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French New Wave : from SI to Virilio [ and Neo-AmeriKa ]
... Politics 2008
I. COMMUNISM AND TECHNOLOGY
I heard it before. "Listen, we are not in such a bad situation as during the Stalin's years." Or "Look, it better than in China."
"Name me a country in a better position than America"...
The Possessed 2003
WRITE : nonfiction
Summary"This book is intended as a correlative history of the modern soul and of a new power to judge." Discipline and Punish
Questions"Is it surprising that prisons resemble factories, schools, barracks, hospitals, which all resemble prisons?" D&P
2004 & After
... pomo page [to work on]
(Re-reading my notes on Foucault)
....theory does not express, translate, or serve to apply practice: it is practice. -- Foucault
Practice = un/discovered theory.
I. COMMUNISM AND TECHNOLOGY
What's wrong with being a Marxist?
You know, I never officially denounced my CPSU membership. Yeltzin and my father did put down their party tickets. I just stopped paying dues when I defected. The new communists of Russia could consider me as a member - a sleeper! I know that we all are communists and accepted the fact. We are full of it, the marxism, I mean. To live and not to be a communist is impossible. It's natural. I don't mind my human position, but there are some limits to my tolerance. I won't put my human or communist qualities above my Self. That's why I and Bertrand Russell are not marxists.
We both are dead.
FYI: Invisible (secret) great victory must be revieled. Marxism isn't just a theory but a deep reality. Marxism as a theory has its academic place in a society build on communist principle. Hello!? All of you celebrating the end of communism -- the twentieth century was the triumph communism! The name of it -- technology. Marxism pointed at the social power aspect. We all are OBJECTS of this power. The society is a SYSTEM. Any culture, any collective. (Organization theory?) Global society has to be a total system!
Software -- ideology. Communism and Technology? Come on! Communism IS technology! Without this sensitivity Internet won't be possible. The telephone idea would be un-thinkable!
Total. Total War... Totalitarism: we made our choice. We voted for a panopticon of technology instead of concentration camps (people) force. We bought TV sets, telephones, modems, we pay for our global Gulag...
Communism is a politically incorrect subject to be discussed openly. Al Gore, secretary of environment Babbit, labor Reish -- they are closet socialists, if not communists. Why not fascists?
I must be out of my mind.
II. ZERO INDIVIDUAL
Our (human) nature is a matter of choice and even a personal orientation. Our nature is something to decide and select, design and produce.
If our civilization of Reason is the main expression of our nature, WE HAVE NO (HUMAN) NATURE AS SUCH. That's what it means to be a human! All become a construct, a concept, an invention. Mass man prove to be very neutral material, easily indoctrinated. He, the IT, represents two extremes: animal and spirit, WITHOUT a bridge between the two. This void is the human being. Both extremities coexist in him with no dialogue, action-reaction mechanism. How else? He, the individuality, is actually missing and has to be imposed on the poor creature; the only apparatus connecting animal and spirit in ODM is a society.
The same society, which used his mind to install ideology in his brain, has to connect this artificial, induced entity to his physical body. The ancient animal must be reintroduced to (new) humans. In a new way, of course. His body is no more "his" than his social identity. Physically, he is produced by nature, intellectually -- by culture. He didn't give birth to himself and his persona should be no more than "his" Social Security number and a driver's license ID. My personal input in forming my own identity must be controlled.
Foucault avoids discussion of human nature, because there's no such a subject to discuss. It doesn't exist. In reality mass man persona is a combination of accidental details dropped in this nature's black box. He calls himself "I" because the society insists on his self-identification. In the past he was happy with family, master, clan, religion, and etc. identification.
Previous discussions of "human nature" were based on human exceptions. Spinosa studies Spinosa and Aristotle based his understanding of human nature on what he knew the best -- himself. We extrapolate those exceptions on the rest of humanity the way master would lend his name to his children and slaves. For a good reason (till our century) we didn't want to see the radical difference between an adult and a child: only exercise and excesses of power by the mass man forced us to recognize the difference. Is it so, Anatoly? The majority never had and never will have any need for a productive self-identification. And this is their nature: nothing in form of being.
My double experience obliges me to testify on matter which were intellectual assumptions. Till now. I witnessed the great achievements of humanity.... what I didn't see is the great individuals. Perhaps, an individual as a target of the century had no time for anything but a survival, resistance, escape? How much could I expect from myself? I came out a prison of communist ideology to get embraced by it's older sister -- American democracy.
