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The Mesh of Power Michel Foucault

We will attempt to proceed towards an analysis of the concept of power.1 I am not the first, far from it, to attempt to skirt around the Freudian schema that pits instinct against suppression [r pression!, instinct against culture." Many decades ago, an entire school of psychoanalysts tried to modify and de#elop this Freudian schema of instinct #ersus culture, and of instinct #ersus suppression $ I am referring to psychoanalysts in the %nglish as well as the French language, like Melanie &lein, Winnicott, and 'acan, who ha#e tried to show that suppression, far from (eing a secondary, ulterior, or later mechanism, which would attempt to control a gi#en or natural play of instinct, constitutes a part of the mechanism of instinct, or, more or less, of the process through which the se)ual instinct [l*instinct se)uel! is de#eloped, unfolded and constituted as dri#e [pulsion!. The Freudian concept of Trie(+ need not (e interpreted as a simple natural gi#en, a natural (iological mechanism upon which suppression would come to posit its law of prohi(ition, (ut rather, according to the psychoanalysts, as something which is already profoundly penetrated (y suppression. ,eed, castration, lack, prohi(ition and the law are already elements through which desire has (een constituted as se)ual desire, and this implies a transformation of the original notion of se)ual instinct, such as Freud had concei#ed of it at the end of the 1-th century. It is then necessary to think instinct not as a natural gi#en, (ut as already a de#elopment, as already (eing a comple) play (etween the (ody and the law, (etween the (ody and the cultural mechanisms that assure the control of persons. I therefore (elie#e that the psychoanalysts ha#e considera(ly displaced the point in .uestion, (y (ringing to light a new idea of instinct, or, in any case, a new conception of instinct, dri#e and desire. ,e#ertheless, what trou(les me, or at least what seems insufficient to me, is that, in this re#ision proposed (y psychoanalysts, they ha#e perhaps altered the concept of desire, (ut they ha#e in no way altered our concept of power. In their work, they still continue to regard the signified of power, the central point, that in which power consists, as prohi(ition, law, the act of saying no, and a(o#e all, the figure or e)pression/ 01ou must not.2 Power is essentially those who say, 01ou must not.2 It appears to me that this is a totally insufficient conceptuali3ation $ and I will speak a(out this later $ a 4uridical idea, a formal idea of power, and it is necessary to ela(orate a different idea of power that will, no dou(t, permit us to (etter understand the relations esta(lished (etween power and se)uality in our Western societies. I am going to attempt to de#elop $ or (etter, indicate the direction in which we will (e a(le to de#elop $ an analysis of power that would not simply (e a negati#e, 4uridical idea of power, (ut rather, the idea of a technology of power.

We fre.uently find among the psychoanalysts, psychologists and sociologists this idea according to which power is essentially rule, law, prohi(ition, that which marks the limit (etween the permitted and the for(idden. I (elie#e that this conception, generally understood to (e de#eloped (y ethnology at the end of the 1-th century, was incisi#ely formulated. %thnology always tried to #iew systems of power in societies different from ours as (eing systems of rules. 5nd we oursel#es, when we try to reflect upon our society, on the manner in which power is e)ercised here, we essentially construct this analysis from a 4uridical idea/ where is power, who holds power, what are the rules go#erning [les r6gles .ui r gissent! power, what is the system of law that power esta(lishes within the social (ody. Thus, we always perform, for our society, a 4uridical sociology of power, and, when we study societies different from ours, we perform an ethnology that is essentially an ethnology of the rule, an ethnology of prohi(ition. For e)ample, look at the ethnological studies from 7urkheim to ' #i89trauss. What was the pro(lem that always reappeared, that was perpetually re8ela(orated: The pro(lem of prohi(ition, essentially the prohi(ition of incest. 5nd, from this matri), from this kernel that would (e the prohi(ition of incest, one attempted to understand the general functioning of the system. 5nd we had to wait until recent years to see new points of #iew appear a(out power, that is, either a strictly Mar)ist point of #iew or a point of #iew more distant from classical Mar)ism. In any case, we see since the appearance, with the work of ;lastres<, for e)ample, a whole new conceptuali3ation of power as technology, which attempts to free itself from the pre#ailing one, from this pri#ileging of rule and prohi(ition, which had (asically reigned o#er ethnology from 7urkheim to ' #i89trauss. In any case, the .uestion that I would like to pose is the following/ how is it that our society, Western society in general, has concei#ed of power in such a restricti#e, impo#erished and negati#e way: Why do we always concei#e of power as law and prohi(ition, why this pri#ilege: =f course, we could say that all this is due to the influence of &ant, to the idea according to which, in the final instance, the moral law, the 0you must not,2 the opposition 0you must2 > 0you must not2 is, in fact, the matri) of e#ery regulation of human conduct. ?ut, to speak frankly, e)plaining this with recourse to the influence of &ant is, of course, totally insufficient. The pro(lem is to know whether &ant had such an influence, and why what influence he had could (e so strong. Why did 7urkheim, a philosopher with #ague socialist tendencies at the start of the Third French @epu(lic, rely upon &ant in this fashion when performing an analysis of the mechanism of power in society: I (elie#e that we can crudely analy3e the reason in the following terms/ (asically, in the West, the great systems esta(lished since the Middle 5ges had (een de#eloped through the increase in monarchical power, at the e)pense of power, or (etter, of feudal powers. ,ow, in this (attle (etween feudal powers and monarchical power, right [le droit!A was always the instrument of monarchical power against the institutions, customs, prescriptions [r glements! and forms of (ond and (elonging characteristic of feudal society. I*ll simply gi#e you two e)amples of this (attle. =n the one hand, monarchical

