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Foucault - Society Must Be Defended

Foucault - Society Must Be Defended

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Published by: Noel Carcedo on Mar 14, 2011
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04/02/2013

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SOCIETYMUSTBEDEFENDED
Inorder
to
conductaconcreteanalysisofpowerrelations,oncwould
havetoabandonthejuridicalnotionofsovereignty.Thatmodelpre-supposestheindividualasasubjectofnaturalrightsororiginalpow-ers;itaimstoaccountfortheidealgenesisofthestate;anditmakeslawthefundamentalmanifestationofpower.Onewouldhavetostudypowernotonthebasisoftheprimitivetermsoftherelationbutstartingfromtherelationitself,inasmuchastherelationiswhatdeterminestheelementsonwhichitbears:insteadofaskingidealsubjectswhatpartofthemselvesorwhatpowersoftheirstheyhavesurrendered,allowingthemselvestobesubjectified
[selaisserassujettir],
onewouldneedtoinquirehowrelationsofsubjectivationcanmanufacturesub-jects.Similarly,ratherthanlookingforthesingleform,thecentralpointfromwhichalltheformsofpowerwouldbederivedbywayofconsequenceordevelopment,onemustfirstletthemstandforthintheirmultiplicity,theirdifferences,theirspecificity,theirreversibility:studythemthereforeasrelationsofforcethatintersect,interrelate,converge,or,onthecontrary,opposeoneanotherortendtocanceleachotherout.Finally,insteadofprivileginglawasamanifestationofpower,itwouldbebettertotryandidentifythedifferenttechniquesofconstraintthatitbringsintoplay.
If
itisnecessarytoavoidreducingtheanalysisofpowertotheschemesuggestedbythejuridicalconstitutionofsovereignty,ifitisnecessarytothinkaboutpowerintermsofforcerelations,mustitbedeciphered,then,accordingtothegeneralformofwar?Canwarserveasaneffec-tiveanalyzerofpowerrelations?
 
Ethics:SubjectivityandTruth
ofthevictor.BygivingitselfaGermanicorigin,theFrencharistocracylaysclaimtotherightofconquest,henceofeminentpossession,uponallthelandsoftherealmandofabsolutedominionoveralltheGallicorRomaninhabitants;butitalsoclaimsprerogativeswithrespecttoroyalpower,whichwouldhavebeenestablishedoriginallyonlybyitsconsent,andwhichshouldalwaysbekeptwithinthelimitsestablishedbackthen.Thehistorywritteninthiswayisnolonger,asinEngland,thatoftheperpetualconfrontationofthevanquishedandthevictors,withuprisingandextractedconcessionsasabasiccategory;itwillbethehistoryoftheking'susurpationsorbetrayalswithregardtothenobilityfromwhichhedescended,andofhisunnaturalcollusions
with
abourgeoisieofGallo-Homanorigin.Thisschemeofanalysis,takenupagainbyFreret''andespeciallyOuBuat-Nancay,wastheobjectofawholeseriesofpolemicalexchangesandtheoccasionofsubstantialhistoricalresearchuptotheRevolution.Theimportantpointisthattheprincipleofhistorialanalysiswassoughtinthedualityandthewarofraces.StartingfromthereandgoingviatheworksofAugustin''andAmedee
Thierry",
twotypesofdeciphermentofhistorywilldevelopinthenineteenthcentury:onewillbelinkedtoclassstruggle,theothertobiologicalconfrontation.Thisyear'sseminarwasdevotedtoastudyofthecategoryof"thedan-gerousindividual"incriminalpsychiatry.Thenotionsconnectedwiththethemeof"socialdefense"werecomparedwiththenotionscon-nectedwiththenewtheoriesofcivilresponsibility,astheyappearedattheendofthenineteenthcentury.
NOTES
1SirE.Coke,
ArgumentumAnti-Normannicum,oranArgumentProving,fromAncientStoriesandRecords,thatWilliam,Duke
0/
Normandy,MadeNoAbsoluteConquest
0/
Englandbythe
Word
(London:Derby,1682);
J.
Lilburne,
EnglishBirthRightJustifiedAgainstAllArbitraryUsurpation
(London,1645);
AnAnatomyoftheLord'sTirannyandInjustice
(London,1646);CountH.deBoulainvilliers,
MemoirepourfanoblessedeFrancecontrelesduesetpairs
(n.p.,
1717);
HistoiredeI'anciengouuernementdefaFrance,avecXIVlettreshistoriquessurlesparle-mentsouetatsgeneraux
(The
Hague:
Gesse
et
Neaulne,
1727),
3vols.,
Essaisur
La
noblessedeFrance.contenaniunedissertationsursonorigineetsonabaissement
(Amsterdam,1732).Count
L.-G.DuBuat-Naneay,
LesOriginesouI'Ancien
Gouuemement
delaFrance,de
l'Italie,
del'Altemagne
(Paris:
Didot,1757),4vols.,
Histoireanciennedespeuplesdel'Europe
(Paris:
Desaint,1772),12
vols,
2
T.
Hobbes,
Leviathan,ortheMatter,FormandPowerofaCommonwealthEcclesiasticalandCivil
(London:Crooke,1651):
Leviathan:Traitede
La
matiere,delaformeetdupouuoirdelarepubliqueecclesiastiqueetcivile,
trans.
F.
Tricaud(Paris:Sirey,
1971).
 
