Rusche & Kirchheimer's a bit crude for my taste. Lots of useful ideas, but a
too simplistic application of the kind of historical materialism found in
the 1859 preface, that Marx and many Marxists have always been far more
Melossi & Pavarini certainly are interested in R&M (as is Foucault,
references in Discipline and Punish and elsewhere), and there is (if memory
serves) a few notes toward this topic in Adorno & Horkheimer's Dialectic of
Enlightenment. Commentary on all this is in David Garland, Punishment and
Modern Society, and Mark Poster, Foucault, Marxism and History.
Being only slightly provocative, however, read Discipline and Punish
properly, and you'll see its not really about the 'prison' at all. It's a
genealogy of the modern soul, of the policing of society. The factory is in
there, along with the army camp, the hospital, the school... and the prison.
Rather than the prison being the model for all the others, the others are
the model for the prison. The prison being the others taken to their
extremes. You might remember that Jeremy Bentham got the idea for his
Panopticon (a prison and a poorhouse) from a factory he saw in White Russia.
From: sam binkley <sbinkley@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tuesday, November 24, 1998 05:53
Subject: Re: the birth of the factory?
>Okay, okay, I got yer birth of the factory right here. The Frankfurt School
>theorists Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer in their 1939 study of penal
>history, "Punishment and Social Structure" trace the evolution of labor
>discipline in a manner not unlike Foucault in Discipline and Punish.
>Focusing on the amsterdam rasphouses, they uncover the origins of the
>modern production process in the penal practices of the dutch republic and
>their calvinist attitude toward work and moral rehabilitation.
>I think this book pretty much inspired the italian historians Melossi and
>Ian Robert Douglas wrote:
>> >A proposition: Of these two suggestions, it is Marx's which is MORE
>> >'post-Nietzschean' than the book by Melossi and Pavarini. Of course a
>> >proposition like this is not likely to be taken seriously, although I am
>> >not joking .. As you are probably reading these for a specific project,
>> >suppose that it wouldn't take you too far out of your way to read both
>> >the suggestions (the section from Capital and the book by Melossi &
>> >Maybe others who have already read both can help us.
>> a personal assessment: it's impossible to read Foucault without hearing
>> Marx. Of course Marx is the master when it comes to the inventory of the
>> factory, and of capital more broadly. But I still submit that there is a
>> crucial difference between the critical orientation of Marx and
>> and by extension, Foucault. This is not to say one has to "oppose" each
>> the other. No need. But upon recognising the difference--upon a
>> reading of each--one should at least allow each to exist in the space
>> they consciously marked out. I was simply asking if anyone knew of a
>> of factories--or the birth of the factory in the broad technological
>> in which Foucault would have understood it--that itself existed within
>> space that either Foucault or Nietzsche marked out. Simple enough
>> >To assist us with this, NB the Appendix which Melossi and Pavarini added
>> >in 1979 to the English translation (pp. 191ff.), in which they
>> >comment on the relation of their work to that of Foucault's D&P.
>> This is actually the least important part of their book; it's obvious
>> these few pages that they have little grasp of the problematic Foucault
>> takes on in his history of the prison.
>> Could it be because Melossi and Pavarini are first and foremost from
>> Marxist tradition?
>> postscript--a playful suggestion: Foucault once said, "One might even
>> wonder what difference there could ultimately be between being a
>> and being a Marxist". An interesting gem, we might do well to ponder.
>> those concepts handed down; the inescapable Marx ... One wonders if in
>> private moment Foucault might well have--as Baudrillard did--dream of a
>> kind of historical undertaking that would by some sleight-of-hand escape
>> the 'phantom of production' (Baudrillard's phrase), and step entirely
>> outside of liberalism. What would the genealogy of the factory look like
>> Best wishes/sincerely,
>> Ian R. Douglas | Watson Institute of International Studies
>> Brown University, Box 1831, Providence, RI 02912 USA
>> tel: 401 863-2420 fax: 401 863-2192
>> "The human being is an animal that requires
>> discipline and is capable of achieving it
>> through reason." Immanuel Kant