power de#eloped in the West (y, in large part, relying upon 4uridical institutions and (y de#eloping these institutionsB through ci#il war, a system of courts supplanted the old solution of pri#ate disputes. In fact, the laws esta(lished (y these courts ga#e monarchical power itself the a(ility to resol#e disputes (etween indi#iduals. In the same manner, @oman law, which reappeared in the West in the 1+th and 1<th centuries, was a formida(le instrument in the hands of the monarchy for succeeding in delimiting the forms and mechanisms of its own power, at the e)pense of feudal power. In other words, the growth of the 9tate in %uropewas partially assured (y, or in any case was used as an instrument in, the de#elopment of 4uridical thought.Monarchical power, the power of the 9tate was essentially represented as right [le droit!. 5nd yet, as it happened, while the (ourgeoisie was largely profiting from the de#elopment of royal power and the diminution and regression of feudal power, it also had, on the other hand, e#ery interest in de#eloping a system of rights that would permit it to gi#e form to economic e)changes that assured its own social de#elopment. The result (eing that the #oca(ulary and form of rights was the system of representation of power common to the (ourgeoisie and the monarchy. The (ourgeoisie and the monarchy succeeded little (y little at esta(lishing, from the end of the Middle 5ges up to the 1Cth century, a form of power representing itself as language, a form of power which ga#e itself $ as discourse $ the #oca(ulary of rights. 5nd, when the (ourgeoisie had finally disposed of monarchical power, it did so precisely (y using this 4uridical discourse $ which had more or less (een that of the monarchy $ which the it turned against the monarchy itself. To simply gi#e one e)ample/ @ousseau, when he formulated his theory of the 9tate, attempted to show how a so#ereign $ (ut a collecti#e so#ereign, a so#ereign as social (ody, or (etter still, a social (ody as so#ereign $ is (orn out of the transfer of indi#idual rights, the alienation of these rights and the posing of laws of prohi(ition that each indi#idual must recogni3e, (ecause it is he himself who has imposed the law, to the e)tent that he is a mem(er of the so#ereign, to the e)tent that he is himself a so#ereign. 5ccordingly, the theoretical mechanism through which the criti.ue of the monarchical institution was made, this theoretical instrument was the instrument of rights, which had (een esta(lished (y the monarchy itself. In other words, the West ne#er had another system of representation, e)pression or analysis of power aside from that of rights, the system of law. In the final analysis, I (elie#e that is ultimately the reason for which we ha#e not had, until #ery recently, other possi(ilities for analy3ing power, e)cept in using these elementary, fundamental, etc. ideas which are those of law, rule, so#ereign, commission, etc. I (elie#e that we must now free oursel#es from this 4uridical conception of power $ this conception of power deri#ed from the law and so#ereign, from the rule and prohi(ition $ if we wish to proceed towards an analysis of the real functioning of power, rather than its mere representation. Dow may we attempt to analy3e power in its positi#e mechanisms: It appears to me that we may find, in a certain num(er of te)ts, the fundamental elements for an analysis of this type. We may perhaps find them in ?entham, an %nglish philosopher from the end of the 1Cth and (eginning of the 1-th century, who was (asically the great theoretician of

(ourgeois power, and we may of course also find these elements in Mar), essentially in the second #olume of ;apital. It*s here, I think, that we may find some elements that I will use for the analysis of power in its positi#e mechanisms. First, what we may find in the second #olume of ;apital is that one power does not e)ist, (ut many powers.E Powers, this means forms of domination, forms of su(4ugation that function locally, for e)ample in the workshop, in the army, on a sla#e plantation or where there are su(ser#ient relations. These are all local and regional forms of power, which ha#e their own mode of functioning, their own procedure and techni.ue. 5ll these forms of power are heterogeneous. We may not, therefore, speak of power if we wish to construct an analysis of power, (ut we must speak of powers and attempt to locali3e them in their historic and geographic specificity. 5 society is not a unitary (ody, in which one and only one power is e)ercised. 9ociety is in reality the 4u)taposition, the link, the coordination and also the hierarchy of different powers that ne#ertheless remain in their specificity. Mar) places great emphasis, for e)ample, on the simultaneously specific and relati#ely autonomous $ in some sense imper#ious $ character of the de facto power the (oss e)ercises in a workshop, compared to the 4uridical kind of power that e)ists in the rest of society. Thus, the e)istence of regions of power. 9ociety is an archipelago of different powers. 9econd, it appears that these powers cannot and must not simply (e understood as the deri#ation, the conse.uence of some kind of o#erriding power that would (e primary. The schema of the 4urists, whether those of Frotius, Pufendorf, or @ousseau, amounts to saying/ 0In the (eginning, there was no society, and then society appeared when a central point of so#ereignty appeared to organi3e the social (ody, which then permitted a whole series of local and regional powers2B implicitly, Mar) does not recogni3e this schema. De shows, on the contrary, how, starting from the initial and primiti#e e)istence of these small regions of power $ like property, sla#ery, workshop, and also the army $ little (y little, the great 9tate apparatuses were a(le to form. 9tate unity is (asically secondary in relation to these regional and specific powersB these latter come first. Third, these specific regional powers ha#e a(solutely no ancient [primordial! function of prohi(iting, pre#enting, saying 0you must not.2 The original, essential and permanent function of these local and regional powers is, in reality, (eing producers of the efficiency and skill of the producers of a product. Mar), for e)ample, has super( analyses of the pro(lem of discipline in the army and workshops. The analysis I*m a(out to make of discipline in the army is not in Mar), (ut no matter/ What happened in the army from the end of the 1Eth and the (eginning of the 1Gth century practically right up to the end of the 1Cth century: 5n enormous transformation in an army that had hitherto (een essentially constituted of small units of relati#ely interchangea(le indi#iduals, organi3ed around one commander. These small units were replaced (y a great pyramidal unit, with a whole series of intermediate commanding officers, of non8commissioned officers and technicians too, essentially (ecause a technical disco#ery had (een made/ the gun with comparati#ely rapid and cali(rated fire.

