Since it seems that got the Totalization thread started a whiles back, I felt
I ought to give a little input, although I'm sure the origin is not important.
This might not yet be "substantive" in the way that Steven Meinking calls for,
rightly. Here I decenter "totalization" from Foucault, which I think is a
good procedure generally. The theme of totalization vis a vis Foucault came
up in a sketch of a problematic arising out of the theme of Discipline and
Punish. I was attempting to situate my thought in conjunction with several
things: one was to be able to reflect, and act, concerning the Crime Bill.
I felt it was necessary to invoke a conception of justice, with a mode of
fallen justice and certain basic conceptions concerning principles of
punishment in order to be able to engage the question of the "spirit of the
law" as seems to be necessary to move forward in terms of in
stitutional/political change. I was told (forgive my tone) that "justice"
didn't fit in Foucault, which seemed a totalizing move. Now, it is crucial
to bear in mind that it was partly Foucault which opened my eyes to the
structures of the judicial system. But I felt limited: To respond to what
Foucault points to, it seemed necessary to exceed Foucault. But I was not
simply trying to crudely "deconstruct" Foucault, i.e., "Foucault's the one
the totalizes!!!" I think it is movement in that direction that Steven is on
guard against. Yet Steven says that totalization is unavoidable, possibly.
I think he's probably right. Maybe we can only do our best to guard against

Ok, so, and this is very sketchy, but I thinh the pieces are there: this
way, totazation has come up not in some "father-killing impulse", nor in a
too-general discourse in which totalization is simply a bad which we are to
seek out and dstroy. We encounter a limitation, as part of a basis which is
oriented in certain ways, minimally other than the "bad procedure" pointed to
here as concerns rooting out totalization at any price. Such a move is very
commensurate with the Foucauldian tendency to stay involved, in certain ways,
at the level of institutions. So we can say Foucaul totalizes. No big deal.

I know this is very, very sketchy. I guess I would frame my own inquiry on
this thread in terms of the following: what's at stake for Steven? Does he
make a lot of money on this list? IN that case, I dunno... :-) (Take that
metanymically). What is the structure of the accusation? Who accusing? Who
am I to accuse? Are we falling into a framework that says that if there is a
contradiction in Foucault, he's out? I think I'm articulating in a perhaps
too blunt way part of what is at stake in this thread (for me, not much).
Tom Blancato "And yet it could be that prevailing man has thought too
little and acted too much."
148 S. Bryant
Pittsburgh, PA 15202
Fax 412-361-0540

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