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It is or contention that this book, The Pre-Crime Society: Crime, Culture and Control in the Ultramodern Age, furthers a project that was initiated and subsequently developed within two of our previous volumes (Arrigo & Milovanovic, 2009; Arrigo, Bersot & Sellers, 2011). Among the themes shared by these volumes was a sustained focus on the philosophical currents and cultural intensities that produce de-vitalizing and finalizing laws of shared human captivity (Arrigo & Sellers, 2018). These laws originate in the captivity of forms (Plato, 2008), including the forms of human abstraction and their sequelae (Arrigo & Polizzi, 2018).
In the first of these volumes, Bruce Arrigo and Dragan Milovanovic (2009) argued for a ‘revolution in penology’ (pp. 3–8). As the authors explained, this revolution begins with a radical critique of subjectivity (i.e. human capital abstracted) and the constitutive forces into and out of which this subjectivity both shapes and is shaped by a ‘society of captives’ (pp. 170–95). This is the captivity of the kept and their keepers, the watched and their watchers in which risk-as-currency prevails as trade. The authors further asserted that when the excesses of this captivity are maintained in consciousness, through dialogical encounters, and in material expressions of the same, then they (these excesses) nurture the captivity of society. This is the captivity of ontology (i.e. of being human), and of epistemology (i.e. of human relating). The maintenance of these conditions forestalls a ‘people yet to come’ (Deleuze & Guattari, 1994, p. 108), and forecloses what Hardt and Negri (2004) have described as the ‘multitude’ (pp. 97–157).
The ubiquity of the prison form is revealing of captivity, both as meditation on and metaphor about risk, the risk of being human and of evolving in humanness (Nietzsche, 1966), amidst the culture of crime control that the management of human risk inevitably spawns (e.g. Ericson & Haggerty, 1997; O’Malley, 2004). By prison form we mean its symbols and discourses (Sloop, 1996; Brown, 2009), its architecture and environmental designs (Johnston, 2006; Day, 2013; Reiter and Koenig, 2015), its industries and mechanisms (Alexander, 2011; Geunther, 2013). In this regard, we might think of the prison form as what Foucault (1980) described as a dispositif: an apparatus of discipline and of disciplining whose systems of thought reproduce a network of discursively structured power/knowledge relations (pp. 194–228).
We live in a pre-crime society where technological strategies and techniques are employed to achieve hyper-securitization. Exploring theories, technologies and institutional practices, this pioneering book explains how the pre-crime society operates in the 'ultramodern' age and proposes new directions in crime control policy.
There are no private lives. This [absence is] a most important aspect of modern life. One of the biggest transformations we have seen in our society is the diminution of the sphere of the private. We must reasonably now all regard the fact that there are no secrets and nothing is private. Everything is public. (Dick, 1956)
It is just when people are all engaged in snooping on themselves and one another that they become anesthetized to the whole process. … As information itself becomes the largest business in the world, data banks know more about individual people than the people do themselves. The more the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist. (McLuhan, 1970, pp. 12–13)
In the societies of control, on the other hand, what is important is no longer either a signature or a number, but a code: the code is a password, while on the other hand [Foucauldian] disciplinary societies are regulated by watchwords (as much as from the point of view of integration as from that of resistance). The numerical language of control is made of codes that mark access to information, or reject it. We no longer find ourselves dealing with the mass/individual pair. Individuals have become ‘dividuals’, and masses, samples, data, markets, or ‘banks’. … The disciplinary [subject] was a discontinuous producer of energy, but the [subject] of control is undulatory, in orbit, in a continuous network. (Deleuze, 1992, p. 6)
What happens to culture when the experience of privacy, as we have lived it, disappears? What happens to (co)existence when the commercialism of surveillance capitalism fetishizes ‘life mining’ (van Dijck, 2014, p. 198) expressed through the recursive logics of new social media? What happens to human subjectivity when all of reality is reduced to the predictive analytics of dataism (i.e. the algorithmic scrutiny of metadata and the cyber-construction of networked profiles) (e.g. Powell, Stratton & Cameron, 2018)? These are the information technology conditions of the current era. These conditions reflect a collective, undulating consciousness. Within the ‘hardwiring’ or circuitry of this consciousness lurk the passions of law and the emotions of crime reassembled as ‘dividual’ justice (Deleuze, 1992, p. 6). This volume both probes and dissects the criminological landscape of this consciousness that we, and others, have termed the ultramodern (Arrigo, 2012; Arrigo, Sellers & Sostakas, 2020; Shantz, 2014).
