You are on page 1of 30

On Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment Author(s): TALAL ASAD Source: Social Research, Vol. 63, No.

4 (WINTER 1996), pp. 1081-1109 Published by: The New School Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40971325 . Accessed: 22/07/2013 05:20
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.

The New School is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Social Research.

http://www.jstor.org

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

On Torture, or Cruel, and Inhuman, / Degrading Treatment*/

BY TALAL ASAD

of "cruelty," in In thispaper I discussthemodern conception in Article of 5 the as Universal represented particular Human "No one shall be subjectedto Declaration Rights: of or tortureor to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment punishment."In this statementthe adjectives qualifying or punishment" seemto indicate forms of behavior "treatment to "torture," at least have a close thatif not quite equivalent it. with affinity Moral and legaljudgmentsthatderivefromthisrule have in the West,to whichI shall advertin an interesting history I wantto advance the thesisthatthe universal whatfollows. rules enshrinedin the Declarationcover a wide range of kindsofbehavior. different Moreprecisely, I shall qualitatively four to make that the modern of try points: first, history
* An early of thispaperwasreadfirst version in Bellagioat a conference on "Social in July1994; I thankthe organizers Arthur Veena Das, and Kleinman, Suffering" Lock fortheir Laterversions wereread at seminars in Maragaret helpful responses. The NewSchoolforSocialResearch, The University of California at SantaCruz,The New York University, and The University of Sussex at JohnsHopkinsUniversity, I am grateful to each of theseaudiences fortheir criticisms and comments. Brighton. In particular, I have benefitted fromcritical made by the following: suggestions VickiHattam, KiraKosnick, Keith Goldfarb, Nield, Jonathan Boyarin, Jeff JimMiller, DavidScott, Don Scott, DavidSchneider, and BrianStreet. SOCIAL RESEARCH, Vol. 63, No. 4 (Winter 1996)

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1082

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

"torture"is not only a record of the progressiveprohibitionof cruel, inhuman and degrading practices. It is also part of a more complex storyof the modern secular concept of what it means to be trulyhuman. The second point is this: the phrase "torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment"serves criterionfor making moral and legal today as a cross-cultural and suffering.Yet it is given much of judgments about pain and culturally.My thirdpoint is its operative sense historically It is that the new ways of two. linked to the first (which include "mental torture"and conceptualizingsuffering (a term that now refers "degrading treatment")and sufferer also to non-humansand even to the natural environment)are increasinglyuniversal in scope but particular in prescriptive content. The final point is that the modern dedication to eliminating pain and suffering often conflicts with other commitmentsand values: the right of individuals to choose and the duty of the state to maintainits interests. Together, these four points aim at underscoring the unstable character of a central categorydeployed in modern, Westernsociety.The instability relates,in brief,to the factthat the ideas of torture, cruelty, inhumanity, and degrading are intended to measure what are oftenincommentreatment surable standardsof behavior. In addition, theyare applied in fashion. particularcases in a contradictory I do not argue that there can be no such thingas cruelty.I that have discourses am merely skeptical about theuniversalist not is been generated around it. But myskepticism intellectual, moral. This paper is not concerned withattackingthe reforms thattake theirinspirationfromthe United Nations condemnaI tionof "tortureor cruel,inhuman and degrading treatment." about discourses Western in the am interestedprimarily way the and waysthatthe idea of torturecan hang together, cruelty for ideas of cruel, inhuman, and and substitute with overlap of pain and degrading treatment-as well as of the inflicting are such In others. on necessaryif inquiries myview, suffering our transcultural we seek to clarify judgments.

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE
Two Histories of Torture

1083

of twobookswhichtogether show I beginwitha discussion of of histories The different first, cruelty. ways writing very physicalcrueltyas a featureof by G.R. Scott, represents barbaricsocieties-that is, societiesthat have not yet been humanized.The other book is by D. Rejali. It makes a distinctionbetween two kinds of physical cruelty,one appropriate to pre-modern and the other to modern in the context of societies,and describes that difference Iran. contemporary Scott was a Fellow of several Britishlearned societies, Institute. includingamong them the Royal Anthropological is His History Torture the first modern (1940) perhaps of story of its kind. It deals at lengthwith "Savage and Primitive Races," ancient and early modern European peoples, and Asian "civilizations" (China,Japan, and India). On the one of a now largely it tells discontinued hand, story punishments or suppressed; on the other, it speaks of motives for inflicting sufferingthat are deep-rooted and pervasive. His indebtednessto Krafft-Ebing's ideas is evident not in in form his only explicit chapters on "Sadism" and but also in the generalevolutionary schemehe "Masochism," to which the to inflict employs according primitive urge pain remainsa latentpossibility (sometimes realized) in civilized society. unusualforhistimein wanting Scottis somewhat to include the mistreatment of animalsin his accountof torture, and in their as a consequence of thenon-recognition describing plight ofrights, forlikeothermoderns he sees theextension ofrights tobe crucial fortheelimination ofcruelty. But in thecourseof this thesis he hits on a arguing profoundand disturbing It is not entirely clear whetherhe thinksthat ambiguity. humancruelty is merely an instance of bestial thatis,a crueltyout of the supposedly universal of stronger instinct working animals to hunt or attackthe weaker. Or whetherhuman

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1084

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

of animal behavior at crueltyis unique -not a characteristic all- and that everydayhuman ruthlessnesstoward animals is essential for justifyingthe persecution of vulnerable people (defeated enemies, uninitiated children, and so on) on the ground that they are notfully human. In either case, Scott disturbsliberal ideas of what it is to be trulyhuman: humans are essentiallyno differentfrom other animals, or they are different by virtueof theirunique capacityfor cruelty. It is worth noting that the instances of physical pain Scott describes as "torture" belong sometimes to the involuntary submission to punishmentand sometimes to the practices of personal discipline (for example, rituals of endurance, between the two: pain is asceticism).He makes no distinction to as an isolable experience be condemned for what regarded it is. In the encounter between "Savage Races" and modern Euro-Americans,Scott has no doubt that "torture" is something the former do to the latter- perhaps because it is synonymous with "barbarity." At any rate, the sufferings inflicted on Native Americans by white settlers and the expanding United States have no place in his history of torture. This is not to say that Scott asserts torture to be entirely he is quite explicit absent in the modern state.On the contrary, about its use by the police to secure confession ("the third is in part a degree"). His positionis thatthe storyof modernity story of the progressive elimination of all morally shocking social behavior- including what is now described in international law as "cruel, inhuman and degrading treatmentor punishment."Scottdoes not claim thatthatintentionhas been fullyrealized, only that progress has been made. In this story of progress, he tells us, the state's definitionand defense of protectionagainst cruelty. rightsis the most effective In his importantbook, the Iranian political scientistDarius argument that far from being a Rejali makes the interesting barbaric survivalin the modern state as Scott's storysuggests,

