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Anti-authoritarianism and the dislocation of o!er

"aul Ne!man

For Suzy, with love



Foreword by Ernesto Laclau Acknowledgments Introduction 1 ! " % $ . 4 Marxism and the Problem of Power Anarchism #tirner and the Politics of the Ego Foucault and the &enealogy of Power 'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari +errida and the +econstruction of Authority Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack* 1Mis23eading Lacan 'owards a Politics of Postanarchism vii ix 1 1 " $$ $ 11$ 1" 1$ 1 141-

5ibliogra6hy Index About the Author

7ontem6orary 6olitical analysis is increasingly centered on the com6lexities that the multifarious forms of the relation 6ower0resistance show in 6resent day societies8 &one are the times in which the locus of 6ower could be referred to in a sim6le and une9uivocal way:as in the notion of ;dominant class8< 'oday= the 6roliferation of social agents and the increasingly com6lex fabric of relations of domination have led to a66roaches which tend to stress the 6lurality of networks through which 6ower is constituted= as well as the difficulties in constructing more totali,ing 6ower effects8 'his= in turn= has led to a transformation of the discursive logics attem6ting to gras6 such 6lurality and com6lexity8 /ne of the merits of +r8 >ewman<s book is that it 6resents a clear and 6recise descri6tion of how the various 6oststructuralist a66roaches:mainly Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari= +errida and Lacan:have dealt with this 9uestion of the reconfiguration of 6ower in our societies8 'he central category organi,ing the whole argument is that of ;essentialism<* the various theoretical a66roaches are discussed in terms of their ability to su6ersede the foundationalism which had marred most of the traditional a66roaches to 6ower8 A second merit of the book is its attem6t at linking the contem6orary discussion to the classical formulations of the anarchist criti9ue of Marxism8 'he anarchist roots of 6resent day libertarian 6olitics are ex6lored in a very rigorous and novel way8 'he discussion of #tirner= in 6articular= is highly original8 It throws new light on the ways in which the latter<s forgotten work re6resents an im6ortant link in the develo6ment of a 6olitical theory which avoids the 6itfalls of both state)centered socialist a66roaches and anarchist humanism8 'he reader will find in +r8 >ewman<s book a highly rigorous= original= and insightful discussion of some of the most crucial issues in contem6orary 6olitical theory8 Ernesto Laclau


'here are a number of 6eo6le who have advised and guided me along the way= and without whose hel6 this book would never have gotten off the ground8 I would like to thank E6hraim >imni and ?ohn Lechte who have worked closely with me over the 6ast few years= and for whose friendshi6= su66ort= warmth= and encouragement I am eternally grateful8 I am also greatly indebted to Ernesto Laclau= who kindly wrote the foreword to this book and whose groundbreaking work in the area of contem6orary 6olitical theory has had a great im6act on my own thinking8 I would also like to thank 'odd May and Paul Patton for their invaluable advice and feedback8 A s6ecial mention must go to Aree 7ohen for his technical wi,ardry and assistance in 6re6aring the manuscri6t8 I would also like to thank 'revor Matthews for com6iling the index8 &ratitude must also go to a certain government de6artment where I worked for a little while= which made my life so miserable that I decided to go back to academia= for better or for worse8 Most im6ortantly= I want to thank #u,y 7asimiro who has always been there for me= and who has ins6ired= hel6ed= and encouraged me throughout8



The Return of %o!er

Ultimo da del despotismo y primero de lo mismo (The last day of despotism; the first day of the same thing).1

(e are always being told that we are living in a time of dramatic= swee6ing 6olitical and social change8 /n the one hand this is undoubtedly true8 Everything from relatively recent colla6se of communist systems in 3ussia and Eastern Euro6e= the emergence of a distinctly Euro6ean 6olitical identity= and the ex6losive growth of new technologies and forms of communication= to the wides6read revival of national and ethnic identities= and the wars and genocides that seem to be the conse9uence of this= would all seem to suggest that ours is a time of radical change8 5ut on the other hand= one could be forgiven for thinking that things have not really changed that much at all8 'he same forms of domination and institutional hierarchies seem to a66ear time and time again= only in different garbs and ever more cunning disguises8 (ith every 6o6ular u6rising against the state and with every overthrow of some re6ressive regime or other= there always seems to be a new and more subtle form of re6ression waiting to take its 6lace8 'here is always a new discourse of 6ower to take the 6lace of the old8 For instance= what does it matter to the Australian Aboriginal= or the townshi6 dweller in #outh Africa= or the 6risoner in a 3ussian @ail= or the Latino Aillegal immigrantB in the Cnited #tates= whether he or she has a new set of mastersD /ne is still dominated by a series of institutional 6ractices and discursive regimes which tie him to a certain marginali,ed and= therefore= sub@ugated identity8 Increased technology seems to go hand in hand with intensified social control and more so6histicated and com6lex ways of regulating individuals8 Freedom in one area always seems to entail domination in others8 #o there is still= des6ite these 6rofound global changes= the raw= brutal inevitability of 6ower and authority8 Maybe Friedrich >iet,sche was right when he saw history as merely a Aha,ardous 6lay of dominations8B ! 'his is not say= of course= that there have not been significant advancements on a world scale8 >or is it to say that all regimes and modes of 6olitical and social organi,ation are e9ually o66ressive8 'o argue that the 6osta6artheid regime in #outh Africa= or the now not so new governments in the former #oviet bloc= are as dominating as the ones they re6laced= would be ludicrous and insulting8 Moreover= we must once and for all sto6 falling into the 6ernicious error of advocating a 6urer or more universal revolutionary theory that would


seek to be more com6lete and swee6ing in its 6aroxysm of destruction8 #uch a revolutionary strategy only reaffirms= 6aradoxically= the very 6ower and authority that it seeks to overthrow8 'he 5olshevik revolution is a good exam6le of this8 I will be arguing that the very notion of revolution as a universal= cataclysmic overriding of current conditions should be abandoned8 Also I am not trying to be excessively 6essimistic or fatalistic by talking about the interminable reaffirmation of 6ower at every turn8 Eowever the reality of 6ower is something that cannot be ignored8 For too long 6ower was shrouded in Aob@ectiveB ex6lanations offered by 6hiloso6hies like Marxism= or dressed u6 in some theory or other which allowed it to be neglected8 Eowever= 6ower can= and should= now be seen as 6ower8 It can no longer be seen as an e6i6henomenon of the ca6italist economy or class relations8 Power has returned as an ob@ect of analysis to be studied in its own right8 I use AreturnB here in the Lacanian sense of repetition for Lacan= the 3eal is Athat which always returns to the same 6laceB [my italics]8" 'he real= for Lacan= is that which is missing from the symbolic structure= the indefinable= elusive la!" that always resists symboli,ation by AreturningB* AEere the real is that which always comes back to the same 6lace:to the 6lace where the sub@ect in so far as he thinks= where the res !ogitans= does not meet it8B% 'he com6lexities of the 3eal and lack will be discussed later= yet we may 6erha6s say here that 6ower is like the realF 6ower inevitably AreturnsB to the same 6lace= des6ite various attem6ts to remove it8 It always haunts= by its sheer inability to be defined= by its resistance to re6resentation within 6olitical discourse= the very 6olitical discourses that have as their aim the overthrow of 6ower8 'he 6oint of this discussion is not really to offer a definition of 6ower that has hitherto eluded us= but on the contrary to recogni,e that 6ower is abstract and indefinable= and to construct a definition 6recisely through this very resistance to definition8 3ather than saying what 6ower is= and 6roceeding from there= it may be more 6roductive to look at the ways in which theories and ideas of revolution= rebellion= and resistance reaffirm 6ower in their very attem6t to destroy it8 'his logic which inevitably re6roduces 6ower and authority= I will call the pla!e of power8 APlaceB refers to the abstract 6re6onderance= and ceaseless reaffirmation= of 6ower and authority in theories and movements that are aimed at overthrowing it8 'he real Aalways returns to the same 6lace=B and it is this pla!e= or more 6recisely this logic of return, that I will be talking about8 It is a cruel and malicious logic= but a logic that is nevertheless crucial to the way we think about 6olitics8 #o= in light of this= how should we look at the 6olitical and social changes that have characteri,ed our recent 6ast and continue to structure the hori,ons of our 6resentD /n the one hand= one might argue that= dramatic as these develo6ments are= they signify that we are still tied to the same essentialist ideas and 6olitical categories that have dominated our thought for the 6ast two centuries8 For instance= we do not seem to be able to esca6e the category of the nation state which has been with us since the 'reaty of (est6halia in 1.%4= and more s6ecifically= since the French 3evolution8 'he outbreak of wars fought

'he 3eturn of Power


over ethnic identities indicates= in a most violent and brutal manner= how much we are still tied to the idea that it is best for ethnic and national identities to have their own state8 Perha6s in this sense= then= the idea of the state may be seen as a manifestation of the 6lace of 6ower8 Moreover= we are still= 9uite clearly= tra66ed in essentialist ethnic identities8 'he idea that one is essentially 7roat or #erb or Albanian or Eutu or Euro6ean= and that one defines oneself in o66osition to other= less A6ure=B less AeducatedB or Aenlightened=B less Arational=B less Aclean=B less AhardworkingB identities= is still all too evident today8 'he AchangesB that are ceaselessly 6romulgated have only succeeded in solidifying these essentialist nationalist ideas8 Eowever= the 6roblem of essentialism is broader than the 6roblem of nationalism8 Essentialist ideas seem to govern our 6olitical and social reality8 Individuals are 6inned down within an identity that is seen as true or natural8 Essentialist identities limit the individual= constructing his or her reality around certain norms= and closing off the 6ossibilities of change and becoming8 'here is= moreover= a whole series of institutional 6ractices which dominate the individual in a multitude of ways= and which are brought into 6lay by essentialist logics8 /ne has only to look at the way in which social and family welfare agencies and correctional institutions o6erate to see this8 'he identity of the Adelin9uent=B Awelfare de6endent=B or Aunfit 6arentB is carefully constructed as the essence of the individual= and the individual is regulated= according to this essential identity= by a whole series of rational and moral norms8 'he changes that have taken 6lace on a global scale seem only to have denied the individual the 6ossibility of real change8 >ot only does essentialist thinking limit the individual to certain 6rescribed norms of morality and behavior= it also excludes identities and modes of behavior which do not conform to these norms8 'hey are categori,ed as AunnaturalB or A6erverse=B as somehow AotherB and they are 6ersecuted according to the norms they transgress8 'he logic of essentialism 6roduces an o66ositional thinking= from which binary hierarchies are constructed* normal0abnormal= sane0insane= hetero) homosexual= etc8 'his domination does not only refer to individuals who fall outside the category of the norm [homosexuals= drug addicts= delin9uents= the insane= etc]F it is also suffered by those for whom certain fragments of their identity:for identity is never a com6lete thing:would be condemned as abnormal8 (e all suffer= to a greater or lesser extent= under this tyranny of normality= this discourse of domination which insists that we all have an essential identity and that that is what we are8 (e must not think= though= that this domination is entirely forced u6on us8 (hile this is no doubt true to a certain extent:think of 6risons= mental institutions= the army= hos6itals= the work6lace:an essentialist identity is also something that we often willingly submit to8 'his mode of 6ower cannot o6erate without our consent= without our desire to be dominated8 #o not only will this discussion examine the domination involved in essentialist discourses and identities:the way they su66ort institutions such as the state and the 6rison for exam6le:it will also look at the ways in which we 6artici6ate in our own domination8


'he 6roblem of essentialism is the 6olitical 6roblem of our time8 'o say that the 6ersonal is the 6olitical= clichGd and hackneyed though it is= is merely to say that the way we have been constituted as sub@ects= based on essentialist 6remises= is a 6olitical issue8 'here is really nothing radical in this8 5ut it is still a 9uestion that must be addressed8 Essentialism= along with the universal= totali,ing 6olitics it entails= is the modern 6lace of 6ower8 /r at least= it is something around which the logic of the 6lace of 6ower is constituted8 It will be one of the 6ur6oses of this discussion to show how essentialist ideas= even in revolutionary 6hiloso6hies like anarchism= often re6roduce the very domination they claim to o66ose8 Modern 6ower functions through essentialist identities= and so essentialist ideas are something to be avoided if genuine forms of resistance are to be constructed and if genuine change is to be 6ermitted8 'he changes of recent times= dramatic as they were= were still tied to these essentialist ways of thinking= 6articularly with regard to national identity= and to forms of 6olitical sovereignty like the state8 'hey did not at all challenge or disru6t these categories= often only further embedding them in 6olitical discourse and social reality8 Eowever= modernity= like everything= is a 6aradox8 It is o6en to a 6lurality of inter6retations and characteri,ed by different im6lications= voices= and dreams8 'he changes that I have s6oken about can be seen= at the same time= in a different light8 (hile they have consolidated the 6olitical categories that continue to o66ress us= they have also discovered ways they may be resisted8 (hile they have tightened the 6arameters of our identity= they have also shown us extraordinary 6ossibilities of freedom hitherto undreamt of8 Freedom= I will argue= is a dia6hanous idea= often involving its own forms of domination8 5ut it is also something indefinable= like 6ower* it remains constitutively o6en= and its 6ossibilities are endless8 Like 6ower= freedom may be seen in terms of the real* it always exceeds the boundaries and definitions laid down for it= and the 6ossibility of freedom always Areturns=B des6ite the most ardent attem6ts to su66ress it8 #o our time 6resents us with an o6en hori,on= a hori,on that allows us to construct our own reality= rather than having it constructed for us8 #lavo@ Hi,ek talks about the colla6se of communist states as characteri,ed by an ex6erience of Ao6enness=B of a symbolic moment of the absence of any kind of authority to re6lace the one @ust overthrown8$ It is a su#lime moment= a moment of em6tiness 6regnant with 6ossibilityF a truly revolutionary moment caught in that infinitesimal lack between one signifying regime and the next8 'his is the moment in which the 6lace of 6ower becomes an empty 6lace8 'here is no inevitability about domination= but there is always its 6ossibility8. 'he same goes for freedom8 Perha6s we too are caught in this em6ty 6lace= this chasm between one world of 6ower and the next8 Although we are still very much tied to the old 6olitical categories= we are beginning to see their limits8 (e are beginning to see how we can move beyond them8 'he 9uestion is where are we going to nextD If we think that we can move to a world without 6ower= then we are already tra66ed in the world that o66resses us8 'he dream of a world without 6ower is 6art of the 6olitical

'he 3eturn of Power

language of this world8 It is based on essentialist ideas about humanity= ideas which render it nothing more than that:a dream= and a dangerous one at that8 (hile there is no moving com6letely beyond 6ower= there are= however= 6ossibilities of limiting 6ower= or at least organi,ing it in such a way that the risk of domination is defused8 /ne of these ways= I will argue= is through a criti9ue of essentialist and totali,ing logics8 'he idea that we can be com6letely free from 6ower is based on an o66ositional Manichean logic that 6osits an essential division between humanity and 6ower8 Anarchism is a 6hiloso6hy based on this logic8 It sees humanity as o66ressed by state 6ower= yet uncontaminated by it8 'his is because= according to anarchism= human sub@ectivity emerges in a world of Anatural lawsB which are essentially rational and ethical= while the state belongs to the AartificialB world of 6ower8 'hus man and 6ower belong to se6arate and o66osed worlds8 Anarchism therefore has a logical 6oint of de6arture= uncontaminated by 6ower= from which 6ower can be condemned as unnatural= irrational= and immoral8 In the 6ast= radical 6olitical theory has always relied on this uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture in order to 6resent a criti9ue of 6ower= whether it be the 6ower of the state= the 6ower of the ca6italist economy= the 6ower of religion= etc8 (ithout this 6oint of de6arture= it would seem that any kind of resistance against 6ower would be im6ossible8 (here would resistance or revolution come from if this were not the caseD #urely it must come from a rational= ethical form of sub@ectivity which is somehow uncorru6ted by the 6ower it confronts8 >ow here is the 6roblem:the 6roblem that will haunt our discussion8 Let us imagine that the natural human essence= the essential= moral= and rational sub@ectivity su66osedly uncontaminated by 6ower= is contaminated= and indeed= !onstituted= by the 6ower it seeks to overthrow8 Moreover= not only is this sub@ectivity= this 6ure 6lace of resistance= decidedly im6ureF it also constitutes= in itself= through its essentialist and universalist 6remises= a discourse of domination8 'o 6ut it sim6ly= then= would this not mean that the 6lace of resistance has become a 6lace of 6owerD Csing the argument that one needs a 6ure agent to overthrow 6ower= the 6ossibility of a contaminated agent would only mean a reaffirmation of the 6ower it claims to o66ose8 In anarchist discourse humanity is to re6lace the state8 5ut if we were to suggest that humanity is actually constituted by this 6ower and that it contains its own discourses of domination= then the revolution that the anarchists 6ro6ose would only lead to a domination 6erha6s more 6ernicious than the one it has re6laced8 It would= in other words= fall into the tra6 of 6lace8 'his would seem to leave us at a theoretical im6asse* if there is no uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture from which 6ower can be critici,ed or condemned= if there is no essential limit to the 6ower one is resisting= then surely there can be no resistance against it8 Perha6s we should give u6 on the idea of 6olitical action altogether and resign ourselves to the inevitability of domination8 Eowever= the 9uestion of the 6ossibility of resistance to domination is crucial to this discussion8 'he work will ex6lore= through a com6arison of anarchism and 6oststructuralism= the 6aradox of the uncontaminated 6lace of resistance8 I will suggest that the 6oint of de6arture central to anarchist


discourse:the essential human sub@ect and its concomitant morality and rationality:cannot o6erate in this way because it is actually constituted by 6ower8 Moreover= because it is based on essentialist ideas= it forms itself into a discourse of domination:a 6lace of 6ower8 I will use the arguments of various thinkers:#tirner= Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari= +errida= and Lacan:to ex6lore the logic of the 6lace of 6ower8 'hey will be used to show that the human sub@ectivity of anarchist discourse is constructed= at least 6artially= by a variety of institutions and discursive regimes= and that therefore it cannot be seen as an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture8 'he 6olitics of 6oststructuralism is the 6olitics of dislo!ation the meta6hor of war= rift= and antagonism is used to break down the essentialist unity of human sub@ectivity= showing its de6endence on the 6ower it claims to o66ose8 'his idea of dislocation develo6s the argument u6 to the logical im6asse mentioned before* how can there be resistance to 6ower without a theoretical 6oint of de6arture outside 6owerD It will remain of the discussion to argue= des6ite these limits= that a discourse of resistance can be constructed through a non)essentialist notion of the /utside8 5roadly s6eaking= then= the aim of this work is to ex6lore the logic of the 6lace of 6ower in various 6olitical discourses and ideas= and to develo6 a way of thinking about resistance that does not reaffirm domination8 It could be seen as an exercise in anti)authoritarian thought because it tries to resist the tem6tation of 6lace8 It resists= in other words= the desire to find an essential 6oint of resistance= because this will inevitably form itself into a structure or discourse of authority8 'he discussion tries to develo6 anti)authoritarian thinking relevant to our time8 It may seem strange= however= that this thinking will be develo6ed through a com6arison between anarchism and 6oststructuralism8 At first glance it would seem as though anarchism and 6oststructuralism have little in common* the former is a revolutionary 6hiloso6hy born out of nineteenth century humanist ideals= while the latter:can it really be said to be a 6hiloso6hyD:would a66ear to re@ect the very foundations u6on which anarchism is based8 Eowever it is 6recisely for this reason that the two are brought together8 'he fundamental differences between them= 6articularly on the 9uestions of sub@ectivity= morality= and rationality= ex6ose= in a most crucial way= the 6roblems of modernity8 (hile anarchism as a revolutionary 6hiloso6hy would seem to have very little to do with our time= it is based on various essentialist categories which still condition our 6olitical reality= and which must be ex6lored if we are to ever move beyond them8 Moreover= anarchism is= as I will argue= a 6hiloso6hy of 6ower8 It is= fundamentally= an unmas"ing of 6ower8 In contrast to Marxism= anarchism was revolutionary in analy,ing 6ower in its own right= and ex6osing the 6lace of 6ower in Marxism itself:its 6otential to reaffirm state authority8 For our 6ur6oses= anarchism is the 6hiloso6hy that invented the 6lace of 6ower as a 6olitical conce6t8 I will also argue that anarchism itself falls into the tra6 of the 6lace of 6ower= and this is ex6lored through the 6oststructuralist criti9ue of essentialism8 And it is through this criti9ue that the 6roblems central to radical 6olitical theory are brought to the fore8 Poststructuralism too is an unmasking of

