File nietzsche/nietzsche.0807, message 4


To: <nietzsche-AT-driftline.org>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 2008 12:31:09 -0400
Subject: [Nietzsche] Discourse of Power: "Someone to Watch Over Me."




LIBRARY OF SOCIAL SCIENCE NEWSLETTER


DISCOURSE OF POWER / FANTASY OF ONENESS

 


Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish (1977) originally was published in
France under the title Surveiller et Punir. Surveiller is not discipline,
but surveillance (French for "watching over"). One is reminded of the
Gershwin song (1926) "Someone to Watch Over Me:"

There's a somebody I'm longin' to see
I hope that he, turns out to be
Someone who'll watch over me

I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood
I know I could, always be good
To one who'll watch over me.

Foucault's theory or discourse of power is essentially a religious fantasy.
Yet what a powerful fantasy this is! When we believe that some one or thing
"up above" is watching over us, we are willing to become "docile" or
submissive in the name of this higher power.

 The Fantasy of Oneness <http://www.ideologiesofwar.com/gfx/fo_s.gif> NOW
AVAILABLE AT A SPECIAL PRICE:

THE FANTASY OF ONENESS AND THE STRUGGLE TO SEPARATE: Towards a Psychology of
Culture

FOR INFORMATION ON <https://www.ideologiesofwar.com/forms/payment/>
ORDERING CLICK HERE 

"During the past few decades, we have become increasingly aware of the
psychodynamic dimension of nations, groups and leaders through such works as
Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Wilhelm Reich's Mass
Psychology of Fascism, Ernest Becker's Escape from Evil, and most recently
Richard Koenigsberg's The Fantasy of Oneness."
      -M. D. Faber, Professor of English Literature, University of Victoria
      Author, Culture and Consciousness

According to Foucault, although a perfectly clear logic may characterize
historical power relationships-with perfectly decipherable aims and
objectives-it is nonetheless often the case that "no one was there to have
invented these aims and strategies." But of course-unless society was
created by God-some human beings did invent these aims and strategies.

In one of the earliest articulations of the idea of the
<http://www.psych-culture.com/docs/berger-social_construction.pdf> Social
Construction of Reality (1966), Berger and Luckman observe that human beings
often are capable of "forgetting their own authorship of the social world."
Culture or society or discourse confronts us seemingly as an objective
reality: something outside ourselves independent of human beings. We reify
concepts like culture, society and discourse when we bestow upon them an
"ontological status independent of human activity and signification."

Who created the symbolic order? Why have particular discourses taken hold
and become powerful dimensions of society? Why do discourses assume a
particular structure, shape or form? These are questions Koenigsberg poses
and seeks to answer.

In the New Edition of FANTASIES OF ONENESS AND THE STRUGGLE TO SEPARATE:
Toward a Psychology of Culture-just published-
Koenigsberg shows how our relationship to society is based on an inner
fantasy. Human beings invent and seek to connect to omnipotent objects that
seem to exist "out there." We project the fantasy of omnipotence onto
structures or sources of power seeking to become "at one" with them.

 The Fantasy of Oneness <http://www.ideologiesofwar.com/gfx/fo_s.gif> NOW
AVAILABLE AT A SPECIAL PRICE:

THE FANTASY OF ONENESS AND THE STRUGGLE TO SEPARATE: Towards a Psychology of
Culture

FOR INFORMATION ON <https://www.ideologiesofwar.com/forms/payment/>
ORDERING CLICK HERE

"During the past few decades, we have become increasingly aware of the
psychodynamic dimension of nations, groups and leaders through such works as
Freud's Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, Wilhelm Reich's Mass
Psychology of Fascism, Ernest Becker's Escape from Evil, and most recently
Richard Koenigsberg's The Fantasy of Oneness."
      -M. D. Faber, Professor of English Literature, University of Victoria 
      Author, Culture and Consciousness

In our desire to link-fuse ourselves-with omnipotent sources of power, our
bodies become docile. Our capacity to act-shape our own destiny-is
diminished to the extent that we imagine that we are bound to an omnipotent
will superordinate to our own being and body.

Our relationship with power evokes ambivalence. As we desire to become at
one with objects conceived to be omnipotent, simultaneously we seek to
liberate ourselves from these objects. This is what Foucault calls
resistance and Koenigsberg calls the struggle to separate.

 

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