by other schools in Soweto. A student from Morris Isaacson High School, Toboho “Tsietsi” Mashinini, proposed a meeting on June 13, 1976 to discuss further action. According to Weizmann Hamilton’s article “The Soweto Uprising 1976,” which appeared in the September 1986 edition of Inqaba Ya Basebenzi (Fortress of the Revolution), on June 13, 1976 , the South African Students’ Movement called a meeting at the Donaldson Community Center in Orlando. 300-400 Students representing 55 schools decided to hold a mass demonstration on June 16. According to Brian Mokhele, member of the Joint Community Safety Forum, Dr Edelstein was the first victim of the Soweto uprising and killed the day before the march on June 15, 1976 . Edelstein was an administrator at the pass office in Jabavu and gave golf courses to the local community. Edelstein was put in a garbage bin and pierced by pickaxes. The garbage bin was left at the very spot of the murder for many years. A few years ago, a child was beheaded at the same spot, and the basketball court next to it has been abandoned since. According to Marcus Neustetter, founder of the Trinity Session, this story is untrue. According the entry “Soweto uprising” on Wikipedia, on June 16 , Tsietsi Mashinini led students from Morris Isaacson High School to join up with others who walked from Naledi High School. A crowd of between 3,000 and 10,000 eventually ended up near Orlando High School. According to Raymond Marlowe, a local photographer, Tsietsi Mashinini was heading the march. According to the entry “Hector Pieterson” on Wikipedia, Dr Edelstein died on June 16, 1976 , stoned to death by mob and left with a sign around his neck proclaiming “Beware Afrikaaners.” The first child to die that day was called Hastings Ndlovu. According to Pat Motsiri, Orlando West is claiming struggle heritage through the Hector Pieterson Museum, while Hector Pieterson was from Jabavu. According to Pat Motsiri, his generation effectively struggled between 1980 and 1991, forcing the release of Nelson Mandela and negotiations with the apartheid regime while the 1976-generation was safely in exile. Nevertheless, this has not been recognized in any monument. After the abolition of apartheid, the generation from 1976 returned from exile, occupied important government and ANC positions, creating an abundance of 1976 memorials and refusing to acknowledge that this was only possible because of the younger generation’s struggle. He calls this a generational conflict. According to Archibald Dlamini, the park officer responsible for the Memorial Acre, he started working for the municipality in 1978. In 1981/82 , Isaac Makhele from Pimville, who used to work in the cemetery business, was the first developer of the park. It used to be just a normal park until City Parks decided to develop the Memorial Acre in 2006. In 2007 the work was stopped by the community. According to Brian Mokhele, he left the country in 1989 after he participated in the riots of 1986. But when he returned in 1999 he found that nothing had changed. He says that they were promised to be protected by the Constitution, but that reality is different. The police uses fear to suppress them so that they don’t come out to talk openly. He has been arrested twice, both times harassed and tortured by the police, but in the end always released without indictment. He says that this is their way to threaten communities to back off from politics. According to Moses, who is sitting outside rolling a joint, Brian knows everything. He tells Brian to tell me everything he knows. According to Brian Mokhele, Tsietsi Mashinini was possibly murdered in 1990 during his exile in New York. Two weeks before he was supposed to return to South Africa, his papers in order, he was found dead under mysterious circumstances. His coffin was sealed when he was buried. According to Pat Motsiri, he came up with the idea for the Memorial Acre in 2003 . He submitted the documents for the proposal to the council, which sidelined him as soon as the budget came out in 2005 . According to Brian Mokhele, there was on estimation R 41,000,000 spent to redesign the park and turn it into the Memorial Acre. The millions were divided by Amos Masondo, the mayor of Soweto, the local councilor Bongani D. Zondi, and the director of the city of Johannesburg, Pat Lephunya. They were dividing the money between several contractors: Tsietsi Mashinini’s brothers were involved in the development of the park, they got the tender to do the green areas, the landscaping. Construction was done by other companies, some did the paving, the toilets, etc. EMBA, a private company appointed by the municipality was in control of the money flow, but the money was quickly gone. According to Raymond Marlowe, the contractor bought a BMW with the money. According to Archibald Dlamini, the Mashinini brothers got the tender, so the space would look more like the other places around in Soweto. It was agreed that after they were done, they would return the property to the municipality. They did whatever they could do. According to Mafaisa, a member of the Jabavu business community, he was one of the contractors for the landscaping and the pavement under Mpho Mashinini, one of the brothers. He says that I should contact Mavi for information on Mpho. According to Poi Stuurman, a local youth worker, Mafaisa is one of the guys who ran away with the money. According to Mavi, Mpho Mashinini was never a contractor. The contracts were organized by Sbu Butelezi, the former head of the Gauteng Department for Public Works. The June 16 Foundation and the Mashinini brothers will be the beneficiaries of the park when it is finished. According to Brian Mokhele, City Parks did not accept the Memorial Acre because it was not finished. The rest of