Repressive exclusion

In 1999 we argued that the third world is imported back to the old core (Europe, US, Japan) in the new world system, in what we called the internalisation of the core-periphery benefits. More and more europeans and american citizens will belong to the new excluded of “know-nots“. We argued that the way to deal with this would be a mix of repressive exclusion and underfunded inclusion.

For years, social control through mass imprisonment has been a reality in the US, with several % of the population are in jail, on parole, or on probation. Criminalisation of poverty is also well established in the US, with all the consequences of being poor or homeless having been declared to be a crime – sleeping on the street, going through bins, mendicity, even walking in public places without specific aim.

This has now arrived to Europe, foremost in Hungary with the same set of measures (or harsher) as in the US, but also in countries such as Belgium and now Norway, where banning begging has become a reality, with jail sentences to the offenders.

This goes together with privatisation of public space; for instance there are entire neighbourhoods of London and other British cities that are privately run, and access can be legally denied to anyone without further justification.

This is a trend that is only starting, and it is not a trend, it is a change in the way the world works.