In a message dated 14/03/04 04:11:15 GMT Standard Time, mgekelly@xxxxxxxxxxx
> >>Which is the lecture in which Foucault semi-renounces the concept, by
> >January 1980 - the first lecture.
> Thanks Colin - but could you also tell me whether this has been published
> anywhere and under what name? Apologies if the answer is actually obvious.
No, to the best of my knowledge it has not been published. I wrote about this
lecture in my introduction to the 'Power' volume, in a passage which was
unfortunately cut. I am hoping to publish the material soon somewhere else. I
don't have the tape transcript to hand right now; when I can I will try to supply
the exact words for this remark.
J'espere que ceci est plus clair! F a dit a peu pres que la gouvernementalite
etait aussi nettement superieure comme grille d'analyse a celle en termes de
pouvoir-savoir, qu'avait ete celle-ci comme avancee sur la theorie
Couple of footnotes to recent discussions.
in the 82 volume there is a short but important passage discussing the
relations between ethics of self, political resistance and governmentality.(P
241-2). This is a short extract from Graham Burchell's translation (in press).
<<At any rate, what I would like to point out is that, after all, when today
we see the meaning, or rather the almost total absence of meaning given to
some nonetheless very familiar expressions which continue to permeate our
discourse - like getting back to oneself, freeing oneself, being oneself, being
authentic, etc. - when we see the absence of meaning and thought in all of these
expressions we employ today, then I think there is nothing to be proud of in our
current efforts to reconstitute an ethic of the self. And in this series of
undertakings to reconstitute an ethic of the self, in this series of more or
less blocked and ossified efforts, and in the movement we now make to refer
ourselves constantly to this ethic of the self without ever giving it any
content, I think it may be that we are forced to suspect that the constitution of an
ethic of the self may be impossible today, even though it may be an urgent,
fundamental and politically indispensable task, if it is true after all that
there is no first or final point of resistance to political power other than in
the relationship of self to self.
If you like, in other words, what I mean is this: if we take the question of
power, of political power, situating it in the more general question of
governmentality understood as a strategic field of power relations in the broadest
and not merely political sense of the term, if we understand by
governmentality a strategic field of power relations in their mobility, transformability and
reversibility, then I do not think that reflection on this notion of
governmentality can avoid passing through, theoretically and practically, the element
of a subject defined by the relationship of self to self. Although the
theory of political power as an institution usually refers to a juridical
conception of the subject of right, it seems to me that the analysis of
governmentality - that is to say, of power as a set of reversible relationships - must refer
to an ethics of the subject defined by the relationship of self to self.
Quite simply this means that in the type of analysis I have been trying to
advance for some time you can see that power relations, governmentality, the
government of the self and of others, and the relationship of self to self constitute
a chain, a thread, and I think it is around these notions that we should be
able to connect together the question of politics and the question of ethics.
On Agamben, Negri, Foucault and biopower there is valuable discussion by Nik
Rose and Paul Rabinow at
. Among other interesting stuff on Nik's site is
his and Paul's introduction to the new 1-volume 'essential F'.
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