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- 1 Links
- 2 something someone did and was very dumb for doing
- 3 Error defining panopticism as a opposed to panopticon
- 4 Panopticism in Foucault's Discipline and Punish
- 5 Panopticism and Capitalism
- 6 Structure of page, where to put Bentham/Foucault
- 7 Post-Panopticism
- 8 Baha'i Faith
- 9 RfC: Should there be mention of Juan Cole's article "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," within Panopticism
Can someone please fix links
something someone did and was very dumb for doing
I removed the paragraph which stated that certain NYC MTA ad campaigns were and are the embodiment of Panopticism. The "If you see something, say something" and "There are 16 million eyes in the city. We're counting on all of them," were not panoptic. These campaigns are founded upon the premise that the state cannot be all-seeing. It is the very essence of limited government that the government seeks to remain small while relying upon a vigilant citizenry to report violations of reasonable and duly enacted law. The MTA ad campaign would have been panoptic if it said, "We will pay 1 million New Yorkers a monthly stipend to become informers to the MTA. If you see questionable activity, report it and we will reward you." But that is not the case. The MTA campaign is saying that if any citizen or rider of the MTA sees a potential bomb or terrorist activity, please report it because the government does not have the resources to replace a vigilant population, nor is it desirable. In fact, when the population is vigilant regarding the enforcement of reasonable and duly enacted laws, the police forces can remain relatively small and limited- there is no need for surveillance cameras and nor for a "police state." Such a situation is the exact opposite of Panopticism.
Also, the MTA recently introduced a new ad campaign that is essentially the embodiment of all that Foucault finds wrong with the ideology of Panopticism. In one of the “Eyes of New York” ads, close up photographs of several different sets of eyes are juxtaposed while underneath reads in bold print, “There are 16 million eyes in the city. We’re counting on all of them.” This a continuation of the “If You See Something, Say Something” concept first launched in March of 1993. MTA Director of Security William A. Morange says, “It is impossible for the police departments to be everywhere and see everything. Our passengers extend our reach and-by sharing their information-make the system safer." 
This man appears to be editing this page based upon his own conservative views. And I agree with the man below me, he/she has very little understanding of social theory in general.
It is worth noting that Foucault at some length discusses the use of (as one example) students to teach and observe other students. In this way those being observed are also observing. It seems to me the use of citizens to observe possible criminals fits within this framework. He also quotes someone who says catching a vagabond should be rewarded just as killing a wolf is rewarded. This system offers no incentive other than that of 'civic duty' but I'm not sure this is a fundamental difference.
Error defining panopticism as a opposed to panopticon
Irrelevant sections The section on England and wales comes out of the editor's misunderstanding of panopticism. panopticism is more of a decentered disciplinary apparatus, rather than a big brother entity which stalks and monitors everyone. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.108.40.206 (talk) 20:41, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Panopticism in Foucault's Discipline and Punish
I think this section should clarify that the panopticon can be a metaphor. The significance of the panopticon is not limited to its literal, architectural aspects. Ivan.fyodorovich.karamazov (talk) 03:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Panopticism and Capitalism
Eh, this whole sections reads like an essay. Kind of interesting, but not encyclopedic. I think the word I'm looking for is argumentative. But I'm not a deletionist, so someone else can swing the axe. 220.127.116.11 (talk) 16:27, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
- Argree, flagged it as POV and then saw your post here. Some of the capitalism statements are probably Foucault's, but they should then be marked as such. --Manscher (talk) 13:20, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
- And it's tangentially related to capitalism at best. Whoever put it there clearly dislikes capitalism, but there are other articles that are about capitalism where that may be relevant. Let's by all means swing the axe at our earliest convenience. Rōnin (talk) 13:33, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I got rid of the first block of Foucault text. I felt that it was not appropriate to have such a huge block of cited text on a Wikipedia page. If someone feels strongly about the paragraph I removed, I would suggest s/he summarizes the paragraph in their own words and includes that instead. In fact, the "capitalism" section would benefit from some summary in vernacular. Ivan.fyodorovich.karamazov (talk) 00:31, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Ivan - just read your new "post-panopticism" section and found it to be a most interesting addition! Was wondering your opinion on the "Modern Society" section; I'd had some difficulty with the flow of the paragraphs/sub-sections there but avoided the impulse to make any major changes (merely placing my dataveillance paragraph where I thought it would best fit). I noticed you swapped "modern" for "contemporary" (as "modernized" appears right beforehand), which I thought was a good decision. Those types of words can be tricky too, as their meanings are so easily relativized and are therefore somewhat problematic for this subject area. Eagleton89 (talk) 02:43, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Eagleton89 - thank you! I might want to change the name of "Modern Society" to "Contemporary Society", but that may be because I have a background in English literature and 'modernism' means early 20th century to me. And as Foucault is often considered a 'post-modernist' I think "contemporary" may be a less problematic term here than "modern". I think the dataveillance discussion is very valuable, and the Haggerty and Ericson reference is very apt. Another area you