Political Genealogy After Foucault: Savage Identities by Michael Clifford

By Michael Clifford

Combining the main strong parts of Foucault's theories, Clifford produces a strategy for cultural and political critique referred to as "political family tree" to discover the genesis of contemporary political id. on the center of yank id, Clifford argues, is definitely the right of the "Savage Noble," a hybrid that married the local American "savage" with the "civilized" eu male. This complicated icon animates sleek politics, and has formed our understandings of rights, freedom, and gear.

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These rules or conditions are not transcendental principles in the Kantian sense. “The fact of [a statement’s] belonging to a discursive formation and the laws that govern it are one and the same thing” (AK, 116). Statements do not belong—are not accepted—within any particular discourse unless they share a sameness with respect to the domain of truth which that discourse is meant to articulate. ” The rules for the formation of statements, the rules governing the “discursive practice” of their formation, are contingent upon and peculiar to the historical discursive formation in which statements are formed.

25 Rarity refers to the simple fact that, within discourse, “everything is never said” (AK, 115). In fact, everything cannot be said because every discursive formation is a “limited system” of statements that excludes, on the basis of the continuity of the formation itself, other possibilities of what may be said (thought, written down, put into practice). The internal continuity of discourse, the sameness of the statements that constitute it, is at the same time a discontinuity with respect to other discourses, and to everything that might, but does not, take the form of a statement.

The political subject is, in a sense, absent until moments of encounter and confrontation put her political status into question, to which she responds in a political way (which may range from paying taxes to voting to taking up arms). The delimitation of 22 Political Genealogy After Foucault political power, which in Western culture is a delimitation of rights, freedoms, obligations, and force, is definitive of modern political subjectivity. In this section, I want to show how this conception of political subjectivity is rooted in the discursive regularities of the Enlightenment, and how, more important, these regularities give rise to a “discourse of threat” that animates modern political subjects.

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