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Foucault Question

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Actually its two questions that i could not find in past foucault threads. 1. As far as looking for specific foucault links for national service what books/articles should i begin to look at. 2. I touched on this in another thread but, what book/article should i look for some IL work on a DADT aff for nationcal service (Ive found some shoddy links talking about silence of individuals, autonomy sp., and the miltary in general. I would like to have a solid IL or two but i really dont know where else to start.

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for some links to the military establishment and how it has been utilized for expansion of knowledge based on observation of the body and some specific implications and alternatives, you can look at several sections (including Body/Power) in Power/Knowledge by Foucault. You can also look in Discipline and Punish for more links along the same lines, but more focused on the body in the military/prison. Some of these same sections though can be found in the Foucault reader. Power/Knowledge is also helpful for the sexuality debates, but you may want to look into some secondary sources as well. Towards a Gay Hagiography by Halperin is a good book for queer theory and sexuality (you can also look at my old post in the K List thread which has an explanation of the Halperin stuff), but I think leans more towards a criticism of the DADT case you would probably run. Just some suggestions.

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foucault often used the term 'barracks' in his work (discipline & punish, history of sexuality volume 1) as a military site of disciplinary power (in the same way 'school' is a term for an educational site).

 

what ultimately matters is the working template being shared among all these institutions, what foucault refers to as a 'panoptic schema' -- the techniques and discourses which make disciplining bodies possible. a mass of individuals enters here and a productive work-force exits there. they respond to signals on command. they measure their achievement. they worry about what goes on their 'permanent records'. they're separated into novices and seniors, and ranked by their performance capacity, or they're discharged as 'bad seeds'. it doesn't make much difference if there is someone observing the prisoners, the workers, the students, the soldiers, and so forth, from the panoptic tower (or someone reviewing the security cameras, to update the example), because all the colonized already act *as if* they're being watched; they've become self-supervising, they're preemptively neurotic [1], they've internalized the panoptic gaze down to the most trivial aspects of their daily lives - now, that's discipline (as opposed to mere coercion).

 

note too that this isn't about whether you're pro- or anti-military. what's being discussed is the militarization of all the social registers: barracks resemble aslyums which resemble skools which resemble prisons and so forth. [2] and this is how you get to 'national service' from the practices and mechanisms mentioned above; since plan further blurs the line between military personnel and civilians, it spreads everyday panopticisms throughout the populace, demonstrating how deep we are in an age of biopolitical control, or 'the administered life' (to use adorno's term).

 

'national service' is a phrase for the physical transformation of a multitude into barrack upon barrack (and skoolroom upon skoolroom) of uniform(ed) soldiers.

 

[1] this draws on deleuze and guattari's anti-oedipus, a book that had a big impact on foucault's writing of discipline and punish (in fact, i think it's the first or second footnote).

 

[2] e.g., in power/knowledge, foucault speculates on the proliferation of war metaphors today in everything from policy analysis to colloquialism - which can function as an interesting double-turn, if the team running this foucauldian kritik accuses their opponents of being 'moving targets' or 'invading' their 'ground'.

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Here's what activist-debaters should worry about: all structures of confinement are growing together and reinforcing one another. Skools are prisons, prisons are work-places, work-places are families, and families are skools - because all are operating with the help of a panoptic schema: 'Big Brother is watching you'. The professional classes, trained in modern universities, are being called up to fulfill the function of the police, whether their specific role is that of a parent, a teacher, a boss, or a shrink; and really, is the difference between those roles all that significant anymore? What does it say that even teachers who've read Foucault must often capitulate to doing the job of a correctional officer? From your beloved NSA reading your e-mails and screening your telephone calls to your mom searching your room for porn to your shrink looking for 'past childhood trauma', the modern world abounds with ordinary agents of surviellance.

 

- http://www.ndtceda.com/archives/200206/0270.html

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when i re-did the foucalut file for the team i coached, i focused on the educational aspect as well as the military.

 

i know i am chiming in a bit late, but education is a perfect panopticon. i think it might work well for next year

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How does the educational aspect apply to national service? Or is something just flying straight over my head?

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i have a question as well, more directed to kelcey and/or thescu.

 

are each of foucault's methods in his triad of power necessarilly dependent on each other? it seems to me that there is no way that any one could exist independent of another.

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I would like to pick up where Kevin Sanchez leaves off: the really pressing issue broached by this topic is the development of a control society, where coercion becomes located at multiple or infinite sites and even internalized in the subject. This confronts debaters with a choice: to offer very much the same story that is offered in almost all Foucault criticisms (boring, if effective), or to work harder and craft a narrative that accurately reflects conditions. The latter approach requires wider reading, into Foucault's later work about subjectivity and into interviews where he theorizes the control society.

 

This approach, I believe, can foster genuine reflection about the way "the topic" is the near future of every debater: it is the post-high school or post-college choice that every debater will have to make, to become an agent of power, to decline, to move for change, to die in a ditch. Understanding the significance of Foucault's work for our own life can make that decision better-informed.

 

i have a question as well, more directed to kelcey and/or thescu.

 

are each of foucault's methods in his triad of power necessarilly dependent on each other? it seems to me that there is no way that any one could exist independent of another.

 

Deleuze a very nice short piece about Foucault's method that I will scan for you tomorrow.

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How does the educational aspect apply to national service? Or is something just flying straight over my head?

its education in the sense of discourse (at least thats what i meant). a certain "truth" is spread by particular agents and they are meant (most of the time) to overcode the "truths" of the individual they have been imposed upon. this is a form of normalization. the discourse of a certain establishment or institution can act as this form of "truth", or 'knowledge', or education. it could also mean education in the more literal sense of learn and serve america though probably.

 

on the deleuze issue: deleuze is the first thing that came to mind when re-reading this thread and specific discussion of control societies. deleuze has a chapter of the book Negotiations which discusses control societies and the shift from 'biopolitics' and geopolitics and into control. there is also some stuff about this in the book Two Regimes of Madness by deleuze; he discusses foucault and the transition to control societies, but i dont remember the specific chapter.

 

on camleish's question: not sure what is involved in the triad of of power. if you put it out in easy terms id understand i may be able to help out, but as of now im not sure. haha. its probably really simple but i cant really think well at the moment.

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I'm pretty sure that Cameron is referring to Juridical, Disciplinary, and Bio-powers.

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