Foucault News

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

Gordon Hull, Foucault and Marx: on Subjectification and Exhaustion, New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science, 25 September 2017

I have been circling around the relation between Marx and Foucault for a while, and thinking in  particular about the ways that they can be viewed as productively engaged, particularly at the intersection of primitive accumulation and subjectification (e.g., herehere and here)  This of course flies in the face of Foucault’s acerbic dismissals of Marxism, as when in the early parts of Society must be Defended, he dismisses it as “totalitarian,” or in the Trombadori interviews more generally.  But there is a renaissance of interest in the topic, and there are a number of Foucault texts only now being studied in the English-speaking world that can be brought to bear on it.  Most prominent perhaps is the recently translated “Mesh of Power” lecture, where Foucault specifically credits chapters 13-15 of Capital for moving toward a non-juridical understanding of power.  As Foucault says, what Marx shows there is that “one power does not exist, but many powers” and that power is productive, not repressive:

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