Re: Foucault Groupies

>On Mon, 22 Jan 1996, Randy Drabman wrote:
>> >On Mon, 22 Jan 1996, Randy Drabman wrote:
>> >
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Lord of the Flies is not my idea of historical justice.
>> >
>> >Yes, but herein lies the problem with your comparison. Correct me if I'm
>> >wrong (read it a long time ago), the Lord of the Flies is a political
>> >allegory based on an implicit "state of nature" philosophy. The
>> >political violence of the *boys* (in Crusoe like isolation) is meant to
>> >show how grown-ups act like children. The novel works as an indictment
>> >on HUMANITY'S perpetual immaturity, without, indeed by decidedly erasing,
>> >any specific conditions.
>> >
>> >While there MAY be a place for an existential critique of politics, the
>> >conditions of racism in America are, I think, one of the worst places to
>> >try it out.
>> > > >
>> >>
>> >> Unfortunately, there is not. Go to local school district. Do an empirical
>> >> test, and then let's talk.
>> >
>> >As Hume pointed out (right?) empiricism and observation cannot do much in
>> >the way of understanding causal connections (why do these kids feel the
>> >need to arm themselves?). In fact this sort of empirical test is
>> >precisely what makes this very questionable comparison between the Nazis
>> >and an American underclass possible.
>> >
>> >Erik> > >
>> >
>> >Erik D. Lindberg
>> >Dept. of English and Comparative Lit.
>> >University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
>> >Milwaukee, WI 53211
>> >email: edl@xxxxxxxxxxx
>> My interpretation of Lord of the Flies is not a political allegory. It is
>> a terrifying look at the nature of man. This is what I am attempting to
>> amend.
>Okay, since this is a Foucault list, I'm taking the license, here, to get
>a bit more harsh. It is precisely phrases such as "the nature of man"
>that Foucault spent his entire life combating. If you can use it that
>simply, you simply haven't read Foucault. His arguments, moreover, are
>not needless polemics or abstract games. Rather, he attempts to show the
>consequences of the kind of thinking that "the nature of man"
>indicates--real consequences, as bloody as an what you have seen.
>Foucault has shown how medical, psychicatric, and penal reform--practiced
>by those with the most well-meaning intentions (as are yours, I am
>convinced)--nevertheless went awry. One could easily imagine him, had he
>lived, showing how a certain kind of belief and discourse on contemporary
>reform has unrecognized consequences. His is not the last word of
>course. But at least read his words before you get haughtly dismissive
>with us. No ship of fools, here.
> >
>> One must understand that Hume enjoyed playing billards, especially with Kant.
>One must also understand that you take the billiard game that, say Locke
>played, and then treat it as so much more serious and real than some mere
> > Thank you for the intelligent response.
>Erik D. Lindberg
>Dept. of English and Comparative Lit.
>University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
>Milwaukee, WI 53211
>email: edl@xxxxxxxxxxx


I realized I did not send this when it was first written. For this I am at
fault. My server did not accept.

My use of the phrase "nature of man" as a description of what Golding was
attempting to communicate in Lord of the Flies strongly suggests taking a
hard look at the behavior manifested by young people: Foucault's
psychology in Madness and Civilization.

However, this statement juxtaposed with the fact that I am a "hands on"
cognitive-behaviorist should still allow me to read Foucault and
amend/modify behavior. True, my position is not orthodox Foucault. If it
was, I would suffer from the same malady effecting the Rush Limba faithful.
"They cannot be held accountable in a debate because the faithful do not
have Russ telling them what to say."

The way You state your position reminds me of the following taken from J.B

"...when [introspectionists] come to
analyze consciousness, naturally they find in
it just what they put into it."

and /or Lewis Carroll:

"Humpty Dumpty: Whenever I use a word it means exactly what I want it to
mean; nothing more or else."

"One could easily imagine him, had he lived, showing how a certain kind of
belief and discourse on contemporary educational reform has unrecognized

By this you must mean participating in a discussion group named after
Foucault. Wherein the participants actually believe they have a license to
correct others on their interpretation of Foucault. I can very well
understand how Foucault (again if was alive today), drawing out the
consequences of such an absurd act, would probably stop writing altogether
or possibly go into the rubber stamp business selling them by the hundreds
of thousands to officially give people his stamp of approval or sell
franchisees in Foucault Licensure: Existence (as in Foucault groupie)
precedes essence.

When a philosopher's very words become a religion, at that very point in
time, the *Narrenschiff* sets sail with his/her flock aboard. If you are
not familar with the term, you might want to consult Madness and
Civilization by an author you may or may not be familar with: M.Foucault.

...and yes Erik a ship of fools at your door step.


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