From: Koray Caliskan <caliskak@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 12:52:51 +0400 (MEDT)
On Tue, 23 Jul 1996, Ferda Keskin wrote:
> I subscribed to this list from the other end of the world because I
> thought I was going to have a chance to discuss Foucault. But Karl
> Carlile has now become the main topic of debate. Why don't we just
> ignore his messages? He seems to have no life other than these
> polemics. He probably lives in his computer. He might even be a brain
> in a vat! So can we please go back to Foucault?
Err... Yes...But... Who was this man called Foucault?
Okey... I remembered him. Here follows a possible way to go back to
It is sometimes the best way to judge (- and may be to reach a
more accurate understanding) the value of a scholarly work, is to reread
it with reference to some very recent events. There is a continuing
hunger strike in Turkish prisons for 65 days. Two of 280 prisoners died.
20 of them lost their chance to live without serious health problems.
What they demand from the government is, in a nutshell, the abandonment of
anti-democratic measures concerning the prisons and closing of a prison
that is designed to confine "political" detainess i.e., those of them who
The government is still refusing to accept their demands even
they know that tens of them will die in a couple of 12 hours.
Hundreds of people are protesting the deafness of government
usually by accusing them because of their insensibilty to "human rights"
So the question follows. Always bearing Foucault's comments on
"humanism" in our minds, how is it possible to support those people in
the prison. Is there an immanent, inalienable right to live? Are there
human rights? I am sure that there is nobody in this list who will refuse
the concept "human rights" without offering an alternative. But, how is it
possible to construct inalienable and non-transcendental conception of
human rights when we think of Foucault.
What is crucial on that topic is that there are some concepts
that cannot be easily criticised because of their political content that
are very useful in activating people in resisting.