Re: Foucault and the Proletariat (fwd)

To support the claim that Foucault can be understood in a
Marxist context, Spoon says " Althusser, a theorist often incorrectly
characterized as an orthodox Marxist, is also very similar to Foucault. The
concepts of displacement and conjuncture are similar in both thinkers."
This claim is interesting, and I would like to see an explanation of this
similarity. To my mind, Foucault and Althusser are similar because they
both work within the philosophies of science of Bachelard and Canguilhem,
whose concepts of epistemological rupture and
rationalism/anti-rationalism or anti-theory they appropriate. But these
notions of philosophy set them at odds with most Marxist theory,
including the classical Marx, Lukacs, and Gramsci, especially because
Althusser and Foucault reject the notion of totality and of hegelian
historicism. What's more, unlike Foucault, Althusser preserves the
concept of ideological critique. This difference is important. Althusser
fosters the opposition between a discourse's formal or scientific
practices and its established outlooks or ideologies, whereas Foucault
does an archeological analysis of a discourse or discipline.

I don't think the word is in yet on Foucault's politics. The
events of 1968 do not make him a reactionary. That reasoning is too close
to the Stalinist claim that anyone who is not with us is against us.

Philip Goldstein

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