Monday, May 26, 2003

I'm listening to the CBC radio feature: Ideas ( This evening's program is about the rise of security. Some of the commentators feel that security is passing from the public sphere, through the private sphere, and right into the common sphere. In essence, we have all been regimented into a sort of global Foucauldian Panopticon.

In the course of the program, gated communities were mentioned in passing. What exactly are gated communities? To me, they're vaguely spooky enclaves dotting the suburbs of the Southern Metropolis. The frequency of these oddities seems to occur in a directly inverse proportion to stictness of fire arm controls.

Gated communities may be something else. In these communities, the people decide when the garbage is removed and establish their own rules for the common property. Note that the property is common... not public. In gated communities, are we seeing the renaissance of the pre-industrial Commons of the Diggers and the Levelers?

Are gated communities the future city state? Neil Stephenson seems to think so.

Here are some other links of interest:
1. Douglas Rushkoff on the early web as a gated community, and
2. Gated Communities in America: Walling out the world?