Chapter 1, control, made to measure
Chapter 2, administrative apartheid
Chapter 3,Mobil Surveillance of Foreigners
Chapter 4, Own people, first or last?
Chapter 5, Exclusion as an ideological instrument
Chapter 6, And technology, it grew on ...
exclusion as an ideological instrument
After the second world war the position of the government has
made rapid changes. In the fifties and sixties was strived to
a society of consensus in which would be tried to divide the
existing wealth equally?. The government played a central part
in the building and organising of a framework of morality and
institutions. In the seventies and eighties there is a sudden
break with this policy.
The government lets itself be led by the market more and its
field of attention is shifting from the building and maintai-
ning of the consensus-society to increasing the institutions
of control. The strong government is no longer available as a
safety-net for those no longer able to compete in the struggle
for wealth, but as a guard of those capable of gaining rights
and privileges. This shift can also be found in the increasing
control and registration. With the 'control-state' a golden
age arrives for the Ministry of Justice.
A new thought dawning
In the seventies the general belief in the unlimited growth of
economy is starting to decline. Ever since, political and
economic policymakers ask themselves if giving in to questions
and demands of the lower economic groups, would not be a
threat to the growth and thus for their privileged position.
The number of people still believing that the 'American way of
life' is within reach for everyone in the world has decreased.
And to be sure, if everyone would have been living according
to this model, the total collapse of the ecological system
would have been a fact for a long time.
This relatively new dawning that the model is not suitable for
world wide use has led to a change in the behaviour of the
people in power, to a change in the ideological and political
reaction. During the seventies and eighties (under the guidan-
ce of the new-conservatives Reagan and Thatcher) the
principle of the welfare state itself was questioned openly;
countering (the start) of social unrest by making concessions
The new-conservatives have come to the -probably correct-
conclusion that a free market economy, which is based on maxi-
mising profit and competition, can do no further concessions
on either the area of political participation, economics, nor
in the access to rights. The most important goal of the new-
conservatives is therefor breaking down all mechanisms for
redistribution and solution of conflicts in the welfare-state.
These mechanisms are viewed by them as a blockade for a smoo-
thly functioning economic system.
The deregulation, as this demolition is called, has not only
been directed to the economic sector or mechanisms for redis-
tribution of wealth. It is a demolition of normative and
institutional frameworks of the state as well, which were
meant for solving conflicts on the basis of consensus.
Part of this has been limiting the access to rights and facil-
ities which were guaranteed before. Instead of an 'honest'
distribution by the welfare state, we see the formation of
formal criteria which have to justify the exclusion. In this
respect it is misleading to speak of a 'retreating govern-
ment': the power of the state is not diminishing, but is
consolidated, by changing its character.
Function of the state
The traditional liberal/conservative vision on the democratic
state emphasised the protection of citizens against the in-
fringement of the state on their rights and liberties. Under
the current new-conservatism another vision prevails: the
state has an important role in maintaining security and order,
the citizen is seen more and more as a possible suspect and
treated as such. Society has to be protected against those who
deviate from the standard/norms, the marginal and the dissi-
dents. They are a threat to the smooth functioning of the
system. The consequence is that 'freedom' is mostly the free-
dom of the loyal majority as opposed to the 'outsiders',
'freedom' has become the right to leave the privileged in
peace and for them not to be confronted with demands of those
who have been excluded.
The state becomes the guarantee of the use of the law against
deviant behaviour. The state is no longer prepared to give
rights to demanding citizens, but instead the state is always
in its right towards the citizen.
The traditional vision showed the distrust of citizens towards
state power, the modern security oriented state institutiona-
lises the distrust of the state to the citizen. The deregula-
tion of norms and values does not mean that there are fewer
laws made. It is the intention of the laws that is changing.
Clear legal descriptions make place for vague, general direc-
tions which amount to a blank cheque for executive bodies of
the government, of course at the expense of the rights and
liberties of the citizen.
The new-conservative concept of internal politics consists of
two pillars; on the one hand dismantling the democratic legal
instruments, on the other hand building the machinery for pro-
active control. Political action with as goal finding soluti-
ons on the basis of agreement has been replaced by strategies
of conflict with a general 'police' character, directed pri-
marily at the control of those who have been excluded.
Computerised datafiles play a supportive role in defining
criteria of exclusion and limiting access to rights and facil-
ities previously guaranteed by the government. They are a
technical requirement for total control, which in its turn is
a requirement for realising exclusion and limitation. The rise
of total control is not limited to the terrain of security and
public order. It returns in all fields where people demand
access to facilities.
Momentarily there are experiments in a number of fields in the
government, with the introduction of the so-called Computer-
ized Resource Management Systems (CRMS). Goal of these systems
is to reduce government expenses by tracing 'frauds' and other
'non-rightful claimants'. In Germany is experimented with a
system to limit provision of assistance in the medical care.
The system, among others, keeps data about the patient, provi-
ded medical treatment and diagnostic data. At the moment the
data are used to gain insight in the economic efficiency of
medical care by extensive linking of data, the goal being
budget-cuts. Private health insurance funds and professional
groups of doctors are already asking for the introduction of a
personal chipcard for medical care. The chip-card would have
all the personal medical data of the holder. Advocates of the
introduction say that in this way it can be checked if someone
is undergoing preventive research voluntarily, or active in
sports, meaning to say actively involved in 'health promoting'
activities or is involved in activities with risk, like smo-
king. Health promoting activities can then be rewarded with
lowering of the premium, worsening/deteriorating activities
with heightening of the premium. Extensive exchange of data
could also help establish the economically most efficient way
to treat a disease. Doctors who exceed the standardised limit
of costs for the treatment of a specific disease, can then be
punished. Critics of the health-care-CRMS fear that such a
control will result sooner or later in a 'measured' care,
where 'expensive' treatments for certain categories of
patients are limited or made impossible.
