Re: Intellectuals and Power

Dear Malgosia,
=46or what concerns your two questions, i.e. the function of the intellectua=
in the theory itself, and the possible hypocrisy of Foucault's behaviour
towards the GIP, I think that the political situation of France at that
time provides some elements of an answer.
1971 is the end of the De Gaule era. Politically, De Gaule had an
indeniable charisma, followers and opponents recognized it, and the De
Gaule style was representative of someone who speaks for the nation, for
the independance of France, sometimes inspired like a mystic of the Middle
Age with strong intuitions. After 1968 emerged in the french university a
counter-style, which was not precisely defined, but which preached
confidence in the discussion, in the debate,and was keen of "la pens=E9e
commune", "la reflexion collective"...It was something like a thought
symposium, a table, four or five intellectuals and of course TV and radio
invited to record the event. Nothing to do with the confidentiality of the
gaulist intellectuals like R.Aron or A.Malraux. Foucault was very much
involved in these philosophical shows, not for the camera of course,
everyone knows the stereotype of the shy thinker he was, but for the
confidence in the responsability of the audience (or of the "mass").
Speaking together was a way to show that the word was not someone's word
but a sharing experience. In that sense, the new conception ot the relation
bet theory and practice was also linked to these political changes in the
french intellectual life.
The creation of GIP can be understood also as an effort to give the
information and not the orders to act or to think. One of the texts
=46oucault admired the most was the short Kant's opus " Was ist Aufkl=E4rung=
that states that enlightment is synonym of moral autonomy and political
freedom. Foucault was not intersted in taking command of a new social
movement, his bare ambition was to give the right information (and no to
decide for the prisoners themselves), even if the popularity of his name
was used to collect this amount of informations. And if I remember well,
the GIP was not exactly the Foucault's thing, other french intellectual
played a very important role in his creation, like Pierre-Vidal Naquet and
Jean-marie Domenach.

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