'he 3eturn of Power

6ower:an unmasking of the 6ower in discourses= ideas= and 6ractices that we have come to regard as innocent of 6ower8 In this sense= then= anarchism and 6oststructuralism= as different as they are= can be brought together on the common ground of the unmasking and criti9ue of 6ower8 Eowever= as I said before= what really makes this com6arison interesting and useful is not what they have in common= but rather in the crucial ways in which they differ8 #o this work is not really a com6arison of anarchism and 6oststructuralism= but rather a bringing together of certain contrasting ideas in order to highlight the 9uestions facing radical 6olitical theory today8 'his Acom6arisonB is merely a device used to think through these 9uestions and 6roblems and= ho6efully= to find solutions to them8 It is= however= undoubtedly an unusual com6arison= and it is a com6arison not often made8 I am only aware of one work:'odd May<s seminal work= The $oliti!al $hilosophy of $oststru!turalist %nar!hism:which ex6lores these connections at any great length8 'his is not to claim any great originality on my 6art= but rather to suggest that there is a legitimate area of research that remains largely unearthed8 Eo6efully this discussion will go some way in redressing this8 As I said before= however= the 6ur6ose of this work is not sim6ly to com6are anarchism and 6oststructuralism= but rather to use this com6arison to ex6lore certain theoretical 6roblems which are brought out= in a uni9ue way= through this com6arison8 I do not a6ologi,e for using the word Ause=B as mercenary as it sounds8 I intend to use other thinkers to work through certain ideas= and I take my cue from Foucault when he says about inter6reting >iet,sche* AFor myself= I 6refer to utili,e the writers I like8 'he only valid tribute to thought such as >iet,sche<s is 6recisely to use it= to deform it= to make it groan and 6rotest8B4 In doing this I do not believe I am being unfair to the thinkers I am discussing8 /n the contrary= the whole 6oint of a 6hiloso6hy like 6oststructuralism is that it is there to be utili,ed8 'herefore= I will use the logic of these thinkers to 6roduce new meanings= to raise 9uestions that they might not have raised= and to make connections with other ideas that they may have re@ected8 Although I discuss certain thinkers at length:I devote a cha6ter to each 6oststructuralist thinker:my work is not really about them8 It is= as I said= a shameless use of their ideas to advance the argument8 'he cha6ters should not be read as an ex6osition of each thinker= but rather as crucial stages in the develo6ment of the argument I have outlined above8 'he structure of the book allows each cha6ter to be taken both as an integral link in the argument= and also as a se6arate essay with its own conclusions= im6lications= and directions8 In this way= it uses the thinkers to ex6lore and advance the argument= while= at the same time= using the argument to ex6lore the thinkers8 5ut it is never intended to be an ex6osition of these thinkers= and there are certainly other im6ortant as6ects to these thinkers that I have deliberately left out because they do not reflect on the issues I am discussing8 'his does not mean that I swee6 under the car6et ideas that are 6roblematic for the argument8 'hese ob@ections are not dismissed but are= on the contrary= used to ex6and the argument= distort its 6ath= and make it turn down dark alleyways which it might not have otherwise entered8


Cha ter Outline

'he first cha6ter is a discussion of the anarchist criti9ue of Marxism8 It uses the arguments of the classical anarchists= such as 5akunin and Iro6otkin= to unmask the authoritarian currents in Marxism8 It looks at the ideas of Marx and Engels= as well as those of modern Marxist theorists such as Althusser= Poulant,as= and 7allinicos= and contends that Marxist theory ignored the 6roblem of 6ower= 6articularly state 6ower= by reducing it to an economic analysis8 'his would lead to the fate of every ?acobin revolution* as the anarchists 6redicted= the structure= or pla!e of state 6ower would be left intact= and even 6er6etuated in an infinitely more tyrannical way8 'he cha6ter also looks at the broader 6roblem of authority in Marxism:the authority of the vanguard 6arty and the 6rivileging of the industrial 6roletariat:and it argues that although Marx himself regarded authority as 6ernicious= he was inesca6ably indebted to a Eegelian logic which allowed authority to be 6er6etuated8 'he anarchist criti9ue of Marxism= then= is used to construct a theory of the 6lace of 6ower:which anarchists detected in the state:which will become the 6oint of de6arture for the discussion8 Moreover= the dialogue between anarchism and Marxism is im6ortant= because it introduces anarchism as a 6hiloso6hy of 6ower8 Anarchism sought to study 6ower in its own right= without shrouding it in an economic or class analysis8 'his unmasking of 6ower and authority makes it 6articularly relevant to our discussion8 'he second cha6ter looks at anarchism= not merely as a criti9ue of Marxism= but also as a 6hiloso6hical system in its own right8 It is based on a notion of a natural human essence= and a morality and rationality which emanate from this essence8 I suggest that anarchism is a radical humanist 6hiloso6hy fundamentally influenced by Feuerbach<s dream of seeing man in the 6lace of &od8 Moreover= it is founded on a Manichean 6olitical logic that o66oses the AartificialB order of state 6ower= to the AnaturalB order of human essence and organic society8 'his fundamental division= as I suggested before= leaves o6en an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture based on this natural essence8 'his 6oint of de6arture is essential to anarchist discourse if state 6ower= and indeed any kind of institutional 6ower= is to be resisted on moral and rational grounds8 It is the basis for most revolutionary 6olitical 6hiloso6hy8 Also in this cha6ter= the idea of the war model is introduced8 'his is an analytical model of antagonism that will be a66lied throughout the argument to ex6ose the em6tiness and rift at the basis of essence8 'he next cha6ter [cha6ter three] uses the ideas of the largely ignored Max #tirner as a criti9ue of humanist anarchism= in 6articular of the idea of human essence= which #tirner sees as an o66ressive ideological construct denying difference and individuality8 Eis ideas are used as a 6oint of ru6ture in the discussion because they allow us to break out of the Enlightenment humanist 6aradigm of essentialism= which informs anarchism= and continues to inform radical 6olitical theory to this day8 #tirner<s criti9ue of Feuerbachian humanism is discussed* he argues that man is merely &od reinvented= and that the category of the absolute:the 6lace of religious authority:is left intact in the form of

'he 3eturn of Power

essence8 I a66ly this argument to anarchism= suggesting that in its criti9ue of 6olitical authority= it has dis6laced this authority only to reinvent it within the idea of human essence8 'his 6lace of resistance to 6ower has become= then= a 6lace of 6ower itself8 #tirner= in talking about the links between 6ower and sub@ectivity= 6rovides an obvious but hitherto unex6lored connection with 6oststructuralism8 #tirner is therefore the link in this discussion between the 6olitics of classical anarchism and the 6olitics of 6oststructuralism to which it is being com6ared8 'he 6ossible connections between #tirner<s ideas and those of 6oststructuralists are startling8 I would argue that #tirner is at least as relevant to 6oststructuralism as >iet,sche= and for this reason it is all the more curious that he has been almost entirely ignored by contem6orary theory8- 'he contribution of #tirner to 6oststructuralist thought remains largely unex6lored= and I ho6e that this discussion of #tirner in this context will ins6ire some interest in the to6ic8 'he 6lace that #tirner has in this discussion of 6ower and resistance is e9ually im6ortant8 Ee shows that there can be no world outside 6ower= and that the 6olitics of resistance must be engaged within the limits of 6ower8 'herefore= the fourth cha6ter looks at Michel Foucault<s discussion of 6ower and resistance= as well as his use of the conce6t of war to analy,e 6ower relations8 Foucault<s criti9ue of humanism follows on from #tirner<s= and he shows that a 6olitics of resistance can no longer be based on a 6oint outside 6ower= as anarchism 6ro6osed= because it is constituted by 6ower8 'herefore the anarchist idea of an essential human sub@ectivity= and the rational and moral norms associated with it= becomes itself a discourse of domination8 It will be suggested= however= that Foucault is forced= by the logistics of this argument= to incor6orate= des6ite himself= some form of essential exteriority to 6ower in order to ex6lain resistance= leaving certain vital 9uestions about resistance unanswered8 'he next cha6ter [cha6ter five] ex6lores the conce6tual world of &illes +eleu,e and Felix &uattari to try and find some figure or language of resistance that was found lacking in Foucault8 It looks at their contributions to our criti9ue of Enlightenment humanism= 6articularly with regard to sub@ectivity and re6resentation= which they see as authoritarian discourses8 'heir notions of the Arhi,omeB as a model of anti)authoritarian thought= and the Awar)machine=B are seen to be ways of constructing a discourse of resistance8 Eowever= it is found that even +eleu,e and &uattari= like Foucault= fall back into the language of essentialism by 6ositing a meta6hysical notion of desire as a figure of resistance8 (hile their war)machine= continuing the war meta6hor= may be develo6ed as an alternate figure of resistance= it is becoming increasingly a66arent that there cannot be any notion of resistance without some notion of an outside to 6ower8 'he 9uestion remains as to whether we can construct a non)essentialist outside8 7ha6ter six= ex6ands u6on the criti9ue of authority by looking at the way in which ?ac9ues +errida<s deconstructive terminology unmasks and interrogates essentialist and meta6hysical structures in 6hiloso6hy8 In his attack on logocentric thought= it is found that +errida does not want to merely reverse the terms of textual hierarchies 6roduced by essentialist ideas= because this leaves



the structure of hierarchy:the 6lace of 6ower:intact8 +errida does= however= incor6orate a notion of the /utside:as an ethical ArealmB of @ustice:which= while it is seen as being constituted by the Inside= is still 6roblematic in the context of the 6oststructuralist argument8 #o where does this leave usD (e can no longer 6osit an essential 6lace of resistance outside 6ower= but it seems that there needs to be some notion of an outside= no matter how momentary= for resistance to be theori,ed8 7ha6ter seven 6roceeds to address the 6roblem of this non)essentialist outside through the ideas of ?ac9ues Lacan8 Like #tirner= Lacan will be seen as a 6ivotal 6oint in the discussion8 Eis arguments about sub@ectivity= signification= and 6articularly his notion of lack= will be used as a way of breaking through the theoretical im6asse that has arisen8 Ee allows us to go beyond the limits of the 6oststructuralist 6aradigm:the limits of difference and 6lurality:to ex6lore this 9uestion of the outside8 I use the conce6t of the lack at the base of sub@ectivity to formulate a notion of the outside that does not become essentialist or foundational:which does not become= in other words= a 6lace8 I also use Lacanian ideas such as the real to contest Eabermas< ideal of rational communication8 'his criti9ue of Eabermas is relevant here= not only because the ideal of rational communication= and the communitarian 6hiloso6hies founded on this= is similar to anarchismF it is also im6ortant to show that the universal and essential categories that this communication is based on amount to a totalitarian discourse that is embroiled in the very domination it claims to eschew8 Moreover= this Lacanian terminology is a66lied to the identity of society= and I attem6t to reconstruct the notion of 6olitical and social identity on the basis of its own im6ossibility and em6tiness8 'he social is shown to be constructed by its limits= by what makes its com6lete identity im6ossible: namely 6ower8 Eowever= the identity of 6ower itself is found to be incom6lete= so there is a ga6 between 6ower and identity8 5ut this lack is not from another= natural world= as anarchists would contend8 /n the contrary= it is 6roduced by the 6ower it limits8 'his would allow us to conce6tuali,e an outside to 6ower= 6aradoxically on the inside of 6ower:in other words= a non)essentialist 6oint of resistance8 I argue that resistance must not refer to essentialist foundations if it is to avoid reaffirming domination8 'his is because= as I will have shown= the 6lace of 6ower is inexorably linked to essentialism* universal and totaling 6olitics that deny difference inevitably flow from essentialist notions8 #o the next cha6ter [cha6ter eight] will try to delineate= using the non)essentialist 6lace I have @ust develo6ed= a 6olitics of resistance without foundations:a 6olitics which re@ects universali,ing and totali,ing tendencies8 'he ethical 6arameters of this 6olitics are 6rovided by the anarchist moral discourse of freedom and e9uality= which has been freed from its essentialist)humanist foundations8 'he ethical limits that I am trying to develo6 remain constitutively o6en to difference and 6lurality= while= at the same time= restricting discourses which seek to deny difference and 6lurality8 'he 6ur6ose of this cha6ter= and indeed the whole discussion= is 6erha6s to show that 6olitics can be thought in both a non)essentialist= non)universal way=

'he 3eturn of Power


and in a way which is 6roductive and not nihilistic8 'o say this may not sound all that radical or contentious= but it must be remembered that 6olitical theory is still= to a large extent= tra66ed within essentialist and foundational discourses which limit it to certain norms and modes of sub@ectivity= while dominating and excluding others8 'he 6olitical 6ro@ect that I attem6t to outline is an o6en 6ro@ect= a 6ro@ect defined by its fundamental incom6leteness8 I can only offer a few suggestions here8 'he 6oint of this discussion is not really to construct a 6olitical 6ro@ect= but rather to show how this 6olitical 6ro@ect arises through the limitations of modern 6olitical discourse8 'his has been nothing more than a brief outline of the argument:the thread I will draw through the discussion8 As I said before= the cha6ters can be read both as stages in an argument= and as se6arate discussions with their own themes and digressions8 I would feel ha66ier if they were taken as both8 I am also aware that there are certain issues that could have been= and 6erha6s should have been= raised in the discussion= but due to limitations of s6ace were not8 /ne of these is the 9uestion of libertarianism8 In my discussion of anarchism I mention its 6ossible connection with libertarian 6hiloso6hy8 I also mention this connection with reference to Foucault8 I do not go into great length for the reason @ust mentioned8 Libertarianism is an anti)authoritarian= antistate 6hiloso6hy= which sees 6olitical 6ower as an insufferable burden u6on the individual= and which seeks to maximi,e 6ersonal freedom and minimi,e the 6ower of institutions81J (hat is more= it is a 6hiloso6hy that= if its advocates are to be believed= is becoming more relevant and more 6rominent in 6olitics today8 It is a 6hiloso6hy= moreover= which cuts across both the left and right= and which informs the radical= anti)authoritarian elements of both8 It clearly has links with both anarchism and 6oststructuralism which= although they a66roach the 6roblem of authority in radically different ways= still seek to minimi,e 6olitical domination= and maximi,e 6ersonal freedom8 5oth anarchism and 6oststructuralism may be seen as forms of left libertarianism8 5ut the 6roblem with this similarity is that= although certain as6ects of the libertarian tradition a66eal to those on the left:if AleftB or ArightB still means anything today: libertarianism is= more often than not= considered a right wing 6hiloso6hy in the sense that it ideali,es free market individualism and wants to liberate society from the o66ressive burden of the welfare state and its taxes8 'his cannot easily be dismissed8 It must be remembered that anarchists also saw the state as a burden on the natural functioning of society= and they would be e9ually sus6icious of welfare= and Foucault= for instance= was interested in= or at least did not discount= liberalism= which forms the basis of libertarianism= as a criti9ue of excessive government811 Anarchism and 6oststructuralism both re@ect the ideali,ed notion of the individual that libertarian 6hiloso6hy is founded on8 For anarchists= the individual cannot be taken out of the context of the natural society that creates him= and= moreover= the free market= which libertarians see as a mechanism that ex6ands individual freedom= anarchists see as a fundamental site of o66ression8 For 6oststructuralists= to 6osit such an abstracted notion of individuality as libertarians do= is to ignore the various dominations that are involved in its



construction8 In this sense= then= anarchism and 6oststructuralism= while they are both anti)authoritarian 6hiloso6hies= and while they both aim at increasing individual freedom= still 9uestion the abstracted notion of individuality:where the individual exists in a kind of vacuum of the free market in which he has absolute free choice:that libertarianism 6ro6ounds8 >evertheless= there are still undeniable links that can be established here with a 6hiloso6hy that easily gives itself over to right wing 6olitics8 Perha6s libertarianism can be seen as a dark 6otentiality of the criti9ue of authority8 'o deny this 6otentiality would be against the s6irit of theoretical o6enness that I ho6e is imbued in this book8 /n the other hand= I do not want to em6hasi,e this link too much because the discussion is not about libertarianism8 I only mention it here to indicate that the anti)authoritarian categories of anarchism and 6oststructuralism are not watertight8 'heir meanings and im6lications cannot be contained in narrow= clear cut definitions= but rather are contaminated= and very often overflow in directions they might not have counted on= and which they might be o66osed to8 (ithout this un6redictability of meaning there would be no such thing as 6olitics8

Political definitions are a difficult thing= and rightly so8 >evertheless= I reali,e that I had better define certain terms that I will be using throughout the discussion8 Many of the terms that I have used already like Athe lackB and Athe real=B are Lacanian terms= and will be defined in the cha6ter devoted to Lacan8 Eowever there are other terms that need some ex6lanation8

$ower, &omination, and %uthority

I reali,e that I have= to a certain extent= been using these terms interchangeably8 >ow because these ideas are seen in radically different ways by the different thinkers I am discussing= it will be im6ossible to offer an overall definition for them here8 Moreover= power in this discussion= is an intentionally abstract conce6t8 'he 6roblem is that although I will be using these interchangeably= by the time we get to Foucault= A6owerB and AdominationB have somewhat different meanings8 Although relations of domination arise from relations of 6ower= domination [and authority] is something to be resisted= while 6ower is something to be acce6ted as unavoidable8 For Foucault and= to a certain extent= #tirner= 6ower relations are inevitable in any society= and this is 6recisely where the 6roblems for anarchism= which 6osits an essential division between 6ower and society= emerge8 #o the confusion that arises from Foucault<s terminology is a necessary 6art of the argument= because it not only makes the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture a theoretical im6ossibility:it also renders the 6lace of 6ower itself somewhat ambiguous8 Eowever= when I refer to the pla!e of power= I still use A6owerB in the sense of domination8 +omination is seen as an effect of 6ower= an effect of authoritarian structures8 I em6loy a deliberately broad definition of authority it refers not only to institutions like

'he 3eturn of Power


the state and the 6rison= etc8F it also refers to authoritarian discursive structures like rational truth= essence= and the sub@ectifying norms they 6roduce8

Essentialism is the idea that beneath surface differences= there lies one true identity or character8 'his essential identity= it is claimed= is concealed or re6ressed by forces external to it81! For exam6le= anarchism claims that the essential identity of the individual= defined by a natural morality and rationality= is concealed and distorted by the 6ower of the state and religion8 /nce these institutions are destroyed= according to this argument= human essence will flourish8 (e can see that this argument= which views 6olitical forces as external to this essence= constructs this essence as an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= a moral and rational 6lace from which these 6olitical forces can be resisted8 My argument against this will be twofold8 First= I will try to show= using the 6oststructuralist thinkers mentioned above= that the logic of the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture is flawed* in reality= the essential human identity that constitutes this 6oint of de6arture is already constructed by= or at least infinitely bound u6 with= the 6ower regimes it claims to o66ose8 Indeed its identity of o66osition to these 6ower regimes is itself constructed by 6ower8 #econd= essential identity= far from being an identity of resistance= actually becomes an authoritarian signifier* it becomes the norm according to which other identities are 6ersecuted8 It becomes the basis of a whole series of binary o66ositions that restrict other identities by constructing them as somehow a failure or 6erversion of the norm8 'hese arguments are develo6ed from the 6oststructuralist criti9ue that eschews the very idea of an essential identity= seeing identity as nothing more than a dis6ersed series of surfaces= 6luralities= and antagonisms8