From this moment forward, one could no longer deal with the army $ it was dangerous to operate it $ under the plan of small isolated units, composed of interchangea(le elements. It was necessary, so that the army could (e effecti#e, so that one could use the guns in the (est possi(le manner, that each indi#idual (e well trained to occupy a determined position on an agreed upon front, to (e deployed at the same moment, according to a line that must not (e (roken, etc. The whole pro(lem of discipline implied a new techni.ue of power with non8commissioned officers, a whole hierarchy of non8commissioned officers, 4unior officers, and senior officers. 5nd it was in this way that the army could (e dealt with as a #ery comple) hierarchical unit, (y ensuring the ma)imal performance of whole deployment according to the specificity of the position and role of each person. There was a #ery superior military performance thanks to a new practice of power, whose function was a(solutely not that of prohi(iting something. =f course, the new practice of power came to prohi(it this or that thingB ne#ertheless, the goal was a(solutely not saying, 0you must not,2 (ut rather essentially o(taining a (etter performance, a (etter production and a (etter producti#ity in the army. The army as production of dead (odies, this was perfected, or (etter still, this was what was assured (y this new techni.ue of power. This was a(solutely not prohi(ition. We could say the same thing of the discipline in workshops, which (egan to take shape in the 1Gth and 1Cth centurieswhen the small workshops of a corporate type were replaced (y large workshops and an entire series of workers $ hundreds of workers $ it was necessary to (oth monitor [sur#eiller! and coordinate mo#ements, with the di#ision of la(or. The di#ision of la(or was, at the same time, the reason it was o(ligatory to in#ent this new discipline of the workshop, (ut, in#ersely, we could say that the discipline of the workshop was the condition of possi(ility for achie#ing a di#ision of la(or. Without this discipline of the workshop, which is to say, without hierarchy, without sur#eillance, without the appearance of foremen, without the timed control of mo#ements, it would not ha#e (een possi(le to achie#e a di#ision of la(or. Finally, the fourth important idea/ these mechanisms of power, these procedures of power, it*s necessary to regard them as techni.ues, which is to say as procedures that were in#ented, perfected, that were unceasingly de#eloped. There is a #erita(le technology of power, or (etter still, of powers, which ha#e their own history. Dere, once again, we can easily find (etween the lines of the second #olume of ;apital an analysis, or at least the outline of an analysis, which would (e the history of the technology of power, such as it was e)ercised in the workhouses and factories. I will therefore follow these essential indications and I will attempt, with regard to se)uality, not to concei#e of power from the 4uridical point of #iew, (ut from the technological. It appears to me, in fact, that if we analy3e power (y pri#ileging the 9tate apparatus, if we analy3e power (y regarding it as a mechanism of preser#ation, if we regard power as a 4uridical superstructure, we will (asically do no more than take up the classical theme of (ourgeois thought, for it essentially concei#es of power as a 4uridical fact. To pri#ilege the 9tate apparatus, the function of preser#ation, the 4uridical superstructure, is, (asically, to 0@ousseauify2 Mar). It reinscri(es Mar) in the (ourgeois and 4uridical theory of

power. It is not surprising that this supposedly Mar)ist conception of power as 9tate apparatus, as instance of preser#ation, as 4uridical superstructure, is essentially found in %uropean 9ocial 7emocracy of the end of the 1-th century, when the pro(lem was precisely that of knowing how to make Mar) work inside a 4uridical system, which was that of the (ourgeoisie. 9o, what I would like to do, in taking up what can (e found in the second #olume of ;apital, and in mo#ing away from all that was added, rewritten afterwards on the pri#ileges of the 9tate apparatus, power*s function of reproduction, the characteristics of the 4uridical superstructure, is to attempt to see how it is possi(le to do a history of powers in the West, and essentially of powers inasmuch as they are in#ested in se)uality. Thus, from this methodological principle, how can we do a history of the mechanisms of power with regards to se)uality: I (elie#e that, in a #ery schematic manner, we could say the following/ the system of power that the monarchy had succeeded in organi3ing from the end of the Middle 5ges presented two ma4or incon#eniences for the de#elopment of capitalism. First, political power, as it was e)ercised within the social (ody, was a #ery discontinuous power. The mesh of the net was too large, and an almost infinite num(er of things, elements, conducts, and processes escaped the control of power. If we take for e)ample a precise point $ the importance of smuggling in all of %urope up until the end of the 1Cth century $ we would o(ser#e a #ery important economic flow, almost as important as the other, a flow which entirely escaped power. 5nd it was, moreo#er, one of the conditions for the e)istence of menB if there had not (een maritime piracy, commerce would not ha#e functioned, and men would not ha#e (een a(le to li#e. In other words, illegality was one of the #ery preconditions of life, (ut it signified at the same time that there were certain things which escaped power, and o#er which power did not ha#e control. ;onse.uently, economic processes, di#erse mechanisms, which in a certain way remained outside control, re.uired the esta(lishment of a continuous, minute power, in a certain atomi3ing fashionB from a lacunal, glo(al power to a continuous, atomic, and indi#iduali3ing power/ that e#eryone, each indi#idual in and of himself, in his (ody, in his mo#ements, could (e controlled, in the place of total and mass controls. The second great incon#enience to the mechanisms of power, such as they functioned in the monarchy, is that they were e)cessi#ely costly. 5nd they were costly precisely (ecause the function of power $ that which consisted power $ was essentially the power to le#y, to ha#e the right and the force to collect something $ a ta), a tithe where#er the clergy was concerned $ from the har#ests that were made/ the compulsory collection of this or that percentage for the master, for royal power, for the clergy. Power was then essentially ta) collector and predator. In this way, it always performed an economic su(traction, and, (y conse.uence, far from fa#oring and stimulating economic flow, monarchical power was perpetually its o(stacle and its restraint. Dence this second preoccupation, this second necessity/ finding a power mechanism such that, at the same time that it controlled things and persons right down to the most minute detail, it would neither (e e)pensi#e nor essentially predatory on society, that it would, on the contrary, (e e)ercised through the economic processes themsel#es.

