Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

The myth of the Russian paternalism: how have market reforms changed the “Soviet person?” Realnoe Vremya, 21.03.2017

Philosopher and sociologist Gregory Yudin delivered a lecture on ”The myth of the Russian paternalism: how have market reforms changed the ”Soviet person?” at the contemporary culture center Smena on 11 March. In his speech, the scientist told about the phenomenon of the ”Soviet person” and why the states by choosing modernisation still move each in its own way. Realnoe Vremya publishes the transcript of the lecture of Grigory Yudin, Candidate of Philosophy Sciences, senior researcher of the laboratory for economic sociology studies of the Higher School of Economics, and Professor of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences.

[…]

There is also a number of basic assumptions regarding the nature of modern societies. In the first place, here I will rely upon the work of French political philosopher and philosophical anthropologist Michel Foucault. From what does Foucault proceed? From that power in modern societies have economic nature. What does it mean? This means that in normal cases, modern cases, policy field is almost completely replaced by economics field. People have little interest in political life in its original sense — in somehow organizing an argument, a discussion or joint action on how to live further. They are rather more interested in economic issues, profits, maximizing their own success and they are willing to transfer authority to the one who most effectively maximizes economic welfare.

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