From: jlnich1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (jln)
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 1996 14:21:12 -0600
>> to be as productive as a "capitalist" firm, it would need very
>> dedicated members. Free-riders abound in the world. They're out there,
>> waiting to sap you and me of valuable resources. Be careful.
>Exactly. Free riding parasites abound. THe only question is: when
>will we get the chance to string the rich bastards up and feast on
>their expropriated wealth?
>Returning to Foucault:
>I have a question addressed to anyone with an opinion on the topic:
>If a term like "biopower" is part of an "analytics of power," then how
>clearly ought it to be "conceptually" clarified and defined
>independently of a historical account of one or more of its instances?
>"The aim of the inquiries that follow [by way of introducing the
>project of a history of sexuality] is to move less toward a 'theory'
>of power than toward an 'analytics' of power: that is, toward a
>definition of the specific domain formed by relations of power and
>toward a determination of the instruments that will make possible its
>analysis." (Hist. of Sex., p. 82).
This is a problem in the backof my mind as I work ona paper on Foucault's
notion of power. I have come to a point where Hoy is defending Foucault as
not self inconsistent because FOucault is concerned about the analytics of
power and engagin in specific micro-struggles. But, HOy admits, Focuault
does talk as if he is saying something abvout power from a theoretical
level. FOucault shouldn't, according to Hoy.
All nice and well for Hoy to say in defense of Foucault. But even in DP,
FOucault spends more time talking about power in general and using
punishment as a micro-power to support his claims than he does giving us
information about speicifc micro-powers. HOw micro are these poweres
suppose to be anyway?
It seems to me that Foucault does talk about power in general theoretical
temrs: bio-power, a society of normalisation, disciplinary power. It also
seems that his attacks on the micro-level forcus on a carceral society,
both in DP and HS. It seems, then, that Foucault really has no right to
deny the need to talk about power on the macro-level or to say we should
only concentrate on local instances of power. What FOucault does IS attack
a carceral SOCIETY, even if in the very specific forms of punishment, or
sexuality. BUt how speicirfc are those? They seem very general to me.
Why not attack the discourse on homosexuality, or the discourse on teaching
readin and writing in the prison?
On the other hands, trying to clearly conceptualize bio-power is
difficult. Conceptualizing "a soceity of normalisation" is less so, but
Department of Philosophy
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY. 40509