With these two o(4ecti#es, I (elie#e that we can roughly grasp the great technological mutation of power in the West. We ha#e the ha(it $ once again according to the spirit of an e#er so limited Mar)ism $ of saying that the great in#ention was, as e#eryone knows, the steam engine, or at least in#entions of this sort. It is true, this was #ery important, (ut there was an entire series of other technological in#entions 4ust as important as this one and which were, in the last instance, the condition of possi(ility for the functioning of the others. Thus it was in political technologyB there was an in#ention at the le#el of forms of power throughout the 1Gth and 1Cth centuries. ;onse.uently, we must not only make a history of industrial techni.ues, (ut also that of political techni.ues, and I (elie#e that we may group the in#entions of political technology under two great chapters, and for these in#entions we must credit, a(o#e all, the 1Gth and 1Cth centuries. I will group these political technologies under two great chapter headings (ecause it appears to me that they were de#eloped in two different directions. =n the one hand, there was this technology that I will call 0discipline.2 7iscipline is (asically the mechanism of power (y which we come to e)ert control in the social (ody right down to the finest elements, (y which we succeed in gra((ing hold of the social atoms themsel#es, which is to say indi#iduals. Techni.ues for the indi#iduali3ation of power. Dow to monitor [sur#eiller! someone, how to control his conduct, his (eha#ior, his aptitudes, how to intensify his performance, multiply his capacities, how to put him in a place where he will (e most useful/ this is what I mean (y discipline. 5 moment ago, I cited for you the e)ample of discipline in the army. It is an important e)ample (ecause it was truly the site where the great disco#ery of discipline was made and de#eloped in the first place. 'inked then to this other in#ention of a techno8industrial sort that was the in#ention of the gun with a comparati#ely rapid fire. ?asically from this moment on, we can say the following/ the soldier was no longer interchangea(le, was no longer pure and simple cannon fodder [chair H canon! $ a simple indi#idual capa(le of doing harm. To (e a good soldier, he needed to know how to shootB therefore he had to undergo a process of apprenticeship. It was necessary that the soldier e.ually know how to mo#e, that he know how to coordinate his mo#ements with those of other soldiers, in sum/ the soldier (ecame something skillful. %rgo, something #alua(le [precieu)!. 5nd the more #alua(le he was, the more he had to (e preser#edB the more he had to (e preser#ed, the more necessary it (ecame to teach him the techni.ues capa(le of sa#ing his life in (attle, and the more techni.ues he was taught, the longer this apprenticeship, the more #alua(le he (ecame. 5nd suddenly, you ha#e a kind of rapid de#elopment of these military techni.ues of training [dressage!, culminating in the famous Prussian army of Frederic II, which spent most of its time doing e)ercises. The Prussian army, the model of Prussian discipline, is precisely the perfection, the ma)imal intensity of this corporeal discipline [discipline corporelle! of the soldier, which was, to a certain e)tent, the model for other disciplines. 5nother instance where we see this new disciplinary technology appearing is education. It is first in secondary schools and then in primary schools where we see these disciplinary methods appearing in which indi#iduals are indi#iduali3ed within a multiplicity. The secondary school (rings together do3ens, hundreds and sometimes thousands of high schoolers and schoolchildren, and it then (ecame an issue of e)ercising

a power o#er them that would rightly (e much less e)pensi#e than the power of the tutor and that could only e)ist (etween pupil and master. Dere we ha#e one master for do3ens of disciplesB it was necessary, howe#er, despite this multiplicity of pupils, to achie#e an indi#iduali3ation of power, a permanent control, a sur#eillance of e#ery moment. Dence the appearance of the figure well known to all those who attended secondary school, the monitor [le sur#eillant!, who, in the pyramid, corresponds to the non8commissioned officer in the armyB also the appearance of .uantitati#e grades, the appearance of e)ams, the appearance of competition, and the possi(ility, (y conse.uence, of classifying indi#iduals in such a manner that each one would (e precisely in his place, under the ga3e of the teacher, or in the .ualification and 4udgment that we make of each indi#idual pupil. 9ee, for e)ample, how you are seated in rows in front of me. It*s a position that perhaps appears natural to you, (ut it is important to recall, howe#er, that this is a relati#ely recent de#elopment in the history of ci#ili3ation, and that it is possi(le, at the start of the 1-th century, to find schools where the pupils are assem(led in a standing crowd, around a professor who instructs them. 5nd this of course implies that the professor could not effecti#ely or indi#idually monitor them/ there is a crowd of students and, then, a professor. ;urrently, you are arranged in rows so that the ga3e of the professor can indi#iduali3e each of you, so he or she can call your name to know if you are present, what you*re doing, if you*re dreaming, if you*re yawningI These are (analities, (ut #ery important (analities, for finally, at the le#el of a whole series of e)ercises of power, it was through these little techni.ues that these new mechanisms were a(le to take o#er, were a(le to operate. That which happened in the army and in secondary schools may (e e.ually o(ser#ed in the workhouses throughout the 1-th century. This is what I will name the indi#iduali3ing technology of power, a technology that (asically targets indi#iduals right down to their (odies, their (eha#iorsB it is grosso modo a kind of political anatomy, an anatomo8politics, an anatomy that targets indi#iduals to the point of anatomi3ing them. 5s I ha#e indicated a(o#e, we ha#e a family of technologies of power that appeared in the 1Gth and 1Cth centuriesB we ha#e another family of technologies of power which appeared a (it later, during the second half of the 1Cth century, and which was de#eloped Jwe must say that the former, to the shame of France, was a(o#e all de#eloped in France and FermanyK a(o#e all in %ngland/ technologies that do not target indi#iduals as such, (ut which, on the contrary, target the population. In other words, the 1Cth century disco#ered this capital thing/ power is not simply e)ercised upon su(4ectsB this idea was the fundamental thesis of the monarchy, according to which there was the so#ereign and the su(4ects. It was disco#ered that power is e)ercised o#er the population. 5nd what does population mean: Population does not simply mean a large group of humans, (ut li#ing (eings tra#ersed, ordered and go#erned [r gis! (y (iological processes and laws. 5 population has a (irthrate and a death rateB a population has a generational cur#e [une cour(e d*Lge!, a life ta(le [une pyramide d*Lge!, mor(idity, a general state of health, a population might perish or might, on the contrary, increase. ,ow all of this (egins to (e disco#ered in the 1Cth century. We can therefore glimpse that the relation of power with the su(4ect or, (etter still, with the indi#idual, need not simply (e this form of dependency [su4 tion! that permits power to le#y goods, wealth, and

