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Life Struggles: War, Discipline, and Biopolitics in The Thought of Michel Foucault

Life Struggles: War, Discipline, and Biopolitics in The Thought of Michel Foucault How, when and why was it noticed or imagined that what is going on beneath and in power relations is a war? When, how and why did someone come up with the idea that it is a sort of uninterrupted battle that shapes peace, and that the civil order — its basis, its essence, its essential mechanisms — is basically an order of battle? Who came up with the idea that the civil order is an order of battle? Who saw war just beneath the surface of peace; who sought in the noise and confusion of war, in the mud of battles, the principle that allows us to understand order, the State, its institutions, and its history? 4 Julian Reid This article traces the development of Foucault’s articulation of the problem of war from its beginnings in Discipline and Punish, where he locates the emergence of the military sciences, and especially eighteenth-century thought on military tactics, as among the original sources for the expression of disciplinary power. It is in the eighteenth-century military sciences that Foucault discovers the object of disciplinary power most clearly constituted. That object was the “natural body.”5 Foucault’s thought on war, while originating as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Text Duke University Press

Life Struggles: War, Discipline, and Biopolitics in The Thought of Michel Foucault

Social Text , Volume 24 (1 86) – Mar 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2006 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0164-2472
eISSN
1527-1951
DOI
10.1215/01642472-24-1_86-127
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How, when and why was it noticed or imagined that what is going on beneath and in power relations is a war? When, how and why did someone come up with the idea that it is a sort of uninterrupted battle that shapes peace, and that the civil order — its basis, its essence, its essential mechanisms — is basically an order of battle? Who came up with the idea that the civil order is an order of battle? Who saw war just beneath the surface of peace; who sought in the noise and confusion of war, in the mud of battles, the principle that allows us to understand order, the State, its institutions, and its history? 4 Julian Reid This article traces the development of Foucault’s articulation of the problem of war from its beginnings in Discipline and Punish, where he locates the emergence of the military sciences, and especially eighteenth-century thought on military tactics, as among the original sources for the expression of disciplinary power. It is in the eighteenth-century military sciences that Foucault discovers the object of disciplinary power most clearly constituted. That object was the “natural body.”5 Foucault’s thought on war, while originating as

Journal

Social TextDuke University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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