For a long time, I have been trying to see if it would be possible to describe the history of thought as distinct both from the history of ideas (by which I mean the analysis of systems of representation) and from the history of mentalities (by which I mean the analysis of attitudes and types of action sch
The lyricism of marginality may find inspiration in the image of the “outlaw,” the great social nomad, who prowls on the confines of a docile, frightened order.
Psychoanalysis can unravel some of the forms of madness; it remains a stranger to the sovereign enterprise of unreason. It can neither limit nor transcribe, nor most certainly explain, what is essential in this enterprise.
Chance does not speak essentially through words nor can it be seen in their convolution. It is the eruption of language, its sudden appearance. It’s not a night twinkle with stars, an illuminated sleep, nor a drowsy vigil. It is the very edge of consciousness.
Topics: Chance, Luck
There are more ideas on earth than intellectuals imagine. And these ideas are more active, stronger, more resistant, more passionate than “politicians” think. We have to be there at the birth of ideas, the bursting outward of their force: not in books expressing them, but in events manifesting this force, in struggles carried on around ideas, for or against them. Ideas do not rule the world. But it is because the world has ideas… that it is not passively ruled by those who are its leaders or those who would like to teach it, once and for all, what it must think.
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.
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.
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. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not your life?
The man described for us, whom we are invited to free, is already in himself the effect of a subjection much more profound than himself. A ‘soul’ inhabits him and brings him to existence, which is itself a factor in the mastery that power exercises over the body. The soul is the effect and instrument of a political anatomy; the soul is the prison of the body.
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.
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 work of an intellectual is not to mould the political will of others; it is, through the analyses that he does in his own field, to re-examine evidence and assumptions, to shake up habitual ways of working and thinking, to dissipate conventional familiarities, to re-evaluate rules and institutions and to participate in the formation of a political will (where he has his role as citizen to play).
Topics: Intelligence, Intellectuals
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.
In its function, the power to punish is not essentially different from that of curing or educating.
Where there is power. there is resistance.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Jean-Paul Sartre French Philosopher
- Georges Bataille French Essayist, Intellectual
- Roland Barthes French Literary Theorist
- Henri Bergson French Philosopher
- Simone de Beauvoir French Philosopher
- Voltaire French Philosopher, Author
- Albert Camus Algerian-born French Philosopher
- Gaston Bachelard French Philosopher
- Pierre Teilhard de Chardin French Jesuit Scientist
- Pierre-Joseph Proudhon French Philosopher