Poststructuralism is an ambiguous area that re9uires some ex6laining8 For a start= there is considerable debate as to whether there is any such thing as 6oststructuralism at all8 Many of the A6oststructuralistB thinkers I will be discussing would have re@ected the title8 Poststructuralism is merely a catch6hrase= a term of convenience= which grou6s together a whole series of thinkers and ideas which= in many res6ects= are 9uite diverse8 #o it must be remembered that 6oststructuralism by no means signifies a unified theory or body of thought8 'here are= however= among these thinkers= certain shared strands of thinking and 6hiloso6hical traditions which can be brought out and develo6ed= and it is this which may be termed poststru!turalist8 Poststructuralism has its origins in the structuralism of 5arthes= Levi) #trauss= Althusser= etc81" 5roadly= structuralism subordinated the signified to the signifier= seeing the reality of the sub@ect as constructed by structures of language that surround it8 'hus essentialist ideas about sub@ectivity are re@ected= and in their 6lace is 6ut a wholly determining structure of signification8 For instance= Althusserian Marxism saw the sub@ect as overdetermined by the signifying regime 6roduced by ca6italism= the sub@ect becoming merely an



effect of this 6rocess8 'he 6roblem with this re@ection of essentialism was that the all)determining structure of language became= in itself= an essence8 'he structure becomes @ust as determining as any essence= @ust as totali,ing and as closed an identity8 As +errida argues= the structure became a pla!e Athe entire history of the conce6t of the structure 8 8 8 must be thought of as a series of substitutions of center for center= as a linked chain of determinations of the center8B1% In other words= the all)determining structure becomes merely a substitution for the essential centers:like &od= man= consciousness:that it su66osedly resisted8 'his criti9ue of structuralism may be broadly characteri,ed as A6ost) structuralist8B Poststructuralism goes one ste6 beyond structuralism by seeing the structure itself= to a certain extent= as affected by other forces8 At least the identity of the structure is not closed= com6lete= or 6ure:it is contaminated= as +errida would argue= by what it su66osedly determines8 'his makes its identity unde!ida#le8 'here can be no notion= then= of an all)determining= centrali,ed structure like language8 For 6oststructuralists= the sub@ect is constituted= not by a central structure= but by dis6ersed and unstable relations of forces:6ower= discursive regimes= and 6ractices8 'he difference between structuralism and 6oststructuralism is that* first= for 6oststructuralists= the forces which constitute the sub@ect do not form a central structure:like ca6italism= for instance:but remain decentrali,ed and diffusedF second= for 6oststructuralists= the sub@ect is !onstituted by these forces= rather than determined8 /ne is constituted in such a way that there is always the 6ossibility of resistance to the way one is constituted8 It must be remembered= then= that for 6oststructuralism= as o66osed to structuralism= forces= like 6ower= which constitute the sub@ect= are always unstable and o6en to resistance8 Poststructuralism may be seen as a series of strategies of resistance to the authority of 6lace8 Poststructuralists sees structuralism as falling into the tra6 of 6lace by 6ositing= in the 6lace of &od= or man= a structure which is @ust as essentialist8 #o 6oststructuralism is not only a re@ection of the essentialism of Enlightenment humanism= but also the essentialism of the structuralist criti9ue of humanism8 A6art from this= I am not 6re6ared to define 6oststructuralism any further8 Its definition will be brought out in the discussion8 Eowever= as I suggested before= the 6ur6ose of the discussion is really not to define or describe= but to use= and this is how I will a66roach 6oststructuralism8 It may be noticed that I refer to poststru!turalism and not postmodernism8 'he two terms are often e9uated= but they are not the same8 Poststructuralists like Foucault would wholly re@ect the descri6tion A6ostmodernist=B and in fact Foucault said that he did not know what A6ostmodernityB actually meant8 1$ For ?ean)Francois Lyotard= 6ostmodernity refers not to a historical 6eriod= but rather to a condition of criti9ue of the unities and totalities of modernity: an Aincredulity towards metanarratives8B1. 'his would seem to e9uate 6ostmodernism with 6oststructuralism8 Eowever= the word A6ostmodernB has become so clichGd:A(e all live in a 6ostmodern worldB etc8:that it comes to be seen as an actual stage in history beyond modernity8 It is for this reason that I 6refer to use the term poststru!turalism8

'he 3eturn of Power


Poststructuralism is a strategy= or series of strategies= of resistance to the unities and totalities of modernity:its essentialist categories= its absolute faith in rational truth= morality= and the 6ractices of domination which these are often tied to8 Eowever= 6oststructuralism does not see itself as a stage beyond modernity= but rather a criti9ue conducted u6on the limits of modernity8 Poststructuralism o6erates within the discourse of modernity to ex6ose its limits and unmask its 6roblems and 6aradoxes8 It 6resents us with a 6roblem rather than a solution8 Modernity is not a historical 6eriod but a discourse to which we are still heavily indebted8 (e cannot sim6ly transcend modernity and revel in a nihilistic 6ostmodern universe8 Is this not to fall once again into the tra6 of 6lace :to re6lace one discourse= one form of authority= with anotherD 3ather= we must work at the limits of modernity= and maintain a critical attitude= not only toward modernity itself= but toward any discourse which claims to transcend it8 'his is what I understand A6oststructuralismB to mean8 It means that our work is yet to be done8

18 AgustKn 7ueva= 'l pro!eso de la &omina!on $olti!a en '!uador 1Luito* #olitierra= 1- 2= 8 Luoted in Peter (orsley= The Three (orlds 1London* (eidenfeld M >icholson= 1-4%2= !. 8 !8 Michel Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B in The Fou!ault )eader, ed8 Paul 3abinow 1>ew Nork* Pantheon= 1-4%2= .)1JJ8 "8 ?ac9ues Lacan= The Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!hoanalysis, ed8 ?ac9ues) Alain Miller 1London* Eogarth Press= 1- 2= !4J8 %8 Lacan= The Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!hoanalysis, %-8 $8 #lavo@ Hi,ek= Tarrying with the +egative ,ant, -egel, and the *riti.ue of /deology 1+urham* +uke Cniversity Press= 1--"2= 18 .8 'he fact that what came after these communist states was even worse:the recurrent 6attern of Aethnic cleansing=B for exam6le:illustrates this 6oint8 8 #ee 'odd May= The $oliti!al $hilosophy of $oststru!turalist %nar!hism 1Cniversity Park= Pa8* Pennsylvania #tate Cniversity Press= 1--%28 #ee also May= AIs Post)structuralist Political 'heory AnarchistDB in $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism 1$= no8 " 11-4-2* 1. )141F and Andrew Ioch= APoststructuralism and the E6istemological 5asis of Anarchism=B $hilosophy of the So!ial S!ien!es !"= no8 " 11--"2* "! )"$18 48 Michel Foucault= APrison 'alk=B in $ower0,nowledge Sele!ted /nterviews and 1ther (ritings 234562344, ed8 7olin &ordon 15righton= #ussex* Earvester Press= 1-4J2= " )$%8 -8 'his is not= of course= to diminish the im6ortance of >iet,sche= who 6lays an im6ortant role in this discussion= although there is no single cha6ter devoted to him8 In the same way that +errida sees Marx as the s6ecter that continues to haunt our 6resent= 6erha6s one could see >iet,sche as the s6irit who haunts our discussion8 #ee ?ac9ues +errida= Spe!ters of 7ar8 The State of the &e#t, the (or" of 7ourning, 9 the +ew /nternational, trans . Peggy Iamuf 1>ew Nork* 3outledge= 1--%2= %8 1J8 For a fuller account of libertarianism see +avid 5oa,= :i#ertarianism a $rimer 1>ew Nork* Free Press= 1-- 2F and #te6hen L8 >ewman= :i#eralism at (it;s 'nds The



:i#ertarian )evolt %gainst the 7odern State 1Ithaca= >8N8* 7ornell Cniversity Press= 1-4%28 118 #ee Andrew 5arry= ed8= Fou!ault and $oliti!al )eason :i#eralism, +eo6 :i#eralism and the )ationalities of <overnment 17hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1--.2= )48 1!8 #ee Anna Marie #mith= A3astafari as 3esistance and the Ambiguities of Essentialism in the ;>ew #ocial Movements=<B in The 7a"ing of $oliti!al /dentities, ed8 Ernesto Laclau 1London* Oerso= 1--%2= 1 1)!J%8 1"8 Michael Peters= A(hat is PoststructuralismD 'he French 3ece6tion of >iet,sche=B $oliti!al Theory +ewsletter 4= no8 ! 1March 1-- 2* "-)$$8 1%8 ?ac9ues +errida= (riting and &ifferen!e= trans8 A8 5ass 17hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1- 42= ! -)4J8 1$8 Peters= A(hat is PoststructuralismDB %J8 1.8 Peters= A(hat is PoststructuralismDB %J8

Chapter One

Mar'ism and the %ro(lem of %o!er

'he conflict between Marxism and anarchism was a 6ivotal debate that sha6ed nineteenth century radical 6olitical thought8 'he anarchist Mikhail 5akunin was one of Marx<s most formidable o66onents= his dissension s6litting the First International8 'he conflict between these two revolutionary forces remains significant to this day8 'his discussion will not cover all as6ects of the debate between Marxism and anarchism= but will center around 9uestions of domination= 6ower= and authority= some of the most 6ressing 9uestions confronting 6olitical theory8 'heorists and activists of different shades of o6inion are asking themselves how significant social change can be achieved without a 6er6etuation of the forms of authority and domination that have come to be associated with the notion of revolution8 'he recently failed communist ex6eriment should= if anything= make one aware of the dangers of institutional 6ower being 6er6etuated in revolutionary movements8 /ne of the most 6otentially liberating movements in history ended u6 reinstating the very institutions it sought to destroy8 It was= as Michel Foucault argues= a mere changing of the guard81 Eowever= the ex6erience of the 3ussian revolution is certainly not enough to indict the whole of Marxist theory8 /ne must take into account the ob@ections of those who say that the 5olshevik revolution was not a true Marxist revolution and that Marx himself would have been turning in his grave8 Marxism and the anarchist criti9ue will be looked at on their own terms and @udged on the grounds of theory8 'he discussion will involve the arguments of not only Marx and Engels and the classical anarchists= but also those of contem6orary Marxist and anarchist thinkers8 'he debate between Marxism and anarchism is based around the themes of 6ower= domination= and authority8 It will involve= then= the crucial 9uestion of the state= and state 6ower8 >ow= for Marxists= as well as for anarchists= the state is an enemy of human freedom8 For Marx and Engels it was essentially the instrument through which one economic class dominated another8 'he state= then= was something to be transcended8 Eowever= Marx is ambiguous on this 6oint8 Ee does not formulate a consistent theory of the state= seeing it at certain times as a tool of economic and class domination= and at other times as a relatively autonomous institution that acts= in some cases= against the immediate interests of the bourgeoisie8 'he extent of the state<s autonomy is crucial to the Marx)anarchist debate and will be ex6anded u6on later8 Marx<s 6oint of de6arture is Eegel= who believed that the liberal state was the ethical agent through which the fundamental contradictions in society could be overcome8 'hus in the $hilosophy of )ight, Eegel argued that civil society was racked by ram6ant egotism and divided by the conflicting interests of self) seeking individuals8 7ivil society embodied a Auniversal self)interest8B


7ha6ter /ne

Eowever= this would be transcended= according to Eegel= by the modern state which would instigate a universal system of law= and unite consciousness= so that the egoism of civil society would be ke6t out of the 6olitical s6here8 14 In other words the 6articular state:the state that governs on behalf of 6articular interests in society must be re6laced by a universal state:one which governs for the general good8 For Eegel= the modern liberal state is the overcoming of contradictions and divisions in society8 It is the culmination of morality and rationality81- 'his idea that the state can exist for the general good= for the whole of society= was re@ected by Marx8 According to Marx= the state is always a 6articular state that 6aints itself as universal8 Its universality and inde6endence from civil society are only a mask for the 6articular economic interests:such as 6rivate 6ro6erty:that it re6resents8!J Marx was later to develo6 from this the 6osition that the state re6resented the interests of the most economically dominant class:the bourgeoisie8 For Marx= then= unlike Eegel= the state cannot overcome the tensions and contradictions in civil society and must= therefore= be transcended8 'hus= Marx talks about the abolition of the state through universal suffrage8!1 It is this 6oint that those who want to em6hasi,e the anti)authoritarian= antistatist as6ect of Marx<s thinking= sei,e u6on8 Eowever= while Marx ostensibly breaks with Eegelian statism= he remains inexorably caught within its framework8!! 'he clearest ex6ression of this contradiction in Marx<s thinking is in his advocating the necessity for a transitional state in the 6ostrevolutionary 6eriod= and for a centrali,ation of all authority in the hands of this state8 Moreover= Marx= for all his celebrated anti)authoritarianism= was unable to really come to terms with the 6roblem of authority= with the more diffuse s6heres of domination and hierarchy= such as those within the factory= the 6arty a66aratus= and in systems of technology8 Indeed= even those who wish to highlight anti)authoritarian tenets within Marx must reluctantly concede that Marxism is inade9uate for dealing with the broader 6roblems of 6ower:that is= 6ower which exists outside class conflict and which is not reducible to the economic factors8!"

Mar'ist Theor) of the "tate

Criti*ue of Bauer
'he idea that economic and class forces generally determine 6olitical matters is central to many forms of Marxism8 For Marx himself= it was the economic forces of society that determined all historical= 6olitical= cultural= and social 6henomena8!% 'he 6olitical system= Marx argues= is a s6here which a66ears to have a determining effect on society:whereas= in reality= it is social relations based on a 6articular mode of 6roduction that generally determine 6olitics8 'he origins of this 6osition may be seen in Marx<s article= 1n the =ewish >uestion.

Marxism and the Problem of Power


'his was a res6onse to an article by 5runo 5auer in which he suggested that the state should be used to combat religious alienation8 'he state= according to 5auer= could emanci6ate society from the gras6 of religion by becoming secular8!$ Marx argued= in res6onse= that if the state became secular and religion became a 6rivate matter for the individual= this would not necessarily mean that society would be freed from the hold of religion* A'o be 6olitically emanci6ated from religion is not to be finally and com6letely emanci6ated from religion= because 6olitical emanci6ation is not the final and absolute form of human emanci6ation8B!. 'he politi!al emanci6ation that 5auer advocates would only further entrench religion in society and exacerbate the division between general and 6rivate interests= between the state and civil society:a division that Marx wanted to overcome8 It would not do anything to weaken religion<s gras68 ! (ith 5auer= the em6hasis is on the state:its theological character and its 6ower to free society from religion by freeing itself from religion8 (ith Marx= on the other hand= the em6hasis is on civil society8 'he state cannot free society from religious alienation or economic alienation because the state itself is merely a reflection of this alienation8 'he real 6ower for Marx is within civil society and the forces:like religion and 6rivate 6ro6erty:which dominate it8 Economic forces= rather than 6olitical forces= are what dominate society= according to Marx8 'o argue for 6olitical emanci6ation= as 5auer does= is to widen the ga6 between the state and civil society and to allow im6ersonal= dominating economic forces to entrench themselves more dee6ly in society by abdicating 6olitical control over them8 'o argue for less 6olitical control was to remove the 6ossibility= according to Marx= of exercising any sort of communal control8 'he 6oint of this discussion of 1n the =ewish >uestion is to suggest that Marx argues from society:and therefore from the economic system:to the state= rather than from the state to society= as 5auer did8 5auer believed that the 6ower to sha6e society was contained in the state= and claimed that if the state emanci6ated itself from the religion:if it became secular:then religion itself would be dissi6ated8 Marx= on the other hand= believed that the real domination= the real determining 6ower= lay within civil society* Acivil= not 6olitical= life is their real tie8B!4 5auer= Marx argued= mistakenly believed that the state was an Ainde6endent entityB ca6able of acting autonomously and determinately8 'he state was= on the whole= derivative and determined [by economic forces] rather than autonomous and determinant8 Although 5auer was by no means an anarchist= anarchism converges with his 6osition on this very 6oint* the belief that the state is a determinant= autonomous force with its own conditions of existence and the 6ower to sha6e society8 5auer regarded this 6ower as 6ositive= while anarchists saw it as negative and destructive8 Eowever= it is this similarly held belief that 6olitical 6ower was the 6rimary determinant force in society that Marx critici,ed8 Marx therefore attacks the anarchist Pierre)?ose6h Proudhon for his suggestion that 6olitical 6ower could actually sha6e the economic system8 According to Marx= the state lacks this 6ower because it exists as a mere reflection of the economic conditions which it is 6ur6orted to be able to change8 5akunin believed that


7ha6ter /ne

Marx was unable to see the state as anything but an instrument of economic forces* AEe 1Marx2 says ;Poverty 6roduces 6olitical slavery= the #tate=< but he does not allow this ex6ression to be turned around to say ;Political slavery= the #tate= re6roduces in its turn= and maintains 6overty as a condition of its own existenceF so that in order to destroy 6overty= it is necessary to destroy the #tate<8B!-

The +uestion of Bona artism

Eowever= while it is true that Marx saw the state as largely derivative of the economic forces and class interests= he did at times allow the state a substantial degree of 6olitical autonomy8 For instance= his work The 'ighteenth ?rumaire of :ouis ?onaparte describes a cou6 d<Gtat in France in 14$1= in which state forces led by Louis 5ona6arte sei,ed absolute 6ower= achieving not only a considerable degree of inde6endence from the bourgeoisie= but often acting directly against its immediate interests8 'hus Marx says* A/nly under the second 5ona6arte does the state seem to have made itself com6letely inde6endent8B "J Eowever= while this state has achieved a considerable degree of 6olitical autonomy= it was still essentially a state that ruled in the economic interest of the bourgeoisie8 'he 5ona6artist state was the monstrous creation of the ca6italist class* 5ona6arte was 6ut in 6ower by the bourgeoisie to secure its economic interests and 9uell working class unrestF he then turned on the very bourgeois 6arliament that brought him into 6ower8 'he 5ona6artist state= according to Marx= was a deformed= hy6ertro6hied ex6ression of bourgeois 6ower:a bourgeois monster that turned on the bourgeoisie itself8 It was a case of the bourgeoisie committing 6olitical suicide in order to safeguard its economic interests* Athat= in order to save its 6urse= it must forfeit the crown8B"1 'he bourgeoisie was willing to sacrifice its 6olitical 6ower in order to 6reserve its economic 6ower= and the 5ona6artist state was the ex6ression of this Asacrifice8B 'o what extent= then= does this account of the 5ona6artist state allow for the relative autonomy of the state in Marxist theoryD 'here has been considerable debate about this8 +avid Eeld and ?oel Irieger argue that there are two main strands in the Marxist theory of the relation between classes and the state8 'he first:let us call it 11a2:which is exem6lified by Marx<s account of 5ona6artism= stresses the relative autonomy of the state8 It sees state institutions and the bureaucracy as constituting a virtually se6arate s6here in societyF its logic is not necessarily determined by class interests= and it assumes a centrality in society8 'he second strand 1!a2 which Eeld and Irieger argue is the dominant one in Marxist thought= sees the state as an instrument of class domination= whose structure and o6eration are determined by class interests8"! Eeld and Irieger also argue that these two contrasting traditions in Marxist thought corres6ond res6ectively to different revolutionary strategies in regards to the state8 'he first 6osition 11b2 would allow the state to be used as a force for revolutionary change and liberation8 5ecause the state is seen as a neutral

Marxism and the Problem of Power


institution in the sense that it is not essentially beholden to class interests= it can be used against ca6italism and the economic dominance of the bourgeoisie8 'he second 6osition 1!b2= on the other hand= because it sees the state as essentially a bourgeois state= an instrument of class domination= demands that the state be destroyed as 6art of a socialist revolution8"" 'his is the 6osition exem6lified by Lenin8"% 'his traditional inter6retation of the relation between the 9uestion of the autonomy of the state and its role in a socialist revolution may be best re6resented by a table*

The 7ar8ist model

11a2 Autonomous state))))))))))P !1a2 +etermined state)))))))))))P 11b2 #tate as tool of revolution !1b2 #tate to be destroyed in revolution

>ow it is this dichotomy of state theories and their concomitant revolutionary strategies that could be 9uestioned8 It may be argued that it is 6recisely the second 6osition 11b2:the view of the state as an instrument of class:that entails the first revolutionary strategy 1!a2 which allows the state to be used as a revolutionary tool of liberation8 Furthermore= one could see the first 6osition 11a2 which allows the state relative autonomy:as entailing the second revolutionary strategy 1!b2 which calls for the destruction of the state in a socialist revolution*

%n %nar!hist model
11a2 Autonomous state))))))))P !1a2 +etermined state))))))))))P !1b2 #tate to be destroyed in revolution 11b2 #tate as tool of revolution

