Wednesday, December 17, 2008

That Foucault quote

Or rather this one:
The real, corporal disciplines constituted the foundation of the formal juridical liberties. The contract may have been regarded as the ideal foundation of law and political power; panopticism constituted the techniques universally widespread, of coercion. It continued to work in depth on the juridical structures of society, in order to make effective mechanisms of power function in opposition to the formal framework that I had acquired. The ‘Enlightenment’, which discovered the liberties, also invented the disciplines.
It's powerful, interesting and expresses something very true. But I do think that is underestimating the real role of formal equality. I also don't like the separation of law and violence here - I'd want to emphasise their intimate inter-linking.

Anyway this is a placeholder more for myself than anyone, because this is something I've always meant to return to.

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