Re: Il faut defendre Foucault

Personally me, I am Bulgarian. First: The Balkans are
not "area" or "region". This is one of those matrix
like that of the nationalism, which the west
constructed and applied to us, and then claim it is a
definition they found in the nature of our existence.
Isn't that so much Foucauldian? The Balkans is very
ancient and very culturally developed world - here the
specific civilization was born, which the west , wild
and noncivilized in the beginning , adopted lately and
claimed "We are the civilization!". Foucault knew
that: In Surveiller and Punir he wrote "we are not
Greeks?" I am glad you read Mazower book, I read only
the review. About the argument between our church and
the greek church - the sermons were in greek. My guys
couldn?t understand a single word of the sermons. It
doesn?t matter if we are botrh orthodox, when you go
to hear a sermon you must understand it.
About everything else: 19th century was the time ,
when Balkans were free from the Ottoman empire and the
borders of the states should be redefined, so the west
was completely involved in that process and the west
thaught to us to be nationalistic. Nowadays funny
weird blond Americans are coming to Bulgaria, pointing
finger at us and saying " Do You love your Turks?!"
and we say "What is wrong with those weirdoes? We
never divided the people of Bulgaria to
Christians/Muslims? Why they ask us do we love them?
We never made DIFFERENCE! Why they want from us to
make difference?!" Do you understand the comedy of the
western politics? First they say : 1. "You must
recognize someone in your country as different, and
that?s why you must hate him!" And after that: 2. " We
will punish you for making difference, because we are
the justice!" And then again : "we , the west , we are
making difference - You are wild, we are civilized!" I
don?t know if I made it clear how the west is forcing
us to make difference, to be nationalistic. I remember
how a American came to a Muslim village in Bulgaria
asking people if they were repressed for being Turks,
so a villager responded her: "Lady,,please, I have
importenant work to do right now, don?t bother
As for was Foucault philosopher. Philosophy is not a
DISCIPLINE :-)) divided from other DISCIPLINES :-)).
A philosopher does not devides in to DISCIPLINES :-)).
Foucault never puted him self in DISCIPLINE :-))
That is why he was philosopher! But I assume you don?t
have philosophy education, and that?s why you don?t
get not the NONSPECIFITY of his philosophy!

