More Foucault on Marx.

From a newly published interview in Foucault Studies:

Do you mean to ask me what the relations are that I have myself established between my work and Marxism? I would tell you that I haven’t established any. I haven’t established any relations with Marxism since it seems to me that Marxism is a reality so complex, so tangled, that is made up of so many successive historical layers, that is equally taken up by so many political strategies, not to mention by so many small group strategies, that in the end it doesn’t interest me to know what Marxism there is in my work and what my relations are to Marxism. The relations between my work and Marx are an entirely different matter. If you like I would say very crudely, to put things in a caricatural manner: I situate my work in the lineage of the second book of Capital. I would say very roughly that there is a whole tradition of analysis and reflection on Book 1 of Capital, which is to say on the commodity, on the market, on the abstraction involved in the commodity-form and the abstraction of human existence that flows from it. There is a long tradition that one finds in France in the work of Lefebvre, one could say to a certain point that Marcuse too is still situated within this current of critique. As for myself, what interests me about Marx, at least what I can say has inspired me, is Book 2 of Capital; that is to say everything that concerns the analyses of the genesis of capitalism, and not of capital, that are first of all historically concrete, and secondly the analyses of the historical conditions of the development of capitalism particularly on the side of the establishment, of the development of structures of power and of the institutions of power. So if one recalls, once more very schematically, the first book [on] the genesis of capital, the second book [on] the history, the genealogy of capitalism, I would say that it is through Book 2, and for instance in what I wrote on discipline, that my work is all the same [Page 2] intrinsically linked to what Marx writes.

The interview also has some interesting discussions on Foucault’s relationship to Kant:

If you will, what I do is always situated at the level of what we were talking about this morning, within the problem of the genesis of rationality, of idealities, within this problem which is that of phenomenology, but which is also that of Kant, which is not exactly that of Descartes precisely, which is the relationship between subject and object. Where I establish myself farthest in relation to phenomenology, it is to the extent that what what I try to do is rather the correlative constitution, throughout history, of objects and the subject. And, if you will, what appears interesting to me in this guiding line which is that of power, not at all to make of power this instance etc., … but as a grid of analysis, that is what it seems to me we can do, from this analytical grid we can at once reconstruct the way possible objects of knowledge are constituted, and on the other hand how the subject constitutes itself, that is to say, what I call subjectification [l’assujettissement], a word I know is difficult to translate to English, because it rests on a play on words, subjectification [assujettissement] in the sense of the constitution of the subject, and at the same time the way in which we impose on a subject relations of domination. that’s it, and or if you would like, to return to the Kantian model, at the point where [Page 17] Kant would say the law, I would say, what are the historical relations of domination, relations that are therefore changing, transformable, that have constituted the subject as sub- ject? That is to say, as subject for knowledge, but as subject in relation to a master, a sove- reign, an instance of whatever kind, that dominates it. That’s it. And then it is this double historicity of object and of subject that seems to me can be grasped, without too many philosophical paradoxes, starting from the moment where we take as our guideline the mechanisms of power that are developed in a society.

Read it here.

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Deep in the adjunct crackhole.
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