might want to consider in regard to dataveillance is social network analysis, and government use of this analysis to facilitate identification of criminality in "dark networks" (think terrorism, child pornography, etc.). I'm not sure if someone's made an explicit link between panopticism and this kind of dataveillance, but that might be something to consider. I think Foucault would definitely have something to say about dark networks, especially given his interest in the relationship between criminality and surveillance. Ivan.fyodorovich.karamazov (talk) 03:17, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi again Ivan - social network analysis sounds like a great idea; I'll see if I can find something if I have time. I've also re-arranged and slightly changed the "modern society" paragraph (I re-titled it too, as per our discussion). It should now flow better into the last two sections, I think. Still could use some tinkering though! Eagleton89 (talk) 04:54, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Structure of page, where to put Bentham/Foucault
Looking for feedback as I changed the name of the "Summary" section to "Background," and moved everything related to Foucault to the second paragraph; I edited minimally without deleting anything. What do you guys think? Should we add an extra lead sentence? I sort of felt Bentham should make an appearance in the "Background" section but didn't want to alter the meaning of that section... Eagleton89 (talk) 23:02, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
I think this is tricky because we don't want to be duplicating the panopticon page, which is great and well-developed. At the same time, we do need some introduction to Foucault's panopticon. So while the section "Panopticism in Foucault's Discipline and Punish" is necessary, the bulk of this article should concern developed ideas about panoptic models. Therefore, the later sections on "6}amples in Modern Society" and (now) "Post-Panopticism" should be where this article evolves. The "Background" section should maybe mirror this emphasis by relating commentary on panopticism, rather than a summary of Foucault's panopticon. Ivan.fyodorovich.karamazov (talk) 04:07, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
I would appreciate any feedback on this new section. It needs some polishing, and I'd like feedback as to what needs to be done/what value this section adds. I should note that I'm doing this for a course at school, and your comments will improve the quality of my final documentation of this process :) Ivan.fyodorovich.karamazov (talk) 03:43, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Another area to be added somewhere is Latour's idea of the "oligopticon". I believe he talks about the oligopticon in at least these two publications: Latour, B., and E. Hermant. 1998. Paris ville invisible. Paris: La Dicouverte. Latour, B. (1998) ‘Virtual society: the social science of electronic technologies’, CRICT 10th Anniversary Conference, Brunel University. Ivan.fyodorovich.karamazov (talk) 04:20, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
One user has somewhat ironically removed the following reference to the Bahai Faith and its practice of panopticism...
Juan Cole has compared the Baha'i Faith to panopticon in his essay "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," originally published in The Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Volume 37, No. 2 (June 1998): 234-248. He concludes that "Baha’i authorities exercise a great deal of control over discourse in the community, maintaining a virtual monopoly on mass media with a Baha’i audience. This control is felt necessary in part to prevent electioneering and coalition-forming, which are formally barred (despite the informal campaigning discussed above). It is perhaps not incidental that the controls on electioneering and other forms of communication have the side effect of ensuring that criticism of those in power cannot achieve wide circulation, and that the incumbents who exercise that control are reelected every year. Incumbents act aggressively against Baha’i owners of media who demonstrate too much independence. They monitor the speech of individuals extensively through a system of informants, and intervene behind the scenes to silence dissidents with threats of sanctions. They require prepublication censorship of everything Baha’is write about their religion. They intervene in the private businesses of believers where they think the interests of the administration are at stake. They tell private Baha’i publishers what books and even what passages in books they may and may not publish. They employ the threats of loss of administrative rights, humiliation in the national Baha’i newspaper, and even of shunning, in order to control believers."
- The mention of Dr. Cole's essay has once again been deleted from the article about panopticism. Inclusion of its mention is entirely appropriate given that the essay outlines how the totality of the Baha'i administration's maintaining control over its members demonstrates panopticism.
- "Baha’i authorities exercise a great deal of control over discourse in the community, maintaining a virtual monopoly on mass media with a Baha’i audience. This control is felt necessary in part to prevent electioneering and coalition-forming, which are formally barred (despite the informal campaigning discussed above). It is perhaps not incidental that the controls on electioneering and other forms of communication have the side effect of ensuring that criticism of those in power cannot achieve wide circulation, and that the incumbents who exercise that control are reelected every year. Incumbents act aggressively against Baha’i owners of media who demonstrate too much independence. They monitor the speech of individuals extensively through a system of informants, and intervene behind the scenes to silence dissidents with threats of sanctions. They require prepublication censorship of everything Baha’is write about their religion. They intervene in the private businesses of believers where they think the interests of the administration are at stake. They tell private Baha’i publishers what books and even what passages in books they may and may not publish. They employ the threats of loss of administrative rights, humiliation in the national Baha’i newspaper, and even of shunning, in order to control believers.
