Date: Thu, 20 Jun 1996 20:05:53 CST
>What does everyone make of the statement:
>"Although the universal juridicism of modern society seems to fix limits
>on the exercise of power, its universally widespread panopticism enables
>it to operate, on the *underside of the law,* a machinery both immense
>and minute..."(DP 223)
>Then what might this mean in connection with Michael Walzer's article on
>"The politics of Michel Foucault?"
>Where Walzer says:
>"And so Foucault's radical abolitionism, if it is serious, is not
>anarchist so much as nihilist."(Foucault Critical Reader page 61, ed.
>Please keep in mind the first quote when responding, because it is in
>the location of law counterposed against disciplline that I think this
>problem emerges. Might there be a way to counterpose law and
>discipline, that doesn't alienate the use of law for beneficial social
>change? I am thinking along the lines of the use of "governmentality"
>except that government is infused, through and through with the
>combination of law
In partial response to your last question I would give a resounding yes.
In vol. I of HoS Foucault makes it quite clear (clearer than he does in
other places) that a space remains for BOTH juridical and disciplinary
power. Walzer (and often Taylor and others as well) has to assume that
Foucault cannot account for juridical power if he is to come to the
conclusion that Foucault is a nihilist (or an anarchist). Focuault turns
most of his attention to disciplinary power because of its often
invisible and always insidious nature, but he never assumes that
disciplinary power wholly replaces the juridical system--it does in fact
operate on this "underside of the law."
Just a beginning,