From: Doug Henwood <dhenwood@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 12:04:00 -0400
Yoshie Furuhashi wrote:
>In some areas capitalism may be becoming 'ever more subtle' in its attack
>on human freedom, but in others it seems to me to be taking the opposite
>tack. Take, for instance, the criminal justice system and prisons in the
>USA. The production of the docile body through internalized discipline
>whose emergence Foucault wrote of seems to be becoming a thing of the past.
>Production and control of the 'criminals' in the USA have become very
>unsubtle and overtly & obviously repressive, especially in the Southern
>states like Mississippi. Rehabilitation is out; capital punishment, prison
>labor, chain gangs, boot camps, 'three strikes and you're out,' etc. are
>in. Newly respectable racist politics and the triumphant bourgeoisgie may
>have made a Foucauldian analysis obsolete in this respect. Much has changed
>since the time when Foucault was writing _Discipline and Punish_.
>And how about education and psychiatry in the USA? Freud and the 'talking
>cure' are out (they are too leisurely, too expensive for HMOs);
>psychotropic drugs are in. Many children who are diagnosed to have the
>'attention deficit disorder' are taking Ritalin and other drugs, to be
>directly controled by chemicals, not through the production of the 'soul as
>the prison of the body.'
>Isn't capitalism becoming post-Foucauldian?
When I first joined this list I asked if any Foucauldian (or is it
Foucaultian?) had written on the evolution of the U.S. "criminal justice"
system, which long ago left behind liberal notions of reformation for pure
brutality, warehousing, and revenge. We now have crowds baying for blood
outside prisons on execution nights (though the prisoner is inside, viewed
only by a handful of lucky guests). No one answered. I'll try again.