…recently released a metal version of the Genesis classic “Land of Confusion,” which is a nice segway into this quick post on Foucault.
Here an excerpt from an interview with Foucault in which he comments on history and the value of the dialectic. Please note the logically completely nonsensical nature of his remarks, especially in light of previous posts on history:
“History has no ‘meaning,’ though this is not to say that it is absurd or incoherent. On the contrary, it is intelligible and should be susceptible to analysis down to the smallest detail–but this in accordance with the intelligibility of struggles, of strategies and tactics. Neither the dialectic, as logic of contradictions, nor semiotics, as the structure of communication, can account for the intrinsic intelligibility of conflicts. “Dialectic” is a way of evading the always open and hazardous reality of conflict by reducing it to a Hegelian skeleton, and “semiology” is a way of avoiding its violent, bloody and lethal character by reducing it to the calm Platonic form of language and dialogue.”
So: a) congratulations, Monsieur Foucault, on the strategy to refute the dialectic by claiming that it does the opposite of what it in fact does without providing even the smalles shred of logical evidence (gutsy!) and b) good job dissing semiology (which is generally fine by me) while ignoring that your idea of discursive power has led to the same thing you are criticizing, namely ideas such as “deliberative democracy”–thanks Habermas, Behabib et al.
This is the world we live in and there are the theorists we’re given???
Land of confusion indeed.
P.S.: should I be too busy to post in the morning I will count this as the post for day 21 (not that anyone cares, but it might make me feel better).
P.P.S.: picture above is “Monument to Confusion”
P.P.P.S.: “I was of three minds;//Like a tree//in which there are three blackbirds.”
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