Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Sacrificial Economy

“Mexico’s policy is consistent: It makes every effort to appear to be stopping the drug trade so that it will not be accused of supporting it. The government does not object to disrupting one or more of the smuggling groups, so long as the aggregate inflow of cash does not materially decline.“
Friedman, George "Mexico and the Failed State Revisited" STRATFOR Global Intelligence, April 6, 2010


“It is here that the sovereign power must intervene, not necessarily to kill those who refuse to die but to ensure, through the use of force, that they will be exposed to death and compelled to accept the rationing of life by the market."
Montag, Warren "Necro–economics: Adam Smith and death in the life of the universal" Radical Philosophy 134 November–December 2005 pp 7–17


If the drug trade is so significant economically, then the right to kill exercised by the Narcos, is ultimately accepted as part of that set of relations. As the recent Reyes–Salazar and Escobedo cases illustrate, the conditions by which this ‘rationing of life’ occurs is beyond the control of much of the body politic. Also, in this situation it we can’t always distinguish between state powers and organized crime, as it is well known that these organizations sponsor politicians and have law enforcers on their payroll, often also by force. Perhaps, to follow Margolles analogy, the situation is like an ‘infection’ of civic life. A economy infected by death – where death proscribes the rituals and processes of daily life.


the sun god and source of all life commanded terrible fear that had to be assuaged by human sacrifice.


One reading of La Santisima Muerte is as a willful subversion of Catholic tropes and rituals. The use of marijuana in lieu of incense and the development of a 'rosary' at the shrine in Tepito are methods of evangelisizing those at society's margins, those who feel let down or poorly served by the Church and other authorities.

Just as the Virgin of Guadalupe is thought to be syncretic of the pre–hispanic mother goddess Tonantzin, it has often been said that La Santisima Muerte is affiliated with the 'Queen of the Underworld', Mictecacihuatl. It is then possible to see her in relation the Virgin of Guadlaupe – one who sustains life, whilst La Santisima Muerte is the one who takes it away – both have power over life. So it follow that those that conspire with La Santisima Muerte seek her protection.

Tattoo: Bill Morgenstern 2006