Another mention that Foucault makes of local struggles comes at the end of
"What is Enlightenment?," p.46-7 in the Rabinow reader: "[T]he historical
ontology of ourselves must turn away from all projects that claim to be
global or radical... I prefer the very specific transformations that have
proved to be possible in the last twenty years... partial
Dr. Sean Saraka, Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Mount Allison University
144 Main Street
Sackville, NB E4L 1A7
] On Behalf Of Nathaniel Roberts
Sent: March 31, 2006 12:29 PM
Subject: [Bulk] Re: [Foucault-L] Local Protest
I too recall this being spoken of --perhaps in more than one place. I think
the idea is 1) that various forms of domination are plural and cannot be
subsumed under a single master concept (as in most versions of Marxist
thought, for instance), and 2) that because of this fact, different
struggles need to be autonomous (they should not be brought under some
vanguard leadership which would strategically sacrifice some strugglers'
immediate goals in the name an some long-term strategy).
One secondary source which lays this argument out very well is Paul Bove's
essay "Intellectuals at War," in SubStance 9(4), 1983, pp. 36-55.
It is interesting that --despite their well-known differences-- this is an
issue on which Foucault and Noam Chomsky very much converge. Again and
again Chomsky responds to people who ask "what can we do?" by saying
something to the effect of: "it doesn't matter, just pick some local
struggle --something close to yourself which matters a lot to you-- and work
on that. Most of us can never reach the Kissengers of the world, but with
every small struggle we improve our situation and educate and organize
ourselves better... it's gotta come from below like that."
On 3/31/06, Charles Villet <unkl_spin@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
A couple of years ago I came across the concept of local protest in a
secondary source on Foucault that I can't recall right now. I have heard
other people use this concept with regards to Foucault. I haven't come
across specifically this concept in a primary text of Foucault yet. Does
anyone know of a mention or discussion by Foucault of this concept (in so
many words) in one of his own texts?
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