'he reason for this rather radical overturning of the acce6ted logic is that the first 6osition 11a2 comes closest to an anarchist theory about the state8 Anarchism sees the state as a wholly autonomous and inde6endent institution with its own logic of domination8 It is 6recisely for this reason that the state cannot be used as a neutral tool of liberation and change during the time of revolution8 Even if it is in the hands of a revolutionary class like the 6roletariat :as Marx advocated:it still cannot be trusted because it has its own institutional logic above and beyond the control of the Aruling class8B 'he time of revolution is when the state institution can least be trusted= as it will use the o66ortunity to 6er6etuate its own 6ower8 'o regard the state as neutral= then= as strategy 11b2 does= is fatal8 According to this anarchist logic= moreover= 6osition 1!a2:that which sees the state as an instrument of the bourgeoisie:is the most dangerous because it is this which im6lies that the state is merely a neutral institution subservient to the interests of the dominant class8 It is this 6osition which would actually entail revolutionary strategy 11b2:the use of the state as a tool of revolution when in the hands of the revolutionary class8 It is really a dis6ute over the meaning of neutrality* according to the Marxist logic= neutrality would mean autonomy from class interests= whereas for anarchists neutrality would im6ly 6recisely the o66osite:su#servien!e to class interests8 'his is


7ha6ter /ne

because the view that the state is determined by class interests does not allow the state its own logicF it would be @ust a humble servant of class interests and could= therefore= be used as a neutral tool of revolution if it was in the hands of the right class8 /n the other hand= it is Marx<s 5ona6artist version of the state: that which sees it as a neutral institution= not beholden to class interests:that is 6recisely the logic which= for anarchists= 6aradoxically= denies the neutrality of the state because it allows it to be seen as an autonomous institution with its own logic and which= for this reason= cannot be seen as a neutral tool of revolution8 Anarchists 6erha6s 6ursue the logic of 5ona6artism much further than Marx himself was 6re6ared to take it= and= in doing so= entirely turn on its head the Marxist conce6tion of state and revolution8 'he anarchist conce6tion of the state and its relation to class will be ex6anded u6on later8 Eowever= it is necessary at this 6oint to show that= while Marx was no doubt o66osed to the state= it is 6recisely the 9uestion of how he was o66osed to it:as an autonomous 5ona6artist institution= or as an institution of bourgeois dominance:and the conse9uences of this for revolutionary strategy= that is crucial to this debate8 >icos Poulant,as= who wants to em6hasi,e the relative autonomy of the ca6italist state= argues that for Marx and Engels 5ona6artism is not merely a concrete form of the ca6italist state in exce6tional circumstances= but actually a constitutive theoretical feature of it8"$ 'his would a66arently 9uestion determinist inter6retations of the state in Marxist theory8 3al6h Miliband= on the other hand= argues that the state for Marx and Engels was still very much the instrument of class domination8". #o what are we to make of this dis6arity in the inter6retations of Marx<s theory of the stateD Marx himself never develo6ed a theory of the state as such= or at least not a consistent theory8 'here are times when he a66ears to have a very deterministic and instrumentalist reading of the state8 In the <erman /deology he says* Athe state is the form in which the individuals of a ruling class assert their common interests8B " Also= one reads in the *ommunist 7anifesto that Athe executive of the modern state is but a committee for managing the common affairs of the bourgeoisie8B"4 'he *ommunist 7anifesto was a 6olitical 6am6hlet= so we cannot 6lace too much em6hasis on it8 Eowever= it does 6erha6s give some indication of the general direction of Marx<s thinking in regards to the state8 #o how should we a66roach the 9uestion of the autonomy of the stateD 'here is no clear answer to this8 5ut at the risk of trying to enforce some cohesion onto Marx<s thoughts on this sub@ect= that he himself maybe never intended= 6erha6s we can say the following* while one can clearly re@ect the crude functionalist reading of the state= and while allowing the state 6erha6s a considerable degree of 6olitical autonomy= we can still say that= for Marx= the state is= in essence= class domination8 5y this we mean that= while the state is by no means the sim6le 6olitical instrument of the bourgeoisie= while it clearly does not do everything the bourgeoisie tells it and indeed= often acts against it= the state is still= for Marx= an institution that allows the most economically 6owerful class:the class which owns the means of 6roduction:to ex6loit other classes8 In other words= it is still the state that facilitates the bourgeoisie<s

Marxism and the Problem of Power


domination and ex6loitation of the 6roletariat8 'his inter6retation would allow the state a large degree of 6olitical autonomy* it could work against the 6olitical will of the bourgeoisie= but it still would have to 6rotect the long)term economic interests of the bourgeoisie8 #o rather than saying that= for Marx= the state is the instrument of bourgeoisie= it may be more accurate to say that the state is a refle!tion of bourgeois class domination= an institution whose structure is determined by ca6italist relations8 According to Eal +ra6er= the state rules in a Aclass) distortedB way8"- Its function is to maintain an economic and social order that allows the bourgeoisie to continue to ex6loit the 6roletariat8 5y maintaining the conditions of the ca6italist economy in the name of the common good= the state serves the interests of the bourgeoisie8 'his is what Marx meant by saying that the state was derivative of 6articular interests in society8 /ne can see in Marx<s account of the state:if there can be said to be an AaccountB as such:a continuation of the Eegelian criti9ue of the 6artial state= the state that serves the interests of 6art= rather than the whole= of society8 For Marx= the state has an illusory character* it 6aints itself as a universal 6olitical community that is o6en to general 6artici6ation whereas= in fact= it generally acts on behalf of certain sectional interests8 It is a veil behind which the real struggles of economic classes are waged and behind which the real misery and alienation of 6eo6le<s lives is concealed8 Like Eegel= Marx was concerned with finding an ethical agency= a form of communal control= a legitimate form of 6ower= which would transcend the 6artial state and embody the interests of the whole of society:something which would overcome the contradiction between 6ublic and 6rivate life8 For Marx the ca6italist state was an ex6ression of the alienation in civil society= and the only way this alienation could be overcome was through an agency which did not reflect existing economic and 6ro6erty relations8%J Cnlike Eegel= Marx believed that this agent could not be the modern state as it stands because it was essentially the state of bourgeois relations8 (hile Eegel= then= saw this unifying agent in the ethical 6rinci6le behind the liberal state= Marx found it in the 6roletariat8%1

&ictatorshi of the %roletariat

'he 6roletariat is Marx<s version of the universal agent sought within the Eegelian tradition:the agent that would overcome the contradictions in society8 'he emanci6ation of the 6roletariat is synonymous with the emanci6ation of society as a whole8 It re6resented the 6ossibility= according to Marx= of exercising a legitimate ethical authority over society* a society characteri,ed by a lack of 6ublic@as o66osed to 6rivate@authorityF a society in which 6eo6le were alienated from each other= and from the 6ublic s6here8 Marx= therefore= saw this exercise of 6ublic authority= of social 6ower= as a necessary stage in the ushering in of communism8 Eow was this social 6ower to be organi,ed howeverD Marx said that it would be organi,ed= tem6orarily= in the a66aratus of the state8 'he 6roletariat= in


7ha6ter /ne

the Atransitional 6eriodB between ca6italist and communist society= will exercise 6olitical 6ower through the instrumentality of the state* A'here corres6onds to this Qtransitional 6eriodR also a 6olitical transition in which the state can be nothing but the dictatorshi6 of the 6roletariat8B%! Marx called= furthermore= in his %ddress of the *entral *ommittee to the *ommunist :eague for the workers to strive for Athe most decisive centrali,ation of 6ower in the hands of state authority8B%" 'he coercive 6ower of the state may be used by the 6roletariat to su66ress class enemies and swee6 away the conditions of the old bourgeois society8 'hus Marx says in the *ommunist 7anifesto* A'he 6roletariat will use its 6olitical su6remacy to wrest= by degrees= all ca6ital from the bourgeoisie= to centrali,e all instruments of 6roduction in the hands of the state8B %% #o the state= controlled by the 6roletariat= has become= for Marx= albeit tem6orarily= the vehicle which would liberate society from bourgeois domination by re6resenting society as a whole8 'hus the aim of the revolution= for Marx= was not to destroy state 6ower= but rather to sei,e hold of it and to 6er6etuate it in the Atransitional 6eriod8B It must be remembered that Marx sees this 6roletarian state as a tem6orary arrangement= and Engels argued that it would Awither awayB when no longer necessary8%$ Eowever= the anarchists argued that to ex6ect the state to @ust disintegrate on its own was naive8 'he reason for this will become clear later8 #o Marx<s strategy in the AtransitionalB 6hase of the revolution amasses enormous 6ower in the hands of the state8 Eowever= if the state is= as Marx had argued= always the AinstrumentB of a 6articular class= or at least a reflection of class domination= how then can Marx see the Atransitional stateB as acting on behalf of the whole of societyD Is not this at variance with Marx<s 6rofessed antistatism and his de6arture from Eegel on this 9uestionD Anarchists saw this as a ma@or flaw in Marx<s thinking8 Marx= on the other hand= did not see this as a contradiction at all8 5ecause the transitional state was in the hands of the 6roletariat:the Auniversal classB:it would act for the benefit of society as a whole8 According to Marx= it was no longer a 6artial state= as it had been in bourgeois society:it was now a universal state8 In fact= Marx said that state 6ower will no longer even be 6olitical 6ower= since A6olitical 6owerB is defined by its reflection of the interests of a 6articular class8 In other words= because there are no more class distinctions in society= because the bourgeoisie has been to66led from its 6osition of economic and= therefore= 6olitical= dominance= there is no longer any such thing as 6olitical 6ower* A(hen= in the course of develo6ment= class distinctions have disa66eared= and all 6roduction has been concentrated in the hands of a vast association of the whole nation= 6ublic 6ower will lose its 6olitical character8B%. Ee also says in res6onse to 5akunin<s ob@ections to the transitional state* Awhen class domination ends= there will be no state in the 6resent 6olitical sense of the word8B% For Marx= because 6olitical domination and conflict is an ex6ression of class domination= once class domination disa66ears= then so will 6olitical domination* the state will become a neutral institution to be used by the 6roletariat= until it Awithers away8B Let us follow Marx<s logic* because 6olitical 6ower is the derivative of class and ca6italist relations= once these are abolished= then= strictly s6eaking= 6olitical 6ower no longer exists:even though the state has become= in accordance with

Marxism and the Problem of Power


the Marxist revolutionary 6rogram= more centrali,ed and 6owerful than it ever was in bourgeois society= or in any other society8 'his claim that the increasingly dominant AtransitionalB state no longer exercises 6olitical 6ower is= argued the anarchists= dangerously naive8 It neglects what they see as the fundamental law of state 6ower [or= for that matter= any form of institutional 6ower]* that it is inde6endent of economic forces= and that it has its own logic: that of self)6er6etuation8 >ow it is true that= as we have shown before in the case of the 5ona6artist state= Marx allows the state some inde6endence from class will= but the 9uestion is whether he has allowed it enough8 'he anarchists would argue that he has not= and that the evidence for this is 6recisely Marx<s use of the state institution to further revolutionary aims8 Anarchism sees the state= in its essen!e= as inde6endent of economic classes= and that for this reason it cannot be trusted to revolutioni,e society no matter which class controls it8 It may be suggested= then= that anarchism 6ursues to its furthest reaches the 6ossibilities of 5ona6artism8 'he im6lication of Marx<s thinking is that the state a66aratus= because it reflects the interests of class and because it is claimed that it can be used to benefit society if the 6roletariat:the Auniversal classB:controls it= is 6erceived as being merely the humble servant of the 6olitical will of the dominant class8 (hile we have shown this to be a crude characteri,ation= Marxist theory= according to 3obert #altman= does= on the whole= see 6olitical o66ression= not within in the state a66aratus itself= but in its subservience to the interests of a 6articular class8%4

The Anarchist Theor) of the "tate

'his idea that the state can be utili,ed for revolutionary ends is the result= as we have seen= of the Marxist analysis which works from society to the state: seeing the state as a derivative of social forces= namely the economic 6ower of the bourgeois class8 Anarchism works the other way around:it analy,es from the state to society8 It sees the state:all states= all forms of 6olitical 6ower= the 6lace of 6ower itself:as constituting a fundamental o66ression8 Marxist theory also sees the state as an evil that is to be eventually overcome= but it is an evil derived from the 6rimary evil of bourgeois economic domination and 6rivate 6ro6erty8 Anarchism= on the other hand= sees the state itself as the fundamental evil in society8 %'he state= for anarchists= is a 6riori o66ression= no matter what form it takes8 5akunin argues that Marxism 6ays too much attention to the forms of state 6ower while not taking enough account of the way in which state 6ower o6erates* A'hey 1Marxists2 do not know that des6otism resides not so much in the form of the #tate but in the very 6rinci6le of the #tate and 6olitical 6ower8B $J Iro6otkin= too= argues that one must look beyond the 6resent form of the state* AAnd there are those who= like us= see in the #tate= not only its actual form and in all forms of domination that it might assume= but in its very essence= an


7ha6ter /ne

obstacle to the social revolution8B$1 /66ression and des6otism exist in the very structure and symbolism of the state:it is not merely a derivative of class 6ower8 'he state has its own im6ersonal logic= its own momentum= its own 6riorities* these are often beyond the control of the ruling class and do not necessarily reflect economic relations at all8 For anarchists= then= 6olitical 6ower refers to something other than class and economic relations8 'he modern state has its own origins too= inde6endent of the rise of the bourgeoisie8 Cnlike Marx= who saw the modern state as a creation of the French 3evolution and the ascendancy of the bourgeoisie= 5akunin saw the state as the child of the 3eformation8 According to 5akunin= the crowned sovereigns of Euro6e usur6ed the 6ower of the church= creating a secular authority based on the notion of divine right:hence the birth of the modern state* A'he #tate is the younger brother of the 7hurch8B$! Iro6otkin= in his discussion of the state= also attributes the rise of the state to noneconomic factors such as the historical dominance of 3oman law= the rise of feudal law= the growing authoritarianism of the church= as well as the endemic desire for authority8$" Furthermore= it could be argued that the 6olitical forces of the state actually determine and select s6ecific relations of 6roduction because they encourage certain forces of 6roduction which are functional for the state= allowing the develo6ment of the means of coercion needed by the state8 'his turns the base) su6erstructure model of the state on its head= seeing the determining forces going from to6 to bottom rather than from the bottom to the to68 According to Alan 7arter= then= because many Marxists have neglected the 6ossibility of 6olitical forces determining economic forces= they have fallen into the tra6 of the state*
Marxists= therefore= have failed to reali,e that the state always acts to 6rotect its own interests8 'his is why they have failed to see that a vanguard which sei,ed control of the state could not be trusted to ensure that the state would Awither away8B (hat the state might do= instead= is back different relations of 6roduction to those which might serve the 6resent dominant economic class if it believed that such new economic relations could be used to extract from the workers an even greater sur6lus:a sur6lus which would then be available to the state8$%

#o for the anarchists= to view the state= as some Marxists do= as derivative of class 6ower= is to fall victim to the state<s dece6tion8 'he state a66aratus in itself a66ears to be faceless:it a66ears to lack any inherent values or direction8 Marx sees it as an illusory reflection of the alienation created by 6rivate 6ro6erty= or as an institution of the bourgeois class8 In reality= however= the state has its own origins and o6erates according to its own agenda= which is to 6er6etuate itself= even in different guises:even in the guise of the worker<s state8 For anarchists= state 6ower 6er6etuates itself through the corru6ting influence it has on those controlling it8 'his is where the real domination lies= according to 5akunin* A(e of course are all sincere socialists and revolutionists and still= were we to be endowed with 6ower 8 8 8 we would not be where we are now8B$$ 'herefore= argued 5akunin= the fact that the 6roletariat is at the helm of

Marxism and the Problem of Power

the state a66aratus does not mean= as Marx claimed= an end to 6olitical 6ower8 /n the contrary= the Marxist 6rogram only meant a massive increase in 6olitical 6ower and domination= as well as new lease of life for ca6italism8 Indeed= 5akunin believed that Marx<s revolutionary strategy would lead to a new stage of ca6italist develo6ment8$. According to 5akunin= the Marxist workers< state will only 6er6etuate= rather than resolve= the contradictions in ca6italist society8 It will leave intact the division of labor= it will reinstate industrial hierarchies= and furthermore= it will generate a new set of class divisions8 5akunin 6erha6s re6resents the most radical elements of Marxist theory8 Ee takes Marx at his word when he says that the state is always concomitant with class divisions and domination8 Eowever= there is an im6ortant difference8 'o 6ut it crudely* for Marx the dominant class generally rules through the stateF whereas for 5akunin= the state generally rules through the dominant class8 In other words= for anarchists= bourgeois relations are actually a reflection of the state= rather than the state being a reflection of bourgeois relations8 Cnlike Marxism= the em6hasis in anarchist theory is on the state itself:a term which includes economic ex6loitation:rather than on economic relations s6ecifically8 Anarchism would seem to have a much broader notion of the state than Marxism8 'he ruling class= argues 5akunin= is the state<s real material re6resentative8 In this sense ruling classes are essential to the state= rather than the state being essential to ruling classes8 5ehind every ruling class of every e6och there looms the state:an abstract machine with its own logic of domination8 'he bourgeoisie is only one of the state<s manifestations8 (hen the bourgeoisie is destroyed the state will create another class in its 6lace= another class through which it 6er6etuates its 6ower:even in an allegedly classless society8$ 'his new bureaucratic class= 5akunin argues= will o66ress and ex6loit the workers in the same manner as the bourgeois class o66ressed and ex6loited them8$4 It is for this reason= anarchists argued= that revolution must be aimed= not at con9uering state 6ower= even if only tem6orarily= but at destroying it immediately= and re6lacing it with decentrali,ed= nonhierarchical forms of social organi,ation8$- It is also for the reasons mentioned before that anarchists argue that the state cannot be trusted sim6ly to Awither awayB as Marxists believed8 For anarchists it is extremely naive= even uto6ian= to believe that entrenched 6olitical 6ower:and 5akunin<s analysis has shown the workers state to be 6recisely this:will sim6ly self)destruct @ust because old class divisions have disa66eared and relations of 6roduction have been transformed8 It must be remembered= though= that Marx ultimately wanted to see a society in which the state was unnecessary and would be abolished8 Eow is it that he came to advocate the use of state 6ower to usher in a stateless societyD It would seem to be a blatant contradiction8 Eowever= as I have suggested= this results from a Eegelian dialectic to which Marx was inesca6ably indebted8 Each e6och in history creates the conditions for its own transcendence8 Marx= following this dialectical a66roach= believed that the seeds of communist society existed within ca6italism and that= conse9uently= communism will emerge from the foundations of ca6italist society8.J 'he elements of the old society= such as the


7ha6ter /ne

state a66aratus= may be used to facilitate the transition to the new society8 Cnlike the anarchists= who did not distinguish between ty6es of states= and considered all states to be e9ually o66ressive whatever form they took= Marx saw some 6rogressive and 6otentially liberating as6ects in the modern liberal state8 Marx considered bourgeois re6resentative democracy= for instance= to be an im6ortant stage in the develo6ment of human emanci6ation8 .1 Anarchists= on the other hand= regarded the modern liberal state with scorn:it was seen as another insidious attem6t to mask the brutal= des6otic character of the state and was= for this reason= even more 6ernicious than the autocratic state8 .! 'herefore Marxism= unlike anarchism= sees it as 6ossible= and indeed essential= that the struggle for a new society be articulated within the terms and institutions of the old society8 'he anarchist res6onse to this is that the forms and institutions of the old society will not sim6ly fall away* they will become entrenched= denying the 6ossibility of genuine liberation8 'hey must therefore be removed straight away :their destruction must be the first revolutionary act8 Anarchism is= in this res6ect= anti)Eegelian8 5akunin re@ected the Eegelian tracheotomy* there was no reconciliation between thesis and antithesis= between the Positive and the >egative8." In 5akunin<s Anegative dialecticsB the dialectical contradiction is the victory of the >egative8 Eowever= in this victory both the Positive and the >egative are destroyed8 For Eegel= and indeed for Marx= on the other hand= the thesis and antithesis are transcended:however elements of both are 6reserved in the synthesis8 In the same way= elements of the old society are 6reserved and form a necessary 6art of the foundations of the new8 For Marx= then= the communitarian= 6ublic essence that the state ex6resses should survive the destruction of the existing society8 For anarchists= on the other hand= the new society was to emerge only with the com6lete destruction of the old8.% In contrast to the Eegelian dialectical framework= anarchism works within a dualistic or even Manichean view of the world= seeing the state as essentially evil and society as essentially good8 Anarchism is based= to some extent= on the se6aration central to liberal theory= between the state and society:the very division that Marx wanted to overcome dialectically8 Anarchists argue that the state o66resses society= and that if only the state was destroyed= then society could flourish8 Marx= on the other hand= argued that the domination is not in the state but in society itself= and that if the state were to be destroyed before socialist economic relations could be established= society would not flourish or be liberated:it would be even more at the mercy of the forces of economic authority8 For anarchists= the liberation of human society must be made by society itself:through libertarian means8 Freedom can never come through the agency of authority8.$ For Marx= on the other hand= 6ower and authority are not necessarily something to be embraced= but something to be used in a certain way= with a view to their own transcendence8 Eowever= if one takes account of the anarchists< analysis= 6articularly of state 6ower= 6ower and authority can never be transcended unless they are destroyed immediately8

Marxism and the Problem of Power


The Broader %ro(lem of Authorit)

'he anarchist res6onse to Marxism has shown that Marx is tra66ed within an authoritarian bind:a statist= centralist framework8 ?ohn 7lark argues that while there are certainly some elements of Marxist theory which have anti) authoritarian and decentralist im6lications= Aif the totality of his thought is considered= Marx was attached to centralist and authoritarian structures which are inse6arable from statist and bureaucratic forms of domination8B.. +es6ite Marx<s 6roclaimed anti)authoritarianism and antistatism= he cannot esca6e a statist way of thinking8 'here is an authoritarian current that runs throughout the body of classical Marxism8.

