File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2004/foucault.0410, message 11

Date: Thu, 07 Oct 2004 16:06:16 +0100
Subject: Re: diplamatico-military techniques (birth of governmentality)

having done some research on this; and having been helped in this by  
Xavier Delcourt, i think i now have the gist of foucault argument.  
Foucault made the argument in the lecture of 22 March, 1978; and I think  
it goes something like this:

Following the "Treaty of Westphalia," there emerged a 'new governmental  
rationality,' which had as its target not only the preservation of the  
state, but also the preservation of the relations of force between states  
(Germany, France, Sweden, Austria, etc.): i.e to maintain a European  
equilibrium (l' equilibre de l''Europe).

Thus, this new governmental rationality invented two political  
technologies or mechanisms of security (mecanisme de securite): on the one  
hand, a police apparatus (le dispositif de la police) to secure the  
preservation of the state; on the other hand, a diplomatico-military  
apparatus (un dispositif diplomatico-militaire) to secure the balance of  
power between states.

it was the later that interested me in the question that i posed, and so  
it is that that i will somewhat schematically outline below.

according to foucault, this diplomatico-military apparatus 'consists in  
ensuring and developing the forces of a state through a system of  
alliances, and the organizing of an armed apparatus. The search for a  
European a consequence of this political technology.'

it has both an objective and an instrument:

the objectives:
1. there emerges a new idea of Europe - no longer the universality of  
Christendom, but the plurality of separate states.
2. no state can dictate its laws to other states.
3. no state should be so powerful as to not be threatened by the greater  
power of the alliance of other states (que la puissance prépondérante d'un  
ou plusieurs pays soit égale à la puissance réunie des autres).
4. a desire for universal peace.

the instruments:
1. the first instrument is war (c'est la guerre); but only insofar as war  
is waged to maintain balance and peace.
2. the diplomatic instrument (c'est l'instrument diplomatique).
3. a permanent army: a. professionalisation (une professionnalisation de  
l'homme de guerre, la constitution d'une carriere des armes); b. a  
standing army and conscription in times of war (une structure armée  
permanente, susceptible de servir de cadre a des recrutements  
exceptionnels en temps de guerre); c. logistics (un equipement de  
forteresses et de transports); and d. strategy and tactics (un savoir, une  
reflexion tactique, des types de manceuvre, des schemas d' attaque et de  
defense, bref toute une reflexion propre et autonome sur la chose  
militaire et les guerres possibles).

foucault concludes the lecture, or at least that part that deals with the  
above, by once again citing clausewitz's (in)famous dictum that "war is  
the continuation of policy by other means" (que la guerre, c'est la  
politique continuee).

hope this rather breif and schematics overview makes sense.


Kevin Turner
Deptment of Sociology
County South
Lancaster University

(01524) 594508


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