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1085

torture is in fact integralto it (Rejali, 1994). Althoughhe modernand pre-modern, intotwotypes, he torture classifies has a fixed shareswithScottthe viewthatthe term"torture" bothof themassumethatto speakof More precisely, referent. torture is to referto a practicein whichthe agentforcibly oftheplacethatthepractice inflicts regardless painon another a largermoraleconomy. occupieswithin a accountof the role of political offers sophisticated Rejali in Iran both beforeand afterthe inception of punishments in thatcountry. Moderntorture, he tellsus, is a modernization that is an inseparablepart of a formof physicalsuffering In society. Iran, the practiceof tortureis as disciplinary to the IslamicRepublictodayas it was to the Pahlevi essential it regime replaced. Both in their own way are modern societies. disciplinary believes thathisbookrefutes whatFoucaulthad to say Rejali in Discipline and Punish(1979).1 He maintains about torture in modernsociety, thattorture does notgiveplace to discipline butpersists in a majorway.This belief, as Foucault in claimed, from a of arises whose central myview, misreading Foucault, concern was not with "torture"but with "power": and witha contrast between consequently sovereign power(which and needs to exhibit itself publicly) disciplinary power(which of works the normalization behavior). through everyday Public rituals of tortureare no longer deemed to be of sovereignpower (whether to the maintenance necessary werein factfunctionally to themaintenance of they necessary "socialorder"is, of course,anotherquestion).But Foucault's thesis aboutdisciplinary poweris notsubverted byevidenceof in torture the modern state. On the contrary, surreptitious because torture carriedout in secretis said to be precisely connected with theextraction of information, itis an aspectof of torturers, in modern whether (The actualmotives policing. or in premodernstates,are usually mixed and variable.) directedat defendinga Policingas a governmental activity fundamental "interest of society" concernsthe ordinary and

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1086

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

extraordinarysecurityof the state and its citizens. It is an in which knowledge and power depend upon each institution of it- and this point is curiously neglected by much other: Rejali- circulatingin secret. secret partly Modern tortureas part of policing is typically because inflictingphysical pain on a prisoner to extract or for any purpose whatever,is "uncivilized"and information, therefore illegal. It is also secretbecause policingagents do not wish to advertise everything they learn from tortured prisoners. After all, the effectivenessof certain kinds of disciplinaryknowledge depends upon its secrecy. The secret relates characterof knowledgeacquired in policing,therefore, of outside criticsas to whether,and at once to the uncertainty if so how often, something illegal has been done by a bureaucratic power to obtain it ("torture is intolerable in a civilized society"), and also to how, when, and where law-enforcing power chooses to act once it possesses thatsecret information ("everysocietymust protectitselfagainst criminal conspiracies"). Rejali's definitionof torture as "sanguinary violence condoned by public authorities" slips uneasily between the legitimateand public practice of classical tortureon the one because "uncivilized" hand, and, on the other hand, the secret character of policing torturein modernizing states like Iran. His fullerargumentdoes not address this difference.Modern torture,he insistsat length,is integralto what Foucault called disciplinary society. It is, if not itself quite identical with discipline,then veryclose to it. There are valuable insightsin Rejali's book relating to the brutalizing aspect of the process of modernization. Here I mention only two objections that might be made to his argument. The first is that his main example (twentiethcenturyIran) relates to what many readers will identifyas a "modernizing"rather than a "fullymodern" society.Whether in Iran in the period covered by Rejali's all the transformations book truly represent modernization in the sense of moral

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1087

but is- thesereaderswillsay- an open question, improvement in thatcountry does not torture evidenceof blatant shocking I believethatRejali to modernity. is integral provethattorture is right,but his argumentat this point would have been to a modern society, like Nazi if he had referred stronger on the a rather than society merely way to being Germany, was notoriously an For althoughNazi Germany modernized.2 no less modern than other. it was i/liberal state, any certainly unlike is this:Rejalidoes notexplain The other why, objection of torture the rhetoric of state use modern requires discipline, ofthekindFoucault societies calledClasdenial.In pre-modern in out and was carried torture sical, unapologetically public. Why ofsecrecy-anda discourse nowtypically does "torture" generate to this is that The brief answer there question, surely, exposure? it is now a new sensibility regarding physical pain. Although in our the modern conscience occursfrequently time, enough of without the "goodreason"(toperform regards inflicting pain as as an a medical and, therefore, say) reprehensible operation, It is thisattitude to pain that objectof moralcondemnation. notion of the modern define cruelty. helps The modern conscienceis also a secular conscience,a whatwe nowknowas modern thatsubsumes category religion. which was rooted in the doctrine of traditionally Christianity, finds it difficult to make Christ's consequently passion, good Modern have sense of suffering today. theologians begun to and entirely concede that pain is essentially negative."The a modernCatholictheologian, writes secularist challenge," oflifefrom thereligious eventhough many aspects separating a with it more the sound, field, brings interpretive equilibrium; even sometimes difficult to natural underphenomena, though inprocesses havetheir causeandroots that canandmust stand, It is a man's be recognized. to enter intothis job, therefore, of the of in order to be analysis meaning suffering, cognitive and conquer it. ... Through able to affront hisworks, even ofNazareth before hiswords, thegoodness of Jesus proclaimed as theimageof salvation. lifeand of health, For Himpainis 3 1987, (Autiero, p. 124). negativeness