possi(ly (ody and (lood from the su(4ect, (ut, rather, power must (e e)ercised o#er indi#iduals insofar as they constitute a kind of (iological entity that must (e taken into consideration if we actually want to use this population as a machine for producing, for producing wealth and goods, for producing other indi#iduals. The disco#ery of the population is, along with the disco#ery of the indi#idual and the traina(le (ody, the other great technological core around which the political practices of the West transformed themsel#es. We in#ented in that case what I will call, in opposition to the anatomo8 politics I mentioned a moment ago, (io8politics. It*s at this point that we o(ser#e the emergence of pro(lems like those of housing, of .uality of life in the city, of pu(lic hygiene, of the modification of the ratio (etween (irth rate and mortality. 5t this time the pro(lem appears of knowing how to ca4ole people to produce more (a(ies, or in any case, how we can regulate the population flow, how we can also regulate the growth rate of the population, and migration too. 5nd from this moment on, a whole series of o(ser#ational techni.ues, including statistics, of course, (ut also all the great administrati#e, economic, and political organs, are gi#en the duty of regulating the population. There were two great re#olutions in the technology of power/ the disco#ery of discipline and the disco#ery of regulation, the impro#ement of anatomo8politics and the impro#ement of (io8politics. 'ife now (ecomes, (eginning in the 1Cth century, an o(4ect of power. 'ife and the (ody. Pre#iously, there had only (een su(4ects, 4uridical su(4ects from whom we could collect goods, and life too, moreo#er. ,ow, there are (odies and populations. Power (ecomes materialist. It ceases to (e essentially 4uridical. It has to deal with real things [des choses r elles!, which are (odies and life. 'ife enters the field of power/ a ma4or transformation [mutation capitale!, dou(tless one of the most important, in the history of human societiesB and we can clearly see how se) [le se)e!Gcould (ecome, from this moment forward, which is to say precisely from the 1Cth century, an a(solutely capital componentB for, (asically, se) is situated #ery precisely at the point of articulation (etween the indi#idual disciplines of the (ody and the regulations of population. 9e) is that through which one can assure the sur#eillance of indi#iduals, and we understand why in the 1Cth century, and precisely in secondary schools, adolescent se)uality (ecame a medical pro(lem, a moral pro(lem, nearly a political pro(lem of the highest importance, (ecause, through $ and under the prete)t of $ this control of se)uality, one could monitor high schoolers, adolescents, o#er the course of their li#es, at each instant, e#en during their sleep. 9e) will therefore (ecome an instrument of 0disciplinari3ation,2 it will (e one of the essential elements of this anatomo8politics of which I spokeB (ut also, on the other hand, it is se) that assures the reproduction of populations, it is with se), with a politics of se) that we are a(le to change the relation (etween (irthrate and mortalityB in any case, the politics of se) will install itself within this whole politics of life that will (ecome so important in the 1-th century. 9e) is the le#er (etween anatomo8politics and (io8politicsB it is at the 4uncture of disciplines and regulations, and it is in this function that it (ecame, at the end of the 1-th century, a political component of the utmost importance for making society into a machine of production. M. Foucault/ Would you like to ask some .uestions: Male 5uditor/ What producti#ity does power target in prisons:

M. Foucault/ It*s a long history. The prison system, I mean the repressi#e prison, the prison as punishment [chLtiment!, was esta(lished late, practically at the end of the 1Cth century. ?efore the end of the 1Cth century, prison was not a legal sanction [punition l gale!B we imprisoned men simply to hold them (efore initiating legal process against them and not to punish them, e)cept for in e)ceptional cases. Well, we create prisons, as a system of suppression, (y declaring the following/ the prison is going to (e a system for the reeducation for criminals. 5fter doing time in prison, thanks to a domestication of a military and scholarly type, we will (e a(le to transform the offender into a law8a(iding indi#idual. We were therefore seeking, with their time spent in prison, the production of o(edient indi#iduals. ,ow, #ery .uickly, from the #ery (eginning of the prison system, we saw that the system was a(solutely not conducted [conduisait! towards this result, (ut that it was frankly producing precisely the opposite result/ the longer an indi#idual stayed in prison, the less re8educated and more delin.uent he (ecame. It was a(solutely not 3ero producti#ity, (ut rather negati#e producti#ityB otherwise, the prison system, under normal circumstances, would ha#e had to disappear. 9o it stayed, and it continues, and when we ask people what we might replace prisons with, no one responds. Why do prisons persist, in spite of this counter8producti#ity: I would say/ on the contrary, they persist precisely (ecause, in actuality, the prison system is (usy producing offenders and (ecause delin.uency has a particular economic8political utility in the societies with which we are familiar. We can easily unco#er the economic8political utility of delin.uency/ first, the more offenders there are, the more crimes there will (eB the more crimes there are, the more fear there will (e within the population, and the more fear there is in the population, the more accepta(le, and e#en desira(le, the system of police control will (ecome. The e)istence of this small permanent internal danger is one of the conditions of accepta(ility for this system of controlB it e)plains why, in the newspapers, on the radio and tele#ision, in all countries of the world without a single e)ception, we gi#e so much space to criminality, as if the passing of each day made it some kind of no#elty. 9ince 1C+M, in e#ery country of the world, campaigns around the theme of an increase of delin.uency were de#eloped, e#en though this increase was ne#er pro#enB (ut this supposed presence, this menace, this growth of criminality is an acceptance of these controls. ?ut that*s not all. 7elin.uency is economically useful. 'ook at the amount of trafficking $ perfectly lucrati#e and engaged in capitalist profits $ which is criminali3ed/ thus prostitution $ e#eryone knows that the control of prostitution in e#ery country of %urope JI don*t know if this also happens in ?ra3ilK is performed (y men whose profession is called pimping, who are all e)8offenders and ha#e the role of channeling the profits earned from se)ual pleasure into economic circuits like the hotel industry, and towards (ank accounts. Prostitution allowed for the se)ual pleasure of some populations to (ecome e)pensi#e, and its management and super#ision has allowed profits on se)ual pleasure to (e di#erted into specific circuits. 5rms trafficking, drug dealing, and, in fact,

