Regulating Social Life Through Uncertainty and Fear

Susana Narotzky and Gavin Smith

in Immediate Struggles

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780520245686
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939011 | DOI:
Regulating Social Life Through Uncertainty and Fear

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This chapter examines how public politics was intertwined with social relations of production. One theme comes up insistently: the production of a culture of fear which took uncertainty to the extreme that one's mere existence was always threatened. This was accomplished by the Francoist state by both widespread direct and violent repression, and the invasive system of regulation employed through the autarchic economic organization. What made both sheer repression and this administered economy such powerful instruments of control was the fact that, in the everyday practices of getting by, these formal regulatory instruments were consistently violated. The only way to partially bypass this constraining framework was to engage in extremely personalized networks. Tied laborers and small tenants had long relied on using personalized relations to forward claims or simply to make a living. The world of the tied laborer and the almost inverse world of the ostracized ex-Republican were more difficult to unearth. By building uncertainty and fear into the old pre-Republican cacique system, the new regime made public politics collapse completely into this dense web of multiplex personal relations.

Keywords: Francoist state; autarchic economic organization; ostracized ex-Republican; pre-Republican cacique system; social life

Chapter.  8359 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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