Foucault with Marx
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In Foucault with Marx, Bidet investigates Marxian and Foucauldian criticisms of capitalist modernity with unprecedented detail. For Marx, the intersection between capital and the market is crucial, and property-owners make up the true ruling class. Foucault, Bidet explains, argued that organizational elements of capital are key, and therefore managers hold the dominating power and knowledge in society. Labeling these two sides of the capitalist coin as “market” and “organization,” Bidet shows how each leads to specific forms of social conflict, and he walks the reader through the catastrophic aftereffects of both. Offering more than just a comparative theoretical analysis, Bidet unites two chief figures of critical social theory at last, and in turn, bridges the long-held separation between the old left and the new.
Comprehensive and decisive, Foucault with Marx will enliven dialogues across the political spectrum and interest anyone with a passion for intelligent, thought-provoking social philosophy.
corporal, which relates to the disciplinary ‘foundation’. Foucault seems to exaggerate things as compared with Marx. Of course the reality was that neither thinker would make this play of metaphors, the disjunctions of the formal/real and superstructure/base, as their last word. The contract may have been regarded as the ideal foundation of law and political power; panopticism constituted the technique, universally spread, of coercion. It continued to work in depth on the juridical structures of
specific, intellectual forms of knowledge and the local knowledge peculiar to the actors concerned and that arises from their particular struggles. It will be noted that in these ‘specific struggles’ ‘specific intellectuals’ take a leading role. For, in Foucault’s view, this ‘specificity’ does not mean that the search for good strategy is to take place among the diverse spontaneity of ‘exemplary struggles’. As the theoretician of a ‘history of truth’, he also emerges as the herald of a ‘politics
surplus-value.19 Let us note here that the Foucauldian problematic contains uncertainties that obscure the biopolitical question it brings to light. In the last section of History of Sexuality, ‘Right to death and power over life’, in which the term biopolitics appears for the first time, we enter into an uncertain play between biopolitics, which pertains to politics, and biopower, which pertains to power in general. Foucault underscores the correlation between the power to make live and the
and the ‘citizen’, and for which he sought a political way out by establishing an economy that would be organised among all in democratic fashion. Foucault, conversely, shows us how liberalism surmounts it through ‘indexing’ the order of right to the economic order of the market. That is precisely what he defines as the performance of ‘liberalism’, nevertheless holding in rhetorical suspense both the question of its legitimacy and that of its status in reality.24 Foucault, moreover, is in fact
First published as Le Pouvoir psychiatrique, Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2003. Security, Territory and Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977–78, ed. Michel Senellart, trans. Graham Burchell, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009. First published as Sécurité, territoire et population, Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2004. La Société punitive, Paris: Seuil/Gallimard, 2013. Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–76, trans. David Macey, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.