Re: [Foucault-L] pastoral power


now that I have re-read the question, I admit that it is structured somewhat confusingly...

I understand that the process, in foucauldian terms, cannot be understood as linear and/or deterministic; what I am wondering about is whether the key characteristics of the pastoral modality of power relations constitute somesort of a "pillar" (I apologize for the lack of a better term) on which historically subsequent and specifically political reflections on the "ratio gubernatioria" - partly of course - leaned on, transformed, transplanted, modified and incorporated into its own discourse and practices.

This would in a way, this is my opinion, make the pastoral discourse and practices, sort of a "prerequisite" for the process of structuration of modern governmentality (it is this that I have unfortunately labelled as "evolution")


do these two modalities of power relations (pastoral and political) present distinctive and parallel spheres which - throught contingent interaction - now constitute the two (distinct yet connected) poles of the functioning of modern State forms of power relations...

I would like grasp this in order to be able to pose the following question: are contemporary modalities of power relations deeply rooted in and conditioned by the pastoral model of government (option 1)?

And with this question I am aiming at the following elements:
- the constant search of the "inner truth" of the contemporary subject: "am I that name?" / "are you that name?"
- the incessant balancing within the "economy of merits and faults"
- the "life-long" guidance to which we are subjected


This paper is in its preparatory stages and so are the questions/reflections above - hopefully I have clarified more then I have complicated further..

Thanks for your help and best regards, Goran

  • Re: [Foucault-L] pastoral power
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