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Re: <eyebeam><blast> Cyberpower

Brian Holmes wrote:

>It involves diving into the
>mesh of collective pasts, to discover and reactivate scattered threads,
>latent historical energies, which can allow individuals to recognize
>themselves in the mirror of potentially sharable and potentially
>alternative projects. This adventure, I think, is something that
>Foucault himself turned towards at the close of his life:the attempt to
>plunge into a collective past and to replay certain fundamental
>decisions. This is of course a dangerous game, and every good
>neo-liberal will brandish the specter of identitarian fascism. Those
>whose heart and imagination goes out to the collective pasts of the
>losers, to the vanquished, and to the still unborn ideals gestating in
>whatever neighbors and friends one has been able to find, can best
>reply to this accusation by seizing the ultra-modernity of the networks 
>at the peak of their democratic potential, and calling out reasonably 
>and with passion for a new common sense that accords every cultural 
>pursuit some right to live in the city of man- and womankind. This is a 
>message we can offer through this universal network: that there is a 
>place in the world-space for all particular ideals, and not only for 
>the collectivized and standardized grasping of possessive 

We only need remember that Foucault was not appealing to or stopping at
the level of the individual, but simply tracing, mapping and diagraming
the movement of power, desire, and seduction as it operated at levels
too complex to ever be captured by an abstract theory or political
judgement. Freedom for him was the freedom to be enslaved in the way one
wants - already a paradox but one which does not fall into the
ever-waiting trap of the illusions of a transparency of intersubjective
communication found in Habermas and most of the post-Marxist lineage.
Ever attentive, Foucault also did not fall into the trap of the
structure of desire as lack and death drive but - like his friends
Deleuze and Guattari - sought to express each moment of the series that
was becoming his life without reference to "common sense" or "reason" -
to continally get free of oneself:

"Thought thinks its own history (the past), but in order to free itself
from what it thinks (the present) and be able finally to "think
otherwise" (the future)."

Deleuze "Foucault"

I see your concern, but "reasonably" and "common sense" already deny
what's outside your own assumption about what these are. I know it
sounds reasonable to let everyone do what they want but it isn't that
simple. Will that include letting those who want to stop others from
doing what they want do what they want (i.e. Hitler and Manson to use
obvious examples)? Foucault showed us one way of avoiding this impasse
by not making any prescriptions but enjoying telling stories of how we
have come to form our desires, thoughts, and judgements at any given
moment so that maybe we would get the hint that we were still doing that
now unconsciously. In the infinite regress there is always so much
assumed and so much oppressed in any statement of prescription we make.
Even if it looks liberal, collective, individual, liberatory,
multi-cultural, etc., what do we still foret, exclude, judge, deny ....

Fascism is not what opens the possibility that the actions of Hitler and
Manson may result through the natural course of things - in fact fascism
is what suppresses the lack of knee-jerk abstract judgement of these

Releasing the multiplicity of free activity whether through the events
of the thirties or the sixties or the increase of cyberspace brings out
interesting things which cannot be dealt with by "reason" or "common

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