I'm fighting for a rather simple property -- freedom of mind. I move most of the time within the maze of ideology which designed not to let me have my own mind, my own feelings = my life. You can't exit this castle (you have to "overcome" it). I suspect that in the past I would be left alone to a greater degree (there were public executions!) I even could be encouraged to be my own man -- master. At 47 I feel hunted, wounded and sick. Mania? That's what they would say. They, one of the biggest assumptions, they are like me....
I can find communality between myself and anything in life. My similarity with you is not the most fascinating phenomena of life. Our differences that's what life should be grateful for: life existence is based on possibility of the different. Nothing would come out of the Great Nothing, if not for the difference. I'm different from what I was yesterday. I'm so different from anything else, that often I doubt that we understand each other at all, pretending to understand. That's why I don't understand myself and leave some room for misunderstanding and not understanding myself. I have to leave myself in order to understand me.
To equate myself with the rest ("human nature"!) is to miss the most important and interesting aspect of life of an individual. Especially, such a form of life as human mind -- MY mind.
If modernists were so radical in dismissing an individual, what do you expect from me, their off-spring? My rejection of modernism will never restore humanism. It's for the state like religion is for churches. There's no metaphysics in humanism. Let United Nations to deal we me being human. There's so much humanism around that I'm naturally apposed to the pressure to be a human. To love is not a gift (or my choice), it's a law. Enforced morality. Professional (paid) business of police. Let them do the humanitarian work on me.I'd like to mention only two "pathological forms" those two "diseases of power": fascism and Stalinism. One of the numerous reasons why they are, for us, so puzzling, is that in spite of their historical uniqueness they are not quite original. (F)The Soviet (mass) man called his views "propaganda," his Western partner calls it "morals," "knowledge" and even "freedoms"!.... The irony that an American in me began to die, when I became a citizen. I fought for my citizen. In 1988 Esther became a citizen. It took her many years to accept it, the notion that is not Ethiopian anymore. I and the children changed her mind. She always was a Republican and we planned to vote Republican. I was giving tyoo many public lectures, comparing the Soviet and US Constitions. Once after the lecture, someone from the back of the big auditorium asked me -- "When you are going to run for an office?" I didn't know what to say, besides -- "Why do you ask?" "Because I will vote for you." They, a few hundred in Virninia, applouded. I came home shaken.Sexual revolution exposed bodies even to greater regulations, defining decent and porno; categorizing, classifying, systemizing, to gain more control than before. Sex "liberation" brought PC and conservatives, debating "rights" where before it was a domain of privacy and an individual power to define himself. Now I have to struggle against before I even can approach my instinctual, NATURAL (mine) feelings. My experiences became an object in the game of right and wrong. My emotions became a matter of politics, my inner world and my relations with myself are ideologized (over-socialization, according to Unabomber).
I even called the local Republicans and became a member of the Exacutive Committee in Roanoke. Of course, I can't accept that the INS turned down my application for citizenship. I will fight and will vote.
Society doesn't need to have a state to engage itself into agitation. Soft propaganda is carried on by the media.Something essential is taking place, something of extreme seriousness: the tracking down of all varieties of fascism, from the enormous ones that surround and crush us to the petty ones that constitute the tyrannical bitterness of our everyday lives. (F)Here, here! Do you think by substituting national, class or racial concepts with "humanism" you change THE MECHANISM of imposing it? You don't have to be German (Italian) to be a fascist. Fascism isn't a historical or geographical, it's a method. All networks reporting the same news are as totalitarian as Stalin's propaganda machine. The same product distributed globally, the same logo in every corner of the world, the same commercials repeated thousand times. The fascist method of globalization produce fascists. We call them costumers. We learned a lot from Dr. Goebbels; every corporation has its department of propaganda (PR). Fascism has its social face, which is more human than its political expression.
I don't think that anyone thinks of fascism, ordering Big Mac. I thought about it watching "Batman Forever" with my kids. What a spectacle of propaganda! How else can we brain-wash the millions about right and wrong? America forms of communism and fascism are more sophisticated because the collective values are developed in "individual" packaging. We know that we do not need to wear black shorts to be together, what is really important -- to install the collective (same) brains in each head. Entertainment (Hollywood Department) is different from the Department of Propaganda and Agitation I remember. The State was old, ancient technology of social organization. In Moscow we had to be direct and instructional, we can't afford entertainment -- the people weren't ready. Everybody got to have a car in order for ideology to exist in Hollywood forms.
My daughter is thirteen, my son -- eleven. Is it a good enough reason for writing? I want them to be free. Even if they have to flea the country. They are Americans and I know how painful it is to lose your sense of home. This Batman will drive America to the ground with no less determination than his predecessors in Germany and Russia. I turn off the tv, the way Jews were shutting down their windows not to see what was going on the street. Now I understand the generation before me who were waiting behind the doors to be taken away. I know how it feels to be helpless. History is a natural disaster. How do you fight it?
I rather know that this is a war. I want them to know it.
IV. NON-HUMAN HUMANITY
Technology: we had reach the limits of our body. The only way for the evolution to continue was to go beyond a physical human body. And the only open door we had was our brain (for everything social to enter). Thus, the society became my body's execution (through technology) and it is no less integrated than my "natural" (body) members. A car isn't a simple extension (tool) but has an EQUALITY with my other organs. Machine has crossed the line of non-human existence, because I crossed the borders of my human limitations. If you don't believe me, wait when you'll get into a real accident. And the hospital.
In a traffic accident I don't separate car and driver, they are one entity. The fact that a car needs a driver to this entity is no more important than that a man needs a car to be a driver. (That's why now we can sue the city, car manufacturer, etc.)
The brain (mind) could be viewed as a tool for animals to enter the humanity. There were little of non-human in human invention of technology. In order for me to control my life (including death, or prospect of dying), I had to reach for inclusion of human race into my body. Technology does it in practical (spirituality materialized), factual, physical way.
Do I love my physical autonomy? How much I value my spacial distance from others? Is it only a matter of selectability, balance and intensity? Don't I crave for limiting my physical independence (or isolation as another extreme, to a degree of punishment)?.... "You were a member of the communist party. You can be naturalized only after ten years."Conversion of capitalism and communism is possible today BECAUSE the politics (armed conflict) are removed. Do I have closed my eyes at the similarity of fascism and communism for a reason of Hitler and Stalin fighting each other? The fight between Trotsky and Stalin was possible ONLY because they both were communist and had a common subject to fight over. What was the religious wars of Europe if not over the MODEL of Christianity. How do you want me to READ the Cold War? The superior form of communism won -- the democracy. Read Marx of 1844, it's in there.
"But I am a defector!"
"But the rules are rules. It's only a couple years left. You'll get your citizenship..."
"But this is a matter of principle..."
I got mad. I called the local paper and the reporter came and in two days there was an article on the front page.
What a sad situation to be -- to repeat something with was known over a century ago. May I, please, talk about the mechanism of the SUPER-COMMUNISM? Made in USA.
Foucault was another sensation of recognition: I knew it, that's the way I feel! How little was needed to be reinsured! He was a communist before me (twenty years earlier). Of course, he knew what he was talking about. He was a teenager during the World War II. And he was a French.
V. DE-INDIVIDUALIZING PRINCIPLES(From _Introduction to the Non-Fascist Life_)In prison you assume the prisoner's behavior before it's imposed on you. There's a freedom in prison; it's prisoner. Accept Marx's formula and do it yourself: de-individualization. Self becomes a carnival, many, spectacle of real and manifested contradictions. Machiavelli advised the Prince, his strategy remains the same for Prince Without Kingdom. Behavior becomes an act and action though acting. Performance. I behave as a political party, protecting myself using disintegration from my own organized de-individualization. Theatricalization of Self is a game, a positive exchange with the outside, which has its mirror site inside. "Intellectual and Power" (F) do not have direct relations. Power has many expressions; ideas is your power.
Free political action from all unitary and totalizing paranoia.
Develop action, thought, and desires by proliferation, juxtaposition, and disjunction, and not by subdivision and hierarchization.
Withdraw allegiance from the old categories of the Negative (law limit, castration, lack, lacuna), which Western thought has long held sacred as a form of power and access to reality. Prefer what is positive and multiple: difference over uniformity, flows over unities, mobile arrangements over systems. Believe that what is productive is not sedentary but nomadic.
Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable. It is the connection of desire to reality (and not its retreat into the forms of representation) that possesses revolutionary force.
Do not use thought to ground a political practice in Truth; nor political action to discredit, as mere speculation, a line of thought. Use political practice as an intensifier of thought, and analysis as a multiple of the forms and domains for the intervention of political action.
Do not demand of politics that it restore the "rights" of the individual, as philosophy has defined them. The individual is the product of power. What is needed is to "de-individualize" by means of multiplication and displacement, diverse combinations. (*A) The group must not be the organic bond uniting hierarchized individuals, but a constant generator of de-individualization.
Do not become enamored of power. -- Foucault
The Outside is the Fascism.
George Orwell wrote in "Homage to Catalonia":It is nonsense to talk of opposing Fascism by bourgeois 'democracy'. Bourgeois 'democracy' is only another name for capitalism, and so is Fascism; to fight against Fascism on behalf of 'democracy' is to fight against one form of capitalism on behalf of a second which is liable to turn into the first at any moment.What makes "democracy" Non-Fascist (Anti-Fascist)? A rhytorical question. I never knew anything but fascism. Left, right, central. They're always looking for solidarity. Always together. Like a football crowd. The more the marrier. I am suspicious of the church and the organized labor. Any party smells. Did the Solidarity movement in Poland knocked down the communists? I doubt it.
Hey, what about the dictatorship of nature? Would you call physics or winter "Fascism"? The irony is that everything about humans was the strive to overcome this dictate. When we have succeeded, we became the imposing nature. Who and how will overcome this new tyranny? Well, we're only at the begining of this process. Hitler and Stalin are our trails and errors, we can do better than them. And we do better. We are the sophisticated fascists.
If Virilio is right about militarization of life, it has to have fascist implications. Order in army expended in non-army situation. How else? Mass conditions can't be nothing but fascist. One system world can't know itself. Fascism and communism happen to be just bad names. They can't be applied to us, good guys. No, sir.
I want to talk about fascists before fascism. Hitler was a fascist before he formed the party. Fascist is a special sensitivity, the inner form of individuality, an attempt to overcome it. Without fascists the phenomena of fascism would be impossible. I have it in me, the fascist feelings and thoughts. Nothing abnormal, on the contrary, it's the high point of our social evolution. We didn't fall into barbarism with the arrival of the ideology, we rose up to the highest state sophistication known in history. The success of fascism should prove it by now, we can't talk about our society in term of fascism, which is the indication of censorship, self-censoring, of course.
What a drama!
"Theatrum Philosophicum" named it Foucault.
If the individual is a product of power, I had to resist in order not to be "enamored of power." I have to be against myself (as individual) in order to liberate myself. "Human rights" have to turn into an apparatus of control over me. POMO shouldn't restored an individual, denounced by the communists (that's how you become visible and will be targeted by the KGB or a peer group in school). Pretend to be an individual, behave as if you are human, act as if you are a person. You can do it. Because you're none of the above. Don't reveal what you are God. Because they won't understand that being God is nothing, being Nothing.
The Post-political:Indeed, this is the only genuine function of the intellect: to embrace contradictions, to exercise irony, to take the opposite tack, to exploit rifts and reversibility--even to fly in the face of the lawful and the factual. If the intellectuals of today seem to have run out of things to say, this is because they have failed to assume this ironic function, confining themselves within the limits of their moral, political, or philosophical consciousness despite the fact that the rules have changed, that all irony, all radical criticism now belongs exclusively to the haphazard, the viral, the catastrophic--to accidental or system-led reversals (Transparency 39-40).Baudrillard went further; the Outside is man-made and is against a man. It's not neutral as nature before, but actively, aggressively directed at you. It's dialogical, presupposes your presence and your pre-formatted reactions. So, what is your answer? (See Cul-Art)
VI. EX-COMMUNIST'S STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS
The New Man can't be discovered, he has to create himself. He resists this necessity, he's afraid to departure from humanity, as if he is not ready for his solitude. What conformation do I need from others to finish my thought? Desert, not jungle. why should I fear the isolation? Didn't I live long enough to stay away from primitive dialogism? I write because no conversation can satisfy the need to understand my own life. What irony? It's my business to oppose anything. I don't want a direct engagement. I would like to have time for myself. I don't see any danger of global catastrophe for human race, need to teach somebody or saving people who live better than ever and very safe. I lived maybe TOO much and overloaded with experience. I wish to avoid repetitions. What's missing is the READING, even the postmodern theories are not radical enough.... Thirty years ago I would be really shaken by them ( power, spectacle, simulacra), at 48 I have less interest in the world outside. I feel that I am the land I haven't travel.
I understand the dangers of self-colonization, self-engagement and self-preoccupation, but I don't believe that the reading of the world is possible outside of self-reading. More, Anatoly's reading of Anatoly. I don't trust reality anymore as I don't trust abstractions. The outside world too unstable for a thought; it changes before I try to change it. I blink -- and the familiar is gone. It is humanized to the point of having its own dynamics. Why, why do you ask me to think about ecology, social problems, the future, when I can't have time to think? "We" are quite a real machine-organism which is capable of taking care of itself. Would it be "logical" to focus on my very own existence? I don't think of myself as human, man, animal, "we, comrades" think enough about it. How much my discourse on being Russian or American told me about my problems? Oh, yes, I have MY problems. I can't even approach this zone -- what is the heart pain of my discontent? No, no, I am not about waste more years trying to answer the question of 14 year old boy on meaning of life. Because I was interested in meaning of MY life. I wish in my composition in the ninth grade literature class I could notice it. It was MY question but I expected some universal answer. What is "universal" in unique besides the universality of the different? My presence within life serves enough of communality. Let science to push it.... If somebody could learn from, it's only because I learn something from my experiences.... I didn't notice myself, I was ignored by myself, not by the world. Even now I like a monkey ready to pay attention to anything in front of me, not inside -- I'm still invisible for myself.
I was told that the formation of individuality is in discoveries of the world by the subject, that I find myself in studies of the outside. Did Sezanne "saw" it "looking" out, or was it HIS feeling of HIS seeing the world? What did you paint if not their impressions? Didn't I know that it was the revelation in my experience of the Hermitage? It was Sezanne, not the hills, trees and the skies of the unknown to me French country side. I recognized Stirner, but I didn't think the egoist concept though -- I walked the same road with Max, defending my right to feel that way. What for, I say? Just because it was against the common ideology? Look how I dwell on the conflict between one and the world! My grievances with Russia or America! Those conflicts are not with Anatoly as such, and not of Anatoly's, but a man, an individual, etc. in Anatoly. What is my fight with life? Mine? Or is it again a practicing marxism in changing the world? Are my personal changes not enough? Why is such an indifference to something which is unique -- myself? Who is supposed to do it? I knew all along that my changes are the reason for changes in Russia. Why not to see my own evolution as the upcoming future of America? What a strange notion that the future of the world is not my evolution? Don't i know the origins of changes? Why to claim that the new is born between us, not in me? There's a definite difference between the (historical) outside of Tolstoy and the new of "War and Peace." which one is know to me? The book.
Look at my struggle of "self-expression." Is it my true intention to let the world know about my feelings? What your understanding of me world serve? Solidarity, support? I can't believe that God needs my prayers, I do. Does God need my faith? Why? Not for himself, not my God.
I took me around ten years to arrive to the next question -- the meaning of God's life. Father? I am. But it's not the first impulse in me? Son? Yes, but it's not how I move. Holy Ghost? Poetry. "Holy"! and "Ghost"? Is it the best we can do? No wonder that religion lost it. We even didn't began our learning about nature of god. How much could we learn about God, knowing so little about ourselves?
VII. MORE ANTI-MARX
Note to the firstname.lastname@example.org (before I sent "unsubscribe" note):I like philos-action, reading it as "philos=action"; thinking is an activity and SHOULD be a begining of any "human" action. Our hyper-active world is missing theories and as a result -- our social reality has much of negative, re-active attitude. I only wish that we could restore the ancient (non-academic) philosophy spirit when Theory was Practice. The opposition of the two is the source of all our problems on both ends. It could be seen in Marx's binary thinking. "To change the world is to find new way of understanding it," must be mentioned to Marx. That's what he did.How un-practical Hegel and Kant? They produced Marx. How much music or poetry (reflective) do change the world? Changing (developing) sensibility is the most radical change, because we are changing the ones who are asked to change the world. Historical power of marxism is not in revolutionary intentions, but in conceptual vision of classes. Most of our changes are empirical, trails and errors, experimentation. Alas, we arrived to the point when we are limited in such traditional methods, we can't test our nuclear super-bombs on mega-cities to see what kinds of results it could produce on people. Biological and chemical experiments actions must be limited, which became our major concern.
The Greek philosophers couldn't try their atomic theories because they didn't have technology, we can't -- because we have it. The paradox?
I'm glad that somebody (Virilio) noticed that we should be concerned not about having changes, but about our ability to control their speed.
Yes, electricity and electronics could be fascist and communist! Everything is a commodity and therefore "capitalistic." .... Both Nazis and Bolsheviks loved technology. Fascism is a limited communism. Socialism always has it, you smell and taste it. How to see it? Watch for the intent. Fascist doesn't allow exclusions. Political correctness eliminated the groups and even words. Totalitarism doesn't have to have state forms, as long as it could be done through culture. I'm required to be human and a human of very specific type.
VIII. ASYMMETRICAL RELATIONS
Anti-Foucault (Habermas): "Why ought domination to be resisted?" -- but my resistance is no less "natural" than domination of power. My will or power has this ACTIVE attribute like mass express itself in gravity (equivalent to inertia). I don't resist "willingly" -- my will does it outside of my intention. My resistance is an indication of my presence and even existence. I wish could resist less but I am not free from my (free) will. Like in elementary physics where action produces reaction, I respond to power (news) "mechanically." There are two way to avoid the resistance: one is to withdraw from the field of power (by not knowing), or the preferable by Nietzsche -- preemptive attack.
My "resistance" is a formation of a subjectivity, materialization of "I." To ask why does the power has this quality of domination is academics. Power defined through domination. The forms of expression of power perhaps even are born out of the new forms of resistance. A society of control in place of a discipline society (Deleuze) is no less relays on the new forms of resistance than on the new forms of power distribution. (Similar to universality of gravitation, where it's is a sum of all existing masses). The existence of six billion humans has to generate the power I react to. My presence (existence) has to have an interactive expression. Traditionally, we saw the social and power as production of political wills, when in reality it goes beyond present. Not only the powerless (including infants) are political, but even the dead and not born yet do form the universe of the social.
If we indeed believe that knowledge (ideas) is power, we have to include the political presence of the dead. It could be the obvious intellectual power of the great man, of the less visible presence of traditions. Of course, our organic bodies are also "political" bodies. Hunger or sex can't be apolitical within the political conditions -- Marx said long ago. Anything apolitical is political. But Marx out of the resistance to the idea of oppression develop his utopian thought that in some conditions the repressive nature of power could be cured, as if we create non-oppressive "SOCIAL"! The disappearance of the social in pm, is a result of "humanization" of direct powers. We move to virtual "humanity" to trick the natural tendency of power to dominate. At the end, it a transformation of energy into a different form. The two fundamental laws of social thermodynamics prohibit the disappearance of the social, even if the entropy is the ruler of the progress.
Could we get rid of our presence? -- we should ask. "A society without power relations can only be an abstraction". Foucault in his critique of Marx, is closer to essence of marxism, then marxists. We can move the state forms of power in social and further -- into cultural and even aesthetics, but they will not disappear even in paradise. The forms are always "oppressive" as long as their FORMS, an organization.
Macpherson coined the useful term "extractive power" in order to describe the capacity that some people acquire to employ or make use of the capacities of others. (Paul Patton, Foucault's Subject of Power)
We are producers of power. In the last count, we refine the power of nature into most useful form for our consumption. Nuclear bomb or reactor are extremely social (very labor intensive and expensive), because we make a use of natural powers. It's an extraction of a pre-exited power with the added human value. I see this production of new powers as the only possible reverse of the natural entropy of nature. I'm happy that Foucault depersonalizes the social power, because the individualization is only an aspect of its life. We can understand nothing about the pm social process, if we continue to use only the particle theory. We generate this anti-entropy with amazing acceleration and should be aware of it, in order not to become victims of our success.
When Foucault speaks of "a new economy of power relations," we have to understand it not as an allegory -- it is a production, distribution and consumption of power. In closer view, money, labor, and all familiar categories of economical, social and political being are those power relations. Power is always relations, interaction, struggle and has potentiality only as a stored energy. (In Patton's reading of Foucault the three axes of subjectification of this "economy", comprising relations to oneself, relations to others, and relations to forms of discourse and modes of thought which count as truth).
Do we still think that a computer is an expression "anti-humanism"? It's a concentration of labor and knowledge of humanity! Would you consider my "domination" over my pc as my asymmetrical domination over the humanity, when I possess it as MY PROPERTY? In many ways the "things" are more human than humans. At least some things over some humans. We know it when we put a value on everything in our human world. We express our anti-human attitude when we place a price tag on a piece of art and legislate the minimum wages. Never in history of morality this "humanism" was a service to one human being. Our desire to be humane to an individual, will always be limited by the drive for interests of the human race. There are limits in humanity when we have many and one. We can't value a single man unless he insists on his value, he has to enforce it on us. The value has to be established, it can't be given for free on the free market of human relations. (Interesting that the opponents of abortion advocate contraceptives! Which is another form of suppression and domination.)
Foucault is correct that power creates subjects. Interesting that the material has to have a resistance to be shaped, the resistance wait for power as potentiality.
Macpherson suggest that a man "to be fully human, must be under one's own conscious control rather than at the dictate of another". That is the reason why we do need more powers to react to this constant development of an individual. That's why we have to develop the means of prevention from this tendency. We are ready for strong individuals, the Big Brother is too weak to control great men. We can't afford "fully humans" because the system of control and domination is not in place. Perhaps with the Internet and other technologies of power we can let the one to have more say (web page), but we'll never let you to be under you own control exclusively. Freedom of personal expression in cyber space is rests on the extreme communal power. My virtual autonomy paid with the hardware of the race. Only limitations can provide the situation of freedom.
My human autonomy is produced and enforced by the outer power to the same degree as this power is a result of individuation.
Freedom is a historical, not an ontological subject. We can speak only of potentiality of freedom and humanity if we indeed believe in process. The Evolution, no matter how blind, has its purpose -- to resist the entropy of nature, including mortality. Freedom and history are from the same book, written by us. I fail to see why could Foucault's critical view of history or humanity be "pessimistic"? Did Newton's discoveries took away the wonder of universe by revealing the power of nature? Made me feel smaller? Depressed us with its universality? Why should I be upset that history is not under anybody's control? Thanks God, we arrived to the point when history has achieved its independence from us, the generators of history. Is it really bad news that the local histories came to the end? With all my appreciation for national histories, factual and mythological, I can't even consider them as a model for the present, never mind, the future. If I give the past to be there it belongs, why am I "negative"? I wonder, did we really think that we are in full control of history and humanity? What about the endless presence of religion?
What is most surprising that we lived through the last agony of modernity with the unthinkable before wars -- what other proof do we need? Of course, any human is a subject of power. Violent and non-violent, active and passive, direct and indirect -- there are more shapes of power forms than stars! The new ones are born every second, my existence with thoughts and feelings, where everything is action and nothing can't escape the existence as power, do you expect me to say? That my sense of being powerless is not an indication of my demand of power? Of course, I am an agency of power. Always!
Yes, I understand those fools who crave for happiness and harmony without realizing that it's possible only through struggle and conflict. I have my own fool, who accompanies me everywhere. But I know that he is fool and he knows that I know it. What I don't understand is why it hadn't be said that I and humanity are connected by the antagonistic relations. My harmony with a society can't be a harmony without a balance. I left Russia and Russia followed my example by leaving itself because there was no such a balance between one and many. Our war is not over, our conflict can't be resolved -- we are different! The class struggle concept was the last illusion that my conflict with life is immanent. What's wrong with the wrestling life? ... It has to an asymmetrical to extend the composition in order to be a masterpiece..... It's not a secret and it's not a conspiracy -- the control evolution, produced by the system of general compulsitory education. We teach them to read in order to prevent from thinking. "Ordinary people"? Darwin called them "trash" -- 99 out of hundrend. Maybe one in a thousand? This formation of mediocracy is more total than the one IO experienced in the Soviet Union... And again I am a part of this "normalization" of the normal people. I teach full-time since 1986. Almost twenty years. It's time to surrender...[ image ]
If you don't like the analogies from physics, use theological doctrine. God's presence is a constant dynamic redistribution of its presence.
I don't take any credits for those ideas, they belong to a teenage boy I knew who thought about the world at the time of his first encounter with it.
Re-read it, while working on "The Importance of Being Earnest" -- (A Trivial Comedy for Serious People). Who are they, those people? We, the public? Poor Oscar, who believed that socialism is the way for individualization!
[ 2006. Foucault and Beckett's Godot ]
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Film-North * Anatoly Antohin
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