The Genesis of Foucault’s Genealogy of Racism: Accumulating Men and Managing Illegalisms

  • Alex Feldman
Keywords: Foucault, racism, race, Marx, illegalism, capital

Abstract

Foucault’s contribution to the critical theorization of race and racism has been much debated. Most commentators, however, have focused on his most direct remarks on the topic, which are found in the first volume of the History of Sexuality and in the lecture course “Society Must Be Defended.” This paper argues that those remarks should be reread in light of certain moves Foucault makes in earlier lecture courses, especially The Punitive Society and Psychiatric Power. Although the earlier courses do not always explicitly address the theme of race, the concepts of the “accumulation of men” and the differential “management of illegalisms” developed in them immensely enrich Foucault’s outline of a genealogy of racism. They also permit a clarification of the problem to which the concept of “state racism” is an answer, and they provide the key for understanding the wider social conditions of state racism. The guiding thread linking these earlier courses to the later material is the problem of a genealogy of logics of enmity. At the same time, the earlier courses make explicit the link between these logics and the development of capitalist society.

Author Biography

Alex Feldman
Alex J. Feldman, PhDDepartment of PhilosophyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvania, USAajf251@psu.edu 

References

Alves da Fonseca, Marcio, Michel Foucault et le Droit. Paris: Editions L’Harmattan, 2014.

Balibar, Etienne, “Appareil,” in Dictionnaire critique du marxisme, ed. Gérard Bensussan and Georges Labica, 47–54. Paris: PUF, 1999.

Baptist, Edward, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. New York, NY: Basic Books, 2014.

Bernasconi, Robert, “The Policing of Race Mixing: The Place of Biopower within the History of Racisms,” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7.2 (2010), 205–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-010-9224-8

Brossat, Alain, “Le peuple, la plèbe et la pègre,” Lignes 21.1 (1994), 35-44. https://doi.org/10.3917/lignes0.021.0035

Castro-Gómez, Santiago, “Michel foucault y la colonialidad del poder,” Tabula Rasa 6 (2007), 153–72. https://doi.org/10.25058/20112742.290

Charbit, Yves, Economic, Social and Demographic Thought in the XIXth Century: The Population Debate from Malthus to Marx. New York, NY: Springer, 2009. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-9960-1

Davidson, Arnold Ira, “Ethics as Ascetics: Foucault, the History of Ethics, and Ancient Thought,” in The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, ed. Gary Gutting, 2nd ed., 123–48. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Foucault, Michel, Abnormal: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1974-1975, ed. Valerio Marchetti, Antonella Salomoni, and Arnold Ira Davidson. New York, NY: Picador, 2003.

Foucault, Michel, “Alternatives à la prison: Diffusion ou décroissance du contrôle social?” [1976], Criminologie 26.1 (1993): 13–34. https://doi.org/10.7202/017328ar

Foucault, Michel, “Alternatives to the Prison: Dissemination or Decline of Social Control?” [1976], Theory, Culture & Society 26.6 (2009): 12–24. https://doi.org/10.1177/0263276409353775.

Foucault, Michel, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison [1975]. New York: Vintage Books, 1995.

Foucault, Michel, Dits et écrits. 1954-1988, ed. Daniel Defert, François Ewald, and Jacques Lagrange. 2 vols. Paris: “Quarto” Gallimard, 2001.

Foucault, Michel, “Il faut défendre la société”: cours au Collège de France, 1975-1976, ed. Mauro Bertani and Allesandro Fontana. Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 1997.

Foucault, Michel, La société punitive: cours au Collège de France, 1972-1973, ed. François Ewald. Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2013.

Foucault, Michel, La volonté de savoir. Paris: Gallimard, 1976.

Foucault, Michel, Le pouvoir psychiatrique: cours au Collège de France, 1973-1974, ed. Jacques Lagrange and François Ewald. Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2003.

Foucault, Michel, Les mots et les choses: une archéologie des sciences humaines. Paris: Gallimard, 1966.

Foucault, Michel, Psychiatric Power: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1973-74, ed. Jacques Lagrange. New York, NY: Picador, 2008.

Foucault, Michel, Sécurité, territoire, population: cours au Collège de France, 1977-1978, ed. Michel Senellart and François Ewald. Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2004.