an entire series of trafficking, which for one reason or another cannot (e forthrightly or legally conducted in society, fall under the delin.uency that accordingly sustains them. If we add to all this the fact that criminality was largely used in the 1-th century, and in the "Mth century too, (y an entire series of political manoeu#res, such as (reaking up strikes, infiltrating la(or unions, (eing used as a workforce and as (odyguards (y the heads of political parties, including those more and less respecta(le. Dere I*m speaking more specifically a(out France, where all political parties ha#e a workforce which ranges from the (illposters to the hoodlums Jthe #iolent riotersK, a workforce constituted (y offenders. Thus, we ha#e a whole series of economic and political institutions that function on the (asis of delin.uency, and, to this e)tent, prisons, which produce professional offenders, ha#e a utility and producti#ity. Male auditor/ First of all, I*d like to e)press what a pleasure it has (een listening to you, seeing you, and rereading your (ooks. 5ll of my .uestions are (ased on the criti.ue that 7omini.ue ['ecourt! le#eled at you/ if you go one step further, you will no longer (e an archaeologist, an archaeologist of knowledgeB if you go one step further, you will fall into historical materialism.C That*s the (asis of the .uestion. Then, I would like to know why you maintain that those who defend historical materialism and psychoanalysis are not sure of themsel#es, are not sure of the scientificity of their positions. The first thing, and this surprised me, after reading so much a(out the difference (etween refoulement and r pression-, a difference which we do not ha#e in Portuguese, is that you start (y speaking of suppression without differentiating it from refoulement. It*s surprising to me. The second surprise is the following/ in attempting to trace an anatomy of the social (y drawing on discipline in the army, you make use of the same terminology that the lawyers today use in ?ra3il. In the =5?1M congress, which took place in 9al#ador, the lawyers were constantly using the words 0offset211 and 0discipline2 to define their 4uridical function. ;uriously, you make use of the same terms to speak of powerB you use the same 4uridical language. What I would like to ask you is whether or not you fall #ictim to the same representati#e discourse of capitalist society, to the illusion of power, the discourse that these lawyers ha#e started using. Thus, the new law of pu(lic companies appears as an instrument for disciplining monopolies, (ut what it actually represents is a #ery ad#anced, #alua(le, technological instrument that o(eys purposes independent of the will of 4urists, to wit the necessities of capital reproduction. In this way, your usage of the same terminology surprises me, to continue, while you esta(lish a dialectic (etween technology and discipline. 5nd my last surprise is that you use the population as an element of social analysis, returning, therefore, to a period prior to Mar)*s criti.ue of @icardo. M. Foucault/ There is a pro(lem of time. 5t any rate, we are going to meet again tomorrow afternoon, at +/+M, and then we can more completely discuss these ma4or .uestions (etter than right now. I*m going to attempt to respond (riefly to two .uestions and tomorrow you will pose them anew. This doesn*t (other you, does it: Is this okay: Dere*s the general su(4ect of the .uestion. 5(out the 'ecourt pro(lem and of historical materialism we will speak tomorrow, (ut these two other points, you*re right, for they make reference to what I maintained this morning. In the first place, I ha#e not spoken of

refoulementB I spoke of suppression [r pression!, the for(idden, and the law. This is due to the necessarily (rief and allusi#e character of what I*m a(le to say in such little time. Freud*s thought is in fact much more su(tle than the picture I*#e presented here. 5round this notion of repression we find the de(ate (etween, we could say, grosso modo @eich, the @eichians, Marcuse, and, on the other hand, psychoanalysts proper, like Melanie &lein and a(o#e all 'acan. For the concept of repression could (e used for an analysis of the social mechanisms of suppression (y arguing that the demand which determines repression is a particular social reality that esta(lishes itself as reality principle and immediately pro#okes repression. In general terms, this is a @eichian analysis modified (y Marcuse with the concept of surplus repression.1" 5nd on the other hand, you ha#e the 'acanians who take up the concept of repression and maintain/ it is not that at all, when Freud speaks of repression, he is not thinking a(out suppression, he is instead thinking a(out a particular mechanism a(solutely constituti#e of desireB (ecause, for Freud, says 'acan, there is no non8 repressed desire/ desire only e)ists as desire (y #irtue of the fact that desire isrepressed, and (ecause that which constitutes desire is the law, and therefore he deri#es the concept of repression from the concept of the law. 5s a result, two interpretations/ an interpretation with suppression and an interpretation with law, which in fact descri(e two phenomena or two a(solutely different processes. It*s true that the notion of repression in Freud could (e used, according to the te)t, either in the one sense or in the other. It*s to a#oid this difficult pro(lem of Freudian interpretation that I only spoke of suppression, (ecause as it happens, historians of se)uality ha#e ne#er used a concept other than suppression, and for a #ery simple reason/ this concept re#eals the social contours that determine repression. We could then do a history of repression using the concept of suppressionB whereas, using the concept of the for(idden $ which, in a certain sense, is more or less isomorphic to e#ery society $ we couldn*t do a history of se)uality. This is why I a#oided the concept of repression, and why I only spoke of suppression. 9econdly, it surprises me a lot that the lawyers are using the word 0discipline2 $ as for the word 0offset,2 I ne#er used it a single time. In this respect I*d like to say the following/ I (elie#e that, from the appearance of what I call (io8power or anatomo8 politics, we li#e in a society which is in the process of no longer (eing a 4uridical society. Nuridical society was the monarchical society. %uropean societies from the 1"th to the 1Cth century were essentially 4uridical societies in which the pro(lem of rights was the fundamental pro(lem/ we fought for rightsB we made re#olutions for them. From the 1-th century onward, in societies which appear as societies of rights, with parliaments, legislatures, codes, courts, an entirely different mechanism of power was (eginning to seep in, which did not follow 4uridical forms and which did not ha#e the law as its fundamental principle, (ut instead had the principle of the norm, and which no longer had courts, law, and 4uridical apparatus as its instruments (ut instead, medicine, social controls, psychiatry, psychology. We are therefore in a disciplinary worldB we are in a world of regulation. We (elie#e that we are still in a world of law, (ut, in fact, this other type of power is taking shape through channels [relais! that are no longer 4uridical

