Re: Foucault and Bathouses

At 02:00 PM 4/17/98 -0500, you wrote:
>This is in reference to Dave's homophobic, idiotic statement that
>Foucault hung out in bathouses infecting people. Precisely, what
>fucking evidence do you have? Bill D.

"During his visits to the United States in the late seventies,
Foucault became fascinated by San Francisco's gay scene
with its bathhouses, leather bars, chains, whips, 'glory holes,'
and sadomasochistic rituals. Sadomasochistic sex in particular
represented what Foucault called a 'limit-experience,' and
existentialist boundary situation in which vitalist forces of the
self could break from falsification of pleasure through genital-
centered sex. Foucault had come to believe what Artaud
had argued in the forties, that 'the human body is an
electric battery whose discharges have been castrated and
repressed' by civilized taboos. That included the giving and
taking of pain as a sexual ritual, in which, said another
celebrant of the gay S/M scene, 'the experience of extreme
suffering points us to the frontiers of human behavior."

"Under the whip or iron clamp the entire body becomes
and energized playing field for a Nietzschean 'game of
truth.' For Foucault, all relations, even with our own bodies,
are part of that struggle for power; there is no standpoint
outside them and no valid moral constraints on the *libido
dominandi* as it reaches out for power and 'the endlessly
repeated nonexistence of gratification.' When Foucault
learned that he had contracted AIDS as the result of sexual
transgression, that too became in his mind just another
limit-experience; sex as a form of death, as well as the
power to give death to others through sex. For at least
two years after he contracted AIDS (from 1982 to 1984),
Michael Foucault continued to visit his various gay orgy
sites, knowingly passing the disease on to his anonymous
partners. 'We are inventing new pleasures beyond sex,'
Foucault told an interviewer--in this particular case, sex
as murder."

"If Foucault's story seems chilling, it is only because he
pursued his own philosophy to its logical extreme. As one
biographer put it, 'Foucault took Nietzsche's injunction,
to become 'what one is', very seriously,' which is to
say to become a being whose core is his own will to
power. In Foucault's nihilism every trace of ourselves
that is shaped by others must be destroyed: our political,
cultural, and sexual identities, our notions of right and
wrong, sanity and madness, even what is true and false,
all vanish. Ultimately even the person himself vanishes;
only the restless and spasmodic will to power is left and
... its only justification is its own existence. 'I am not
of your world,' Artaud wrote; 'mine is the other side of
everything that is, knows, and is aware of itself, desires
and makes itself."
- "The Idea of Decline in Western History," Arthur Herman, 356

This book references the biography "The Passion of Michael
Foucault" by MIller, pages 268, 293, 375-381, 384.
Which references: "Urban Aboriginals" by Geoff Mains.


"The craving for power is in itself a sign of inferior
abilities and unfitness for responsibility."
- Isabel Paterson, 1943

"I had rather excel others in the knowledge of what is
excellent, than in the extent of my power and dominion."
- Alexander the Great (356-323 BC)

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want
to test a man's character, give him power."
- Abraham Lincoln

"Power itself doesn't corrupt; rather, it attracts the corruptible."
- Unknown

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