Re: re: Roots of the American Police State

I haven’t read McCoy’s work. I’m skeptical that the technology of repression explains a police state. I’m skeptical that imperialism is a root cause of a police state. I think those explanations are facile and leave much to be desired.

The Soviet Union had a repressive apparatus without imperialism being an obvious cause. It’s not clear that the 19th century European imperialist countries created police states at home, even granting that they had learned how to control populations. The importance of imperialism in the Nazi policies as well as the rise of its police state is an open historical question. Some South American countries have had police states without imperialism being a cause. However, an aggressive militarism that operates beyond a country’s borders, which is not exactly imperialism but may accompany it, is a factor reacting back on the domestic side. Japan’s militarism and accompanying imperialism is an example. Technology facilitates certain activities, undeniably, but it’s available in many places that have no police states. I think a police state has deeper political-social-psychological causes. Either militarism is a separate causative factor or else a factor that has both a domestic and foreign face.


8:52 pm on May 29, 2014