From: steve and john <john.munford@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 1997 14:14:16 +0100
Doug reveals his unreconstructed oldleftism by daring to compare the
gulag and Stalinist terror of the USSR from the 30s onwards with the
current position of democratic Russia.
The comparison ofcourse is with, for example, the politics of the United
States, and perhaps also Britain, societies which move from slavery to
multiculturalism in the space of a century and are relatively
untarnished by socialist paternalism.
Foucault's remarks are rightly interpreted as liberal - since when did
that term become a term of abuse outside of the Moral Majority? They
arise from a concern with the status of the subject and an awareness of
the bureaucratic rationalism of biopolitics. Weber and Freud would
have said the same thing - Freud actually did, wondering would would
replace the cathartic function of the class struggle in the USSR after
the revolution (Civ and Its Discontents).
Foucault wasn't a socialist but a genuinely subversive left-liberal.
Why do Americans have such difficulty in recognising someone ironically
so close to their own Radical anti-authoritarian tradition?