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1088

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

The writerin this passage is clearly thinkingof disease, but since pain can also be a consequence of human intention,it followsthatsuch pain should be eliminatedfromthe world of human interaction-even from religious disciplines and from where it once had an effective the enactmentof martyrdom, and honored place. The secular Christian must now abjure passion and choose action. Pain is not merelynegativeness.It a scandal. is, literally, Torture Abolishing

of physical pain now become Why has the infliction A well-known scandalous? partof the answeris thisprogresof torture like Beccaria sivist ago critics story:two centuries and Voltaire recognized how inhuman it was and how in a trial.Thus, the truth as a wayof ascertaining unreliable they saw and articulatedwhat others before them had failed to see. Their powerfulcase against (unaccountably) rulersintoabolishing shocked torture Enlightenment judicial it. The themeof itsintolerable emergedmoreclearly cruelty was declaredto be injudicialtorture becausethepain inflicted was confess to makethem on prisoners Paininflicted gratuitous. it was because it was immoral, grossly argued, particularly their guilt or innocence.4(The in identifying inefficient condemnphysidid not necessarily reformers Enlightenment involved considerations it as such, because cal punishment ideas ofjustice. instrumental otherthansimple ones,especially modern ideas ofjustice of theevolution however, Eventually, to painful to growing wereto contribute punishment.) hostility not condemnedby critics this But whywas pain gratuitous earlier?What had preventedpeople fromseeing the truth untilthe Enlightenment? and theLaw of Proof, In his brilliant John study,Torture He demonstrates a has explanation. Langbein provided partial when the Roman canon law of was proscribed thattorture

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1089

or the testimony of proof-whichrequiredeitherconfession to convict-declinedin forcein the seventwo eyewitnesses evidence teenthcentury. Increasingresortto circumstantial The abolition of moreeasilyand speedily. securedconvictions the moralcondemnation was, thus,in effect judicial torture of an extremely cumbersomeand and legal proscription procedurethatwas now comingto be regarded as lengthy thatthemoraltruth moreor lessredundant. Langbeinimplies of a was linkedto thepriorconstruction aboutjudicialtorture newconceptof legal truth (Langbein,1977). was the object of vigorouspolemic in the When torture Benthamcame to the conclusion century, Jeremy eighteenth is sometimes easiertojustify thanthe thatthe pain of torture In in the name of the of inflicted course punishment. suffering for example,thatCourtsof he maintained, thisjustification in cases of contempt to imprisonment Law resorting might of physicalpain, or even the threatof findthe application it,wouldsecureobediencein a way"lesspenal" than applying prison: in prison A manmayhavebeenlingering fora month or two he would make answer to a question before which at theworst of therack, and therefore with one stroke almost with always thathe might be made to suffer the rack,he onlyknowing ina moment; would haveanswered on a justas a manwill linger Month withthe Toothach[sic]which he might have saved from at theexpense ofa momentary himself pang.5 It is not Bentham'sapparentrefusalto distinguish between and involuntary to pain thatshould be voluntary subjection notedhere. It is the idea thatsubjective of pain experiences can be objectively compared. This idea is crucial for the of "cruel, inhuman and degrading modern understanding in a cross-cultural treatment" context, althoughliberalstoday wouldstrongly Bentham's view theoccasional reject regarding of tortureto imprisonment. For it is precisely preferability in suffering some notionof comparability thatmakesof long

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1090

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

years in prison (including solitaryconfinement)a "humane" punishmentand of floggingan "inhumane" one, even though of imprisonment and of floggingare qualitatively theexperience different. quite In an interestingpassage in Disciplineand Punish Foucault notes that in the nineteenth century imprisonment was to other formsof legal punishmentmainly compared favorably because it was regarded as the most egalitarian (Foucault, 1979, p. 232). This was a consequence of the philosophical Penal doctrine that freedom was the natural human condition. reformers reasoned that since the desire for liberty was implantedequally in everyindividual,deprivingindividualsof at them equally- thatis, mustbe a way of striking theirliberty or social status of their physical constitution.For regardless just as fines were easier for the rich to pay, so physical pain could be borne better by the more sturdy. No form of humanity, punishmentaccorded so preciselywith our essential incarceration was did. That as therefore, imprisonment legal considered to be equitable contributed to the sense that physicalpunishmentwas gratuitous.For this reason, although modern liberalsmustregard Bentham wrongin the conclusion he reached about torture, theymustconsider him rightto have endorsed a quantitativecomparison of verydisparate kinds of calculus of to see how the utilitarian It is not difficult suffering. pleasure and pain has come to be central to cross-cultural judgment in modern thoughtand practice. For by a reductive the comparative operation,the idea of a calculus has facilitated remain incommensurable would otherwise what of judgment qualities.6 theWorld Humanizing it is a humane society, The historicalprocess of constructing it has often been cruelties. at aimed Thus, said, has eliminating observed that European rule in colonial countries, although

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1091

about moralimprovements in not itself democratic, brought of practices behavior-thatis, the abandonment thatoffend thehuman. against in thistransformation weremodern Majorinstruments legal, and educational practices. And a central administrative, categorydeployed in them was the modern categoryof law.JamesRead writes: customary Of all therestrictions of customary laws upontheapplication the colonial the test of 'to or during period, repugnancy justice was the most for laws morality' potentially sweeping: customary couldhardly be repugnant to thetraditional sense ofjustice or of thecommunity which still and it is them, morality accepted clear that the or morality therefore ofthecolonial justice power wastoprovide thestandard tobe applied. Read pointsout that the phrase "repugnant to justice and does nothavea preciselegalmeaning, and thatearly morality" in the colonies sometimes legislation employedotherexpressuchas "notopposed to natural and humanity," sions, morality to perform thesame revolutionary work(Read, 1972,p. 175). But moraland social progress in thosecountries has been uneven.Although tried to cruel Europeans suppress practices and forms of suffering thatwerepreviously takenforgranted in thenon-European worldbymaking thepractitioners legally the was not successful. culpable, suppression always completely to eliminate socialsuffering is takenup by Today thestruggle theUnitedNations.Or so thestory goes. I wantto propose,however, thatin theirattempt to outlaw customs the European rulersconsideredcruel it was not the concern with indigenous sufferingthat dominated their but the desire to impose what they considered thinking, civilizedstandardsof justice and humanityon a subject population-thatis, thedesireto createnew humansubjects.7 The anguishof subjectscompelledunder threatof punishmentto abandontraditional brandedas practices-nowlegally to and or as "repugnant justice morality," "opposed to natural

