Re: what is power?

>Re: Pat A's posting...
>I say this
>because in reading MF's writings, it seemed to me that he was
>trying very hard not to impose a "Foucauldian discours--one
>can see in his language that he was more
>interested in exploring various arrangements of his subject rather
>than presenting a coherent method of analysis. This is perhaps
>what sets him apart from Marx or Freud, whose base/superstructure
>and latent/manifest (respectively) methods of organization are
>not unlike the Foucauldian formulation of power.

Pat, I think there's another element that helps clarify matters. Foucault
was not only interested in "exploring various arrangements." He was also
(I'd say "most" from my political theory perspective) interested in the
interplay of theory, event, and politics. Hence the concern for
contingency, strategy, and so on. For Marxists, a single principle can be
discerned that makes every significant event comprehensible. For Foucault,
strategic decisions regarding power and knowledge--mediated through and
acting upon a field of events--produce new subjects (as well, of course, as
sending the process into another iteration).

To "change the world" (Marx's phrase), Foucault would engage the event
without denying its crucial importance by submersing it in principle.

Bill Chaloupka
Environmental Studies
University of Montana


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