Re: Roots of the American Police State

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Michael, I’ve found in my readings and research that modern police states very often have their origins in imperialism. Repressive police technologies are first implemented on colonial subject populations and then imported back to the imperial power’s home nation-state for use on targeted domestic insurgents. This was especially the case with the empires of Great Britain, Germany, France, and the United States. Alfred McCoy’s exceptional books, Policing America’s Empire: The United States, The Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State, Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State, A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror, and Torture and Impunity: The U.S. Doctrine of Coercive Interrogation, have especially brought home this point to me. McCoy discusses these ideas in his lecture presentation below – Surveillance State: Philippine Pacification & the Making of the U.S. Internal Security Apparatus.

Also extremely valuable in this regard is the harrowing three episode BBC series, Racism: A History.




6:45 pm on May 29, 2014