'he debate between anarchism and Marxism over the state= however= has not exhausted the 9uestion of authority and 6ower8 'here are other 6oints of disagreement between the two theories that suggest that the 6roblem of authority in Marxism goes dee6er than the 9uestion of the state8 'he 9uestion of class= for instance= is another 6oint of difference between anarchism and Marxism8 For Marx there is only one class that is truly revolutionary and that is the industrial 6roletariat8 5ecause the 6roletariat is tied to a 6eculiarly ca6italist system of 6roduction and is defined by its 6lace within the 6roductive 6rocess= it is the only class that can overthrow ca6italism8.4 5y the revolutionary status that Marx attributed to the 6roletariat= it is endowed with a 6rivileged 6osition= to the exclusion of other classes in society8 Marx saw artisans and 6easants= for instance= as reactionary8 'hey could only become revolutionary by @oining the ranks of the 6roletariat8 As for the lumpenproletariat [im6overished workers= vagrants etc8]= according to Marx= it is scarcely even worth a mention8 Ee calls it the Asocial scum= that 6assively rotting mass thrown off by the layers of the old society8B.- Marx establishes a hierarchy among classes with the industrial 6roletariat at the to6* its moral and e6istemological authority defined by its relation to the 6roductive 6rocess8 Anarchism= on the other hand= did not exclude other classes @ust because they had no real connection with the industrial 6rocess8 In fact this distance from the factory system made other classes 6ossibly even more revolutionary than the industrial working class8 'hese other classes= according to the anarchists= have not been contaminated by ca6italist morality which anarchists saw as thoroughly counterrevolutionary8 5akunin= for instance= s6oke of Athat great rabble which being very nearly un6olluted by all bourgeois civili,ation carries in its heart= in its as6irations= in all necessities and the misery of its collective 6osition= all the germs of the #ocialism of the future= and which alone is 6owerful enough today to inaugurate the #ocial revolution and bring it to trium6h8B J 5akunin includes in this revolutionary rabble 6easants= the lumpenproletariat, and even intellectuals dA!lassA. 'his rabble which the classical anarchists s6oke of is a class whose very nature is that of a nonclass8 In


7ha6ter /ne

fact 5akunin 6refers not to call this a class at all= but a Amass8B A7lassB im6lies hierarchy and exclusiveness8 1 Anarchists argued= moreover= that not only is the industrial 6roletariat actually numerically small com6ared to other grou6s and classes in society [this is obviously more so today]= but that it is also thoroughly imbued with bourgeois ethics8 5akunin believed that the small elite of Aclass)consciousB 6roletarians constituting the u66er echelons of the working class= lived in a relatively comfortable and semibourgeois fashion= and had been= in fact= coo6ted into the bourgeoisie8 ! Murray 5ookchin= a modern day anarchist= argues that Marxist 6rivileging of the 6roletariat over other grou6s in society is obsolete and= more im6ortantly= counterrevolutionary8 'his is because the 6roletariat has become Aan imitation of its masters=B ado6ting the worst as6ects of ca6italist society* the work ethic= bourgeois morality= and a res6ect for authority and hierarchy conditioned by the disci6line and hierarchy of the factory milieu8 " 'herefore= anarchists argue that the Marxist 6rivileging of the 6roletariat above other grou6s as the most revolutionary is a 6ractice which is itself born of a bourgeois mentality and is doomed= as a conse9uence of this= to 6er6etuate bourgeois systems of domination8 'he category of class= for anarchists= is authoritarian in itself* it is a form of sub@ectivity that ties the worker to the work 6lace and to authoritarian industrial hierarchies8

The $arty
'he Marxist desire for a unified= disci6lined 6roletariat is= anarchists suggest= a thoroughly authoritarian desire8 'ied to this is the re9uirement for a disci6lined= authoritarian 6arty controlling the 6roletariat8 % 'he communist 6arty was subse9uently built on hierarchical and authoritarian 6remises8 'he role of the communists was defined by Marx in terms of leadershi6 and control8 Ee says* Athey have over the great mass of the 6roletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march8B $ As anarchists argue= this is clearly elitist* the most Aclass)consciousB of the industrial 6roletariat leads others in society= and this elite= in turn= is led by the communist 6arty= 6laying the vanguard role8 'he vanguard role of the communist 6arty= furthermore= is based on an e6istemological authority:on the claim that it is the sole 6ossessor of knowledge of the movement of history8 It is seen as having a mono6oly on scientific knowledge that no one else can gras68 5akunin often critici,ed Marxists as doctrinaire socialists whose strategy would culminate in a dictatorshi6 of scientists and ex6erts:a domination of science over life8 5akunin believed that scientific dogma= 6articularly when it was 6art of the revolutionary 6rogram was an authoritarian discourse that mutilated the com6lexity and s6ontaneity of life8 'he Marxist 6rogram= he argued= would o6en the way for a society governed by a new class of scientists and bureaucrats* AIt will be the reign of the scientific mind= the most aristocratic= des6otic= arrogant and contem6tuous of all regimes8B .

Marxism and the Problem of Power


Another as6ect of Marx<s centralist thinking was his faith in bourgeois technology8 Marx believed that bourgeois industrial technology was 6rogressive because within it lay the seeds of a society in which work was no longer a matter of absolute necessity* technology 6roduced a sur6lus and it therefore had the ability to liberate man from the need to work8 4 Eierarchically organi,ed systems of industrial technology such as 'aylorism were not dominating in themselves= Marx argued:they were dominating because they were used for bourgeois= not socialist= 6roduction8 It was for this reason that Marx condemned Luddism= a 6rotest against the industriali,ation during the nineteenth century which involved wrecking industrial e9ui6ment8 For Marx= machine)breaking as a form of 6rotest was uto6ian because Athey [Luddites] direct their attacks= not against the bourgeois conditions of 6roduction= but against the instruments of 6roduction themselves8B - 'he im6lication of this is that technology itself is neutral* the domination arises when it is used for bourgeois 6roduction8 If this same technology were to be used for socialist 6roduction= it would be liberating8 'he Marxist 6rogram= therefore= does not call for the destruction of this technology8 3ather it seeks a concentration of this technology in the hands of the state84J Factory hierarchies and forms of industrial disci6line are thus 6er6etuated8 +isci6line and authority in the work6lace was essential for the Marxist revolutionary 6rogram* A(anting to abolish authority in large scale industry is tantamount to wanting to abolish industry itself= to destroy the 6ower loom in order to return to the s6inning wheel8B41 Anarchists= on the other hand= argued that large)scale industrial technology is never neutral8 It is dominating in itself= no matter what form of 6roduction it is used for8 Furthermore= it destroys individual creativity and inde6endence= tying the worker to the machine and disru6ting natural human relationshi6s8 'o see this technology as neutral is= anarchists argue= another exam6le of the way Marx neglected the 6roblem of 6ower and authority8 Moreover= in contrast to large)scale= hierarchically organi,ed 6roduction= anarchists like Iro6otkin 6ro6osed the develo6ment of humanly scaled= labor)intensive= decentrali,ed 6roduction which would be com6atible with individual freedom and self) management84! Eierarchical and authoritarian forms of industrial organi,ation form the basis of scientific and bureaucratic elites= anarchists argue= and should therefore be abolished8

,conomic Reductionism
'he anarchist criti9ue of technology= science= and 6arty hierarchies 6oints to an im6ortant as6ect in this debate8 For anarchists= Marxism has great value as an analysis of ca6italism and a criti9ue of the 6rivate authority it is tied to8 Eowever= in concentrating on this= Marxism neglects other forms of authority and domination= or at least is unable to ade9uately deal with them because it reduces them to economic authority when they may have their own origins and


7ha6ter /ne

logic8 'o reduce everything to economics is to neglect the 6roblem of domination8 Marxism is tra66ed in an authoritarian framework for this very reason8 It is not because Marx believed that authority was necessarily good* indeed Marx believed that domination was dehumani,ing and would be transcended8 3ather it was the conviction that all forms of domination= 6articularly 6olitical domination= could be reduced to economic domination= which led Marx into this authoritarian bind8 Even those who want to em6hasi,e the libertarian as6ects of Marx give some credibility to the anarchist view6oint8 According to 3a66a6ort= even within the framework of historical materialism 5akunin was right to 6redict that socialist authority would become tyrannical84" #he also argues that* AEis [Marx<s] tendency to regard all 6olitical conflict as grounded in class antagonism led him to underestimate the im6ortance of the 6olitical dimension of socialist develo6ment8B4% In other words= Marx fell into a fatal tra6 when he argued that 6olitical 6ower would cease to be 6olitical when class divisions had been overcome8 /n the contrary= as anarchists like 5akunin warned= 6olitical 6ower may become even more entrenched and dominating with the abolition of old class antagonisms8 'he 6olitical cannot be reduced to the economic for this reason8 'his economic determinism is not only the domain of classical Marxism8 For instance= while the Marxist theorist Louis Althusser 6ro6osed a 6icture of society radically different from the classical Marxian notion of the social su6erstructure strictly determined by the economic essence or structure= he nevertheless saw social relations as being determined= in the last instan!e= by the economy8 Althusser<s intervention did= however= o6en the 6ossibility= within Marxist discourse= for theori,ing the autonomy of the 6olitical because it 6ro6osed that the economy acts on the social only indirectly . According to Althusser= economic forces are 6art of the social whole* they do not constitute a 6rivileged core outside the social su6erstructure8 In other words= 6olitical formations can act on the economy= @ust as they can be acted on by the economy8 Ee calls this symbiotic relationshi6= Aoverdetermination8B4$ 'his re@ection of the base)su6erstructure thesis has much in common with classical anarchism8 Althusser would seem= then= to be a66roaching the anarchist 6osition because he allows for a greater em6hasis to be 6laced on the autonomy of the 6olitical= and other noneconomic forms of 6ower8 Eowever= des6ite this= Althusser structured his conce6tion of the social around the economy* the economy is the Astructure in dominance=B the organi,ing 6rinci6le in society8 4. (hile 6olitical and social formations were not directly= in every instance= determined by the economy= they were still dominated by it8 'he 6rerogatives of the economy still took 6recedence= in the last instan!e [in a time of revolution= for exam6le] over other social formations8 Althusserian Marxism is= therefore= not entirely removed from classical Marxism8 In its essence it is a reaffirmation of the theoretical 6redominance of economic 6ower over other forms of 6ower8 More recently= Alex 7allinicos has defended classical Marxism against the 6otential challenge it faced from Althusser8 For 7allinicos= Althusser<s re@ection of the Eegelian social whole culminates in an affirmation of difference:a

Marxism and the Problem of Power


multi6licity of social 6ractices that cannot be diale!ti!ized back into an original unity84 It is this 6otential o6enness to the notion of difference and 6lurality= according to 7allinicos= which has caused the Acrisis of Marxism8B Instead what must be reaffirmed is the classical Marxist notion of the social totality= centrally determined by the economy8 It is only this 6ers6ective= 7allinicos argues= that allows for the 6ossibility of the class struggle8 Eowever= it is 6recisely this 6ers6ective which negates the 6ossibility of other sources of 6ower in society= that is being challenged by anarchism8 5ob ?esso6 tries to develo6 within the Marxist framework a contingent theory of 6olitical 6ower and the state8 Ee argues that in Marxist theory there are three main ways of a66roaching this 9uestion* the first sees the relationshi6 between economic interests and institutional systems 6urely in terms of functionF the second a66roach stresses the way in which the institutional form of different systems reflects or corres6onds to the structural needs of economic systemsF the third a66roach re@ects the economic determinism of the last two and sees the relationshi6 between institutions and economic systems to be based on A!ontingent arti!ulatory pra!ti!es.B44 'he second= and 6ossibly even the first= a66roach is re6resented by 7allinicos who sees the social and 6olitical as centrally determined by economic relations8 'he third strand of Marxist thought is 6erha6s best reflected by Althusser who= on the surface= seems to 6ut forward a contingent a66roach to the relationshi6 between the 6olitical and the economic which allows the 6olitical considerable autonomy8 Eowever= as we have seen= even in this sort of analysis the 6olitical is still= ultimately= dominated by the economy8 'herefore= it could be argued that for a genuinely contingent and autonomous theory of 6olitical and noneconomic 6ower= it means going beyond Marxism8 'he 6roblem of 6olitical 6ower cannot be ade9uately answered within the Marxist theory8 As 3a66a6ort says* AIt does 8 8 8 re9uire going beyond Marx in develo6ing a theory ca6able of ex6laining 6olitical relationshi6s which do not have their foundations in material scarcity8B 4- Eence the im6ortance of anarchism today8 #ome Marxists have in the 6ast been too ready to blame things like Abureaucratic deformationB and Abourgeois revisionismB for what ha66ened in the #oviet Cnion8 Foucault= for instance= condemns those Marxists who refuse to 9uestion the actual texts of Marx when looking at what ha66ened in the C##3= and who try to ex6lain away the 6ersecutions and the &ulag by 6utting it down to a betrayal of the Atrue theoryB through AdeviationB or Amisunderstanding8B A/n the contrary=B says Foucault= Ait means 9uestioning all these theoretical texts= however old= from the stand6oint of the &ulag8 3ather than searching in those texts for a condemnation in advance of the &ulag= it is a matter of asking what in those texts could have made the &ulag 6ossible8B-J In other words= although Marx obviously cannot be held res6onsible for what ha66ened= one must nevertheless 9uestion his ideas:they must be studied for 6ossible links8 'here can be no absolute se6aration between theory and 6ractice* one clearly informs the other= even if not directly8 As we have seen= there are links which can be made= certain connections to be found= sometimes ex6licit= sometimes more subtle= between the authoritarian tendencies in Marx<s


7ha6ter /ne

work and the growth of totalitarianism in 3ussia8 It is these connections= these authoritarian undercurrents= which I have tried to unearth in this debate between Marx and the anarchists8 'his debate has revolved around the 9uestion of the 6lace of 6ower8 Marxism= through its economic reductionism= has neglected the 6lace of 6ower8 It dismantles one form of 6ower= the bourgeois state= but repla!es it with another kind of 6ower= the workers< state8 'hus= 6ower itself:its mechanisms= its o6eration:remains unhindered8 In fact= 6ower is only reaffirmed and 6er6etuated by Marxism8 'his is what one learns from the anarchist criti9ue of Marxism8 Marxism failed to revolutioni,e 6ower8 It has failed to overcome the 6lace of 6ower:it has succeeded only in renaming it8 A Marxian revolution is= therefore= only a changing of the guard= the anarchists argue8 5ecause Marxism reduces social 6henomena to the ca6italist economy= it neglects= to its 6eril= other autonomous sources of 6ower in society8 Moreover= this economic reductionism has its roots in a Eegelian historicism* state 6ower cannot be destroyed immediately in a socialist revolution because its existence is a necessary 6art of the historical 6rocess8 Anarchism= on the other hand= tries to esca6e= to some extent= this dialectical determinism by establishing a moral 6lace of sub@ectivity8 'his moral 6lace will be the sub@ect of the next cha6ter8

18 #ee Michel Foucault= ed8=A3evolutionary Action* ;Cntil >ow=< B in :anguage, *ounter67emory, $ra!ti!e 1/xford* 5asil 5lackwell= 1- 2= !14)!""8 !8 Paul 'homas= ,arl 7ar8 and the %nar!hists 1London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1-4J2= !!8 "8 &eorg (ilhelm Friedrich Eegel= The $hilosophy of )ight, trans. '8 M8 Inox 17hicago* Encyclo6aedia 5ritannica= 1-$!2= 1$$)1$.8 %8 Iarl Marx= *riti.ue of -egel;s ;Philoso6hy of 3ight=< ed8 ?ose6h /<Malley 17ambridge= C8I8* 7ambridge Cniversity Press= 1- J2= 1J 8 $8 Marx= *riti.ue of -egel;s ;Philoso6hy of 3ight=< 18 .8 #ee 'homas ,arl 7ar8 and the %nar!hists, !!8 8 #ee Eli,abeth 3a66a6ort= AAnarchism and Authority=B %r!hives 'uropeenes de So!iologie ('uropean =ournal of So!iology) 1 = no8 ! 11- .2* """)"%"8 48 #ee Iarl Marx= *apital 1>ew Nork* International Publishers= 1-. 2= 1*4!8 -8 Iarl Marx= A/n the ?ewish Luestion=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= ed8 3obert 78 'ucker 1>ew Nork* (8 (8 >orton= 1- 42= !.)$!8 1J8 Marx= A/n the ?ewish Luestion=B "!8 118 Marx= A/n the ?ewish Luestion=B "$8 1!8 Iarl Marx and Friedrich Engels= A'he Eoly Family=B in *olle!ted (or"s= vol8 %= 1London* Lawrence M (ishart= 1- $2= -)!118 1"8 Mikhail 5akunin= 7ar8ism, Freedom and the State, trans. I8 ?8 Ienafick 1London* Freedom Press= 1-$J2= %-8 1%8 Marx= A'he Eighteenth 5rumaire of Louis 5ona6arte=B in Iarl Marx and Friedrich Engels= *olle!ted (or"s= vol8 11 1London* Lawrence M (ishart= 1- $2= --)1- 8 1$8 Marx= A'he Eighteenth 5rumaire of Louis 5ona6arte=B 1%"8 1.8 +avid Eeld and ?oel Irieger= A'heories of the #tate* #ome 7om6eting 7laims=B in The State in *apitalist 'urope, ed8 #te6hen 5ornstein= et al8 1(inchester= Mass8* &eorge Allen M Cnwin= 1-4%2= 1)!J8

