Monday, August 28, 2006

"In this way, Foucault boldly upends the modern narrative of progress. What we have customarily interpreted as evidence of expanding civic freedom — that is, the triumph of rights-based liberalism — when viewed in a Foucauldian optic has in fact produced more effective mechanisms of social control. Foucault audaciously stands the standard, Enlightenment view of the relationship between insight and emancipation on its head. Knowledge, which we traditionally thought would set us free, merely enmeshes us more efficiently in the omnivorous tentacles of "biopower." The popular Foucauldian coinage "power/knowledge" suggests that the modern ideal of value-free knowing is illusory. Instead, knowledge is perennially implicated in the maintenance and reproduction of power relations."