ISSN : 2266-6060

Little brother

Berkeley, december 2010.

Browse narrow paths on campus and see some traces of the sixties social movements: Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, sent the National Guard against pacifist students dreaming of another world. Realize that this balance of power is still there, even if it more prosaically concerns university budget cuts, and flowers have been replaced by VCRs . Berkeley, with its organic farmers market and a workers’ cooperative pizzeria is truly a liberal city, opposing coercive apparatus with multiple resistance devices.
Leave campus to get green bills and see the markings on a sealed stone. No police officer or even its modern equivalent, surveillance cams, is in sight. It’s not Big Brother watching you, but ordinary people who must simultaneously assess the wrongdoing (begging), measure the conditions of validity of the norm (distance and immediacy) and appeal to legitimate authorities (the police or bank staff) to prosecute the offender. We are at the time of neighborhood watching , and these writings remind us that power is primarily based on the daily participation of people.