Saturday, 21 June 2014

It's Foucault Again

At university I had a tutor who was pretty much obsessed with Foucault, always referencing his works, rarely criticising his stance and just generally going on about Foucault all the time. He insisted on pronouncing his name with the correct French pronunciation which, regrettably, unavoidably always sounds pretentious. It left my friends and I expressing the pun, fuck you Fucou (that's sort of how Foucault is pronounced). Having Foucault rammed down your throat by a person who you sort of don't like is rather annoying. My tutor was openly very right-wing in his politics, very much a capitalist and had no shame in expressing his wish for others to agree with him and liked to wind people up. This really pissed me off, so Foucault began to piss me off.

However, despite this Foucault wrote some bloody good things especially on the subject of criticality, and here is another:

“A critique is not a matter of saying that things are not right as they are. It is a matter of pointing out on what kinds of assumptions, what kinds of familiar, unchallenged, unconsidered modes of thought the practices that we accept rest.”

 -Michel Foucault

I'm a big believer in the importance of critical thinking. I find it hard to digest when I hear others say "All critics should die" or "criticism is cancer" (see earlier blog post). Because I feel that criticality, awareness and introspection are fundamental is allowing development and growth within oneself and the subjects surrounding. Criticality moves things forward and helps develop progressive thoughts and behaviour. The quote above seems particularly relevant to political thought and practice...

So Foucault, you rule.

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