Another, very typical, example of computerised management can
be found in Bremen, where a new electronical system has been
introduced that makes it possible to gain insight in the
amount of waste, produced by every household. In this way the
households can be charged for the actual amount of waste they
produce. It is imperative though that personal data are stored
electronically, and now social security services already have
gained access to the files, to see if the amount of waste
matches the number of people living there officially.
It is clear that these forms of data-exchange have serious
consequences for people in a 'not-normal' situation and ille-
gal foreigners in specific. it must be feared that the next
step will be that the local waste-files will be linked to the
ARZ, the German version of the Foreigners Administration
Control and registration can not be separated. There are
plenty of examples of registration which are already, or will
be operational soon, in roadtraffic. Put shortly it all comes
down to filtering out the excluded and separating them from
those who do have rights or are able to pay.
We chose as example the CRM-systems, because they have the
same goal and function as the electronic registers of internal
security and public order: they are based on the rejection of
the principle of assumed guilt and the reversal of onus of
proof. It is the spirit of combatting criminality which is
extended to all facets of society. Until the contrary is
proven, everyone is guilty and thus subject to pro-active
control. The more problematic the position of individuals or
social groups, the more suspicious they become in the eyes of
Extending the electronic systems is narrowly linked with
maintaining the social status quo. With such a policy, the
data kept must be regarded as an' accountancy for exclusion'
and therefor can be seen as an extra-ordinary form of intelli-
gence gathering. This enormous data-file is an absolute condi-
tion for the effectuation of a policy directed to exclude.
In this context another development necessary for the 'con-
trol-state' should be mentioned: the increasing integration of
the three most important institutions concerned with security;
the police, the military and the secret service. We have
already seen that use of information stored in different
systems is not limited to use by the police. Other forms of
'competent authorities' also have direct or indirect access.
The vague definitions of what should be countered makes it
possible for the three services to state that they are each
competent in this field. At the same time the call for exten-
sion of competence is heard. The police claim a part in the
pro-active phase of an inquest (gathering of intelligence),
and demands advanced equipment which was originally developed
for military use. The secret services claims a part in the
combatting of crime, a part they get more often. In a number
of countries the military have procured an important role in
the protection of internal security.
The necessity for secret services and the military apparatus
to show their legitimate existence after the break-down of the
communist regimes in Eastern Europe(eigen toevoeging) has lead
to rivalry between the three services. It is paradoxical that
this rivalry seems to speed up the process of fusion between
the three, rather then slow it down.
The goals of the computerised controls are the creation of a
new image of fiends, after the sudden disappearance of 'commu-
nism'. The new enemies are the expulsed, who form a threat for
the position of the prosperous by claiming a piece of the cake
while, according to the wealthy, they do not have a right to
it. The refugees and immigrants who storm the paradise of the
rich, international maffia who come to steal our BMW's and
Mercedesses, but also the unemployed, the elderly, the ill and
handicapped, who are blamed of being a burden to society.
Automated datafiles make it possible to 'discover' them, to
check them and to formalise their exclusion.
The worshippers of the security-state seem to forget one minor
detail: the more the state is directed to exclusion and con-
trol, the more the groups confronted with this will try to
avoid contact with the state. Formally the goal, disappearance
of the excluded, will be accomplished. In practice though
these groups will stay in existence, living in an environment
which drives them to criminality, in an extreme legal and
social insecurity inherent to (semi-)illegality. Their number
will grow steadily.
In this way, instead of maintaining security and order, the
state creates a parallel society of 'outlawed', a situation
which even the best police force can not control. In other
words: by creating a total control-system to guarantee the
security, a situation of insecurity is created which can not
The Flynn-report of the European Commission on Immigration-
and Asylumpolicy (february 1994) refers implicitly to these
possible effects: "Potential asylum-seekers can seek refuge in
illegal immigration when asylum procedures are no longer
accessible for them. It is improbable that the costs of effec-
tively countering this illegal immigration will be less that
taking in the asylum requests of this group. The advantage of
the asylum procedure is that in the majority of the cases, and
especially the 'apparently unfounded' requests, information
about the person requesting is registered, while in the case
of illegal immigration there almost certainly a lot of trouble
will have to be gone through, in order to trace the persons
concerned." In fact the Commission admits that the current
policy with its goal, decreasing the immigration by stricter
rules, has failed. The Commission is right in their fear that
limiting the legal possibilities of immigration will lead to
an increase of illegal immigration. The necessary conclusions
are not drawn by the Commission though. The expectation that
potential immigrants will continue use of the asylum procedure
as a means to enter the country, when access to the procedure
will be made more easy, is quite naive, since this procedure
leads to registration and possible effective expulsion.
The question remains if someone will request asylum when it is
clear that the chances of staying are smaller than when ente-
ring illegaly. Which measures of control and repression are
taken, fact remains that the more the legal possibilities are
closed off, the more people will be forced to illegal immigra-
tion. They prefer a life in illegality, in the fortress of the
rich above the insecurity and misery of their country of