Re: Reading Foucault


> My piont was just one: How did You manage to see
> nationalism in Israel?

Not me, I didn't say that. My point, directly challenging a claim you made,
was that Foucault did analyse the notion of the nation, nationality and
nationalism. I said where, I outlined briefly how. You refused to
acknowledge or debate that point - sure, that's your choice.

How others want to make use of those notions is an entirely other debate. I
don't want to get drawn into a debate about Kosovo, Israel or whatever
because I don't feel I know enough to profess any kind of public opinion.
Personally, sure I have opinions, but on this list that's not where I chose
to make my intervention.

I do however, want to use this list to discuss, broaden and deepen my
understanding of Foucault. When I think that I can contribute something I
know - i.e. the contours of a lecture course that many people won't have
read as it's not in English - then I throw it in. It seemed to me that
thinking about Foucault's work on this issue might be useful in trying to
come to terms with the issues being thrown about, which other people seem so
much more knowledgeable about than I. Lisa's intervention did seem to me to
be useful - again it's not something I know much about, but it's interesting
and I'd like to hear more.

One final thing: your last reply to Allen. On the first point, I don't need
to defend Allen here, he's more than capable of that without my support. But
it would perhaps be sensible for you to read his and others posts before you
fire off another round of invective. On the second, have you ever thought
about what Foucault means by a history of the present? Is it not entirely
possible that his preoccupation with issues such as race, war, racism,
nationality etc. in the mid 70s has something to do with the climate of the
time he was writing?

The editors of Il faut defendre la societe make the point that the context
of the course is in part set by, amongst others:-

the events of 1968 in Czechoslovakia and France, the Vietnam war, Black
September in Jordan (1970), student revolts against Salazar in Portugal
(1971), the IRA in Ireland, the Yom Kippur war, the Colonels regime in
Greece, the overthrow of Allende in Chile, fascism in Italy, the miner's
strike in England, Francoism in Spain, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and
civil war in the Lebanon, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and several African states
(Alessandro Fontana & Mauro Bertrani, "Situation du cours", FDS 257)

And as I noted in another post recently, it has been suggested that it makes
some sense of his later involvement/writing about the Iranian revolution.

Foucault has much to say to philosophy sure, but as Allen points out, he did
not write simply theoretical/philosophical pieces. He was continually
engaged. Don't neglect that side of his thought.


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