File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2000/foucault.0006, message 10


Date: Sun, 04 Jun 2000 10:20:50 -0500
Subject: Re: Ever-Present Resistance and Cryptonormativity


Asher,

Consider first that Foucault can assume there is resistance in part
because of how he *defines* power -  something along the lines of a
force that cannot be owned but can be used, a force that, like magnetism,
appears only in interaction. To excercise power there must be something
on the other side - someone to wield power over. Whoever has the better
tools will define the interaction to a larger extent, but it is always a 
work in
progress in which the "subjugated" is a participant, not simply a passive
recipient.

Consider then how to define resistance - it is not necessarily a focused
and conscious effort to change power from one thing to another, but rather
all the ways in which the acted upon receive and interpret and interact with
the power wielded over them.

Resistance occurs naturally and inevitably because power is interactive and
its meaning created intersubjectively, every thing that power is used on will
respond differently to some extent and thereby change the power itself.  The
constant change means that power, by definition, cannot be absolute and
constant ...

Foucault seems, to me, to be attempting a poetic description of power,
knowledge and resistance as dynamic forces constantly in flux,
constantly turning into something else, affecting everything it comes into
contact with but also being affected by it. I don't believe, as someone
said (if I understood it correctly), that this is a historically situated
description - I think Foucault actually intended this as a description
of the process itself - a process that will create different constellations
of the forces at different points in history.


Regards,
Pia 


   

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