Marxism and the Problem of Power


1 8 Eeld and Irieger= A'heories of the #tate* #ome 7om6eting 7laims=B %8 148 #ee Oladimir Ilich Lenin= The State and )evolution The 7ar8ist Theory of the State and the Tas"s of the $roletariat in the )evolution 1Moscow* Progress Publishers= 1-.$28 1-8 >icos Poulant,as= $oliti!al $ower and So!ial *lasses 1London* Oerso= 1- 42= !$48 !J8 3al6h Miliband= The State in *apitalist So!iety 1>ew Nork* 5asic 5ooks= 1-.-2= $8 !18 Iarl Marx= A'he &erman Ideology=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= 14 8 !!8 Iarl Marx= AManifesto of the 7ommunist Party=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= %.-)$JJ8 !"8 Eal +ra6er= ,arl 7ar8;s Theory of )evolution, vol.2 State and ?ureau!ra!y 1>ew Nork* Monthly 3eview Press= 1- 2= !%-8 !%8 'homas= ,arl 7ar8 and the %nar!hists, 18 !$8 Iarl Marx= A7ontribution to the *riti.ue of -egel;s $hilosophy of )ight Introduction=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= 1.)!$8 !.8 Iarl Marx= A7riti9ue of the &otha Program=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= $!$)$%18 ! 8 Iarl Marx and Friedrich Engels= AAddress to the 7entral 7ommittee of the 7ommunist League=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= $J1)$118 !48 Marx= AManifesto=B %-J8 !-8 Friedrich Engels= %nti6&uhring 1Moscow* Progress Publishers= 1-.-2= """8 "J8 Marx= AManifesto=B %-J8 "18 Iarl Marx= AAfter the 3evolution* Marx +ebates 5akunin=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= $%!)$%48 "!8 3obert #altman= The So!ial and $oliti!al Thought of 7i!hael ?a"unin 17onnecticut* &reenwood Press= 1-4"2= .-8 ""8 'his 6oint of difference is summari,ed by Engels* A5akunin maintains that it is the state which has created ca6ital= that the ca6italist has his ca6ital only #y the gra!e of the state8 As= therefore= the state is the chief evil= it is above all the state which must be done away with and then ca6italism will go to bla,es of itself8 (e= on the contrary= say* +o away with ca6ital 8 8 8 and the state will fall away of itself8B #ee Friedrich Engels= AOersus the Anarchists=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d8 ed8= !4) !-8 "%8 Mikhail 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy S!ientifi! %nar!hism, ed8 &8 P8 Maximoff 1London* Free Press of &lencoe= 1-4%2= !!18 "$8 Peter Iro6otkin= The State /ts -istori! )ole 1London* Freedom Press= 1-%"2= -8 ".8 Mikhail 5akunin= From 1ut of the &ust#in ?a"unin;s ?asi! (ritings 2CD362C42, ed8 3obert M8 7utler 1Ann Arbor= Mi* Ardis= 1-4$2= !J8 " 8 Iro6otkin= The State, !48 Also 5ookchin elaborates an anarchist criti9ue of the Marxist conce6tion of the #tate and its relation to class* AEach #tate is not necessarily an institutionali,ed system of violence in the interests of a s6ecific ruling class= as Marxism would have us believe8 'here are many exam6les of states that were the ;ruling class< and whose interests existed 9uite a6art from:even in antagonism to:6rivileged= 6resumably ;ruling< classes in a given society8B #ee Murray 5ookchin= )ema"ing So!iety 1Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4-2= . 8 "48 Alan 7arter= A/utline of an Anarchist 'heory of Eistory=B in For %nar!hism -istory, Theory and $ra!ti!e, ed8 +avid &oodway 1London* 3outledge= 1-4-2= 1 .)1- 8 "-8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !%-8 %J8 Mikhail 5akunin= 1n %nar!hism, ed8 #am +olgoff 1Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4J2= "".)"" 8 %18 5akunin= 7ar8ism, Freedom and the State= "!8 %!8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !!48


7ha6ter /ne

%"8 Mikhail 5akunin= Sele!ted (ritings= ed8 Arthur Lehning 1London* 7a6e= 1- "2= 1.-8 %%8 Marx A7riti9ue of 'he &otha Program=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= $!-8 %$8 'homas= ,arl 7ar8 and the %nar!hists, "%%8 %.8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy= !J-8 % 8 #ee 5akunin= From 1ut of the &ust#in= 148 %48 5akunin= Sele!ted (ritings= 118 %-8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy= !448 $J8 ?ohn 7lark= The %nar!hist 7oment )efle!tions on *ulture, +ature and $ower 1Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4%2= -18 $18 'his is sometimes 9uite ex6licit= as this 6assage by Engels shows* AA revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there isF it is an act whereby one 6art of the 6o6ulation im6oses its will u6on the other 6art by means of rifles= bayonets and cannon= all of which are highly authoritarian means8B #ee Friedrich Engels= A/n Authority=B in The 7ar86'ngels )eader, !d ed8= "J) ""8 $!8 Marx* A/f all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie today= the 6roletariat alone is a really revolutionary class8B #ee Marx= AManifesto=B %41)%4!8 $"8 Marx= AManifesto=B %4!8 $%8 5akunin= 7ar8ism, Freedom and the State= %48 $$8 5akunin= 7ar8ism, Freedom and the State= % 8 $.8 5akunin= 7ar8ism, Freedom and the State= % 8 $ 8 5ookchin= )ema"ing So!iety= 1448 $48 5ookchin= )ema"ing So!iety= 1448 $-8 Marx= AManifesto=B %4%8 .J8 5akunin= Sele!ted (ritings= !..8 .18 7lark= The %nar!hist 7oment= 448 .!8 7lark= The %nar!hist 7oment= $$8 ."8 Luoted in 7lark= The %nar!hist 7oment= $J8 .%8 Marx= AManifesto=B %-J8 .$8 Engels= A/n Authority=B 1"8 ..8 #ee Peter Iro6otkin= Fields, Fa!tories and (or"shops Tomorrow 1London* Allen M Cnwin= 1- %28 . 8 3a66a6ort= AAnarchism and Authority=B "%"8 .48 3a66a6ort= AAnarchism and Authority=B "%"8 .-8 Louis Althusser= For 7ar8= trans8 5en 5rewster 1London* >L5= 1- 2= 1J18 J8 Louis Althusser= A'he /b@ect of *apital=B in )eading *apital, eds8 Louis Althusser and Etienne 5alibar 1London* Oerso= 1- -2= 1)1-48 18 Alex 7allinicos= /s There % Future for 7ar8ismE 1London* Macmillan Press= 1-4!2= .!) .%8 !8 5ob ?esso6= State Theory $utting *apitalist States in their $la!e. 17ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press= 1--J2= 4J8 "8 3a66a6ort= AAnarchism and Authority=B "%"8 %8 Michel Foucault= APower and #trategies=B in $ower0,nowledge, 1"%)1%$8

Chapter Two

'he 6revious cha6ter discussed the anarchist criti9ue of Marxism and introduced an anarchist theory of 6ower8 'he anarchist criti9ue ex6osed Marxism<s inade9uacy in dealing with 9uestions of noneconomic 6ower and authority* by reducing 6olitical 6ower to economic 6ower= by seeing the economy as ultimately determining= Marxism has failed to take account of other autonomous sources of 6ower and has thereby neglected their dangers8 It has fallen into the tra6 that 6ower lays for 6olitical theory:the ruse of 6ower8 It has= in other words= merely reaffirmed the 6lace of 6ower8 Anarchism= on the other hand= has= through its confrontation with Marxism= o6ened the way for a criti9ue of these noneconomic forms of 6ower8 5y breaking the hold economic determinism had on radical 6olitical theory= anarchists have allowed 6ower to be studied in its own right8 Anarchism has freed 6olitical 6ower from the economic= and this makes it im6ortant for 6olitical theory8 Eowever= anarchism is more than @ust a criti9ue of Marxism8 It is a 6hiloso6hical system that incor6orates theories of 6ower= sub@ectivity= history= freedom= ethics= and society8 'his cha6ter will ex6lore this system in greater de6th8 Anarchism is the story of man* his evolution from an animal)like state to a state of freedom and enlightenment= of a rational and ethical existence:in other words= to a state of humanity= in which man can finally see himself as fully human8 7oncomitant with this is also a criti9ue of 6ower and authority* 6ower exists in an o66ressive and antagonistic relationshi6 with man= destroying his relationshi6 with society= and stultifying the develo6ment of his rational and moral attributes8 Eumanity= if it is to flourish= cannot coexist with state 6ower: only one can live8 For the 3ussian anarchist Peter Iro6otkin*
Either the #tate will be destroyed and a new life will begin in thousands of centers 8 8 8 or else the #tate must crush the individual and local life= it must become master of all domains of human activity= must bring with it wars and internal struggles for the 6ossession of 6ower= surface revolutions which only change one tyrant for another= and inevitably= at the end of this evolution: death8-1

Eistory= for anarchists= is this struggle between humanity and 6ower8



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The Uncontaminated %oint of &e arture

Natural and Artificial Authorit)
'his struggle can be understood only through the conce6t of natural authority and its o66osition to artifi!ial authority. Anarchists do not re@ect all forms of authority as the old clichG would have it8 /n the contrary= they declare their absolute obedience to the authority embodied= as Mikhail 5akunin argues= in Anatural laws8B >atural laws are essential to man<s existence= according to 5akunin8 Ee believes that they surround us= sha6e us= and determine the 6hysical world in which we live8 /ne is therefore determined by these laws8 'here is no esca6ing this form of authority8 'he more one tries to resist natural laws= 5akunin argues= the more one finds oneself sub@ected to them* A>othing can free him= from their dominationF he is their unconditional slave8B -! Eowever= anarchists argue that this is not a form of slavery because these laws are not external to man8 'hey are= on the contrary= what constitute man:they are his essence8 Man is constituted in a natural systemF he is 6art of nature and is thus sub@ect to its laws8-" Man is inextricably 6art of a natural= organic society* AMan did not create societyF society existed before Man=B claims Iro6otkin8-% 'herefore= natural authority [natural laws] is not external to human beings* Athose laws are not extrinsic in relation to us= they are inherent in us= they constitute our nature= our whole being 6hysically= intellectually and morally8B-$ >atural laws make u6 human nature according to 5akunin8 'hey determine human essence8 Anarchism is based on a s6ecific notion of human essence8 For anarchists there is a human nature with essential characteristics8 'his human nature is distinguished by two faculties according to 5akunin* Athe thinking faculty and the urge to rebel=B as well as Afree will8B-. Moreover= morality has its basis in human nature= not in any external source* Athe idea of @ustice and good= like all other human things= must have their root in man<s very animality8B Furthermore= 5akunin defines this essential= natural human morality as Ahuman res6ectB by which he means the recognition of Ahuman rights and of human dignity in every man8B-4 'his notion of human rights is 6art of anarchism<s humanist vocabulary= and 6rovides a stand6oint around which a criti9ue of 6ower is based8 For 5akunin= natural authority is fundamentally o66osed to Aartificial authority8B 5y artificial authority 5akunin means 6ower* the 6olitical 6ower enshrined in institutions such as the state and the church and in man)made laws8 'his external authority exists= says 5akunin= in A6neumatic machines called governmentsB which= instead of embodying Aa natural organic= 6o6ular forceB were= on the contrary= Aentirely mechanical and artificial8B-- 'his 6ower is external to human nature and an im6osition u6on it8 Moreover= this external 6ower stultifies the develo6ment of humanity<s innate moral characteristics and intellectual ca6acities8 It is these ca6acities= the anarchists argue= which will



liberate man from slavery and ignorance8 For 5akunin= then= 6olitical institutions are Ahostile and fatal to the liberty of the masses= for they im6ose u6on them a system of external and therefore des6otic laws8B1JJ In 5akunin<s analysis of 6olitical authority= 6ower [artificial authority] is external to the human sub@ect8 'he human sub@ect is o66ressed by this outside 6ower= but remains uncontaminated by it because human sub@ectivity is a creation of a natural= as o66osed to a 6olitical= system8 Anarchism is based on this clear= Manichean division between artificial and natural authority= between 6ower and sub@ectivity= between state and society8 Furthermore= 6olitical authority is fundamentally o66ressive and destructive of man<s 6otential8 For 5akunin= Athe #tate is like a vast slaughterhouse and an enormous cemetery= where under the shadow and the 6retext of this abstraction 1the common good2 all the best as6irations= all the living forces of a country= are sanctimoniously immolated and interred8B1J1 Euman society= argue the anarchists= cannot develo6 until the institutions and laws which kee6 it in ignorance and servitude= until the fetters which bind it= are thrown off8 Anarchism must= therefore= have a 6lace of resistance* a moral and rational 6lace= a 6lace uncontaminated by the 6ower that o66resses it= from which will s6ring a rebellion against 6ower8 It demands a 6ure 6lace of revolution= and it finds it in natural essence= in an essential human sub@ectivity8 It is the dee6 wells of nature and the natural= essential 9ualities that lie dormant in man that will 6roduce a revolution against 6ower8 'he innate morality and rationality of man will counteract 6olitical 6ower that is seen as inherently irrational and immoral8 According to anarchist theory= natural law will re6lace 6olitical authorityF man and society will re6lace the state8 'his idea of essential human sub@ectivity being the 6ure 6lace of resistance= the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture for anarchist revolutionary theory= is 6roblematic* it derives from an Enlightenment humanist framework whose basis will be challenged in subse9uent cha6ters8 In 6articular= anarchism derives from Feuerbachian humanism= which sought to restore man to his rightful 6lace at the center of the 6hiloso6hical universe8 'his 6lace had hitherto been usur6ed by &od= to whom man was now subordinated8 For Feuerbach= &od is an illusion= a hy6ostati,ation of man* it is an abstraction u6on which man abdicates his good 9ualities such as love= virtue= and benevolence= thereby alienating himself= and sub@ecting himself to an authority outside him8 'his is the ruse of religion= according to Feuerbach* A'hus in religion man denies his reason 8 8 8 his own knowledge= his own thoughts= that he may 6lace them in &od8 Man gives u6 his 6ersonality 8 8 8 he denies human dignity= the human ego8B1J! Anarchism a66lies this logic to 6olitical theory8 In the same way that man was sub@ugated under &od= he is now sub@ugated under the state8 'he state becomes the new wheel u6on which man is broken= the new altar u6on which human freedom is sacrificed8 'he 6rinci6le of religious authority sanctions the 6rinci6le of 6olitical authority8 'he two forms of logic are fundamentally linked* A(e are convinced that theology and 6olitics are both closely related= stemming from the same origin and 6ursuing the same aim under two different namesF we are convinced that every #tate is a terrestrial 7hurch= @ust as every 7hurch with its Eeaven:the abode of the blessed and the immortal gods:is nothing but a


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celestial #tate8B1J" 5akunin shows the way in which 7hristianity<s 6remise of man<s original sin @ustifies state domination81J% 'his is the theory of social contract= the Eobbesian 6aradigm whose basic 6remise is that man is essentially selfish and egotistical= and that= in a state of nature= his desires necessarily bring him into conflict with others* this is the war of Aall against all8B 'he Eobbesian 6redicament necessitates the creation of a strong state= an absolute 6ower above society= which will arbitrate amongst men= tem6er their desires= and 6rotect others from their excesses8 Anarchism is fundamentally o66osed to this theory of the social contract8 Anarchists argue= to the contrary= that man has an innate morality and rationality= but that this has been stolen from him= through the artifice of religion= and turned against him8 'he morality of man has become the morality of the state:the raison d;Atat@and any crime or atrocity carried out by the state is @ustified by this* Ablack becomes white and white becomes black= the horrible becomes humane= and the most dastardly felonies and most atrocious crimes become meritorious acts8B1J$ Anarchists counter this moral hy6ocrisy of the state with what they consider to be the sim6le= natural morality of man8 'hey argue that the true domain of morality and rationality is human essence and natural human society8 'his is the religion of humanity that 5akunin talks about= and which he says will have to be founded u6on the ruins of the religion of divinity8 1J. 'hus 5akunin calls for humanity to reclaim the moral and rational essence which has become abstracted= through religion= into an external= meta6hysical essence:into= as Feuerbach would say= an Aessence of nature outside natureF the essence of man outside man8B1J For anarchists= morality is the essence of man8 It is innate to human nature= an essential 6art of human sub@ectivity8 Man must= therefore= re) establish himself as the ground= the 6lace= of morality and rationality8 Man must= in other words= sei,e for himself the category of the divine= the infinite= thereby usur6ing &od8 'his has always been a motif of Enlightenment humanism= of which anarchism has been its most radical 6olitical ex6ression8 As 5akunin says* ANou are mistaken if you think that I do not believe in &od 8 8 8 I seek &od in man= in human freedom= and now I seek &od in 3evolution8B1J4 In this way anarchism establishes the human sub@ect as a 6ure 6lace of resistance= an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture* first= in the sense that humanity becomes the moral and rational standard from which to condemn the immorality and irrationality of the stateF and second= in the sense that the natural morality and rationality latent in human nature and human society makes the artificial 6ower of the state unnecessary= as the existence of the state is 6remised on the theory of man<s essential wickedness8 'herefore= anarchism can look beyond the state8 5ecause it 6osits an essential 6oint of de6arture outside the state= anarchism= unlike Marxism and liberal 6olitical theories based on the social contract= is not caught within the 6aradigm of the state* it is not tra66ed by the immanent 9uestion of what will re6lace the state if it is destroyed8 Anarchism= it seems= has an answer to this8 'he 9uestion of what repla!es the stateE, what repla!es powerE, has haunted and continues to haunt radical 6olitical theories which have as their eventual goal the overcoming of 6olitical 6ower8 It is a 9uestion that must therefore be



addressed8 As we have seen in the 6revious cha6ter= Marxism was unable to come to terms with this 9uestion and ended u6 reaffirming state 6ower8 For the anarchist Iro6otkin= all 6olitical struggles must have an end in mind* A>o destruction of the existing order is 6ossible= if at the time of the overthrow= or of the struggle leading to the overthrow= the idea of what is to take the 6lace of what is destroyed is not always 6resent in the mind8B1JFor Iro6otkin= anarchism can think beyond the category of the state= beyond the category of absolute 6olitical 6ower= because it has a 6lace= a ground from which to do so8 Political 6ower= according to this anarchist logic= has an outside from which it can be critici,ed and an alternative with which it can be re6laced8 'his is 6recisely the 6ro6osition that will be 9uestioned8 Eowever= anarchism is based on a radical 6icture of human nature and human society8 Iro6otkin is thus able to envisage a society in which the state no longer exists= nor is neededF a society Ain which all mutual relations of its members are regulated= not by laws= not by authorities= whether self)im6osed or elected= but by mutual agreements between members of that society8B11J #uch a society is 6ossible= according to anarchists= because of the fundamental morality= goodness= and coo6erativeness latent in human nature8111

Mutual Aid: Anarchist Moralit)

For anarchists= then= man is born with essential moral and rational ca6acities and it is this 6otential which Iro6otkin sets out to ex6lore in his study= 'thi!s8 Iro6otkin argues that to discover the true basis of morality one must a66ly scientific learning to it* morality must be studied as a science so that it can be freed from meta6hysical su6erstition811! Iro6otkin argues that it was +arwin who first discovered an instinctive sociability in animals= a A6ermanent instinctB found in most animals= 6articularly in humans811" 'his instinct Iro6otkin calls mutual aid= the instinct of coo6eration amongst s6ecies811% 'hus= Iro6otkin argues that AMutual aid is the 6redominant fact of >ature8B 11$ 'his= however= 6uts him at odds with various social +arwinists who= Iro6otkin argues= misa66ro6riate +arwin to su66ort their claim that warfare and selfish com6etition:Asurvival of the fittestB:are the natural condition of animal and human society8 For Iro6otkin= on the contrary= mutual aid does not run against the 6rinci6le of self)6reservationF rather it is its most effective wea6on811. Iro6otkin a66lies these arguments to human society8 Ee argues that the natural and essential 6rinci6le of human society is mutual aid= and that man is naturally coo6erative= sociable= and altruistic= rather than com6etitive and egotistic8 'his is the 6rinci6le that naturally governs society= and it is out of this organic 6rinci6le that notions of morality= @ustice= and ethics grow8 Morality= Iro6otkin argues= evolves out of the instinctive need to band together in tribes= grou6s:and an instinctive tendency towards coo6eration and mutual assistance8 As Iro6otkin says then* A>ature has thus to be recogni,ed as the first ethi!al tea!her of man8 'he social instinct innate in men as well as in all the social