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1092

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

or even sometimesas "backward and and humanity," morality childish"- could not, therefore, play a decisive part in the discourse of colonial reformers. On the contrary,as Lord Cromer put it withreferenceto the miserycreated among the Egyptian peasantry by legal reforms under British rule: have its victims"(1913, p. "Civilisationmust, unfortunately, 44). In the process of learning to be "fullyhuman," only some were seen as an affrontto humanity,and kinds of suffering their eliminationsought. This was distinguishedfrom suffering that was necessaryto the process of realizing one's humanity- that is, pain that was adequate to its end, not wasteful pain. associatedwithbarbaricbehavior, Inhuman typically suffering, condition for which someone was was a morallyinsufferable thereforeresponsible; those requiringit (themselvesinhuman mustbe made to desistand, if enough to cause it to be inflicted) necessary,punished. That, at any rate, is the discourse of proWhatindividualcolonialadministrators reform. actually gressive unrelated) felt,thought,or did is another (though not entirely were prepared locally matter.Most experienced administrators to toleratevarious "uncivilized"practicesfor reasons of expediency,but all were no doubt aware of the dominantprogressivist discourserooted in "civilized"societies.8 In a recent unpublished paper by Nicholas Dirks there is a nice example of just this discourse in late nineteenth-century British India. His account of the inquiry conducted by the contains colonial authoritiesinto the ritual of hookswinging9 thissoberjudgment by the presidingBritishofficial: at the end of the nineteenth It is, in myopinion,unnecessary in and, havingregardto the levelto whichcivilisation century India has attained,to consider the motivesby which the are actuatedwhentakingpartin hook themselves performers From walkingthroughfire,and other barbarities. swinging, motives their own moralstandpoint, their maybe good or they of in satisfaction maybe bad; theymayindulgein self-torture for the most and in all made vows sincerity fervently pious

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1093

in itfrom thelowest or they disinterested reasons; may indulge for the almsthey whether ofpersonal motives aggrandizement, that and local eclat distinction or for the receive personal might in iswhether butthequestion itmay them; opinion public bring oftheperformers, acts totheexternal isnotopposed this country of humanity and to the dictates as beingin factrepugnant their who witness to all and to themselves may demoralizing of Indiamost thevoice that I amoftheopinion performances. is tosay, notonly the that towith tobe listened entitled respect, someof the schoolthathas received voiceof the advanced with and hasbeenpermeated education ofwestern advantages oflife whose views ofthose butalsothevoice non-Oriental ideas, from derived Asiatic havebeenmainly ofconduct andpropriety time had arrived for that the would proclaim philosophy, gladly of itspeopleto effectively in theinterests theGovernment put of self-torture exhibitions downall degrading (Dirks, unpublished, pp. 9-10). declaredthatthey felt themselves thattheperformers The fact that a the this was was no pain was irrelevant. too, So, plea It werenotacceptable. rite.Such claimsto difference religious to a particular was the offencegiven by the performance different conceptof being human thatreduced qualitatively to a singlestandard. kindsof behavior was obtainedby listening of its offensiveness Confirmation includedIndianswho colonizedvoicesonly.The latter to some confirmawesternized. were directly But, more significantly, tionwas providedalso by thosewho accepteda westernized Fromthe pointof view exegesisof theirAsiaticphilosophy.10 of moral progress,the voices of those who took up a to. could notbe attended reactionary position of moral there was suffering in cause the progress Clearly, I think, is not merely that Whatis interesting, and suffering. wereto be takenmoreseriously than of suffering someforms as opposedto "necessary" butthat"inhuman" others, suffering was or "inevitable" suffering regarded as being essentially and therefore legallypunishable.Pain endured in gratuitous toward was themovement human,"however, becoming "fully were social or in sense that there moral reasons the necessary This view is of a piece withthe whyit had to be suffered.

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1094

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

post-Enlightenmentconcern to construct through judicial means of reformingoffenders punishmentthe most efficient and of guarding society'sinterests.11 dominantin the As the idea of progressbecame increasingly affairs of Europe and the world, the need for measuring sufferingwas felt and responded to with greater sophistication. " With Deliberate "Torture,Acting Cruelty Representing Pain is not always regarded as insufferable in modern Euro-Americansocieties. In warfare,sport, and psychological experimentation-as well as in the domain of sexual pleais activelypracticedand also sure-inflictingphysicalsuffering makes for contradictionswhich are This condoned. legally pain is described as exploited in public debate. When transitive And "cruel and inhuman," it is often referred to as torture. tortureitselfis condemned by public opinion and prohibited law. by international It is hardly surprising, therefore,that the many liberalthat have employed torture have democratic governments12 attemptedto do so in secret. And sometimesthey have been concerned to redefine legally the categoryof pain-producing in an attemptto avoid the label "torture."Thus, treatment Tortureis forbidden say that by Israelilaw. Israeliauthorities or condonedin theoccupiedterritories is notauthorized torture that abuses occur and state that they are but acknowledge In 1987 the Landau JudicialCommission specifiinvestigated. but allowed for 'moderatephysical callycondemned'torture' and to be used to secureconfessions and psychological pressure' annex to the report a classified to obtaininformation; defining permissiblepressure has never been made public (U.S. on HumanRights of State,Country for1993, Reports Department p. 1204). in the region (forexample, Needless to say,other governments Egypt, Turkey, and Iran) have also condoned

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1095

have and unlikeliberal-democratic torture, governments, they own citizens. But their the remarkable used it freely against featureof this case is the scrupulousconcernof a liberalthe amountof pain thatis statewithcalibrating democratic a concernthattoomuch legallyallowable.There is evidently It is not be assumed that "moderate should applied. pain is at once necessary and psychological and pressure" physical that to secureconfession. sufficient Beyond quantity, pressure and therefore is held to be excessive(gratuitous) presumably in theMiddleEastare rarely becomes"torture."13 Otherstates or so modernin theirreasoning. so punctiliousThe use of torture statesrelatesto by liberal-democratic to controlpopulations thatare not citizens. theirattempt In such cases, torture cannot be attributedto "primitive urges"- as Scottsuggested;nor to governmental techniques for disciplining citizens,as Rejali has argued. It is to be as a practical understood to the maintenance of logicintegral thenationstate's Like warfare. sovereignty. of torture is no longerlimited The category to applications of physicalpain: it now includes psychological coercionin which disorientation, are emisolation,and brainwashing in "torture" our functions not Indeed, ployed. day only to denotebehavior actually prohibited bylaw,butalso desiredto in accordance with changingconceptsof be so prohibited "inhumane" treatment (forexample,the publicexecutionor of and child abuse, as well as animal criminals, flogging and foxhunting). experiments, factory farming, This wider categoryof torture"or cruel, inhuman and could in theorybe applied to the degrading treatment" and mental anguish suffering experienced by people in societiesobliged to give up theirbeliefsand "become fully human"(in thesenseunderstood But by Americans). by Euroa curiousparadox it is a versionof relativism thatprevents suchan application of thecategory. For theanguish is itself the of a in investment the Truth of beliefs consequence passionate thatguidebehavior. The modern in contrast, skeptical posture,