the year, the unfinished park is not maintained, as should have happened. This was done deliberately so that in the end they can just clean the whole thing up and have a reason to redo the whole park. According to Brian Mokhele, the Mashinini brothers now work for the government. People that manipulate for money purposes always come from the government’s side. Because the park was left unfinished, the people from the neighborhood are taking away the stones to decorate their own homes with. According to Archibald Dlamini, because City Parks doesn’t accept responsibility of the park, he officially has nothing the guard, except for his cottage, which is municipal property. The thieves come at night and destroy the park, but he cannot do anything because he is sleeping. According to the website of the Thanda Foundation on June 16, 2006 a bronze statue of Hector Pieterson, the first child to die in the 1976 protests, made by Kobus Hattingh and Jacob Maponyane was unveiled in the Maponya Mall in Soweto. The statue is sculpted after the famous image shot by Sam Nzima of Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying the dead body of the boy. The sculpture was sponsored by the Thanda Foundation, founded by the Swedish entrepreneur Dan Olofsson and South-African entrepreneur Matthews Phosa. According to the official website of the City of Johannesburg, the Memorial Acre and Artwork were unveiled in 2006. According to a blog post on sowetouprisings.com, the Memorial Acre was still under development on July 24, 2006. According to Archibald Dlamini, City Parks only cleans up the park once a year just before the June 16 celebrations. Everybody is waiting for the Mashinini brothers to finish their job. The last time he talked with them was in 2007 . According to a sign on the school grounds of the Morris Isaacson High School, the June 16 Trail will be finished in 2008 . According to a blog post on sowetouprisings.com, the Memorial Acre contains another monument erected in Tsietsi’s honor. The monument was created as part of the Sunday Times Heritage Public Art program. Its physical form resembles a giant book which symbolizes the crisis in education experienced in 1976. On the face of the book is the map of the route taken by the students from Morris Isaacson High School in Central Western Jabavu to Phefeni Junior Secondary in Orlando West (currently the site of the Hector Pieterson Museum), while the back cover of the ‘book’ is inscribed with a tribute to Tsietsi Mashinini. The monument was revealed on June 16, 2008 . According to Marcus Neustetter, the billboards on the Memorial Acre were part of a school project realized in 2008. Following several workshops, the students from different high schools along the June 16 Trail were invited to work with artists on the billboards, while the neighborhood community was invited to watch the process during the festivities on June 15 and 16, 2008 . The billboards were supposed to be removed because of construction works on the Memorial Acre, which never ended up happening. According to Brian Mokhele, the former toilet facilities were converted into a house for the park officer. This park officer has been working for city parks for more than 12-15 years, but does nothing here, because the park, including the new toilet buildings, is not finished. The government is now moving around looking for people to take this job because they stopped it. They confronted everybody who was going in and chased them away. According to John, in 2009 , some girls, around 16 or 17 years old, were raped by four men who had been drinking in a local shebeen. When the bar quit they said that they would go home by car, but instead raped the girls on the Memorial Acre nearby. This happened in the unfinished toilets, because the doors couldn’t be closed. According to Brian Mokhele, there used to be some fences around the park because of the construction work that was eventually stopped, but these were also stolen. According to Archibald Dlamini, people from the neighborhood started about two and a half years ago, and the last piece was stolen near the end of 2009 . Sometimes he would catch someone with a roll of fence, and then use it for his own cottage. According to the official website of the City of Johannesburg, a statue of Tsietsi Mashinini by Johannes Pokhela was revealed on June 16, 2010 , “Youth Day.” According to Shirley Makutoane, deputy principal of Isaac Morrison High School, the statue of Tsietsi Mashinini, funded by the June 16 Foundation, has temporarily been placed within the school perimeter. The statue will be moved to the Memorial Acre when it will be finished, in 2011 . According to Brian Mokhele, beside the June 16 Foundation, there is also a June 16 Memorial Acre Foundation. Both foundations are quarreling about the money involved in the Memorial Acre project. Nobody knows who’s involved in them. According to Marcus Neustetter, the June 16 Foundation consists of people that were part of 1976 protest movement, local government officials, representatives of the Hector Pieterson Museum, and the council. According to students from the Isaac Morrison High School, the statue of Tsietsi Mashinini is on the school ground because on the Memorial Acre it would be vandalized by youths from White City, an adjacent neighborhood. Accorcing to Brian Mokhele, the statue of Tsietsi should eventually be mounted on the Memorial Acre. It is wrong that the statue is in the school at the moment, because it is not a public school. He wants the statues to depict the massiveness of the force that was coming into Soweto after the protests. According to Brian Mokhele, City Parks, City of Jo’burg, City Lights, and SAPS are making some sort of plan to take the plan back. They want to remove the trees from the