There are forms of oppression and domination which become invisible - the new normal.
For the bourgeoisie, the main danger against which it had to be protected, that which had to be avoided at all costs, was armed uprising, was the armed people, was the workers taking to the streets in an assault against the government.
Penal law was not created by the common people, nor by the peasantry, nor by the proletariat, but entirely by the bourgeoisie as an important tactical weapon in this system of divisions which they wished to introduce.
The history of thought, of knowledge, of philosophy, of literature seems to be seeking, and discovering, more and more discontinuities, whereas history itself appears to be abandoning the irruption of events in favor of stable structures.
Knowledge doesn't really form part of human nature. Conflict, combat, the outcome of the combat, and, consequently, risk and chance are what gives rise to knowledge. Knowledge is not instinctive; it is counter instinctive, just as it is not natural but counter natural.
Justice must always question itself, just as society can exist only by means of the work it does on itself and on its institutions.
The frontiers of a book are never clear-cut: beyond the title, the first lines, and the last full stop, beyond its internal configuration and its autonomous form, it is caught up in a system of references to other books, other texts, other sentences: it is a node within a network.
This non-proletarianised plebs has been racialist when it has been colonialist; it has been nationalist - chauvinist - when it has been armed; and it has been fascist when it has become the police force.These ideological effects on the plebs have been uncontestable and profound.
The strategic adversary is fascism... the fascism in us all, in our heads and in our everyday behavior, the fascism that causes us to love power, to desire the very thing that dominates and exploits us.
In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.
My hypothesis is not so much that the court is the natural expression of popular justice, but rather that its historical function is to ensnare it, to control it and strangle it, by re-inscribing it within institutions which are typical of a state apparatus.
If repression has indeed been the fundamental link between power, knowledge, and sexuality since the classical age, it stands to reason that we will not be able to free ourselves from it except at a considerable cost.
The book is not simply the object that one holds in one's hands, and it cannot remain within the little parallelpiped that contains it: its unity is variable and relative. As soon as one questions that unity, it loses its self-evidence; it indicates itself, constructs itself, only on the basis of a complex field of discourse.
Freedom of conscience entails more dangers than authority and despotism.
Prison is a recruitment center for the army of crime. That is what it achieves.
What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life.
The problem of Islam as a political force is an essential one for our time and for the years to come, and we cannot approach it with a modicum of intelligence if we start out from a position of hatred.
Prison continues, on those who are entrusted to it, a work begun elsewhere, which the whole of society pursues on each individual through innumerable mechanisms of discipline.
As the archeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.
In political and social analysis, we still have not cut off the head of the king.
We are in the society of the teacher-judge, the doctor-judge, the educator-judge, the 'social-worker'-judge; it is on them that the universal reign of the normative is based; and each individual, wherever he may find himself, subjects to it his body, his gestures, his behavior, his aptitudes, his achievements.
Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society.
Discipline may be identified neither with an institution nor with an apparatus; it is a type of power, a modality for its exercise, comprising a whole set of instruments, techniques, procedures, levels of application, targets; it is a 'physics' or 'anatomy' of power, a technology.
Madness is the absolute break with the work of art; it forms the constitutive moment of abolition, which dissolves in time the truth of the work of art.
It is often said that definitions of Islamic government are imprecise. To me, however, they seemed to have a clarity that was completely familiar and also, it must be said, far from reassuring.