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1096

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

regardssuch passionate convictionto be "uncivilized"as well as a perpetual source of danger to others and of pain to oneself. Beliefs should eitherhave no directconnectionto the way one that theycan be easily changed. lives,or be held so lightly One mightbe inclined to thinkthat at least in humanizing societies more sorts of inflictedpain come to be considered morallyunacceptable withthe passage of time. In some cases, however,pain-producingbehavior that was once shocking no longer shocks. Or if it does, then not in the way it did in the past. Puttinglarge numbers of people in prison for more and new formsof more kinds of offenceis one example. Inflicting in battleis another. suffering on pain have claimed that war is "the most writers Some obvious analogue to torture"(Scarry, 1985, p. 61). However thatthe general concept of "cruel, thatmay be, it is significant inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment" is not applied to the normal conduct of war- although modern, in numbers technologicalwarfareinvolvesformsof suffering, The Geneva in that are without and kind, precedent. Convention,it is true, seeks to regulate conduct in war.14But, paradoxically,this has the effectof legalizing most of the new endured in modern war by combatantsand kinds of suffering alike. non-combatants The military historian John Keegan wrote of the new practicesof "deliberate cruelty"nearly two decades ago when he described some of the weaponry employed in twentiethcenturywarfare: Weapons have never been kind to human flesh, but the notbeen that behindtheir designhas usually directing principle can cause. Beforethe thepain and damagethey of maximizing the limitsof muscle power in itself of explosives, invention butevenforsometimethereafter their constrained hurtfulness; of adding fuelled moralinhibitions, bya senseof theunfairness to man'spowerto hurthis increments and chemical mechanical ofdesign.Some barbarities deliberate to restrain served brother, theuse of poisongas and explosive of theseinhibitionsagainst force by the bullets-were codifiedand given international

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1097

as buttheriseof 'thing-killing' of 1899;15 HagueConvention is an examto artillery heavy weaponsopposed man-killing and inflicted side-effects grosssuffering ple-whichby their As a result restraints restraints. invalidated these disfigurement, effect of many and it is nowa desired castto thewinds, were and wounds as terrible that inflict they man-killing weapons for is filled The as mine, instance, terrifying possible. claymore bombwith with metalcubes. . . , the cluster jagged metal that tears in bothcasesbecause shapeof projectile fragments, than a smooth-bodied one. The more and fractures extensively anti-tank are fired HEAT and HESH rounds by guns designed of metal vehicles with showers of armored to filltheinterior so disabling thetank of molten or streams metal, by splinters disliked for ethical reasons even itscrew. Andnapalm, disabling an ingredient which contains minded soldiers, bymany tough of the burning to humanskin the adhesion increases petrol in so successful over thepast surfaces. century Military surgeons, of wounded soldiers and wounds repairing resuscitating have thus now to meet a challenge of severity, growing to defeat conceived their skills deliberately wounding agents 1978, pp. 329-30). (Keegan, and add to thisthatthe manufacture, One might possession, of of mass destruction (chemical, weapons deployment nuclear, and biological) must be counted as instancesof declared governmentalreadiness to engage in "cruel, inhumanand degradingtreatment" againstcivilianpopulationseven when theyare not actuallyused. In brief,cruel of destruction are integralto modern moderntechnologies and modernwarfareis an activity essentialto the warfare, on whichthewelfare and powerof the modernstate, security In of itscitizens the modernstate and identity war, depends. demandsfromits citizensnot only thattheykill and maim suffer cruel pain and others,but also that theythemselves death.16 crueltiesof modern battle be So how can the calculated reconciled with the modern sensibility regarding pain? as a essence. As in state Precisely by treating pain quantifiable an can made to be measure the torture, attempt physical in modern in inflicted warfare accordance with the suffering

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1098

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

proportionalityof means to ends. The human destruction inflictedshould not outweigh the strategicadvantage gained. But given the aim of ultimatevictory, the notion of "military can be extended indefinitely. Any measure that is necessity" intended as a contributionto that aim, no matterhow much sufferingit creates, may be justified in terms of "military in such cases is set by The standard of acceptability necessity." that standard varies as the lattermoves in and public opinion, response to contingentcircumstances(for example, who the enemy is, how the war is going). I want to stressthat I am making no moraljudgment here. My concern is to identifythe paradoxes of modern thought and practice that relate to the deliberate inflictionof pain between states as well as within them. If I focus on state-condonedcrueltythis is not because I assume that the state is its only source today,but because our moral discourse about cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatmentor punishment is closely linked to legal concepts and politicalinterventions. In the instancesdiscussed so far,I have tried to suggestthat is at once the of the concept of physicalsuffering the instability and of strategiesavailable source of ideological contradictions for evading them. I now shiftmy attentionto the domain of interpersonal relations that the modern state defines as "private." Here we meet with a contradictionthat has deeper roots, and one which cannot be resolved simply by, say, calculated redefiningthe concept of tortureor by prohibiting combat. crueltyin military To "Crueland DegradingTreatment" Oneself Subjecting

has in recenttimesbeen of "torture" While the category that are expanded to include cases of induced suffering narrowed also been it has or psychological, primarily entirely of physical to exclude some cases of the calculatedinfliction

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1099

But there is leads to contradictions. pain. This sometimes of which is characteristic another kind of contradiction modernsociallife. Moderns are aware of situationsin which the sharp betweenthe negativeexperienceof pain and the separation Sadomasochof pleasureare inseparable. experience positive because here they to manypeople precisely ism is disturbing no that is with are confronted longersimply painful. suffering of It is at once pain and the oppositeof pain. Two centuries calculus of at the Utilitarian's directed criticism powerful thecommon senseview pain has notdestroyed pleasureversus exclusive. shouldbe mutually thatthesetwoexperiences Yet, the twoare intimately of suffering in the eroticization linked, and it is actively soughtbysome. a sadomasochist Handbook from Here is an extract published recently:
to defineSM in a singleconcise Because I consider anyattempt in futilityor masochismI exercise the ultimate be to phrase to add yetanotherversionto the shall foregothe temptation great discarded stack of unsuccessful,inadequate verbal I a shortlistof characteristics garbage.Insteadlet me suggest as SM: in mostsceneswhichI wouldclassify findto be present (1) A dominant-submissive relationship. of pain thatis pleasurable to both and receiving (2) A giving parties. role playingon the part of one or both and/or (3) Fantasy partners. (4) A conscious humblingof one partnerby the other (humiliation). involvement. of fetish (5) Some form (6) The actingout of one or more ritualizedinteractions etc.) (Townsend,1989,p. 15). (bondage,flagellation,

of pain, still Noticethatthistextspeaks not about expressions but about less about conventional play-acting, pain experiin which bothpartners, theactiveand the encedand inflicted, passive, are jointly agents. So why is sadomasochismnot rejectedby all modernswho condemn pain as a negative experience?