Memorial Acre, and redesign the Memorial Acre into a relaxing park, without political content. They want to depoliticize the square. In doing so,they will have their own employment and not use local workforces. According to Brian Mokhele, the community wants to remove the monuments, amphitheater, and sculptures from the Memorial Acre because they do not resemble anything. The sculptures should be depicting the truth of what happened, because the Memorial Acre is a political heritage site. He wants to involve the people that actually participated in the struggle to make the monument so that everyone can enjoy it and get a better understanding of the struggle heritage. Therefore, he proposes collective ideology in which everyone has a say. This would prevent future vandalization of the monument. According to Pat Motsiri, the sculptures must depict the event around June 16, 1976. Like the story of Dr Edelstein, who was pierced by pickaxes, forced into a garbage bin and burned alive. According to Jonas Staal, the Memorial Acre should be destroyed, its elements stacked on pallets, thus forming the Monument for the Distribution of Wealth . According to Mafaisa, his men can do the work quickly. He has about twenty men working under him. (shrink)
On the base of material "Kiev case" in the periodical press about corruption of the Ukrainian police at the mid 1920's the author shows the possibilities of critical discourse-analysіs in the interpretation and reconstruction the social structure and social practices thru text-message.
This paper examines the problem of nationalism in Nigeria construed as the search for a basis on which the members of the society can claim a sense of belonging, identity and common purpose. There is a problem of the national question here because ethnicity, corruption, disobedience to law and order, disdain for the rule of law and accountability and the disregard for the value of human life have undermined the social order and eventually created an army of the vulnerable (...) and marginal peoples that can be manipulated for parochial ends. The apparent underperformance of the various instruments of the state such as the police, national assembly, appointed ministers, law courts, prisons, etc, due to inefficiency, injustice, under-funding, politicization and social dissatisfaction have threatened the unity of Nigeria and highlighted deficits in the social order that have made Nigeria to appear as a contested construct or category. Given the above we seek a philosophical approach to building a social system or social philosophy of national integration. (shrink)
I begin by contending that an absolute prohibition to avoid resorting to shoot-to-kill, under any circumstances, does not adequately address the considerable negative consequences that could follow. In opening up the question for debate, I seek to alert us to the risks of moral corruption in both thought and practice, but I do not take these to be unassailable. Next, I pose a set of questions in order to interrogate unsafe assumptions and to disambiguate critical language in the shoot-to-kill (...) scenario. (1) How might shoot-to-kill be analogous to self-defence? (2) Should we not distinguish between reasons which could explain from those which do not justify why a suicide bomber acted as they did? (3) Must we avoid entertaining any charges of complicity on the suicide bombers’ behalf? (4) How, if at all, does racial profiling adulterate the grounds for police suspicion? (5) Does “reasonability” differ from “absolute necessity” as a precondition for enacting shoot-to-kill? And, (6), prompted by the injustice of the Jean Charles de Menezes case, can we assess the moral consequences of relocating the moment of decision from the firearms officer to their operational commander? After taking stock of the results of these enquiries, I conclude that resort to 'Kratos' rules of engagement unjustifiably raises the risk of shooting dead an innocent person, compared to the risk from harm that the general population may be reasonably expected to shoulder. (shrink)
The American justice system, from police departments to the courts, is increasingly turning to information technology for help identifying potential offenders, determining where, geographically, to allocate enforcement resources, assessing flight risk and the potential for recidivism amongst arrestees, and making other judgments about when, where, and how to manage crime. In particular, there is a focus on machine learning and other data analytics tools, which promise to accurately predict where crime will occur and who will perpetrate it. Activists and (...) academics have begun to raise critical questions about the use of these tools in policing contexts. In this chapter, I review the emerging critical literature on predictive policing and contribute to it by raising ethical questions about the use of predictive analytics tools to identify potential offenders. Drawing from work on the ethics of profiling, I argue that the much-lauded move from reactive to preemptive policing can mean wrongfully generalizing about individuals, making harmful assumptions about them, instrumentalizing them, and failing to respect them as full ethical persons. I suggest that these problems stem both from the nature of predictive policing tools and from the sociotechnical contexts in which they are implemented... (shrink)
I argue that, although education should have positive effects on students’ epistemic character, it is often actually damaging, having bad effects. Rather than cultivating virtues of the mind, certain forms of education lead to the development of the vices of the mind - it is therefore epistemically corrupting. After sketching an account of that concept, I offer three illustrative case studies.
