You are on page 1of 2

SOCIETY MUST BE DEFENDED CHAPTER 2

War and Power (pp. 23-24) Foucault seeks to investigate whether or not war can provide a way to analyze power relations. He asks, “can we find in bellicose relations, in the model of war, in the schema of struggle or struggles, a principle that can help us understand and analyze political power, to interpret political power in terms of war, struggles and confrontations? This series of lectures seeks to explore these themes. Philosophy and the Limits of Power (pp. 24-25) Foucault asks the question, “how does the discourse of truth, or quite simply, philosophy-in the sense that philosophy is the discourse of truth par excellence-establish the limit’s of power’s right. Foucault says, “Power cannot be exercised unless a certain economy of discourses of truth functions in, on the basis of, and thanks to that power.” Power and truth mutually reinforce one another under a system that strives to create truth and reinforce power. Since the middle ages, this has been the monarchy and the judiciary system. Law and Royal Power (pp. 25-26) In the West since the Middle Ages, right is the right of royal command. The general principle to describe law and royal power states that uridicial thought and knowledge were created to maintain and demonstrate royal power. This means that the theory of right also becomes about sovereignty Law, Domination and Subjugation (p. 27) Foucault disagrees with the general principle, saying that it eliminates the idea of domination and its consequences. Instead he suggests that right is an instrument of domination, but also he tries to examine to what extent and in what form right serves as a vehicle for and implements relations that are not relations of sovereignty, but relations of domination. By domination, he specifies not only a top down model, but also “the multiple subjugations that take place and function within the social body.” Analytics of Power; Questions of Method (pp. 27-34) Foucault specifies a certain number of methodological precautions that must be taken in order to get around “the problem of sovereignty” and bypass the general line of the juridicial analysis.

 

First of all, he seeks to understand power by looking at the outer limits – the point where it becomes capillary. Second, he seeks to analyze power at the point where intentions are completely invested in real and effective practices. He wants to see power where it relates directly and immediately to what he calls the object of power. “rather than asking ourselves what the sovereign looks like from on high, we should be trying to discover how multiple bodies, forces, energies, desires, thoughts, and so on, are gradually, progressively, and materially constituted as subjects”

  

Third, Foucault cautions that power is not something that is divided between those who have it and those who do not have it, power is something that circulates Fourth, power circulates and forms networks – at least to some extent- through our bodies. Because of this we should make an ascending rather than a descending analysis of power. Fifth, power cannot function unless knowledge apparatuses are formed, organized, and put into circulation Theory of Sovereignty (pp. 34-35) Foucault suggests that we must move away from the juridico-political theory of sovereignty. This theory dates from the Middle Ages and it historically played four roles:

35-38) In the 17th and 18th c. Together sovereignty and discipline describe the workings of what Foucault calls “the normalizing society.point opposite” of what the theory of sovereignty described. Despite this.. . It was exercised through constant surveillance. It constructed an alternative model to authoritarian or absolute monarchy Disciplinary Power (pp. But the two discourses are hetrogenous and often in conflict with each other – this is where medicine steps in to arbitrate between the two. 2. It referred to an actual power mechanism (the feudal monarchy) It was used as an instrument to constitute and justify the monarchial administrations It was the great instrument of political and theoretical struggle in the 16th and 17th c. This nonsovereign power is disciplinary power. Rule and Norm (pp. 3. 38-40) Disciplines define a code of normalization. a new mechanism of power incompatible with sovereignty appeared. So the two types of power – sovereignty and discipline have co-existed since the 19th c. and was the “point-for.1. The discourse of discipline serves to create natural rules. or norms. Foucault says this is because the theory of sovereignty was able to conceal it’s mechanism and techniques of domination. 4. the theory of sovereignty continued to exist as both an ideology and an organizing principle behind juridicial codes.