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1100

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

One answer, according to some interpreters,is that not everyone "confuses the distinctionbetween unbridled sadism and the social subculture of consensual fetishism.To argue thatin consensual SM the 'dominant' has power, and the slave has not, is to read theater for reality"(McClintock, 1993, p. 87). However, the point of my question is not to dismiss the between "unbridled sadism" and the "subcultureof distinction consensual fetishism." It is to ask what happens when individual selffashioningembraces every difference- including the differencebetween "pain" and "pleasure"- withinan aestheticwhole. We are sometimestold that the hybridization of categories, including those that organize our sensual experience, is a mode by which stable authority may be But it is possible also thatthe subvertedin the name of liberty. eroticizationof pain is merely one of the ways in which the modern self attemptsto secure its elusive foundation. Recently, an article in a London newspaper gave the account of a local performanceby an American artist following at the Instituteof ContemporaryArts: Ron Athey allows Withhis faceset in a maskof concentration, needlejust above the his head to be piercedwitha six-inch as the needle snakes along eyebrow.You watch,transfixed, an empty beneath theskinlikewaterpulsing through hosepipe. A droplet of bloodwellsup at thepointwheresteelmeetsscalp. 's crown of thorns-a body This is the firstspike of Athey of Christianiconography, an tribute to the power piercer's flirtation withthe needle,and a gay man'sdefiance ex-junkie's withHIV. of infection the time the macabre 'sketch' is finished,Athey is By withneedles,garlandedwithwireand oozingblood, encrusted of thecrucifixion. in whatappearsto be a parody Ah, butis ita so poor as to as 'an imitation in the defined dictionary parody, as Athey's of Or is itthe seema deliberate mockery original?' supporterswould claim- an explorationof the nature of in the to a worldwide as manifest gay community martyrdom, era of Aids?(Armistead, 1994,p. 26). What is remarkableabout these opening paragraphs is that

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1101

the writerof this account finds herselfhaving to put the in quotationmarks-but not theatrical word"sketch" familiar The so the equallyfamiliar martyrdom. theological expression to the thatthisis a realtribute readeris givento understand a real explorationof the power of Christianiconography, but natureof (Christian) martyrdom, thatit only"appears"to an "imitation."17 of theater, be a form I stressthat I am not here challengingthis claim, but thatin the discourseof the writer's recognition underlining the tension holding "real" and modern self-fashioning, "theatrical" apart can collapse. It is especiallyin a modern the split between the real and its mere where culture, has become institutionalized, that it becomes representation from time to time that a to assert givenperformance necessary or thatanotherperformance is notreally is merely theatrical, theater.My point here, however,is that it is the difference like the difference between"the real" and "the mimetic"between"pain" and "pleasure"-thatis availableto modern And that,consequently, the tensionbetween self-fashioning. is itself "real" and "pretend" and the aestheticized, bondage between consent and coercionproblematized. cleardistinction Of course,SM as definedin the text I quoted earlier is from thisperformance at theI.C.A. For one thing, different in the latter there is a separationbetween performers and observers. No experienceof givingand receiving pain binds in mutualpleasure.We findonlya one-sided thetwotogether representation (presentation?)of an evocative image of which is precededby a painful construction of that suffering, on the its intention is not the Furthermore, image stage. of We cannot know whether the production private pleasure. various of Athey's members audiencerespondprimarily to the icon of Christ's last passionor to the painfulconstruction of that icon on the stage- or to both. Nor can we tell what difference it would make to thosewho would like to ban this ifthey wereto be toldthatAthey suffers from a performance of the nervous so that he feels malfunctioning system actually

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1102

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

subjected to tortureor to cruel, inhuman or degrading This rule is not qualifiedby the or punishment." treatment are consenting the concerned "unless adults."In parties phrase the same way and for the same reason that one may not even fora limited consentto sell oneselfintoslavery, period. of Not even if the partiesconcernedfind the relationship erotic. bondage So, too, the liberalizedChurch strongly disapprovesof monksbeing whipped at the commandof theirabbot for closure faults-evenwhenthepenancehas a ritual penalizable and even if the monkshave taken and a dramatic character, from This follows the vowsof obediencevoluntarily. monastic modern rejection of physical pain in general and of

no pain. Or- more tellingly-that like a religious virtuoso he has learnt to experience it positively. Think of the Shi'a Muslim flagellants mourning the of the Prophet's grandson Hussain annually every martyrdom Muharram. That instance of self-inflicted pain is at once real and dramatic (not "theatrical"). It has even less to do with "pleasure" than does Athey'sperformance.It differsfromthe latter in being a collective rite of religious sufferingand redemption. It is not a secular act that borrows a religious about prejudice. Nor is metaphorto make a politicalstatement it premised on the rightto self-fashioning and the autonomy of individual choice. Yet both strike against the modern thatrecoilsfroma willing,positiveengagementwith sensibility suffering.Because for ascetics,as for sadomasochists,pain is not merelya means which can be measured and pronounced excessiveor gratuitousin relationto an end. Pain is not action, but passion. These briefreferencesto pain willingly endured in modern society help us to raise some questions at the trans-cultural level. The interesting thing about the criteriaenumerated in the SM text I quoted above is that theycome up against Article5 Declaration of the Universal of Human Rights:"No one shall be

