Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Panopticon

The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Benthamin the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow all (pan-) inmates of an institution to be observed (-opticon) by a single watchman without the inmates being able to tell whether or not they are being watched. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behaviour constantly. The name is also a reference to Panoptes from Greek mythology; he was a giant with a hundred eyes and thus was known to be a very effective watchman.

The design consists of a circular structure with an "inspection house" at its centre, from which the manager or staff of the institution are able to watch the inmates, who are stationed around the perimeter. Bentham conceived the basic plan as being equally applicable to hospitals, schools, sanatoriums, and asylums, but he devoted most of his efforts to developing a design for a Panopticon prison. It is his prison that is now most widely meant by the term "panopticon".

Bentham described the Panopticon as "a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example."[1] Elsewhere, in a letter, he described the Panopticon prison as "a mill for grinding rogues honest"

Presidio Modelo in Cuba was built along Panopticon lines in 1928. When Fidel Castro took over he came up with an innovation. Certainly punish those that committed an infraction but also any who clearly knew about the infraction.

Thus were minds more efficiently policed.

The Presidio was closed sometime ago but the SJWs have found a much more efficient Panopticon with which  to imprison their minds.

1 comment:

Mr. Bee said...

60s college radicals grew their movements among the student body by holding "teach ins", where a group of previous converts effectively programmed non members via social pressure and shaming. Then it required a physical presence which was a limiting factor. Web based addictive social media has "improved" that substantially. Now cults can be created and spread with the speed of information over the web.