From: MARK OLDFIELD <MarkOldfield@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 May 1997 16:44:03 -0400
In reply to Doug's comments on Nazism and sovereign power:
I would have said that Nazism actually exemplifies the tendency of modern
society to rationalise and bureaucratise power. Look at the way the death
camps operated: this wasn't a spur of the moment decision - there was a
vast bureaucratic machine keeping these camps running. True there was a
charismatic leader - but theoretically the party could have continued
without Hitler once it had consolidated power.
Also Foucault argues that sovereign power is 'excessive' - that it enacts
revenge against the transgressor in the form of a bloody and spectacular
act that displays the toatl power of the monarch. The Nazis used a variety
of methods but were pretty sparing in making them so explicit (although I
admit they weren't all hidden either).
I argue that Nazism was actually a modern form of power, albeit despicable.