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1103

in particular. But it is more preciseto "gratuitous" suffering it modern this the is to pain,it is put way: hostility notsimply to pain thatdoes not accord witha particular of conception humanand that is in excess. "Excess" is a therefore being concept An essential of measure. to pain aspectof themodernattitude on a calculusthatdefines rests actions. appropriate I have said so faris an argument Needlessto say,nothing against SM. I am not denouncing a "dangerous" sexual Nor am I concerned to celebrate its"emancipatory" practice.18 social potential.19 These antagonistic seem to me to positions assumethat"sadomasochism" has an essence.They are mirror of each other. But the essence of whatlegal and moral images discourse as "SM" is not the constructs, polices,and contests of in As the field of "abnormal and object my analysis. unnatural" sexualpractices statepoweris,of course, generally, and involveddirectly vitally helpingto defineand regulate is withthe structure of normality. Myconcernhere,however, debate over the valorization of in public painful experience a culture In thatdebate,argument thatregardsit negatively. is on the one moderns of because, hand, sharpened disapprove as On the other hand, physical pain "degrading." theyare committed to every individual'srightto pursue unlimited to the physical pleasure"in private"-so longas thatconforms of adults and does not lead to death legalprinciple consenting or serious injury.Thus, one way that modernsattemptto resolvethiscontradiction is by defining in relation to cruelty the principle of individual which is the autonomy necessary basis of free choice. However, if the concept of "cruel, inhumanand degradingtreatment" cannot be consistently without reference to the deployed principleof individual it becomesrelativized. freedom, This becomesclearerin thetrans-cultural domain.For here itis notsimply a matter of eliminating but cruelties, particular of imposing an entiremoderndiscourseof "being human," central to which are its ideas about individualismand detachment frompassionatebelief.Thus, whileat home the

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1104

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

principle of consenting adults within the bounds of the law worksby invokingthe idea of free choice based on individual autonomy,the presence of consentingadults abroad may often be taken to indicate mere "false consciousness"- a fanatical commitment to outmoded beliefs- which invites forcible correction. Yet, only the suspicious individual- suspicious of othersand of herself- can be trulyautonomous, trulyfree of fanatical at convictions.But continuous suspicion introduces instability another level: that of the subject. Comment Concluding I have tried to problematize the basic idea underlyingthe United Nations declaration that,"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."I have suggestedthatthe idea is unstable,mainly because the aspirationsand practicesto whichit is attached are themselvescontradictory, ambiguous, or changing. Of course, unstable the fact that an idea is may not be, in itself,reason enough for abandoning it. But neither the attempt by Euro-Americansto impose theirstandards by force on others nor the willinginvocationof these standardsby weaker peoples in the third world makes them stable or universal. It merely globalizes them. We need ethnographies of pain and cruelty which can provide us with a better understanding of how relevant practices are actually conducted in differenttraditions.Such ethnographies will certainly show us that cruelty can be experienced and addressed in waysother than as a violationof rights- for example, as a failure of specific virtues or as an expression of particularvices. They will also show us that if crueltyis increasinglyrepresented in the language of rights (and especiallyof human rights),then this is because perpetual has now become the dominant mode of moral legal struggle

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1105

uncertain,and rapidly engagementin an interconnected, world. changing Notes


1So, too, Page DuBois (1991, pp. 153-57). 2 Z. Bauman and processes of (1989) has exploredthe structures thedistinctive statethatmade possible modesof cruelty themodern underNazism. 3 thereis a curiousparadox in invoking a metaphor Incidentally, and conquer") to describe the of military violence ("to affront work of healing. But such paradoxes abound in compassionate of course. Christian history, Beccaria denounces"the barbarousand useless tortures Thus, with for crimesthat are multiplied prodigaland useless severity eitherunprovenor chimerical" (1986, p. 4). And Voltaire,with remarks characteristic sarcasm, that,"On a ditsouvent que la question 5 See thetwo first as "Bentham on Torture" fragments published in Bentham, 45. 1973,p. b In her Classical in theEnlightenment work, Probability important has Lorraine Daston described how, over two centuries, (1988), mathematicians to produce a model that struggled Enlightenment would provide a moral calculus for "the reasonable man" in of uncertainty. conditions modernprobability has Although theory divorcedfromthismoralprojectsinceabout 1840, becomeentirely the idea of a calculuscontinues to be powerful in liberalwelfare discourse. ' Lord for Finance during the British Milner,Under-Secretary of which Occupation Egypt began in 1882, described Britain's in task that as country follows: imperial This then, and no lessthanthis, was meantby'restoring order.' It meant reforming the Egyptianadministration root and branch. Nay,itmeantmore.For whatwas thegood of recasting if it were leftto be workedby officials the system, of the old animated is a good 'Men, notmeasures,' bytheold spirit? type, watch-word but to no is it more anywhere, country profoundly applicable than to Egypt. Our task, therefore,included
de sauvertincoupable etde perdre robuste, [thatis, torture]etaitun moyen Vol. un innocent 26, p. 314). trop faible"(1818,

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1106

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

more than new principlesand new methods.It something involved newmen.It involved'the educationof the ultimately to expect,orderly to and therefore and honest know, people the educationof a body of rulers capable of governmentit' (1899, p. 23). supplying need to createsubjects the government's Here Milnerenunciates of (in both senses)as well as rulersinformed by new standards the and political humanbehavior justice.That thiswouldinvolve application of some force and sufferingwas a secondary consideration.I stress that my point is not that colonial lacked"humanitarian" butthat likeMilner administrators motives, of "humanness." wereguidedbya particular concept they 8 I am me that,"The word to Jon Wilsonforinforming grateful find and is one that we again again in ImperialIndia's expediency on from the 1820's to the Royal Commission officialdocuments, a as to indicated Resort to 1928" "interest," expediency, of Agriculture 1977. belief. See Hirschman, of passionate distrust 9 in which a ceremony thecelebrant involves swings Hookswinging builtforthepurposeon a cart,suspendedbytwo from a cross-beam intothesmallof hisback.See Kosambe,1967. steelhooksthrust 10In relation British ofsati(the to themorecelebrated prohibition of Hindu widowson the funeralpyre of their self-immolation husband)in 1829,Lata Mani notesthat, of sati as a cruel and Ratherthan arguingfor the outlawing barbarousact, as one mightexpect of a true 'moderniser,' that such ofabolition wereat painsto illustrate in favour officials of upgrading withthe principle consonant a movewas entirely indigenous tradition.Their strategywas to point to the forsatiand to the factthat, for sanction scriptural questionable one reasonor another, theybelieveditscontemporary practice 'true'scriptural and therefore itsoriginal meaning transgressed Vol. 1, 1985, (Mani, p. 107). thatwas made to yieldthe "Hinduism" Thus, itwasa modernized act. that satiwas a crueland barbarous judgment 1xReformative to offenders as being theory punishment presented castitas an impartial while utilitarian 'in their bestinterests' theory act of social necessity.In rejectingretributive theory,the out of the to take in reformers effect, punishment. anger sought, was no longerto to theprisoner, As itwaslegitimized punishment