Corruption continues to be a considerable challenge for internationally active companies. In this article, we examine personal and socioenvironmental antecedents of corrupt behavior in organizations. In particular, we aim to illuminate the links between Machiavellianism, on-the-job experience with corrupt behavior at work, neutralization, and the attitude of business professionals toward corruption. The empirical analysis is based on the responses of 169 professionals. At first, a positive relationship between both Machiavellianism and on-the-job experience and the acceptance of corruption (...) appears in the model. However, an in-depth mediation analysis shows that neutralization is the keystone linking both Machiavellianism and on-the-job experience to the likelihood to condone corruption. Based on these results, we offer avenues for further research and implications for practitioners. (shrink)
The corruption of public officials and institutions is generally regarded as wrong. But in what exactly does this form of corruption consist and what kind of wrong does it imply? This article aims to take stock of the current philosophical discussion of the different senses in which political corruption is wrong in a general sense, beyond the specific negative legal, economic, and social costs it may happen to have in specific circumstances. Political corruption is usually presented (...) as a pathology of the public order. Therefore, the senses in which political corruption has been presented as wrong have varied depending on the normative theory of the public order that is presupposed. In this article, we offer a critical presentation of two major interpretations of the wrongfulness of political corruption that draw respectively on a neo-republican and a liberal account of the public order. Finally, we show how the analytical distinction between these approaches has important normative implications for the identification of relevant cases of political corruption. (shrink)
Is the corrupt behaviour of public officials a politically relevant kind of wrong only when it causes the malfunctioning of institutions? We challenge recent institutionalist approaches to political corruption by showing a sense in which the individual corrupt behaviour of certain public officials is wrong not only as a breach of personal morality but in inherently politically salient terms. To show this sense, we focus on a specific instance of individual corrupt behaviour on the part of public officials entrusted (...) with the power to implement public rules in a liberal democracy. Although not necessarily unlawful, their behaviour is politically wrong qua corrupt when it contradicts surreptitiously the requirement of public justification that undergirds the public order. Then, we distinguish this form of corruption as surreptitious action from such unlawful but publicly justifiable kinds of political misbehaviour as civil disobedience. (shrink)
The corruption of public officials and institutions is generally regarded as wrong. But in what exactly does this form of corruption consist and what kind of wrong does it imply? Recent proponents of the “institutionalist approach” to political corruption have concentrated on those occasions when incentive structures distract institutions from their essential purpose and weaken public trust. The corruption of individual public officials has been less relevant to their work, except for when it leads to the (...) erosion of the functioning of institutions. From this perspective, a clear emphasis has been put on the consequences of corruption. In contrast, I argue that political corruption, whether individual or institutional, can be more fundamentally understood as a form of political injustice in which someone has violated the logic of mutual accountability that undergirds all relations of justice in rights-based systems. In this sense, political corruption occurs when public officials use their entrusted power of office for the pursuit of an agenda whose rationale may not be vindicated as coherent with the terms of their mandate. By focusing on the inherent qualities of corrupt political relations, I lay out a novel relational and deontological understanding of the inherent wrongness of political corruption as a form of unaccountable action. (shrink)
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