I am so excited that someone responded to one of my posts!
Thank you, Nathan.
OK, this is how I have chosen to think of what Laclau and Mouffe have to offer: it seems to me that they basically offer a viable alternative to the coalition politics of the 60s in which the interests of some group could expect to be sacrificed for the greater good of "the movement." A temporary organization and outlay of energy around a local issue seems to me to make the most of the grassroots political energy 60s movementism tapped into without requiring the formation of an identity politics and the subsequent reification and cooptation. This, like a lot of Foucault, suggests that identity is a truly crappy basis for politics because identity escapes simple characterization, that is that it is always more complex and fragmentary and that the unifying narrative is almost nominal.
I think the weakest element in the Foucauldian discourse is the guarantee of resistance through fragmentary identity, the assurance that totalization and normalization are necessarily incomplete. I also recognize that Foucault was aware that fragmentary identity was neither a deus ex machina nor a collective/individual tinker bell to be resurrected by hope. Foucault's turn was to the care of the self, the relationship of personal ethics and craftsmanship of awesome inspiration. For me this is very much a part of the programme for a Foucauldian politics.
The other part, though, Foucault left largely to gestures towards praxis, people actually working around particular issues within a given political system for local goals. Which, I think, works well with H&SS, but I really would prefer a sustained reading of Gramsci and Foucault rather than Laclau and Mouffe. The advantages of Laclau and Mouffe, for me, are that they speak to a certain polylogue already engaged, the Marxist/post-Marxist conversation.
Thanks for asking.
"There are stones buried in your soul,
and only a fool would blame the death of rock and roll." -- Thomas Dolby
On Tue, 29 Feb 2000 10:08:37 Widder,NE wrote:
>OK, my view is that they are not all that useful for iterating a Foucaultian
>politics, unless you treat hegemony and Foucaultian politics at a very
>general level of being anti-foundational, or you put Foucault through what I
>think is a fairly questionable reading. But please elaborate on your
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: LightofMadness InMyEyes [SMTP:crazedstalker@xxxxxxxxxx]
>> Sent: 28 February 2000 15:00
>> To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>> Subject: Re: F on discourse in institutional contexts
>> The important question, though, isn't whether they want to distinguish
>> themselves from Foucault, but whether the kinds of politics they lay out
>> can be useful to various iterations of Foucauldian politics of resistance,
>> and I believe they can.
>> But, you should just go straight to the source and read the Gramsci.
>> -- margret
>> "There are stones buried in your soul,
>> and only a fool would blame the death of rock and roll." -- Thomas Dolby
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