ROAR Issue #4: State of Control is

Article by Jerome Roos (PDR Cambridge, founder and editor of ROAR magazine), in ROAR issue #4

A concise account of the current state of (drum-roll) state control in neoliberal systems, exemplified by armed riot polices opposing civilians, mass storage of personal data, and the phenomenon of handling disorder (aka consequences and symptoms) rather than bringing order (aka addressing root-causes and improving these).

On his argument that private companies are increasingly profiting from the increaseing state-control (data mining, private military forces), Roos remains a bit vague and, especially towards the end, the article carries a slight conspiracy-esque character when it paints its doom and gloom scenario.

The management of disorder — this becomes the main paradigm of government under neoliberalism. Rather than directly confronting the underlying causes of political instability, ecological catastrophe or endemic social ills, the state of control considers it “safer and more useful to try to govern the effects.”




Philanthropism a symptom of economic inequality, not its cure

Convincing argument outlining how American Liberalism’s model of  corporate freedom at all costs combined with Philanthropism is rather a symptom of inequality than a promising cure. However, the author misses to highlight another point: that Liberalism’s promise that everyone has the chance to “make it to the top” is a mere illusion.

It could be otherwise: contingency and social transformation

Everything in the social world is contingent. All the institutions we’re part of, the norms we follow and the practices we adopt could all be different because they were made by human beings. They only stay the same because people continue to act as they do. If that stopped, everything would change. (

The past is narrated and the future is not fixed – Spot-on! On that note, also worth referring to Adorno’s Society and work in general (“Everything under the sun is socially-mediated”), Benjamin’s Thesis on the Concept of History, and Foucault’s The Order of Things  and work in general.