- Having Baha’is inform on their co-believers allows the administration to discover nonconformists who might not toe the party line, and to monitor their activities. The system operates so as to maintain the “orthodox” ideology in power and prevent the election to that institution of dissenters through identifying them and ensuring that they do not become visible in the community. The practice of informing creates a panopticon, as described by Michel Foucault in his discussion of Jeremy Bentham's ideas on penal reform (Foucault 1979). Bentham argued that putting the criminal constantly under observation would deter him from further criminal acts, and would even cause him eventually to internalize the sense of constantly being watched, thus becoming permanently reformed. Conventional Baha’is often never discover the informant system, since they never trip the wire that would lead to their being informed on. The independent-minded, however, usually discover it fairly early in their Baha’i careers, and then have to decide whether they wish to live the rest of their lives in a panopticon. This practice, like many other control mechanisms, discourages spiritual entrepreneurship and keeps the religion from growing in the West."
- It is therefore prudent to include mention of this essay in in this Wikipedia article - Regards, A35821361 (talk) 00:45, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- Prudent? Another misuse of a word, I trow. The trouble is that Cole's central thesis is really highly contentious. To more than one relatively impartial observer it seems to boil down to a personality clash between Mr. Cole and some Baha'is caused by very long standing, but thwarted attempts by Mr. Cole to be more influential on policy matters within the Baha'i administration. This is obviously very important indeed to Mr. Cole - but is, frankly, of not much relevance to anyone or anything else. Regardless, there are passages of obvious paranoia that spoil the overall impression of a rational, if misguided, thesis. If this kind of partisan theological/administrative controversy is considered notable enough for mention in a general encyclopedia at all (and I cannot imagine something similar in the Vatican or Lambeth getting very much mileage here, even though it might get a bit more coverage in other media) - then it absolutely needs to be part of a balanced treatment rather one that accepts its contentious statements as if they were established encyclopedic fact. Even more relevant to this particular case, it would be better considered in the context of the subject of Mr. Cole's paper, rather than words of greater or lesser relevance to which it may well be appropriate to link it. I repeat yet again - go to Baha'i review, or some other article directly considering the primary topic. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 02:23, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- I am not sure who the "more than one relatively impartial observer" is, but I would certainly appreciate your pointing him or her out. This encyclopedia entry revision is for "Panopticism" and a sister entry under "Panopticon as metaphor," therefore an article describing a religion's control of its members as "Panopticon" is perfectly apropos. If you wish to include references comparing the behaviors of the Vatican or Lambeth, it would be equally valid. I repeat yet again, Baha'i review is one small facet of Cole's linking the Baha'i administration's activities to panopticon. - Regards, A35821361 (talk) 05:34, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- In another context, in a different article, the accuracy of the very highly contentious allegations made in Mr. Cole's polemic might be less relevant. We could say "Julian Cole contends" and report him, although to be fair we would probably want to present the other side (given some are a bit startling). Here, where the allegation are implicitly assumed to be true, and given as a specific instance of Panopticism - their accuracy becomes the main point - unless this is indisputable the example is a very bad one, and doesn't belong in the article. Simple as that. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 09:57, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Just one example - of the "startling" nature of Mr. Cole's contentions -
Having Baha’is inform on their co-believers allows the administration to discover nonconformists who might not toe the party line, and to monitor their activities.
Can you imagine implementing something like this is a small, closely knit community in a Western country? (Mr. Cole is not, at this juncture, talking about the Faith in Iran, or India). Can you not calculate the period of time before this was absolutely common knowledge in the entire community, and not only the names of any "informants", but the full list of the people they had under investigation (and why)? Baha'is officially don't gossip, and by and large they don't do it as often as others, but they are only human! Baha'is (especially Western ones) are essentially the kind of people who would revolt en masse to anything like this. A system of informants (any system of informants) obviously falls short of several "Panoptical" ideals. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:17, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
- How do you "reduce someone's visibility" and what is "spiritual entrepreneurship" - and this is supposed to be a good example to give someone a grasp of a difficult subject? Even if it was releant (which it isn't really, as we go on demonstrating indefinitely). --Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:26, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
RfC: Should there be mention of Juan Cole's article "The Baha’i Faith in America as Panopticon, 1963-1997," within Panopticism
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