From: Nesta <na.devine@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 16:53:23 +1200
I can see the disappointment in not being able to track immediate
results of an apparently new set of ideas.
I guess the questions to be asking are along the lines of what would
count as a demonstration of effect?
I don't think that we should be looking for an immediate political
causal impact: Foucault says x so various govts or persons immediately
jump to it and put this into action: that would seem to me to be quite
contrary to what the purpose of Foucault's analysis is: he disclaims the
role of advisory intellectual. Nor would he want to take responsibility
for establishing the accepted truths of a new governmentality.
On the other hand, if the claim is that Foucalt's writing has had no
impact whatsoever, then that is a serious challenge to the notion of the
imbrication of discourse and power, to power/knowledge. Then we would be
back in the position of accepting a simple relation between power and
control of the populace - the repressive hypothesis.
There is too the time element: Aristotle is still present in science,
Kant in politics - over what sort of timespan shoulld we look for the
evidence of effect? If Hubert Dreyfus is correct in viewing Foucault as
the interpreter of Nietzsche, then we are only a hundred years into what
might be a very long story.