Foucault is Dead… is dead

Went to check it out yesterday, and I get this page that says Foucault is Dead has been deleted. Does anyone know what is going on here?


I read over at Leftist Looney Lunch that Foucault is Dead went out with an Irigaraian bang at Thinking Girl. I spent part of last night and part of this morning reading the comments at the Thinking Girl piece (written, actually, by a guest-writer). I’m not very satisfied with how Foucault is Dead, in a last-minute turn of apparent disgust, up and left the blog and the blog-o-sphere. Equally, I am sad that it all happened at all, but am interested in sifting through the wreckage of that conversation for some gems.

In particular, I want to return sometime in the next few days to the kind of revolution that Foucault is Dead was invoking. I’m talking about revolution broadly conceived. As the issue became stated more clearly– the impracticality of Foucault is Dead’s advice is first-rate evidence of why it should not be heeded– the logic used to condemn him became more circular– as if to circle an object-cause of desire, never straying too close nor too far. To this end, I think that FiD was on to something when he said towards the end of his exchange:

Is it, perhaps, that my emphasis on individual action and responsibility frightens you a little, because it may mean giving-up participation in a patriarchal family or relationship situation of your own?

By this, I take FiD to be taking up, in this feminist context, the issue of impossibility I brought up before at Rough Theory and before in my own post on Repeating Lenin. The issue is whether the apparent impracticality of revolutionary action should be taken more seriously than the aims of that action itself. I have to admit, I was very sympathetic to FiD in the comments, though particularly when he took to task to point out where real (revolutionary) action is to be fouhnd and where its ideological, fantasmatic inhibitors are to be avoided.

7 thoughts on “Foucault is Dead… is dead

  1. I agree with DD in the limited readings I’ve had of his thoughts.

    Non-participation might work in a broader political scheme, but I really think that it’s as it appears in the context of a debate: petty, stupid, and accomplishing nothing.

    The Daoist in me retorts, “Why does it matter if he wishes to be petty? His mind-heart seeks whatever is best for his own, unforeseen completion.”

    Thus, I think the debate is a grain of sand. He might give up, but I doubt he has given in. The demand for digging is stronger than the guiding notion that you haven’t the foggiest where the tunnel shall end, if at all.

  2. Donna,

    FiD is speaking from a privileged position only if you assume that the privilege in question is to question, to dabble. He doesn’t state it in such bold terms, but my point in my follow-up posting is that so-called privilege is a block to anything happening. The real privilege is probably at the hands of those being oppressed, who have nothing to lose but their oppression. What I think FiD got right is that something direct and brutal is more like the revolutionary gesture that’s going to change things than the gradualism of chipping away at male privilege while it re-forms itself.

    What I don’t get is why time is better spent accomodating Patriarchy and not rejecting its terms as those of the Revolution. In other words, male power is not going to unassume itself unless it does so directly and without mediation. The procedure may have the appearance of gradualism, but only because its effect is immediate and leaves no room for recourse. It makes no sense to go about it any other way, unless the real motive is to have the appearance of change while the core assumptions and privileges (for men) of Patriarchy persist.

  3. Just from his tone towards women and men in that thread, I doubt his intentions. And his arguments are completely impractical. Better to listen to grassroots activists on the ground.

  4. The reason my blog was deleted was because I had recently changed its format and had put up a prominent photograph of myself. Unfortunately, this exposed me to the darker elements of Scottish nationalism which I had always opposed in my blog, aligning them with the Far Right. After an incident which left me shaken and really rather concerned about the personal safety of my family and friends, most of whom have nothing to do with my political activities, my gut instinct told me to remove the blog with immediate effect.

    The idea that I would delete six months work over a dispute on another person’s blog (particuarly when my attackers had lost all credibility) is laughable.

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