--- Stuart Elden <stuart.elden@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Jivko,
> I hesitate to respond, given the insulting stupidity
> of your
> generalisations about 'Arabs'. Is not the move from
> the specific
> instance to the generalisation, and then from a
> generalisation to a '
> what else do we expect?', indicative of precisely
> the matters at stake
> here?
> In part then, these observations are more for the
> list generally
> Larry has usefully pointed out two things - first
> that your argument
> that because something 'originated' in the West, it
> is only ever
> Western is a very peculiar and misleading
> suggestion; and second that
> no one was suggesting Foucault _was_ a nationalist,
> but that - contrary
> to your statement - he did think it a topic worthy
> of analysis.
> As for the Mazower book supporting your contention,
> well, it's not
> nearly as simple as that. I've read the Mazower book
> (in the Weidenfeld
> & Nicolson edition), and it's a very readable guide
> to some of the key
> issues surrounding the Balkans. As I stated in a
> previous post I am no
> expert on this area, so I can't really pass real
> judgement on the
> claims of the book, but I can express some
> skepticism about the claims
> of the review.
> Mazower suggests that linguistic or ethnic
> differences did not
> necessarily have much value in the region until the
> 19th century. He
> gives the example of a church sermon being in Greek
> or Bulgarian. The
> priest and the congregation can't understand why a
> someone is
> suggesting that it should be in their own language
> of Bulgarian - what
> does it matter, they are all orthodox Christians? So
> here is a cleavage
> based on religion - they are all Orthodox
> Christians, and not Muslims
> or Turks.
> (Nationality and consequent nationalism have, of
> course, not always
> been based on language or ethnicity... religion and
> shared heritage,
> values, etc. these have all played a part in the
> language of
> nationalism too - look at the struggles within the
> previous empires of
> the region)
> Mazower traces how Romantic nationalism gained a
> foothold in the region
> in the 19th century. Sure that was later than some
> parts of Western
> Europe, but it was also contemporaneous with
> movements in Italy and
> Germany for example. Nationalism didn't just happen
> in one place and
> then get imported, it was an idea which (may or may
> not have its '
> origin' in Western Europe and) took hold in
> different places and at
> different times.
> He then traces how the breakup of the old Empires in
> the East - Ottoman
> and Austro-Hungarian - led to a number of successor
> states which, he
> says 'appealed to the principle of nationality to
> claim their neighbour'
> s lands... [but] all the new states had ethnic
> minorities whose
> existence undermined their claims to rule in the
> name of the Nation' (
> p102). On p103 he is very clear: 'the era of
> religion was over; that of
> ideology lay ahead: nationalism spanned them both'.
> He notes that the notion of the nation-state was not
> exclusive, and
> that Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia showed other
> forms of statehood
> still existed. But, he says, the ethnic kaleidoscope
> meant that the
> principle of nationality was a receipe for violence.
> He discusses how
> popular nationalism was often a response to problems
> within Communist
> states, who avowed principles of federation and
> internationalism. He
> talks about how Yugoslavia retained for the longest
> time the Habsburg
> notion that there could be a separation between
> nations and
> nationalities (i.e. though there might be national
> groups, they need
> not be in their own 'nation'.)
> Then, right in the final pages of the book, he
> suggests that some of
> the Western opposition to involvement in the region
> since 1990 was
> because
> of their suggestion that the violence and ethnic
> struggle was age old.
> Violence in the region, for these people, was not
> due to the problems
> of the European logic of state-building, but the
> 'stuff of Balkan
> history'. On the contrary, he suggests, the region
> compares very
> favourably in terms of generalised peace and crime
> to other areas of
> Europe and the world.
> Then comes almost the concluding sentence: 'Just as
> the nation-building
> process is more recent and compressed in the
> Balkans, so ethnic
> nationalism remains stronger, and civic traditions
> more fragile than
> elsewhere' (p. 134).
> Even if, and of course it's debatable, we can trace
> the notion of
> nationalism to the 'West' or 'Western Europe', it
> seems clear from
> Mazower's analysis that nationalism very clearly
> _is_ a factor now in
> the politics of the region. And that it has been for
> sometime, even if
> the suggestions that certain ignorant Western
> Europeans make about the
> ages old problem is ill-informed and dangerous.
> I'm glad I've read this book. I was looking at David
> Campbell's
> National Deconstruction this morning, and found that
> a very interesting
> and useful analysis. Foucauldian in places, but also
> informed by
> Derrida and Levinas.
> --
> As I stated in a previous mail, to suggest Foucault
> is a philosopher is
> fine by me; to suggest he is _only_ a philosopher is
> nonsensical. Yes,
> Foucault has philosophical concerns or 'problems',
> but he investigates
> them in a way that draws upon a number of other
> 'disciplines'. In turn,
> Foucault's work has been appropriated and
> misappropriated by a number
> of disciplines. I know the Philosophe collection, it
> has some very
> useful pieces. Equally there's one edited by Jan
> Goldstein about
> Foucault and history, which has some very useful
> pieces... As for the
> Nietzsche comment, I can think of any number of
> 'philosophy'
> departments that would _not_ consider him as a
> philosopher for
> precisely that reason. I don't agree with them, but
> does that prove
> your point? Really, rather than try to say that
> Foucault can _only_ be
> read as X, or _never_ said anything about Y,
> wouldn't it be better for
> you to see his interests and work as a whole?
> Two final points,
> But that
> > he wrote about the nationalism does not means that
> we
> > should call "nazies" israel:))
> I don't remember who, if anyone, said that. I wonder
> if you're
> misrepresenting again. I do remember that someone
> suggested that maybe
> a Foucauldian analysis of that situation would shed
> some
=== message truncated ===

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