Panopticon Characteristics

1240 Words 5 Pages
The society of today faces a dangerous problem, and that is the panopticon that is known as the bank. The banks of today are created in a way to be both a physical panopticon, an authoritarian panopticon, and a financial panopticon. The banks of the United States and the rest of the world control the actions of our life in a way that seems to infiltrate everyday activities and actions. Not only do banks form a physical panopticon because of their high-level surveillance, but they form a panopticon of financial control through their practices. As explained by Foucault in Panopticism, a panopticon "forms as a kind of laboratory of power while it gains in efficiency and in the ability to penetrate into men’s behavior." (191) this is a truly accurate …show more content…
Firstly, let’s begin with the banks physical panopticon characteristics. Inside of a bank, whether it is a local bank, or an investment bank, are dozens of surveillance cameras that monitor every movement that takes place on both the interior and exterior of the complex, turning the bank into an unavoidable presence of exposure to the millions of bank employees and bank customers that engage in everyday banking. Much like a panopticon, banks use this tactic of oversight to initiate their fearful agenda onto its victims. Banks can even be compared to The Plague when Foucault speaks of the surveillance needed to contain the deadly disease, he states "individuals are inserted into a fixed space, in which the slightest movements are supervised, in which all events are recorded." (182) this trait of surveillance is parallel to the banks use of excessive surveillance measures. The physical panopticon form of a bank is clearly acceptable by cause of the enormous amount of money they are hoarding. This commodity is import to them considering it is the source of power for their panopticon, so they obviously must spare no expense to keep it safeguarded. Their strategy of how to go about this surveillance is also important to them, which is why they so blatantly display these cameras; it is done to deter any unwanted activity that may affect their interests. Their panopticon of surveillance works …show more content…
A Bank is the place you go to get the things you want, whether that is a car, a house, or a business loan. It's also the place you go to get a credit card, which allows you to perform everyday spending much like you would with real cash, however it is not real cash. The bank gives out credit to better determine how much spending power to give you with that “credit” card. This allows debt to flourish amongst the public, as well as increases their intimidation of more debt and expenses.. As Foucault clearly states ""Discipline" may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power." (199) this is extremely similar to the emphasis of the banks intimidation, and their use of discipline to grow their power. Obviously, if you get any sort of money loaned from a bank, you are in debt to them, and until you pay off this debt, you are trapped inside the twilight zone of their financial panopticon. All pawns of these banks are forced to perform payments of this owed debt every month, year, and technically every day considering some aspects of their taxation and programs. But if someone fails to meet these payment requirements on any given “payment period” they will be punished. The banks punishments for missing your required “pay up” moment could resort in your house being foreclosed, your car taken from you, your imaginary spending power (credit) being diminished, or even

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