SocietyMustBeDefended
ahistorico-politicaldiscourse,adiscourseinwhichtruthfunctionsasaweaponforapartisanvictory,adiscourseatoncedarklycriticalandintenselymythical.Thisyear'scoursewasdevotedtotheemergenceofthatformofanal-ysis:howwaswar(anditsdifferentaspects-invasion,battle,conquest,victory,relationsofvictorsandvanquished,pillageandappropriation,uprisings)usedasananalyzerofhistoryand,inageneralway,ofsocialrelations?
1.
Onemustfirstsetasidesomefalsepaternities-thatofHobbes,inparticular.WhatHobbescallsthe"warofallagainstall"isnotinanywayarealhistoricalwarbutagameofrepresentationsbywhicheachmeasuresthedangerthateachrepresentsforhim,estimatestheothers'willtofight,anticalculatestheriskhehimselfwouldbetak-ingifheresortedtoforce.Sovereignty-whether
it
involvesa"com-monwealthbyinstitution"ora"commonwealthbyacquisition"-isestablishednotbyanactofbellicosedominationbut,rather,byacal-culationthatallowswartobeavoided.ForHobbesitisnonwarthatfoundstheStateandgivesititsform.t
2.
Thehistoryofwarsaswombsofstateswasdoubtlessoutlinedinthesixteenthcenturyattheendofthewarsofreligion(inFrance,forexample,intheworkofHotman-).Butitwasmostlyintheseventeenthcenturythatthistypeofanalysiswasdeveloped.InEngland,first,intheparliamentaryoppositionandamongthePuritans,withtheideathatEnglishsociety,sincetheeleventhcentury,wasasocietyofcon-quest:monarchyandaristocracy,withtheircharacteristicinstitutions,wereseenasNormanimports,whiletheSaxonpeoplepreserved,notwithoutdifficulty,afewtracesoftheiroriginalfreedoms.Againstthisbackgroundofmartialdomination,EnglishhistorianssuchasCokeorSelden"restoredthechiefepisodesofEngland'shistory;eachoftheseisanalyzedeitherasaconsequenceorasaresumptionofthathistori-callyprimarystateofwarbetweentwohostileraceswithdifferentinsti-tutionsandinterests.Therevolutionofwhichthesehistoriansarethecontemporariesandsometimestheprotagonistswouldthusbethelastbattleandtherevengeofthatancientwar.
An
analysisofthesametypeisalsofoundinFrance,butatalaterdateand,aboveall,inthearistocraticcirclesoftheendofthereignofLouisXIV.Boulainvillierswillgiveitthemostrigorousformulation;butthistimethestoryistold,andtherightsareasserted,inthename

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