you and whose army?

just a short note for now.

I’m spending hours working on my computer with a BBC feed on Libya dripping news into my browser. What I see all the time is the language of exclusion:

The man said there would be some gunfire in the city but that the situation was under control apart from some people “causing trouble”…

At this time drunks are driving tanks in central Benghazi…

60 years ago they [army and security services] defended Libya from the colonialists, now they will defend it from drug addicts…

A small group of young people who have taken drugs have attacked police stations like mice… They have taken advantage of this peace and stability…

However there is a small group of sick people that has infiltrated in cities that are circulating drugs and money.

Come out of your homes, attack them in their dens. Withdraw your children from the streets. They are drugging your children, they are making your children drunk and sending them to hell…

Russian sources endlessly circulate a story told by a Ukrainian nurse blaming “malcontents” who want to have “everything provided by the state for free”. Similarly incomprehensible analysis by the President of Russia comes in,

“They prepared such a scenario for us previously,” Medvedev said. “And now they will try to put it into practice. But in any case, this scenario will not succeed.”

Who prepared what? How to put it into whatever kind of practice? Which case is any case? A member of the Duma calls it “this infection”, like in Edwards’ Gangraena. Obviously there are societies where the metaphor of the “body politic” is not dead yet.  It’s just once again the good old “many-headed monster” of the mob, strong but misguided, led by a cabal of ringleaders, deceived, mistaken, ultimately ready to fly back to the bosom of Power personified, who calls itself “brother” but acts as a father, giving orders to “those who love Muammar Gaddafi”.

And of course, the soppy narratives of how

Libyan TV reports that the regime has been in talks with “the misguided youth”, who “have been handing over their weapons and joining the mass marches alongside the brother and leader of the revolution”.

All is forgiven, Winston, come hug the brother leader.

And then we will  together “cleanse Libya house by house”. The same old  “Strength Through Purity, Purity Through Faith”.

The discourse of unity and “normality” is once again called up to help maintain the illusion of “order” and suppress what must be weakened and presented as isolated and small. If really so, why pay attention? Why maniacally persuade people that being united and clean is better than being dirty and disunited. How heavily will the new government of the new society rely on it, blocking the way to real development?

How far back can this strategy be traced? And then, probably – when will this “retour a la normale” stop being resorted to in propaganda clashes?

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About beggingscholar

I am a scholar of Early Modern English literature and culture, teaching quite a number of English-related subjects at Kazan University, Russia. I am mainly interested in the formation of the Early Modern public sphere, scandals, subversion, non-literary discourses in literature and other forms of destructive creation.
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