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1107

or vengeance', 'an act of wrath butan act words, be, in Bentham's of considerations the social ofcalculation, by good and disciplined theoffenders' needs (Ignatieff, 1989,p. 75). 12For example,Francein Algeria,the UnitedStatesin Vietnam, Israel in Gaza and the West Bank, Britainin Aden, Cyprus,and Ireland. Northern 13This is about the rationality Bentham's of argument precisely in comparison withpunishment: torture Tortureis appliedis suchthatwhenever The purposeto which attainedit may plainlybe seen to be thatpurpose is actually attained;and as soon as ever it is seen to be attainedit may be made to cease. Withpunishment itis necessarily immediately in orderto makesureof applying otherwise. Of punishment, as must muchas is necessary run a of you commonly risque applymore:of Torturethereneed neverbe a grain ingconsiderably moreappliedthanwhatis necessary 1973,p. 45). (Bentham, 14It should not be thatmedievalwarfare also had its forgotten In rules(see, forexample,Contamine, one sense,the moral 1984). in of conduct warfare was even stricter in theearlymiddle regulation in and even was battle, ages: killing maiming, regardedas a sin for which thechurch demandedpenance(see Russell,1975). la Of the or "dum-dum" in British invented bullet, mushrooming India in 1897,Daniel Headrickobserves: "This particular invention was so vicious, for it tore greatholes in the flesh, thatEuropeans it too cruel to inflict and used it only thought upon one another, Asians and Africans" (Headrick,1979,p. 256). against lhThe citizen is a freeindividual paradoxhereis thatthemodern and yethe is obligedto foregothe mostimportant choice a free humanbeingcan make- that his life or death. The modern affecting state can send itscitizens to their in deaths war and forbid unwilling themfrom to end their own lives in willing peace. 17Cf. McClintock of (1993, p. 106): "SM is the most liturgical a theatricaliconographyof forms, sharing with Christianity and expiation:washingrituals, punishment bondage, flagellation, and symbolic torture." But whyonlysymbolic} body-piercing, 18See, for example, Linden et al., 1982. See also the legal in judgments the Spanner case in England,now being appealed in the EuropeanCourt. against 19The radical social criticism allegedly expressed by SM is for in McClintock's article,but the liberatory eloquently argued

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

1108

SOCIAL

RESEARCH

of SM are explicitly retracted at the end. (See also the implications cleverbook by AngelaCarter[1979].) Whilesuch writings typically of SM narratives, theyalso seem decodings provideradicalpolitical tobe saying that as a modeofobtaining of SM is theproduct orgasm, relations. and distorted sexually socially repressive

References
of Pain: The Point of View of Autiero,A., "The Interpretation in F. Loew,and H.W. Pia, eds., Catholic Theology," J. Brihaye, Pain (Vienna:Springer1987). Verlag, Guardian Claire,"Piercing Armistead, Weekly (July17, Thoughts," 1994). and the Holocaust(Ithaca, NY: Cornell Bauman, Z., Modernity Press, 1989). University D. Young, ed. and trans. and Punishments, Beccaria, On Crimes IN: Hackett, 1986). (Indianapolis, M.H. James,ed. (Belfast: and Legal Theory, Bentham, J., Bentham IrelandLegal Quarterly, Northern 1973). Carter, (London: Virago,1979). Angela,TheSadeianWoman Middle Contamine, P., Warin the 1984). Ages(Oxford:Blackwell, in the Classical Daston,Lorraine, (Princeton, Probability Enlightenment Press,1988). University NJ:Princeton Colonialism and Anthropology ofTradition: N., "The Policing Dirks, in Southern India,"unpublished manuscript. and Truth DuBois,Page, Torture 1991). (New York: Routledge, andPunish Books,1979). M.,Discipline Foucault, (New York:Vintage Headnck, D., The Tools ot Imperialism: Technologyand the Colonial of Empiresin the Nineteenth Expansion European Modern 51 (1979). ," History, of Century Journal Hirschman,A.O., The Passionsand the Interests (Princeton,NJ: Princeton Press, 1977). University M., A JustMeasureof Pain (Harmondsworth: rengum Ignatieff, Books,1989). Penguin Books, Keegan,J., The Face of Battle(Harmondsworth: 1978). in India, Scientific American, Kosambe, D.D., Living prehistory 216:2 (1967).
: Europeand Englandin the and theLaw ofProof Langbein,J.H., Torture

of ChicagoPress,1977). Ancien Regime (Chicago:University

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

ON TORTURE

1109

A RadicalFeminist Sadomasochism: Linden,R.R. et al., eds., Against in the CA: Well,1982). (San Francisco, Frog Analysis and of Subject Races," Political Lord Cromer,"The Government 1908-1913 1913). (London: Macmillan, Essays, Literary in Egypt Lord Milner, (London: EdwardArnold,1899). England Discourseon Satiin Early of an Official Mani,L., "The Production in F. and Barker et al., eds.,Europe Nineteenth-Century Bengal," of ItsOthers (Colchester: University Essex,1985). Fetishism and Gender A., "Maid to Order: Commercial McClintock, 37 (Winter SocialText, Power," 1993). Law underColonialRule, in H.F. Morris Read,James, "Customary Ruleandthe Search andJ.S.Read,eds.,Indirect (Oxford: for Justice ClarendonPress,1972). in Modern and State and Modernity: Self,Society, Rejali,D.M., Torture Iran(Boulder,CO: Westview Press,1994). Warin the Middle Russell, F.H., The Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge Just Press,1975). University in Pain (Oxford:OxfordUniversity Press, Elaine, TheBody Scarry, 1985). theAges(London: T. Scott,G.R., TheHistory of Torture Throughout Werner Laurie,1940). Handbook II (New York: Carlyle TheLeathermans Townsend,Larry, Communications, Ltd., 1989). New Edition(Paris,1818). Oevres de Voltaire, Voltaire, completes

This content downloaded from 130.126.32.13 on Mon, 22 Jul 2013 05:20:47 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions