Log in

No account? Create an account
De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
No Need To Shout
2 comments or Leave a comment
slanderous From: slanderous Date: March 10th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Ugh, this seems like a real misreading of Foucault's body of work and academics who find him useful, and reminds me why I can't stand self-congratulatory whiteboy anarchists. "It's the big stick, stupid!"

It's not as if the Muslim academic who's writing about rendition and deportation (like my colleague) isn't aware of big sticks when he draws upon Foucault's lectures on security and race war. This excerpt also seems to deliberately misrecognize that a good number of critical race/feminist academics, for instance, might find notions of biopolitics and governmentality useful in considering histories of medicine and its scientific "objects" (e.g., gynecology's foundation upon enslaved women's bodies) or social work projects of uplift and empowerment aimed at "problem" populations of the poor, the immigrant, et cetera. These forms committed violence, too. It seems so "New Left" to insist that it only looks like a big stick.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: March 10th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Thanks for commenting! I agree that it's a misreading of Foucault, as well as the way he's used by progressive intellectuals of the sort that you are thinking about. There are aspects of this sort of critique of academic work that appeal to me, I freely admit. And there are things about Graeber's book that I really like. This particular passage is a cheap shot, however, which explains my subject header.
2 comments or Leave a comment