Re: power

In reply to James Stranger's comments on Deleuze's reading of Foucault on
power, let's recall how Foucault praised _The Anti-Oedipus_ as "a guide
to non-fascist living." It seems given the affinity between the two
philosophers, it is plausible to assume that Deleuze thought of
Foucault's thought in similar fashion. Foucault, in teaching one to
recognize "truth" as a discursive production of power/knowledge, could
empower one to better be able to 'think for himself', as the cliche
goes. L. Ron Hubbard, on the other hand, gives you The Truth,
alleviating the burden of a care of the self; at a high $ price, Hubbard's
"church" takes up residence in your body and transforms you into just
another boring, disciplined subject.

I do agree that Foucault would have been disturbed by any dogma which
would proclaim itself so privileged among doctrines of Truth that a
"promise" could be made to make you "better," whatever that is. For
Foucault, there is nothing which "frees" you from power; the challenge is
to be able to cultivate whatever power/knowledge you have been invested
with and mobilize it. The latter is undertheorized in Foucault; it is
clear, however, that Foucault leaves open possibilities for resistance to
and transformation of existing power/knowledge regimes. But there are no
"cures" which can wipe clean the slate of subjectivity. Even if
'science' were able to locate the 'gay gene' and inject every
'homosexual' with the 'heterosexual' serum, this would not wipe out one's
identity as part of a/the 'gay' community if one had previously invested
himself with the knowledge which gives such a community its intelligibility.
At least at the outset; the pernicious discursive repitition of 'sex' as
always already natural reduces multiple possibilities for 'sexuality' to
a heterosexual imperative enslaved to a difference between male and
female figured as naturally oppositional, always in need of each
other for the logical completion of 'sex' as such. Such logic of the
same must be identified wherever it crops up and addressed with the
speech of the megaphone.

David Pekerow
DePaul University


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