> > If post structuralists are forced to choose
> > between "pessimism" vs "optimism", where their real focus is on closure vs
> > uncertainty, (or what ever you like), then, yes, pessimism more accurately
> > describes the post strucuralist.
> Critique isn't pessimism, is it? I thought it was what Nietzsche
> called it, a gay science, the fro:liche Wissenschaft. As Nietzsche
> said about nihilism--we're not introducing pessimism; we're pointing
> out the pessimism that metaphysics and ontology have built into their
> system. Foucault's standing invitation to alterity seems very
> optimistic.
> Rick Duerden

Pessimism or optimism?, its all a matter of one's perspective isn't it.
Foucault's invitation for alterity (transgression?, resistance?) is only
optimistic if one is willing to accept, as Nietzsche, Bataille, Blanchot,
Deleuze and Foucault appear to do, that any dream of wide-scale emancipation
is purely illusory. Foucault, like these other authors, believes that power/
socialization/construction is so overwhelming in modern liberal societies, that the most one can hope for are brief instances of transgression, small
victories over discrete forms of domination, and some small glimmer of hope
that one's self can be self-created. If one is willing to accept such a
watered-down version of humanism, a humanism that Foucualt would call quite
naive in its dream of human freedom, than Foucault's call for alterity does
indeed seem optimistic, if only a highly guarded and skeptical optimism.
For those individuals who are unwilling to jettison the hopes of liberal
humanism, however naive such hopes might be in actuality, Foucualt's political
project does indeed seem the height of pessimism.


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