foucoult

Panopticon and Religion

For those of you that know Foucault’s Panopticon, you may skip this brief explanation I will give for those who have not. Picture this, a doughnut-shaped prison in which all of the cells are facing the center where there is a massive guard tower that can see into all of the cells. The tower is completely illuminated so none of the inmates can see in, but the guards (or presumed guards) can see out. This was his basic idea, that the prison could virtually have only one or two or even no guards watching over the inmates because the inmates would watch themselves. Because the inmates could never see if there were guards watching them, they would simply assume they always were. This “watchful eye” would then be supported if every-so-often a sign of a guard being there was shown, but that could also be done without anyone actually being there, such as a recorded announcement or footsteps or innumerable things. In more contemporary terms, look at the cameras on the corners of “dangerous” streets. The idea behind it is that people will see them being there and not do illegal things such as steal or murder, in case the police is watching and will find them. Maybe there is someone who holds power watching the cameras… Maybe not. Now, put this in context of religion. We are told by our preachers, or in our younger years, simply by our parents that there is a man in the sky always watching us. So, we learn not to lie, steal, cheat, or masturbate. This watchful eye stops amazing things from happening, and it doesn’t even exist. But the church has gotten people to believe so fervently that he always is that people will go against their own human nature to stay on his good side. And for what? A seat next to him in heaven? So, they wont have sex with the person they actually want to, they wont kill the person they hate, they wont go after that job they dream of, all just in case that guy is watching them. Of course, a question comes up of why the church would want that? Well, why does any establishment make rules? To keep order. They don’t want people to kill, so they say its a sin to murder. They don’t want people to steal, so they say it is is a sin to steal. They want society to have equal duality, so they say its a sin to cheat. They want to populate the earth with more people like them so as to further these rules and traditions, so they say it is a sin to masturbate and have homosexual relations. It really is such amazingly simple concept, so why don’t people think of it? Well, why didn’t you? Because it IS so simple and because we live in the society that does it. Only when you look outside, read outside texts, make EVERYTHING into an issue and into something to scrutinize do you find the pervasive, sickening truths about our societies. Climbing the rabbits fur, if you will. And you always should.

I got this job on craigslist, where I was given a folder full of glossy photos of people, and then was paid 100$ cash to hang out near where they might be, if I recognized them I was to address them by name, and tell them what floor the meeting was going to be on. It was for a marketing company that was working on a new facial recognition software.