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18:46
Every morning on my way to work, I go through my local borough, Lewisham (a suburb in south-east London) – and I pass by numerous posters put up by some government agency saying something like ‘We Are Closing In’, with a picture of a stereotypical ‘welfare cheat’ – depicted as an unprepossessing, badly dressed, overweight woman, or a very shifty looking man, upon which has been superimposed the image of a target. Is this sort of crack-down propaganda – of which I see many examples in London on a daily basis, not to mention the ubiquitous surveillance cameras and other signs of social control – not virtually identical to the propaganda one might find in totalitarian regimes? Once again, we as a society are invited to close in around various ‘class enemies’ – no longer the bourgeoisie, but what Marx would call the lumpenproletariat. The aim of such propaganda is to construct an image of social unity – a stable social identity – through the exclusion and targeting of various social enemies, whether the teenage thug, the welfare cheat, the illegal immigrant, the sexual deviant, the Muslim terrorist. Its aim is also to take the attention away from the failings of government, its inability to prevent the social dislocation wrought by capitalist markets.
— Saul Newman,  Anarchism (via probablyasocialecologist)

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