Protevi on Foucault’s method 2

F’s Differential Methodology

Neolib is a novel mode of the art of governing (new mode of social power)

Needs shift in grid from war to governmentality

Preliminary distinctions of political rationality

Jurdical Sovereign

Liberal Government

Neoliberal Government

Subj of right Subj of right + management of people qua homo economicus as natural exchanger in natural market Subj of right + management of people qua homo economicus as a self-entrepreneur in artificial competitive market

“SMBD” for context of art of governing men: war model for social relations:

Nietzschean-Deleuzean in that macro-level social relations emerge from microphysics of power, integrating multiplicity of force relations. EN: P quotes D in D/R: “In this regard, four terms are synonymous: actualize, differenciate, integrate, and solve” (211).

Two questions arise:

1)    ontological status of social field as multiplicity of force relations?

2)    is war a good grid of intelligibility for social relations emerging from a multiplicity?

grid of intelligibility: statements in a particular discourse must have a truth value; must be able to be demonstrated as true or false through the grid of intelligibility (SMBD, 164)

In D&P, F used war as a grid. P quotes: “the study of this microphysics presupposes…that one should take as its model a perpetual battle rather than a contract”

But in HOS 1 (published same year “SMBD” lectures were given), war is “seen as an option for ‘coding’ the multiplicity of force relations, that is, an optional and precarious ‘strategy’ for integrating them.” Multiple codings? F says that perhaps a “multiplicity of force relations can be coded – in part but never totally – either in the form of ‘war,’ or in the form of ‘politics’: this imply two different strategies (but the one always liable to switch into the other) for integrating these unbalanced, heterogeneous, unstable, and tense force relations” (93).

Context: in ‘method’ of the dispositif of sexuality section: power’s condition of possibility must be sought in the fact that it is decentralized; “…power must be understood in the first instance as the multiplicity of force relations immanent in the sphere in which they operate and which constitute their own organization” (92).

“Multiplicity of force relations” is the grid of intelligibility for power; power is grid for social field.

War and politics as strategies for action in social field; ways for integrating mult of forces that constitute social field.

4th lecture of S,T,P (1977-78): F moves to “governmentality” is the model/grid for social relations.

Previously: multiplicity of force relations –> war model

Now: multiplicity of relations of actions –> governmentality

“The Subject and power” (1982) : power is the “action on the action of others”; “to govern…is to structure the possible filed of actions of others.”

P says that we should avoid reading F as if a concern w/ subj came to replace a concern with power…I’m hesitant about this sentence, based on my recollection of the opening page of “The subject and power” – REVISIT. He goes on to say (and I agree): in governmentality, subjectivity is the mode in which power operates, inducing us to subjectify ourselves in particular ways (as sexual subjects or self-entrepreneurs; EN: see Nealon’s Foucault beyond Foucault)

We must see governmentality as a form of power (not just a grid of intelligibility) [what, then, was the previous form of power? Discipline, emerging within, not replacing, sovereign power, I believe]. By preserving heterogeneity of relata, we avoid dialectic and recourse to ideology, which would ‘resolve’ heterogeneity or make the political a translation of the economic, respectively (this seems incredibly crucial for confronting the Harvey, Brenner, Peck, Theodore, et al group of neolib theorists…).

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