Re: reason in history (Hegel, Marx, and Foucault)

On Wed, 31 Jan 1996, Joe Cronin wrote:

> Now, I suppose the "challenge" is this: Aren't "vagabonds"
> (the former serfs) being systematically rounded up in the
> streets in D&P? Isn't the transformation from the old
> regiem to the modern form of punishment really just a
> centralization of eh population? Neither the "modern" mode
> of punishment, nor those who are disciplined and punished,
> could exist without hte other. The transforamtion from
> torture ceremonies to penal reforms was not a humane
> transformation, nor was it a more "progressive" form of
> punishment, according to Focuault, it was a more economic
> mode of punishment. The bourgois mode of prodcution is
> accompanied by a bourgois mode of producing docile bodies.
> I'm going to stop here - again, I'd be interested in your
> comments, or anyone else's out there in CYBERIA.

I'm having trouble identifying the sort of distinction that I need, but
it may have something to do with the difference between the object of
inquiry (institutional practices, the micropolitics of power (which I
admit Marx also investigated), and so forth) and the mode of inquiry--the
causal relations, the critieria of the truth, the notion of development
or the explicit or implicit theory of change. While Foucault is closer
to Marx and against Hegel (though not as much as a glance at Hegel would
suggest) in terms of the former, I think that his big schtick was to be
pretty far from both Hegel and Marx in terms of the latter. When
Foucault looks at things "economically" he is not necessarily doing
anything close to Marx. Marx didn't argue that the ideology of the
bourgeoisie was simply one of economic efficiency. Isn't the
difference--very schematically--something like this: for Marx, the
economic exchange of commodities (including labor power) RESULTS in a
a certain kind of power relations; for Foucault, the economy IS an
economy of power/knowledge, often implicating some of the institutions
and practices discussed by Marx? For Foucault, domination or
exploitation is not caused by the economic relations and means of
production; domination and exploitation are practices.

Does this hold up to the textual evidence?


> > Joe Cronin > Thomas
More College > Crestview Hills, Ky
> croninj@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Erik D. Lindberg
Dept. of English and Comparative Lit.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Milwaukee, WI 53211
email: edl@xxxxxxxxxxx


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