7ha6ter 'wo

animals:this is the origin of all ethical conce6tions and all the subse9uent develo6ment of morality8B11 Iro6otkin concludes= then= that morality has its basis in nature= in the instinctive 6rinci6le of mutual aid and com6etition8 Every individual= Iro6otkin argues= has this ca6acity= even criminals8 In his study on the 6rison system= he argues that it is the brutality of 6risons that breeds crime* APrisons are the nurseries for the most revolting category of breaches of moral law8B114 7rime= he argues= is environmental* it is socially created= not a natural condition8 Ee calls= therefore= for crime to be treated not as an evil= but as a disease= a 6hysical defect= something which can be treated scientifically and cured through Amoral hygiene8B11- Iro6otkin<s ideas on crime and 6unishment might seem somewhat anti9uated8 Eowever= as we shall see from #tirner and Foucault in subse9uent cha6ters= this humanistic treatment of crime has had an im6act on modern systems of 6unishment and criminology= and this highlights the 6olitical 6roblem of humanist 6ower today81!J Moreover= as #tirner and Foucault will argue= the treatment of crime as a disease to be cured is merely a rea66lication in a new guise= no matter how well intended= of moral domination over a deviant form of behavior8 For Iro6otkin= however= crime could be more or less abolished by a66ealing to a sense of humanity within the individual= by a66ealing to one<s instinctive morality and sociability8 'his natural sociability= this ca6acity for mutual aid is= according to Iro6otkin= the 6rinci6le whose evolution drives society8 It binds society together= 6roviding a common basis u6on which daily life can be conducted8 #ociety= anarchists argue= thus has no need for the state* it has its own regulating mechanisms= its own natural laws8 #tate domination only 6oisons society and destroys its natural mechanisms8 'he anarchist (illiam &odwin= who also believed in mutual assistance= said of governments* A'hey lay their hand on the s6ring there is in society= and 6ut a sto6 to its motion8B1!1 Mutual assistance is the As6ring there is in society=B and it will become the basis u6on which society is organi,ed once the state is abolished8 It is therefore the 6rinci6le of mutual aid that will naturally re6lace the 6rinci6le of 6olitical authority8 A state of Aanarchy=B a war of Aall against allB will not ensue the moment state 6ower has been abolished8 'his is the hackneyed= old bugbear that has always been laid at the door of anarchism8 For anarchists= a state of AanarchyB exists now* 6olitical 6ower creates social dislocation= it does not 6revent it8 (hat is 6revented by the state is the natural and harmonious functioning of society8

The "ocial Contract

Anarchist 6olitical 6hiloso6hy is= therefore= based on an essentially o6timistic conce6tion of human nature* if individuals can have a natural tendency to get on well together= then there is no need for the existence of a state to arbitrate between them8 /n the contrary= the state actually has a 6ernicious effect on these natural social relations8 Anarchists re@ect 6olitical



theories based on the notion of the social contract8 Eobbesian theories of the social contract rely on a singularly negative 6icture of human nature8 'hey argue that individuals are naturally selfish= aggressively com6etitive= and egotistic and that in a state of nature they are engaged in a war of Aevery man= against every manB in which their individual drives necessarily bring them into conflict with one another81!! Let us call this= for the moment= the !onfli!t model of society= as o66osed to the harmony model of society which anarchists 6ro6ound8 'he two models would a66ear to be diagrammatically o66osed8 According to the social contract theory= society= in a state of nature= is characteri,ed by a radical dislocation* there is no common bond between individualsF there is in fact a 6er6etual state of war between them= a constant struggle for resources8 1!" #ociety is therefore characteri,ed by a lack:a lack of social order= an absence of any kind of authority or even common social ground u6on which it can be built8 'here is no pla!e for authority8 In order to 6ut a sto6 to this state of 6ermanent war= individuals come together to form a social contract u6on which some kind of authority can be established8 'hey agree to sacrifice at least 6art of their freedom in return for some kind of order= so that they can 6ursue their own individual ends more 6eacefully and= therefore= more 6rofitably8 'hey agree on the creation of a state with a mandate over society= which shall arbitrate between conflicting wills and enforce a state of 6eace and order8 'his would heal the rift in society:the lack that rends society a6art8 'he extent of the state<s authority may vary from the liberal state whose 6ower is su66osedly tem6ered by the rule of law= to the absolute state 6ower: the Leviathan dreamed u6 by Eobbes8 (hile the models may vary= however= anarchists argue that the result of this social contract theory is the same* a @ustification of state domination= whether it be through the rule of law or through an arbitrary im6osition of force8 For anarchists= any form of state 6ower is an arbitrary im6osition of force8 5akunin argues= then= that the social contract theory is a fiction= a sleight of hand that legitimates 6olitical domination*
A tacit contractS 'hat is to say= a wordless and conse9uently a thoughtless and will)less contractS A revolting nonsenseS An absurd fiction= and what is more: a wicked fictionS An unworthy hoaxS For it 6resu66oses that while I was in a state of not being able to will= to think= to s6eak= I bound myself and my descendants:sim6ly by reason of having let myself be victimi,ed without any 6rotest:into 6er6etual slavery81!%

5akunin 6oints out here the essential 6aradox in the theory of the social contract* if= in a state of nature= individuals subsist in a state of 6rimitive savagery= then how can they suddenly have the foresight to come together and create a social contractD If there is no common bond in society= no essence within humans which brings them together= then u6on what basis can a social contract be formedD Anarchists argue that there is no such agreement= that the state was im6osed from above= not from below= by various elites that formed in society8 'he social contract tries to mystify the brutal origins of the state* war= con9uest= and self enslavement= rather than rational agreement8 'he state= says Iro6otkin= was im6osed by force= not created freely and consensually by


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society8 'he state is based on violence* it is a disru6tion of= and an im6osition u6on= a harmoniously functioning= organic society81!$ #ociety has no need for a social contract8 It has its own contract with nature= governed by natural laws* A#ociety is the natural mode of existence of the human collective= and is inde6endent of any contract8 It is governed by customs or traditional usages and never by laws 8 8 8 'here are many laws which govern society 8 8 8 but those are natural laws= inherent in the social body= @ust as 6hysical laws are inherent in material bodies8B1!.

'here is an interesting 6arallel that could be drawn here between anarchism and libertarianism= even the right wing kind that re@ects any state intervention in the economy8 5oth anarchism and libertarianism amount to an absolute re@ection of the state and any form of social contract theory that leads to a @ustification of the state8 Anarchists and libertarians both argue that all forms of 6olitical authority and coercion are an unfair burden u6on the freedom of the individual and should therefore be resisted8 'hey both view the state as a 6arasitic institution 6reying on society and disru6ting its natural harmony8 #te6hen L8 >ewman sums u6 the libertarian view 6oint*
Libertarianism is distinguished by its extreme hostility toward 6olitical 6ower and its refusal to consider 6ublic interest as anything but a cruel hoax8 Libertarians define 6olitical 6ower as coercion or the threat of coercion8 'o exercise 6olitical 6ower= then= is to em6loy the coercive 6otential of the state against the citi,enry 8 8 8 by im6lication= 6olitical 6ower is incom6atible with liberty81!

Libertarianism begins to sound like 6ure anarchism= and while there are im6ortant differences:anarchism em6hasi,es free collectivism= while libertarianism em6hasi,es the individual and free markets:it is clear that the two theories converge in a fundamental re@ection of 6olitical 6ower and in the view that society has an essential harmony which 6olitical 6ower stultifies8 5oth theories are informed= then= by a Manichean logic that o66oses the natural authority of society to the AartificialB authority of 6olitical 6ower8 It could be argued that they are based on the essential liberal division between society and the state= the division which both Eegel and Marx= in their own ways= tried to overcome8 Eowever= both anarchism and libertarianism would re@ect social contract theories that see the state as a necessary antidote to the ra6acious conflict of the state of nature* they see this argument as highly fraudulent8 'hey reverse the Eobbesian 6aradigm= seeing individuals as essentially coo6erative= and this leads to the conclusion that rather than the state being a necessary institution which 6rotects the individual:as Eobbes would argue:it actually constitutes a threat to the individual8 #o both anarchism and libertarianism have an essentially 6ositive view of human nature= and a great faith in the ability of 6eo6le to interact with each other without the interference of the state8



>ow while it might seem curious that we are bringing together a generally left wing= and a generally right wing= theory in this way= it is a66arent that there are definite 6arallels which could 6erha6s be addressed8 'his 6roximity of libertarianism to anarchism suggests that there are other directions this discussion can take8 Philoso6hies like anarchism [and= as we will see later on= 6oststructuralism] which seek to challenge 6ower and authority= and maximi,e 6ersonal freedom= do not fit into such neat little 6olitical categories8 As I suggested before= the 6olitical im6lications of these ideas cannot be contained within the boundaries originally laid down for them and often overla6 with 6hiloso6hies like libertarianism8 #o 6erha6s libertarianism may be seen as the dangerous excess of the criti9ue of authority* an antistate 6hiloso6hy which is logically linked to anarchism= and indeed 6oststructuralism= and which continually haunts these discourses8 #o anarchists [and indeed libertarians] argue that the social contract theory is a fiction= moreover a dangerous fiction8 'he interesting thing is= however= that the social contract was never intended to be anything other than a fiction8 Let us look more closely at Eobbes8 Ee 6aints a 6icture of the state of nature as being characteri,ed by a Acontinual fear and danger of violent death8B1!4 Eowever= for Eobbes the Astate of natureB was not an actual historical situation= but rather a hy6othetical situation that could exist given the 6redis6osition of human nature81!- In other words= it is a 6icture of what society would be like without government* A(here there is no common 6ower= there is no law* where no law= no in@ustice8B1"J It is= in other words= a 6olemic model invented by Eobbes to @ustify the existence of the state8 It is merely an attem6t to construct a legitimate ground for the state= to ground it in law= consensus= and contract8 A legitimate ground for 6olitical 6ower must be constructed because none exists:there is no legitimate 6lace of 6ower in the state of nature8 Paradoxically= then= Eobbes shares with the anarchists one crucial 6oint* the recognition that the state is based on a fiction and it has no absolute= legitimate ground in society8 Eobbes does not try to shroud the state in ideals such as divine right= 6atriotism= religion= or morality8 Ee does not glorify the state or make it sacred81"1 'here is no covenant with &od but rather with an earthly sovereign81"! >or does the state exist at the behest of the nobility* everyone is e9ually sub@ected under the Leviathan81"" 'he Leviathan exists for 6urely 6ragmatic reasons:the su66ression of violence and disorder:and there is no @ustification for the state beyond this8 In other words= with Eobbes= there is no attem6t to see the state as anything other than it is:6ure 6ower8 (hile The :eviathan is a @ustification of the state= it is= at the same time= an unmas"ing of the state8 'his is the 6oint at which Eobbesian state theory converges with anarchist 6olitical 6hiloso6hy8 5oth theories:while they start from different 6remises and while they su66ort different solutions:6oint to one thing* the arbitrariness of the state= the arbitrariness of 6ower8 5oth theories= in o66osite ways= show the absence of any absolute ground for 6ower8 In Eobbes< case= absolute 6olitical 6ower is based on a lack= on the absence of any kind of social order8 Eobbes sought to im6ose some kind of order u6on society= hence the Leviathan8 'his absolute 6ower= however= does not have any


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6ositive content8 It is @ustified in 6urely negative terms= as 6utting a sto6 to disorder8 'his is because= as Ernesto Laclau and Lilian Hac suggest= the other of 6ower= according to this Eobbesian logic= is disorder= and hence= 6ower becomes legitimate in itself= inde6endent of its actual content81"% For Eobbes= the 6olitical content of the state is unim6ortant as long as it 9uells unrest in society8 (hether there be a democracy= or a sovereign assembly= or a monarchy= it does not matter* Athe 6ower in all forms= if they be 6erfect enough to 6rotect them= is the same8B1"$ Like the anarchists= Eobbes believes that the guise taken by 6ower is irrelevant8 5ehind every mask there must be a 6ure= absolute 6ower8 Eobbes< 6olitical thought is centered around a desire for order= 6urely as an antidote to disorder8 And for Eobbes= the extent to which individuals suffer under this order is incom6arable to the suffering caused by war81". For Eobbes= then= state sovereignty is a necessary evil8 'here is no attem6t to make a fetish of the state* it does not descend from heaven= 6reordained by divine will8 It is 6ure sovereignty= 6ure 6ower= and it is constructed out of the em6tiness of society= 6recisely in order to 6revent the warfare immanent in the state of nature8 For anarchists= on the other hand= the state is an unne!essary evil8 3ather than 6reventing 6er6etual warfare between men= the state engenders it* the state is based on war of con9uest= rather than embodying its resolution8 'herefore= while anarchists share with Eobbes certain 6ers6ectives on state 6ower= they disagree fundamentally on this one 6oint* whether the natural state of man and society is one of sociability and 6otential harmony:thus making the state unnecessary and harmful:as the anarchists argueF or whether it is a state of constant warfare engendered by man<s untem6ered desires and selfishness:thus making the state absolutely necessary:as Eobbes argues8 Anarchism can re@ect the state because it argues from the 6ers6ective of an essential 6lace:natural human society:and the morality and rationality immanent within it8 It can= therefore= conceive of an alternative to the state8 Eobbes= on the other hand= has no such 6oint of de6arture* there is no stand6oint that can act as an alternative to the state8 #ociety= as we have seen with Eobbes= is characteri,ed by rift= antagonism= and war8 In fact= there is no essential society to s6eak of:it is an em6ty 6lace8 #ociety must therefore be constructed artificially in the sha6e of the absolute state8 (hile anarchism can rely on natural law= Eobbes can only rely on the law of the state8 At the heart of the anarchist 6aradigm there is the essential fullness of society= while at the heart of the Eobbesian 6aradigm there is nothing but em6tiness and dislocation8 Eowever it might be argued that anarchism is a mirror image of Eobbesianism in the sense that they both 6osit a commonality that derives from their indebtedness to the Enlightenment8 'hey both em6hasi,e the need for a fullness or sociality= some legitimate 6lace of authority around which society can be organi,ed8 Anarchists see this 6lace in the natural law which informs society and human sub@ectivity= and which is im6eded by the state8 Eobbes= on the other hand= sees this 6lace as an absence= an em6ty 6lace that must be filled by the state8 In other words= the authority which anarchists see as naturally occurring does not exist for Eobbes= and must therefore be artificially created8


Eobbes< thought is caught within the 6aradigm of the state8 'he state is made necessary by the constant threat of the warfare and dislocation that will reign su6reme without it8 'he state is the absolute conce6tual limit= outside of which are the 6erils of the state of nature8 Liberal 6olitical theories based on the social contract are haunted by the little argument that says* Aif you get rid of the state then society will revert back to a state of nature8B Anarchism= on the other hand= because it 6roceeds from the harmony model of society= claims to be able to transcend this 9uandary8 5ut can itD Anarchism o6erates within a Manichean 6olitical logic* it creates an essential= moral o66osition between society and the state= between humanity and 6ower8 >atural law is diagrammatically o66osed to artificial 6owerF the morality and rationality immanent in natural human society comes into conflict with the fundamental irrationality and immorality of the state8

(ith anarchism= as we have seen= there is an essential antithesis between the 6ure= uncontaminated 6lace of resistance:constituted by essential human sub@ectivity and natural human society:and the 6lace of 6ower8 ?ac9ues +on,elot argues that this Manichean logic is endemic to radical 6olitical theory* APolitical culture is also the systematic 6ursuit of an antagonism between two essences= the tracing of a line of demarcation between two 6rinci6les= two levels of reality which are easily 6laced in o66osition8 'here is no 6olitical culture that is not Manichean8B1" Moreover= anarchism= in subscribing to this logic= and making 6ower the focus of its analysis= instead of economics as Marxism did= has 6erha6s fallen into the same tra6 as Marxism8 Eas it not merely re6laced the economy with the state as the essential evil in society= from which other evils are derivedD As +on,elot argues*
>o sooner has one decided on good or bad grounds:no matter which:that ca6italism is not the uni9ue or even 6rinci6le source of evil on earth that one rushes to substitute for the o66osition between ca6ital and labor that between #tate and civil society8 7a6ital= as foil and sca6egoat= is re6laced by the #tate= that cold monster whose limitless growth ;6au6eri,es< social lifeF and the 6roletariat gives way to civil society= that is to say to everything ca6able of resisting the blind rationality of the #tate= to everything that o66oses it at the level of customs= mores= a living sociability= sought in the residual margins of society and 6romoted to the status of motor of history81"4

7an we not see= then= that by 6itting Aliving sociabilityB against the state= in the same way that Marxism 6itted the 6roletariat against ca6italism= anarchism shows= 6erha6s= that it has been unable to transcend the traditional 6olitical categories which bound MarxismD As +on,elot argues= Manicheism is the logic that skewers all these theories* it is the undercurrent that runs through them and circumscribes them8 It does not matter if the target is the state= or ca6ital= or


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anything elseF as long as there is an enemy to destroy and a sub@ect who will destroy itF as long as there is the 6romise of the final battle and final victory8 Manichean logic is= therefore= the logic of 6lace* there must be an essential 6lace of 6ower and an essential 6lace of resistance:the 6oint of de6arture from which issues forth the revolution against 6ower8 'his is the binary= dialectical logic that 6ervades anarchism* the 6lace of 6ower:the state:must be overthrown by the 6ure sub@ect of resistance= the essential human sub@ect8 Eas not anarchism merely fallen 6rey to the logic of 6laceD 5y re6lacing the economy with the state as the 6rivileged 6oint of analysis and the 6rimary evil in society= has it not failed to dismantle the very logic of 6laceD Eas it not= in other words= fallen into the same reductionist tra6 as MarxismD 'he Manichean logic of 6lace= moreover= involves a reverse mirroring o6eration* the 6lace of resistance is a reflection= in reverse= of the 6lace of 6ower8 In the case of anarchism= human sub@ectivity is essentially moral and rational= while the state is essentially immoral and irrational8 According to 5akunin* A'he #tate never had and never will have any morality 8 8 8 'he #tate is the com6lete negation of humanity= a double negation* the o66osite of human freedom and @ustice= and the violent breach of the solidarity of the human race8B1"7an we not see= then= that in anarchist discourse the state is essential to the existence of the revolutionary sub@ect= @ust as the revolutionary sub@ect is essential to the existence of the stateD 'he 6lace of resistance de6ends u6on the 6lace of 6ower= and vice versa8 /ne defines itself in o66osition to the other8 'he 6urity of revolutionary identity is only defined in contrast to the im6urity of 6olitical 6ower8 3evolt against the state is always 6rom6ted by the state8 As 5akunin argues* Athere is something in the nature of the state which 6rovokes rebellion8B1%J (hile the relationshi6 between the state and the revolutionary sub@ect is one of clearly defined o66osition= the two antagonists could not exist outside this relationshi68 'hey could not= in other words= exist without each other8 >iet,sche would call this a relationshi6 of ressentiment* Athis need to direct one<s view outward instead of back to oneself:is the essence of ressentiment* in order to exist= slave morality always first needs a hostile external worldF it needs= 6hysiologically s6eaking= external stimuli in order to act at all:its action is fundamentally reaction8B1%1 >iet,sche sees this outlook as distinctly unhealthy= emanating from a 6osition of weakness and sickness8 Moreover= >iet,sche talks of AanarchistsB as the ones who are 6ermeated with this morality of the slave8 (hile this is 6erha6s rather unfair of >iet,sche= it does 6oint to a certain tenet of ressentiment within Manichean 6hiloso6hies such as anarchism8 Pure revolutionary identity in anarchist 6hiloso6hy is constituted through its essential o66osition to 6ower8 Eowever= like the Areactive manB that >iet,sche s6eaks of= revolutionary identity 6ur6orts to be un6olluted by 6ower* human essence is seen as moral where 6ower is immoral= natural where 6ower is artificial= 6ure where 6ower is im6ure8



