Re: [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail)

Hey Scott.

Good questions. I don't know enough about slavery, but some suggestions on repression:

repression exists in modern government (by repression I assume you mean the juridcal power used in a negative sense, 'saying no.') To the extent that repression functions it does so within a field of intervention constructed by biopolitical knowledge, 'saying no' to life. For example, I think there is little question Fascist totalitarian included strong repressive elements while at the same time was conducted with scientific and biological rationality. Repression is simply recoded and supplimented, as with pastoral power, reason of state, the notion of race/nationality, security, etc. Another example would be classical liberalism's denying of natural rights among certain segments of the popular classes, "the mob." (natural rights being biopolitical or tied to the population through the political-economy.)

a note on fordism to post-fordism, if I may: I think the idea that both are biopolitical is correct, without question. A useful way of viewing may be as part of the geneology of neoliberalism - a form of liberalism I think has been shamefully understudied by the governmentality school. (please, someone correct me if there are some great sources I'm missing).

Bill R. French
From: foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [foucault-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Scott Nicholas [snichola@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 5:46 AM
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Subject: [Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail)

Hi everyone,

just thought that I had better clarify a couple of things.

I am looking at Foucault's work on Governmentality this semester. My reading of his Governmentality lecture and other references within his 1978 lecture series "Security, Territory & Population" is that this analytic can be applied even when the prevailing political rationality changes, or the state as a technology of government and its constituent elements (e.g., organising mechanisms,mix of private & public) change, or indeed the technologies and practices of government change. In other words, my core argument is that the twin pillars of governmentality: guidance of individual conduct and population management for the purpose of achieving national outcomes (e.g., GDP growth); remain in place even when the rationality for and the means of achieving (e.g., governmental tactics, practices, methods, devices, mechanisms etc) the aforementioned outcomes change, shift or mutate. In this sense, governmentality can accomodate say the alleged change from Fordist discipline to Post-F!
ordist flexibilisation.

I am responding to a recent claim that Foucault was "the great theorist of Fordist Discipline"and is at risk of becoming depasse, by arguing among others things both that:(1) his Governmentality analytic can accomodate epochal shifts from Fordism to Post-Fordism provided that the focus of government remains both the governance of individual conduct and the management of populations life issues (biopolitical concerns if you will); and (2) the Disciplinary society still exists.

Given my construal, the question arises does say repression fall under the conceptual auspices of Governmentality? and under what conditions would governmentality not apply - slavery perhaps?

I am curious to know if anyone disagrees with this construal of what I think is the continued relevance of Governmentality?

Any and all responses are welcome

Scott Nicholas
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[Foucault-L] Governmentality -Take 2 (ignore the previous e-mail), Scott Nicholas
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