Foucault and the Proletariat (fwd)

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Date: Tue, 06 Dec 94 18:41:00 PST
From: Riley, Dylan (G) SOCIO <riley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: foucault-approval@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Foucault and the Proletariat

If you seek to understand Foucault's politics, Perry Anderson's two books, In
The Tracks of Historical Materialism and Considerations on Western Marxism
are extremely useful. Foucault's politics, or rather lack thereof, are the
result of the defeat of the Western European proletariat, and the political
malaise which followed the debacle of May '68. In this sense Paris,
following the inelectuable law of uneven development, shifted from a position
as the vanguard of progressive intellectual culture, to being the vanguard
of the reaction. Foucault's political position is therefore objectively
reactionary, as it is the result of a reactionary conjunture determined in
the last instance by the shape of the political class struggle, and the
topography of a changing mode of production. Of course this does not speak
to the value of his work which is unquestionable. But Foucault's writings
must be 'read' in a productive (Althusserian) sense. This means that his
writings must be transformed through intellectual labor in order to make them
useful in the struggle against capitalism, which is in the last instance the
only 'progressive' political struggle.

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