According to most experts, successful drug addiction intervention and substance abuse recovery necessarily requires the use of external constraints and, in some cases, even exogenous forms of coercion (Morgan and Lizke, 2007; Barlow, 2010; Walker, 2010). What this means, then, is that any subsequent manifestation of disorder (ie decompensation, relapse or dependency-seeking) will necessitate further system control from outside the disorganised and disruptive self. This is a self whose patterns of behaviour are deemed too unpredictable, too chaotic, to warrant the freedom to be (Williams and Arrigo, 2002, 2007, forthcoming). But, what if the above-stated theoretical claims and the science that has been used to test and measure them were flawed? What if the mobilisation and activation of human social capital (eg from a complexity perspective, the addict's possible self-organisation) required perturbations of disorder, disequilibrium and instability to make this natural recovery more fully realisable? Moreover, what normative framework regarding ontology (ie the ‘laws’ of being) might exist to support this alternative approach to drug addiction and natural recovery? How, and in what ways, might this framework and approach suggest an emergent and radicalised jurisprudence: one that advances a collectivist agenda in overcoming system control and regulation by way of externalities or formal intervention (eg mandated in-patient medication treatment, structured out-patient rehabilitation programming)?
This chapter critically probes the under-examined relationship between substance abuse and spontaneous self-healing. To situate the critique, two streams of philosophical analysis will be presented and integrated. In particular, selected insights from the science of complexity studies (non-linear dynamical systems theory) and the diagnostics of psychological jurisprudence (PJ) will be described. The relevancies of these insights will be fitted to the necessity of exogenous system-based policy reform. These reforms will emphasise changes in substance abuse, mental health and criminal justice theory and science for and about human social capital.
The human project: the science of complexity, adaptability and self-organisation
The evolving science of dynamical systems theory has, from its inception, been inspired by the ‘inherent creativity’, ‘spontaneous appearance of novel structures’ and ‘autonomous adaptation to a changing environment’ (Heylighen, 2001, p 253) that characterises and unifies the diverse phenomena it studies.
The development of an integrated critical psychological jurisprudence (PJ) continues to elude researchers in theoretical and applied contexts. Indeed, the radical potential of a synthetic PJ that furthers the political aims of social change, collective good and citizen justice has yet to be sufficiently problematised or systematically reviewed in the extant literature. This article begins to address this deficiency. First, the social philosophy that informs and underscores radicalised PJ is described. This includes commentary on its underlying symbolic, linguistic, material and cultural footing. Second, several well-rehearsed theoretical strains of critical PJ are summarily presented. These strains consist of anarchism, critical legal studies, feminist jurisprudence and complex systems science. Third, a conceptual integration is undertaken that links radicalised PJ’s grounding in social philosophy with its established theoretical variants. This synthesis demonstrates the probing political project of critical PJ, especially as a humanising strategy of resistance and an evolving struggle for justice. This is a political project that seeks to de/reconstruct the images (aesthetic), narratives (epistemology), embodiments (ethic) and reproductions (ontology) at the core of its nascent critique.
The centrality of freedom as a philosophical construct is often neglected in contemporary academic circles and popular media outlets when it comes to discussions of crime, criminals, and the criminal law. This is surprising, especially since freedom—its absence or its presence—is an important ethical dimension underpinning all transgressive acts, including delinquency and crime. More specifically, the notion of freedom problematizes wayward conduct because transgression can (and does) emerge from freedom's limits rather than its excesses. What this suggests, then, is that criminality is not necessarily an artifact of one's autonomy gone awry or of making “bad” choices; rather, criminality may be a moment of self-discovery, transformation, and transcendence in which a “critical freedom” is borne. This is a period marked by living life on the edge; of contesting thresholds and boundaries in which “a plethora of original ideas, thoughts, inventions, new forms of resistance, and so forth” emerge.
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