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Nikolas Rose writes about 'government at a distance', based on Foucault's' idea of 'governmentally',
but drawing on Bruno Latour's idea of 'action at a distance'. He seems (to me) to be elaborating the
idea that (we) subjects in liberal democracies learn to govern or fashion themselves (ourselves) in
accordance with political/social/economic objectives - but without the direct intervention of the
State. So the ideal of individual autonomy is retained while people actually act in accordance with
the political rationalities which are dominant at the time.
This effect happens through complex networks of people, institutions, committees, legislation,
texts, and material technologies. Expertise as a particular form of knowledge which claims social
authority is one major resource for this strategy of government. Just as an example (not really
relevant to Lionel's question, but the best one i can come up with at this minute) - the experts of
psychology have convinced us that we have a 'self-esteem' and are full of advice about what we need
to do to improve it - leading us to fashion ourselves into the kinds of subjects who see themselves
as having a 'healthy self esteem' rather than a 'low self esteem' - because it is undesirable to
have a low self-esteem - its a condition that needs repair in some way.
So - to get to your question, Lionel - I think that maybe those corporations can be conceived as
part of the network of 'apparatus of government' that influence subjects to fashion themselves in
ways that are congruent with their (the corporations) own political rationalities. In this case it
may be the politicians themselves who are influenced directly to fashion themselves in a particular
way; or it may be that they influence others to do so (hence the corporations 'govern at a
distance'); or it may be that the corporations, through their own advertising (just think of sports
shoes, or in the past, cigarette advertising), seek to influence subjects more directly.
I'm writing this tentatively, also in the hope that some discussion could be started on this list.
If I've got this wrong I'd like to be told, but please don't beat me up!
Lionel Boxer wrote:
> On Patrick's invitation, I would like to hear what people have to say about how those who donate
> towards political campaigns (and in other ways) seek to influence government policy regarding
> environmental and social issues.
> I have a feeling that a Foucauldian power perspective can help to explain this.
> Patrick wants a discussion - can we give it to him? Sorry ... all I have are questions at this
> Lionel>From: Patrick Crosby
> >Reply-To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> >To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> >Subject: Re: for those interested in hardt&negri
> >Date: Sun, 01 Jul 2001 12:54:50 -0700
> >No. On the contrary, if you can get some discussion going on this list, it
> >seems to me that we ought to pay you. :)
> >Patrick Crosby
> >San Clemente, Ca., USA
> >Lionel Boxer wrote:
> > > Is there a charge for particating on-line?
> > >
> > > I am working on a paper now dealing with the political influence that
> > > interferes with triple bottom line.
> > >
> > > http://www.geocities.com/lionelboxer/phd
> > >
> > > Lionel Boxer
> > > RMIT Business
> > > Melbourne
> > > _________________________________________________________________________
> > > Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
> Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com
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