Foucault, Michel, Security, territory, population: lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-1978, ed. Michel Senellart and François Ewald. New York: Picador/Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

Foucault, Michel, “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-76, ed. Mauro Bertani and Alessandro Fontana. New York: Picador, 2003.

Foucault, Michel, Surveiller et punir: naissance de la prison [1975]. Paris: Gallimard/Tel, 1993.

Foucault, Michel, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1: An Introduction [1976]. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.

Foucault, Michel, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences [1966]. New York NY: Vintage Books, 1994.

Foucault, Michel, Théories et institutions pénales: cours au Collège de France, 1971-1972, ed. François Ewald, Alessandro Fontana, and Bernard E. Harcourt. Paris: Gallimard/Seuil, 2015.

Foucault, Michel, The Punitive Society: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1972-1973, ed. Bernard E. Harcourt and Alessandro Fontana. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.

Foucault, Michel, and Pierre Vidal-Naquet, “Enquête sur les prisons: brisons les barreaux du silence,” in Dits et écrits. 1954-1975, ed. Daniel Defert, François Ewald, and Jacques Lagrange, 1:1044–50. Paris: “Quarto” Gallimard, 2001.

Goldberg, David Theo, Racist Culture: Philosophy and the Politics of Meaning. Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.

Goldberg, David Theo, The Racial State. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2002.

Irrera, Orazio, “Racisme et colonialisme chez Michel Foucault,” Rue Descartes (blog), 2015. http://www.ruedescartes.org/recherches-en-cours/racisme-et-colonialisme-chez-michel-foucault/

James, C. L. R., The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution [1938]. New York: Vintage Books, 1989.

Jessop, Bob, “From Micro-Powers to Governmentality: Foucault’s Work on Statehood, State Formation, Statecraft and State Power,” Political Geography 26.1 (2007), 34–40. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2006.08.002

Lascoumes, Pierre, “L’illégalisme, outil d’analyse,” Sociétés et représentations 3 (1996), 78–84. https://doi.org/10.3917/sr.003.0078

Legrand, Stéphane, “Le marxisme oublié de Foucault,” Actuel Marx 36.2 (2004), 27-43. https://doi.org/10.3917/amx.036.0027

Legrand, Stéphane, Les normes chez Foucault. Paris: PUF, 2007.

Mader, Mary Beth, “Foucault’s ‘Metabody,’” Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7.2 (2010), 187–203. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-010-9237-3

Mader, Mary Beth, “Modern Living and Vital Race: Foucault and the Science of Life,” Foucault Studies 12 (2011), 97-112. https://doi.org/10.22439/fs.v0i12.3336

Marx, Karl, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, ed. Ernest Mandel. London and New York, NY: Penguin Classics and New Left Review, 1990.

Marx, Karl, “Results of the Immediate Process of Production,” in Capital: A Critique of Political Economy, ed. by Ernest Mandel, 948–1084. London and New York, NY: Penguin Classics and New Left Review, 1990.

Robinson, Cedric J., Black Marxism: The Making of the Black Radical Tradition. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000.

Roediger, David R., and Elizabeth Esch, “‘One Symptom of Originality’: Race and the Management of Labor in U.S. History,” in David Roediger, Class, Race, and Marxism, 115–56. London and New York, NY: Verso, 2017.

Rosenthal, C. C., “From Memory to Mastery: Accounting for Control in America, 1750-1880,” Enterprise and Society 14.4 (2013), 732–48. https://doi.org/10.1093/es/kht086

Rousseau, Jean-Jacques, Basic Political Writings, ed. Donald A. Cress, 2nd ed. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 2011.

Said, Edward W., Beginnings: Intention and Method. New York: Basic Books, 1975.

Said, Edward W., Reflections on Exile and Other Essays. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

Senellart, Michel, “Le cachalot et l’écrevisse. Réflexions sur la rédaction des cours au Collège de France,” Cahiers de l’Herne 95 (2011), 147–55.

Stoler, Ann Laura, Race and the Education of Desire: Foucault’s History of Sexuality and the Colonial Order of Things. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1995.

Young, Robert, “Foucault on Race and Colonialism,” New Formation 25 (1995), 57–65.

Published
2018-10-22