channels. 9o it is perfectly normal that you would find the word 0discipline2 in the mouths of lawyers. It*s similarly interesting to see, regarding a specific point, how the society of normali3ation [I!1+ inha(ited the rights society and at the same time caused it to malfunction. 'ook at what happened in the penal system. I don*t know if it happened in ?ra3il, (ut in %uropean countries like Fermany, France, and Freat ?ritain, there is practically not a single criminal of the slightest importance, and soon there will not (e a single person who, in passing through the criminal courts, does not also pass through the hands of a medical, psychiatric, or psychological specialist. This is (ecause we li#e in a society where crime is no longer simply and essentially a transgression of the law, (ut rather a de#iation in relation to a norm. @egarding penality, we no longer speak of it e)cept in terms of neurosis, de#iance, aggression dri#e, as you all know #ery well. 9o, when I speak of discipline and normali3ation, I*m not falling (ack into a 4uridical frameworkB it*s on the contrary the men of rights, men of law, 4urists, who are o(ligated to use the #oca(ulary of discipline and normali3ation. That they speak of discipline in the =.5.?. ;ongress only confirms what I*#e said, and not that I*#e fallen (ack on some 4uridical conceptuali3ation. They*re the ones who ha#e (een displaced. Male auditor/ Dow do you see the relation (etween knowledge and power [sa#oir et pou#oir!:Is it the technology of power that pro#okes se)ual per#ersion or is it the natural (iological anarchy among men that pro#okes it: M. Foucault/ =n this last point, which is to say, on that which moti#ates, that which e)plains the de#elopment of this technology, I do not (elie#e we can say it*s (iological de#elopment. I attempted to show the opposite, which is to say how this transformation in the technology of power a(solutely takes its departure from the de#elopment of capitalism. The transformation takes its departure from this de#elopment to the e)tent that, on the one hand, the de#elopment of capitalism necessitates this technological transformation, (ut also, this transformation ena(les the de#elopment of capitalism. In short/ a permanent implication of the two mo#ements, which are in a way enmeshed in each other. ,ow, the other .uestion, which concerns the fact that the relations of power ha#e [I!1< when pleasure and power work together. It is an important pro(lem. I*d like to (riefly say that it*s precisely this, which seems to characteri3e the mechanisms in place within our societiesB it*s this that e.ually gi#es us pause in simply saying that power has the function of for(idding, of prohi(iting. If we admit that power only has the function of prohi(iting, we must in#ent some types of mechanisms $ 'acan must do this, and the others too $ to (e a(le to say/ 0'ook, we self8identify with power2B or otherwise we say that there is a masochistic relation of power that is esta(lished, which makes us lo#e the one who prohi(its. ?ut, then again, once you admit that the function of power is not essentially to prohi(it, (ut to produce, to produce pleasure, at that moment you can perfectly understand how we are a(le to o(ey power and find pleasure in this o(edience, which isn*t necessarily masochistic. ;hildren can ser#e as e)amples to us/ I (elie#e that the way in which the se)uality of children was made into a fundamental pro(lem for the

(ourgeois family during the 1-th century pro#oked and made possi(le a great num(er of controls o#er the family, o#er parents, o#er children, and created at the same time a whole series of new pleasures/ the pleasure of parents in monitoring children, the pleasure of children in playing with their own se)uality, against their parents and with their parents, an entirely new economy of pleasure around the (ody of the child. We needn*t necessarily say that parents, out of some sort of masochism, self8identify with the lawI Female auditor/ 1ou ha#en*t responded to the .uestion that was asked of you regarding the relation (etween knowledge and power, and of the power that you, Michel, you e)ercise through your knowledge. M. Foucault/ Thank you for repeating the .uestion to me. Indeed, the .uestion must (e posed. I (elie#e that $ in any case, it*s one meaning of the analyses that I make, in which you can see the source of inspiration $ I (elie#e that the relations of power must not (e considered in such a simplistic manner as if there are those who, on the one hand, possess power and, on the other, those who do not. =nce again, here a particular #ersion of academic Mar)ism fre.uently uses the opposition of dominant class #ersus dominated class, the dominant discourse #ersusthe dominated discourse. 5nd yet we will ne#er find this dualism in Mar)B howe#er, it can (e found in reactionary and racist thinkers like Fo(ineau, who maintains that, within society, there are always two classes, a dominated and another who dominates. 1ou can find this in many places, (ut ne#er in Mar), (ecause, in fact, Mar) is too cunning to maintain something like thisB he knew perfectly well that what strengthens relationships of power is that they ne#er stopB there is not some single relationship of power here, and many o#er thereB they course throughout e#erything/ the working class retransmits relationships of powerB it makes use of relationships of power. From the mere fact of (eing a student, you are already inserted in a particular position of powerB I, as a professor, I am also in a position of powerB I am in a position of power (ecause I am a man and not a woman, and, from the fact that you are a woman, you are also in a position of power, not the same, (ut we are all likewise in positions of power. =f anyone who knows something, we could say/ 01ou e)ercise power.2 It*s a stupid criti.ue to the e)tent that it is limited to 4ust that. What is indeed interesting is to know how the mesh of power functions in a gi#en group, class or society, which is to say, what is the locali3ation of each group within the net of power, how each e)ercises it anew, how each preser#es it, how each passes it on. OTranslated (y ;hristopher ;hitty 1. This lecture was deli#ered (y Michel Foucault in 1-GE at the in#itation of the Philosophy department of the Federal Pni#ersity of ?ahia in 9al#ador, ?ra3il. It was originally pu(lished in two parts, translated into Portuguese for issue < of the 4ournal ?ar(Qrie in 1-C1 and issue A in 1-C" respecti#ely. The lecture is reproduced in its entirety in Michel Foucault, 7its et crits, #ol II, eds. 7aniel 7efert, FranRois %wald and Nac.ues 'agange JParis/ Sditions Fallimard, "MM1K, 1MM181M"M. 5ll notes are the translator*s unless otherwise indicated.

