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More Contemporary Political Comparisons

This reading brought a number of contemporary political issues to mind. Instead of posting on each one, I thought I would just summarize in one post and see if any spur interest.


During our class on Foucault, I briefly pondered explanations for why the Pro-Life movement argues so vehemently against abortion but not nearly as much against capital punishment. There are undoubtedly those that succeed in connecting these two causes. I feel these people are the exception, though. On a nationwide-scale, The Republican party in general/ 'Dubya' in particular, proposed a 'culture of life'. This 'culture' (for reasons unknown) really wants every baby to be born but does not mind capital punishment.

By The Way


Anyone willing to review my Term Paper? Anyone not partnered off yet? Any altruists?

Names and Names

Towards the end of the chapter "Subjection, Resistance, Resignification", Butler writes about the subversion (inversion) of pejorative terms into progressive usage. She argues that this is "a progressive usage that requires and repeats the reactionary in order to effect a subversive reterritorialization" (100). During this section of the reading, I remembered a personal experience with the muddiness of these distinctions.

Ultraconformity (3NT)

D+G's schizophrenic celebrates the desiring-machine, becoming a miraculating -or celibate - machine as opposed to a paranoic - machine. They write, "The schizophrenic deliberately seeks out the very limit of capitalism: he is its inherent tendency brought to fulfillment, its surplus product, its proletariat, and its exterminating angel" (35). Is this ultraconformity as a means of subversion (3NT) or merely the proper use of capitalism?

Mapping Competence

D+G (A Thousand Plateus) : "The map has to do with performance, whereas the tracing always involves an alleged 'competence'...schizoanalysis rejects any idea of pretraced destiny, whatever name is given to it, divine, anagogic, historical, economic, structural, hereditary, or syntagmatic" (12-13)

Foucault on Science

"the mere fact that one claimed to be speaking about [sex] from the rarefied and neutral viewpoint of a science is in itself significant. This was in fact a science made up of evasions since, given its inability or refusal to speak of sex itself, it concerned itself primarily with aberrations, perversions, exceptional oddities, pathological abatements, and morbid aggravations" (53)

Foucault and Gay Marriage

In the chapter "Domain", Foucault identifies specific measures of control that began in the eighteenth century. One such device is "a socialization of procreative behavior... a political socialization achieved through the 'responsibilization' of couples" (105). This brought to mind the "Marriage Protection Act" movement. Take this quote from the Senate Floor:

Protection of Marriage Amendment
Statement by
U.S. Sen. James M. Inhofe(R-Okla)

Foucault V. Freud

In the introduction to "An Introduction", Foucault regards Freud's contributions to our understanding of sexuality with sharp sarcasm. He writes, "Have we not liberated ourselves from those two long centuries in which the histroy of sexuality must be seen first of all as the chronicle of an increasing repression?

Revising History

I am not quite sure how to understand Baudrillard's interpretations on the failed assassination attempts on President Nixon, Ford, etc. He says, "The Kennedys were murdered because they still had a political dimension. The others, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, only had the right to phantom attempts, to simulated murders. But this aura of an artificial menace was still necessary" (19). I assume that B does not mean to imply that these assassinations were orchestrated events. B seems to treat these events as isolated from their true objective historical context.

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