Re: Gouvernementality / Il faut défendre la société

Would it be correct to argue that in the Foucault/Habermas debate (whether it
ever really happened or not!) the two thinkers were actually talking about
different things - Habermas about grand issues of state power and social
structure, while Foucault was more interested in the existence of power
within individual people, with even the way they move and talk reflecting
their position in inter-personal pecking orders, institutions providing the
environment/architecture for such power relations between people to exist,
but even without such institutional structures, different people would still
be able to exert different quantities of authority (though perhaps in a
different way - Institutions with warped or perverse explicit or implicit
aims creating warped and perverse power structures)?

The description such power relations between people is not the same as a
justification or a condemnation, but is simply attempting to explore and
interpret what exists.

Marx recognised that the power structures of capitalism could not simply be
abolished - that following a social transformation, a period of proletarian
dictatorship would oppress, in a reversed way, the bourgeoisie. Only as the
ideological remnants of capitalism disappeared from people's minds could this
proletarian state 'wither away', leaving people working together in a
cooperative and communal way. Even then, the existence of such communal
existence would not abnegate the existence of different personal capacities
(presumably including the capacity to exert influence, to be authoritative,
to be persuasive of others within the community), as implied by the
formulation 'from each according to his abilities'. In this Foucault seems
closer to Marx than Habermas.

How pleasant
Just once not to see
Fuji through mist. (Basho)

---------- Original Message -----------
From: "Michael Briguglio" <mikebrig@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sun, 14 Sep 2003 23:42:16 +0200
Subject: Re: Gouvernementality / Il faut défendre la société

> As regards Foucault's remark that he does think that a society can exist
> without power relations, I find this reather similar to Althusser's
> concept of Ideology as being eternal, and that Ideological State
> Apparatuses will always exist.
> Michael Briguglio (Malta)
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "claudius" <claudius.laumanns@xxxxxx>
> To: <foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2003 10:46 PM
> Subject: RE: Gouvernementality / Il faut défendre la société
> >
> >
> > A) I have just read the german discussion in historical science about
> > anthropological methodlogy "Alltagsgeschichte" vs. Sociologist
> > methology, "historische Sozialwissenschaft", so i am looking forward to
> > check this solid one! (I am kidding, it sounds really nice, thanks a
> > lot!)
> >
> > B) I see i was wrong about this. I have my view about the Habermas-
> > Foucault controversy from Achim Bühl same title in Prokla 130 (2003)
> > where he says the Habermas- Foucault controversy didn't happen, in fact
> > it was an artifact of the american intellectual context. (p. 164) They
> > also say Habermas ruined the reception of Foucault in germany. There are
> > many social scientists around here, who want to "burn that
> > poststructuralist witches" because of these disguisting things they say
> > about individual and society. Anyway this messy reception brought us
> > Thomas Lemke's "eine Kritik der politischen Vernunft" wich was written
> > in Frankfurt, Habermas's home base, that's why i told about this. It's a
> > book about the gouvernmentality, based on the original audio tapes, we
> > young Göttinger radicals love it because of it's "state" theory. (except
> > those who like Adorno).
> >
> > see also
> >
> > Claudius
> >
> >
> >
> > A. Regulating the Social
> >
> > George Steinmetz has written a book "Regulating the Social: The Welfare
> > State and Local Politics
> > in Imperial Germany" (1993 Princeton Univ. Press). This is a solid
> > historical sociology to explain the emergence of the social, at which
> > welfare policies were targeted, in Imperial Germany by using Foucault
> > along
> > with other theories of the state and/or governmentality.
> >
> > B. Foucault on Habermas
> >
> > In his essay "The Ethics of the Concern of the Self as a Practice of
> > Freedom" (in Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, edited by Paul Rainbow),
> > Foucault said: "I imagine you are thinking a little about Habermas when
> > you
> > say that. I am quite interested in his work, although I know he
> > completely
> > disagrees with my views.... I do not think that a society can exist
> > without
> > power relations, if by that one means the strategies by which
> > individuals
> > try to direct and control the conduct of others. The problem, then, is
> > not
> > to try to dissolve them in the utopia of completely transparent
> > communication but to acquire the rules of law, the management
> > techniques,
> > and also the morality, the ethos, the practice of the self, that will
> > allow
> > us to play these games of power with as little domination as possible"
> > (298).
> >
> > Therefore, it is possible to say that Habermas and Foucault start from
> > two
> > opposite poles, but try to reach the very similar goal. Butler, Laclau,
> > and
> > Zizek in their "Contingency, Hegemony, Universality" (2000) in a sense
> > recasts the Habermas-Foucault debate over the relationship between
> > democracy
> > and power.
> >
> > Hiro
> >
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Try MSN Messenger 6.0 with integrated webcam functionality!
> >
> >
> >
------- End of Original Message -------

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