Friend Enemy K

Download 83.75 Kb.
Size83.75 Kb.
1   ...   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32

Link- Morality

Day 01
(Richard, Ethics, affinity and the coming communities. B.A.Sc.(UBC), M.A.(York,Toronto), Ph.D.(SFU) Associate Professor, 2001)

Contemporary Western societies are not only societies of the tree; they are also societies of the state form. Since it is impossible to do justice to this concept here, I will restrict the discussion to the couplet war-machine/state form, and the relations of this couplet with the arborescent/rhizomatic distinction. State forms, at the highest level of generality, are apparatuses of capture that bring ‘outside’ elements ‘inside’ by connecting them up with an arborescent system. While Deleuze and Guattari do provide elements of a genealogy (1986: 424–37), they are careful to point out that the state form cannot be traced back to a point of origin. Rather, ‘there have been states always and everywhere’ (429), coexisting in relations of competition and cooperation with war-machines, forces that are exterior to the state apparatus and attempt to ‘untie the bonds’ of capture (352), to ‘destroy the State and its subjects’ (Deleuze and Parnet, 1983: 104). In terms of social and political effects, states tend to perpetuate already instantiated (arborescent) forms, while war-machines tend to destroy old forms and instantiate new ones through rhizomatic connections. 103). This is the ‘special danger’ of the war-machine: if it does not succeed in warding off the development of a state form, it must pass into the service of the state or destroy itself (104). It is here, in the form of ecstatic injunctions accompanied by somber warnings, that Deleuze and Guattari, like Foucault, present not only a ‘negative’ call to resistance, but also a consistent and ‘positive’ ethicopolitical stance. At times, they take us even further than this, advocating what Keith Ansell-Pearson has called ‘novel images of positive social relations’ (Ansell-Pearson, 1998: 410). Thus Deleuze: ‘We have no need to totalize that which is invariably totalized on the side of [dead] power; if we were to move in this direction, it would mean restoring the representative forms of centralism and a hierarchical structure. We must set up lateral affiliations and an entire system of networks and popular bases’ (Foucault, 1996: 78). This system of networks and popular bases, organized along rhizomatic lines and actively warding off the development of arborescent structures, would provide bases for social forces that neither ask for gifts from the state (as in the liberal-democratic new social movements) nor seek state power themselves (as in classical Marxism). Unlike the molar forms of social transformation, these molecular movements would resist the will to domination in Foucault’s sense, in favour of affinity; that is, they would take up ethico-political positions but refuse to try coercively to generalize these positions by making moral, ontological, or other foundational claims.
Huijer 99 (Mark, The aesthetics of existence in the work of Michel Foucault. Centre for Gender and Diversity, University of Maastricht Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, 1999)

It would have been only logical to round off this ’political technology of the body’ with the ’death of man’ or the ’death of the body’. Because no matter how much insight Foucault’s analysis might provide into the disciplining forces that are operative in Western societies, the individual with his docile body, as it came to the fore in Surveiller et punir, has just as negligible a right to exist as the ’man’ from Les mots et les choses. But perhaps, as Franqois Ewald proposed, we should conceive of Foucault’s genealogical analysis as a genealogical critique, as a weapon against that power that divests it of all its masks and takes it to pieces (Ewald, 1975: 1235). For Foucault, this experience is not a case of being-subjected-to something or someone, nor is it a case of being-linked-to one’s own identity, it is an experience that comes into being in an interplay of truths and power relations. In these games of truth and power relations, the human being constitutes a relationship to himself (experiences himself) through a certain link to ’truth’. This last thought movement makes the declaration of the death of ’man’ superfluous: ’man’ can be perceived as one of the figures in a multifarious series of subjectivities. A bit more than a decade later, Foucault referred to his philosophical statement in Les mots et les choses that ’man’ had all but perished as a mistake. Instead of stating that ’man’ or ’the subject’ was dead, what he wanted to say was ’that in the course of history, human beings have never ceased to construct themselves, in other words to perpetually alter the level of their subjectivity and constitute themselves in a manifold and infinite series of differing subjectivities that will never reach a final point and will never position us eye to eye with man’ (Foucault, 1980a, DE IV: 75). The aesthetics of existence is a stylization of the relation to oneself, existing side by side with other formations. It is not a prescription or an ideal to be strived for by everyone. According to Foucault, ’ The search for a form of morality acceptable for everyone - in the sense that everyone would have to submit to it - seems catastrophic to me’ (Foucault, 1984j, DE IV: 706)

Download 83.75 Kb.

Share with your friends:
1   ...   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page