". @efoulement or repression is the French translation of Freud*s #erdrTngung, and r pression is the French translation of PnterdrUckung traditionally rendered 0suppression2 in %nglish. +. The 9tandard %dition of Freud uniformly translates Trie( as 0instinct.2 <. 9ee the work of Pierre ;lastres, collected in 9ociety 5gainst the 9tate/ %ssays in Political 5nthropology, trans. @o(ert Durley and 5(e 9tein, Vone ?ooks, 1-C[pu(lished in French (y %d. 7e Minuit in 1-G<B note in original!. A. There is a temptation to translate le droit as 0the law2 in %nglishB howe#er, to do so is to miss something essential a(out Foucault*s su(tle argument here. For Foucault, le droit, all claims on a right, are always indications of a struggle o#er power rather than e#idence of some uni#ersal su(4ect of the law. De uses 0right2 in the sense of the common %nglish e)pression 0might makes right.2 These themes are e)plored in depth in Foucault*s lectures from this year at ;oll6ge de France, 9ociety Must ?e 7efended/ 'ectures at the ;oll6ge de France, 1-GA81-GE, Picador/ ,ew 1ork, "MM+, <-8A"B I .uote the end of that discussion in which Foucault defines rights discourse/ 0the su(4ect who speaks in this discourse, who says WI* or Wwe,* cannot, and is in fact not trying to, occupy the position of the 4urist or the philosopher, or in other words the position of a uni#ersal, totali3ing, or neutral su(4ectI he is in#ol#ed in the (attle, has ad#ersaries, and is working toward a particular #ictory. =f course, he speaks the discourse of right, asserts a right and demands a right. ?ut what he is demanding and asserting is Whis* rights $ he says/ WWe ha#e a right.* These are singular rights, and they are strongly marked (y a relationship of property, con.uest, #ictory, or nature. It might (e the right of his family or race, the right of superiority or seniority, the right of triumphal in#asions, or the right of recent or ancient occupations. In all cases, it is a right that is (oth grounded in history and decen8 tered from a 4uridical uni#ersalityI it is always a perspecti#al discourse. It is interested in the totality only to the e)tent that it can see it in one8sided terms, distort it and see it from its own point of #iew.2 E. The editors of 7its et crits included a footnote that refers to the Ferman and French editions of &arl Mar), ;apital/ 5 ;riti.ue of Political %conomy, Xolume II/ The Process of ;irculation of ;apital J,ew 1ork/ Penguin, 1--"K. Dowe#er, it seems more likely that Foucault is in#oking the second #olume of #olume 1 of ;apital, since the French translation had (een pu(lished in multiple #olumes (y Sditions 9ociales. This second #olume of #olume 1 $ consisting of sections <, A, and E $ contains the material on manufacture that Foucault refers to throughout 7iscipline and Punish. I would like to thank Nason @ead for (ringing this to my attention. G. French has no way of distinguishing (etween 0se)2 and 0gender,2 as many feminist critics, following Moni.ue Wittig and Nudith ?utler, are wont do in %nglish. 'e genre is a grammatical concept determining the class of nouns according to a natural di#ision of the se)es and other formal criteria, whereas le se)e is a .uality of (odies. 'e se)e can signify the cellular, organic, hormonal, physical and cultural ways in which men are differentiated from women, in addition to the way we thus categori3e other animal

species and plants. 'e se)e can also mean 0genitals2 and 0se)ual acti#ity.2 'ike his contemporary Nac.ues 'acan, Foucault deploys le se)e (y retaining the am(iguity of its referent. 9ee Distory of 9e)uality, Xolume 1/ 5n Introduction, trans. @o(ert Durley. J,ew 1ork/ Xintage ?ooks, 1--MK,<M8<E, where he argues that the power in#ested in se) (ecomes generali3ed through focus on and concern for the figures of women, children and se)ual de#iants. The implication is that se)ual categories are the result of a historically new technology of power. The periodi3ation here significantly re#ises Distory of 9e)uality*s emphasis upon se)ual science of the late8nineteenth century. C. 7omini.ue 'ecourt notes that 5rchaeology of &nowledge significantly re#ises Foucault*s theory (y a(andoning its central notion of the episteme/ 0For my part, I think the critics are well8ad#isedB they are not wrong to trem(le, for the concept of history which functions in The 5rchaeology has many consonances with another concept of history which they ha#e good reason to hate/ the scientific concept of history as it appears in historical materialism. The concept of a history which is also presented as a process without a su(4ect structured (y a system of laws. 5 concept which, on this (asis, is also radically anti8anthropologistic, anti8humanist and anti8structuralist.2 Mar)ism and %pistemology/ ?achelard, ;anguilhem and Foucault, trans. ?en ?rewster, J'ondon/ ,ew 'eft ?ooks, 1-GAK, 1C-. -. =riginal words are in French in the transcript. It should (e noted that refoulement is the French translation of Freud*s #erdrTngung, and r pression is rightfully translated (y the %nglish word 0suppression.2 In psychoanalytic theory, suppression, or r pression, is a desire that is consciously pushed (ack into the unconsciousB repression, or refoulement, is pushed (ack into the unconscious without ha#ing attained the le#el of consciousness. 1M. =rden dos 5d#ogados do ?rasil/ The =rder of ?ra3ilian 'awyers. [,ote in original.! 11. The lector says 0compenser.2 1". 9ee Der(ert Marcuse, %ros and ;i#ili3ation, J?oston/ ?eacon Press, 1-EEK. 1+. 5 gap in the recording, indicated in the original ?ra3ilian te)t. [,ote in original.! 1<. Fap in the recording. [,ote in original.!