File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_1998/foucault.9806, message 22

Date: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 12:22:36 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: RE: The power of one

On Sun, 24 May 1998, Mark Jensen wrote:

> I believe that there is 
> some sort of initiation of the dsiciplinary machinery each time a subject is 
> introduced to the 'machinery.'  For example (and I do like practical 
> examples), when a prisoner is introduced into the prison, or a student into 
> a classroom, or an initiate into a monestary, there has to be some sort of 
> reaquaintance with 'sovereign power' (see below here), a reminder, even 
> though the subject has internalized much of the disciplinary mechnaisms, 
> e.g. surveillance.  This reaquaintance would not have to be something as 
> explicit as "Do this and I will punish you." It exists within the syllbus of 
> the course you are teaching, it exists in the presence of the gun on the 
> guard's waist as the prisoner walks in the prison door, etc.

Two things come to mind here:  first, God and Judaeo-Christian morality.
For a long time, one entered into the world and had the guard tower, so to
speak, pointed out to one:  "Sin, and God shall smite thee."  In that
case, there never was anyone in the guard tower (apologies to theists:),
and by now most people either assume that there is no guard or only think
about the guard, in a very ~UFHHk


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