The %o!er %rinci le

Anarchism is based around this notion of the 6urity of the revolutionary identity8 Euman essence and natural human society is anarchism<s uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= the 6ure 6lace of resistance that will overcome 6ower8 5ecause= as I have indicated= this sub@ectivity is constituted within a system of natural law:as o66osed to artificial law:it is a 6oint which= while it is o66ressed by 6ower= remains outside 6ower and un6olluted by it8 5ut is itD 5akunin himself throws some doubt on this when he talks about the A6ower 6rinci6le8B 'his is the natural lust for 6ower which= 5akunin argues= is innate in every individual* AEvery man carries within himself the germs of the lust for 6ower= and every germ= as we know= because of a basic law of life= necessarily must develo6 and grow8B1%! Ee says= moreover= that* Athe instinct to command others= in its 6rimitive essence= is a carnivorous= altogether bestial and savage instinct:it is this 6rinci6le alone that has 6roduced all the misfortunes= all the crimes= and the most shameful facts of history8B1%" 'he power prin!iple means that man cannot be trusted with 6ower= that there will always be this desire for 6ower at the heart of human sub@ectivity8 (hile 5akunin intended to warn others of the corru6ting danger inherent in 6ower= he has 6erha6s unconsciously ex6osed the hidden contradiction that lies at the heart of anarchist discourse* namely that= while anarchism bases itself u6on a notion of an essential human sub@ectivity uncontaminated by 6ower= this sub@ectivity is im6ossible to achieve8 'he idea of a 6ure revolutionary identity is torn a6art= subverted by a AnaturalB desire for 6ower= by the lack which is at the heart of every individual8 5akunin indicates that this lack= this desire for 6ower is an essential 6art of human sub@ectivity8 Perha6s the im6lication of 5akunin<s 6ower 6rinci6le is that the sub@ect will always have a desire for 6ower= and that the sub@ect will be incom6lete until it gras6s 6ower8 Iro6otkin= too= talks about the desire for 6ower and authority8 Ee argues that the rise of the modern state can be attributed in 6art to the fact that Amen became enamoured of authority8B1%% Ee im6lies= then= that state 6ower is not com6letely an im6osition from above8 Ee talks about self)enslavement to law and authority* AMan allowed himself to be enslaved far more by his desire to ;6unish according to law< than by direct military con9uest8B1%$ +oes the desire to A6unish according to lawB grow directly out of humanity<s natural sense of moralityD 7an human essence still be seen= then= as un6olluted by 6ower= as an uncontaminated 6oint of de6artureD (hile anarchism<s notion of sub@ectivity is not totally dismantled by this contradiction= it is nevertheless destabili,ed by it* it is made somewhat ambiguous= incom6lete= o6en to 9uestion8 #ub@ectivity is constituted by lack and desire:the desire for 6ower:and this makes it unstable and dangerous8 'he 6lace of resistance is in danger of becoming dis6pla!ed. 'he 6ossibility= then= that the 6lace of resistance is unstable and not com6letely constituted= forces one to 9uestion anarchism<s notion of a revolution of humanity against 6ower8 If= as 5akunin and Iro6otkin argue= humans have an essential desire for 6ower= then how can one be sure that a revolution aimed at destroying 6ower will not turn into a revolution aimed at


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ca6turing 6owerD Eow can one be sure= in other words= that an anarchist revolution will be any different from a Marxist vanguard revolutionD

The -ar Model

Another im6lication of the instability of the 6lace of resistance is that it o6ens the 6ossibility for an alternate conce6tion of social relations8 Anarchism= as I argued= re@ects the traditional Eobbesian Astate of natureB model in favor of the harmony model of social relations8 'he social harmony model has now= however= been thrown into uncertainty* while individuals are naturally moral and sociable= and while society is= therefore= essentially harmonious= individuals also have a dark side:an insatiable desire for 6ower and authority:which @eo6ardi,es this harmony8 'his a66arent contradiction does not mean that the harmony model of social relations should be re@ected out of hand8 It does= however= cast some doubt on it and forces us to consider other ways of a66roaching the 6roblem8 'his need to 9uestion the social harmony model is not 6rom6ted by the charge of naivetG* the harmony model of human relations= which claims that humans are essentially sociable and altruistic= is no more unrealistic than the Eobbesian model= which claims that individuals are essentially selfish and com6etitive8 'hey are the two sides of the same idealist coin:in a sense= they are mirror images of each other8 Eowever= what if we were to a66ly the Eobbesian conflict model to social relationsD (hat if we were to take this model= not in the sense of its essentialist assum6tions about human nature= but rather in the sense of its use of war as a meta6hor for social relationsD 'he war model sees social relations as characteri,ed by constant antagonism= rift= and dislocation8 Eowever= one does not use AwarB here in the way that Eobbes meant= to describe a state of nature in which individuals are constantly at war with one another8 I use it here= rather= to attack this very essentialist notion of society8 'he war model can 6erha6s be used against Eobbes= to re@ect the very idea of AsocietyB as a conce6t= or at least the idea of there being an essence in society8 Perha6s society should be seen as an em6ty 6lace= an unstable= incom6lete identity= characteri,ed by constant antagonism= and conse9uently= o6en to continual reinter6retation8 'his refers to the >iet,schean idea of war as being the struggle of values and re6resentations8 #ocial reality= according to >iet,sche= is not governed by the evolution of natural law as anarchists argue= but by a constant struggle of a multitude of forces which inscribe themselves in law8 Even natural law is an inter6retation of force and con9uest8 >iet,sche says then*
whatever exists= having somehow come into being= is again and again reinter6reted to new ends= taken over= transformed= and redirected by some 6ower su6erior to itF all events in the organic world are a subduing= a #e!oming master= and an all subduing and becoming master involves a fresh



inter6retation= an ada6tation through which any 6revious AmeaningB and A6ur6oseB are necessarily obscured or even obliterated81%.

According to this= society itself can have no stable meaning:no origin= and no grand dialectical movement towards a conclusion:because meaning itself is o6en to continual change and reinter6retation8 'his calls into 9uestion both anarchism and Eobbesianism because they both envisage a com6lete society= free from conflict and antagonism8 As I will argue in later cha6ters= 6articularly with reference to Lacan= identity:social or individual:can never be com6letely constituted* it is always grounded in a lack [which 5akunin has 6erha6s unintentionally ex6osed]= 6reventing it from achieving fullness8 It is always limited by rift and antagonism8 As >iet,sche would argue= no society can be free of antagonism and conflict because antagonism and conflict are= in a sense= all society consists of8 'he very notion of society is based on the con9uest and unstable domination of certain forces over others8 Eobbes= for instance= sees the rule of law as su66ressing hostilities8 Eowever= law= as >iet,sche argues= is a continuation of struggle= not a halt to it* AA legal order thought of as sovereign and universal= not as a means in the struggle between 6ower com6lexes= but as a means of 6reventing all struggle in general would be a 6rinci6le hostile to life8B1% Life= for >iet,sche= is the recognition and acce6tance of struggle* the acce6tance that there are no fixed meanings= essences= or stable identities8 At the base of these is always a conflict of forces making them inherently unstable and o6en to reinter6retation8 A6ollo is always haunted by +ionysius8 A6ollo is the god of light= but also the god of illusion* he Agrants re6ose to individual beings 8 8 8 by drawing boundaries around them8B +ionysius= on the other hand is the force that occasionally destroys these Alittle circles=B disru6ting the A6ollonian tendency to Acongeal the form to Egy6tian rigidity and coldness8B 1%4 #ociety is the illusion= 6erha6s= that hides the struggle and antagonism behind the scenes:behind the Aveil of the maya.B1%- (ar is the reality* the dark= turgid= violent struggle of silent forcesF the conflict of the multitude of re6resentations which are 6recariously held in check by notions such as human essence= morality= rationality= and natural law8 'he Ainstinct for 6ower=B for instance= is the dark= volatile force which threatens the 6urity and stability of the anarchist sub@ect8 'he sub@ect who 6its himself against 6ower is the same sub@ect who secretly lusts after 6ower8 Eis identity is therefore 6recarious8 'he war model= or the AgenealogicalB model as >iet,sche would see it= unmasks rift behind closure= discord behind harmony= war behind 6eace8 It has revealed the em6tiness at the heart of 6lace8 Anarchism relies on essence* on the notion of an essential= natural human sub@ectivityF on there being a natural essence in social relations that will be able to take the 6lace of the state= the 6lace of 6ower8 'his idea of essence constitutes anarchism<s 6oint of de6arture= its 6lace of resistance which is uncontaminated by 6ower8 'he war model= however= @eo6ardi,es this idea of essence* it claims that essence itself is merely a tem6orary and 6recarious domination of certain forces over others= and there is nothing transcendental or 6ermanent about it8 Max #tirner continues this assault


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on the idea of an essential 6lace8 Ee will a66ly the war model= in his own way= to show that the notion of human essence constituting a 6ure revolutionary identity is not only dubious= but that its continued use in radical 6olitical 6hiloso6hy is immanently dangerous8 'his will be the sub@ect of the next cha6ter8

18 Iro6otkin= The State, %%8 !8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !"-8 "8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !"-8 %8 Iro6otkin= The State= 1!8 $8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !"-8 .8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 4%8 8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1!18 48 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1% 8 -8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !1!8 1J8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !%J8 118 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !J 8 1!8 Ludwig Feuerbach= The 'ssen!e of *hristianity, trans. &8 Eliot 1>ew Nork* Ear6er2= ! )!48 1"8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1%")1%%8 1%8 5akunin says* A'he #tate= then= like the 7hurch= starts with this fundamental assum6tion that all men are essentially bad and that when left to their natural liberty they will tear one another a6art and will offer the s6ecter of the most frightful anarchy wherein the strongest will kill or ex6loit the weaker ones8B #ee 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1%%8 1$8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1%18 1.8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1%!8 1 8 Ludwig Feuerbach= The Fiery ?roo" Sele!ted (ritings of :udwig Feuer#a!h, trans. and ed8 Hawar Eanfi 1>ew Nork* Anchor= 1- !2= 1$ 8 148 Luoted in Eugene Py,iur= The &o!trine of %nar!hism of 7i!hael %. ?a"unin 1Milwaukee= (is8* 'he Mar9uette Cniversity Press= 1-$$8 1-8 Peter Iro6otkin= )evolutionary $amphlets, ed8 3oger >8 5aldwin 1>ew Nork* 5en@amin 5lom= 1-.42= 1$.)1$ 8 !J8 Iro6otkin= )evolutionary $amphlets, 1$ 8 !18 As 5akunin says* A'he moral law 8 8 8 is indeed an actual law= which will trium6h over all the cons6iracies of all the idealists of the world= because it emanates from the very nature of human society= the root basis of which is to be sought not in &od but in animality8B #ee 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy= 1$.8 !!8 Peter Iro6otkin= 'thi!s 1rigin and &evelopment, trans. L8 #8 Friedland 1>ew Nork* 'udor Publishing= 1-% 2= $8 !"8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s= 1$8 !%8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s= 1%8 !$8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s= 1%8 !.8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s= 1%8 ! 8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s= %$8 !48 Peter Iro6otkin= /n )ussian and Fren!h $risons 1London* (ard M +owney= 144 2= "".8 !-8 Iro6otkin= /n )ussian and Fren!h $risons, ""48



"J8 Larry 'ifft and Louis #tevenson argue for a rea66raisal of Iro6otkin<s ideas and their 6ossible a66lication for criminology today8 #ee AEumanistic 7riminology* 3oots from Peter Iro6otkin=B =ournal of So!iology and So!ial (elfare 1!= no8 " 1#e6tember 1-4$2= %44)$!J8 "18 (illiam &odwin= %nar!hist (ritings= ed8 Peter Marshall 1London* Freedom Press= 1-.42= -!8 "!8 'homas Eobbes= :eviathan 1/xford* 5asil 5lackwell= 1-% 2= 4"8 ""8 'o 9uote Eobbes= life is Asolitary= 6oor= nasty= brutish and short8B #ee Eobbes= :eviathan= 4!8 "%8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1.$8 "$8 Iro6otkin= The State, " 8 ".8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1..8 " 8 >ewman= :i#eralism at (it;s 'nd, %18 "48 Eobbes= :eviathan= 4!8 "-8 A6ril 7arter= The $oliti!al Theory of %nar!hism 1London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul2= 1%8 %J8 Eobbes= :eviathan= 4"8 %18 7arter= The $oliti!al Theory of %nar!hism= !J8 %!8 Eobbes= :eviathan= 11%8 %"8 Eobbes= :eviathan= 1!J8 %%8 Ernesto Laclau and Lilian Hac= AMinding the &a6* 'he #ub@ect of Politics=B in The 7a"ing of $oliti!al /dentities= 11)"-8 %$8 Eobbes= :eviathan= 1!J8 %.8 Eobbes* Anot considering that the state of man can never be without some incommodity or otherF and that the greatest= that in any form of government can 6ossibly ha66en to the 6eo6le in general= is scarce sensible in res6ect of the miseries= and horrible calamities= that accom6any a civil war= or that dissolute condition of masterless men= without sub@ection to laws= and a coercive 6ower to tie their hands from ra6ine and revenge8B #ee :eviathan= 1!J8 % 8 ?ac9ues +on,elot= A'he Poverty of Political 7ulture=B /deology and *ons!iousness $ 1#6ring 1- -2* ")4.8 %48 +on,elot= A'he Poverty of Political 7ulture=B %8 %-8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !!%8 $J8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1%$8 $18 Friedrich >iet,sche= 1n the <enealogy of 7orals, ed8 and trans8 (alter Iaufmann 1>ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1-4-2= ".)" 8 $!8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy= !%48 $"8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy= !%48 $%8 Iro6otkin= The State, !48 $$8 Iro6otkin= The State, 1 8 $.8 >iet,sche= 1n The <enealogy of 7orals, 8 $ 8 >iet,sche= 1n The <enealogy of 7orals, .8 $48 Friedrich >iet,sche= ?irth of Tragedy, and The *ase of (agner, trans. (8 Iaufmann 1>ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1-. 2= !8 $-8 'he Aveil of the mayaB is the illusion that A6ollo wra6s man in to 6rotect him from the harsh reality of existence8 #ee Allan Megill= $rophets of '8tremity +ietzs!he, -eidegger, Fou!ault, &errida 15erkeley* Cniversity of 7alifornia Press= 1-4$2= "-8

Chapter Three

"tirner and the %olitics of the ,$o

F7an is the <od of to6day, and fear of 7an has ta"en the pla!e of the old fear of <od.B

'he 6revious cha6ter suggested that anarchism= like Marxism= had fallen victim to a theoretical ruse* instead of seeing the 6rinci6al source of o66ression in society in ca6italism= as Marxism did= anarchism saw o66ression emanating mostly from the state8 5oth fell victim= therefore= to a reductionist logic: Marxism fell into the tra6 of economism, while anarchism fell into the tra6 of statism. 'his still leaves the 6roblem of 6ower unanswered8 Moreover= in the last cha6ter we found that anarchism relies on an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= a 6lace of 6ure resistance that will overthrow state 6ower8 Eowever= as we have seen= this 6ure 6lace= embodied in human essence= is 6ossibly unstable and o6en to the tem6tation of 6ower8 Anarchism= therefore= cannot achieve a com6lete theoretical closure= and this leaves it o6en to various theoretical interventions8 'his cha6ter will look at one 6ossible intervention: that of #tirner8 It will use his ideas to ex6lore this o6ening left by anarchism8 Anarchism= like Marxism= has failed to gras6 two fundamental 6roblems* the 6roblem of 6ower= and the 6roblem of 6lace8 Anarchism remains buried within an Enlightenment 6olitical 6aradigm that is inade9uate for dealing with 9uestions of 6ower today8 Perha6s what is needed is a rethinking of the relationshi6 between 6ower and the sub@ect8 'his is where the work of Max #tirner comes in8 Although writing in the nineteenth century= he 6resents us with a criti9ue of modern forms of 6ower= 6articularly ideology8 Eis book The 'go and -is 1wn [&er 'inzige und sein 'igenthum] shows the way in which ideas can become= in themselves= a form of domination:a 6ro6osal which was never fully gras6ed by either traditional anarchist or Marxist theory8 Ee discovers a new arena of 6ower= going beyond the e6istemological categories that bound both Marxism and anarchism8 Perha6s the most im6ortant 9uestion for #tirner was not how 6ower comes to dominate us= but why we allow 6ower to dominate us:why we willingly 6artici6ate in our own domination8 'hese were 6roblems that neither anarchism nor classical Marxism could address8 Above all= #tirner was concerned with the 6roblem of 6lace= the 6roblem which has 6lagued radical 6olitical theory* how can one be sure that in acting against a 6articular form of 6ower one does not merely 6ut another in its 6laceD #tirner argues that humanist 6hiloso6hies such as anarchism fall very neatly into this dialectic which constantly re6roduces 6ower8 Like 6oststructuralist thinkers who were writing over a century later= #tirner is troubled by the whole 9uestion of essentialism8 I argue that he uses a war model of relations= like the one constructed in the 6revious cha6ter= to untangle the modern bind of 6ower=

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


identity= and essence= and to unmask the domination and antagonism behind its serene humanist veneer8 It is for this reason that #tirner is relevant to our analysis* he re6resents a decisive break with the Enlightenment rationality that informed Marxism and anarchism= 6lacing himself within an altogether different 6roblematic:one which antici6ates= as we shall see= 6oststructuralism81$1 #tirner= like >iet,sche who was clearly influenced by him= has been inter6reted in many different ways81$! /ne 6ossible inter6retation of #tirner is that he is an anarchist8 Indeed= he has much in common with the anarchist 6osition:6articularly in his re@ection of the state and 6olitical authority8 #tirner argues that the state is an a66aratus that denies the individual the right of self) reali,ation= the ex6ression of his value* A'he #tate does not let me come to my value= and continues to exist only through my valuelessness8B1$" It is a des6otism wielded over the individual* A'he #tate always has the sole 6ur6ose to limit= tame= subordinate= the individual:to make him sub@ect to some generality or other8B1$% For #tirner= the state is the new church:the new 6lace of 6ower= the new authority wielded over the individual8 Moreover= it o6erates through the same moral hy6ocrisy:now shrouded in legal codes81$$ #tirner= therefore= dis6lays an anti)authoritarianism that shares much with anarchism8 Ee wants to lay bare the vicious= o66ressive nature of 6olitical 6ower* to unmask its underlying morality that might is right= and to examine its effect:to stultify and alienate the individual= instilling in him a de6endence on the state8

Re.ection of the "tate

Like the anarchists= moreover= #tirner attacks state 6ower itself:the very category or 6lace of the state:not @ust the different forms that it assumes8 (hat must be destroyed is the Aruling 6rinci6le8B1$. #tirner is therefore against revolutionary 6rograms= such as Marxism= which have as their aim the seizure of state 6ower8 Ee shares anarchism<s distrust of the Marxist workers< state* it would @ust be a reaffirmation of the state in a different guise:a Achange of masters8B1$ #tirner suggests= then= that* Awar might rather be declared against the establishment itself= the State= not a 6articular #tate= not any such thing as the mere condition of the #tate at the timeF it is not another #tate 1such as a ;6eo6le<s #tate<2 that men aim at8B1$4 3evolutionary action has been tra66ed= according to #tirner= by the 6aradigm of the state:it has remained caught within the dialectic of 6lace8 3evolutions have only succeeded in re6lacing one form of authority with another8 'his is because= as #tirner argues= they do not 9uestion the very condition= the category= the idea of state authority and= therefore= remain within its hold81$- 'he state can never be reformed= #tirner argues= because it can never be trusted and this is why the 6lace of 6ower itself must be destroyed8 #tirner re@ects 5runo 5auer<s notion of a democratic state which grows out of the A6ower of the 6eo6leB and which is always subordinated to the 6eo6le8 For #tirner= the state can never really be brought under the control of 6eo6le:it always has its own logic= and it will soon turn against the will of the 6eo6le81.J


7ha6ter 'hree

#tirner<s notion of the state 6ut him at odds with Marxism8 #tirner= like the anarchists= believed that the state was an inde6endent entity8 'his is 6articularly so in its relation to economic 6ower8 #tirner analy,es none!onomi! forms of re6ression= and he believes that the state= if it is to be fully understood= must be considered inde6endently of economic arrangements8 'he 6ower of bureaucracy= for instance= constitutes a noneconomic form of o66ression* its o6eration cannot be reduced to the workings of the economy81.1 'his is contrary to the Marxist 6osition= which= I have argued= sees the state as largely reducible to the workings of the ca6italist economy and sub@ect to the interests of the bourgeoisie8 #tirner suggests= for instance= that while the state 6rotects 6rivate 6ro6erty and the interests of the bourgeoisie= it also stands above them and dominates them81.! For #tirner= as with the anarchists= the 6olitical 6ower enshrined in the state has 6redominance over economic 6ower and its related class interests8 'he state is the 6rimary source of o66ression in society= not the ca6italist economy as Marxists would argue8 #tirner reveals himself as an anti)authoritarian thinker par e8!ellen!e8 Moreover= his criti9ue of the 6olitics of 6lace is useful in a number of ways8 >ot only does he continue the criti9ue of Marxism elaborated in the first cha6ter= he also a66lies the same logic to anarchism itself:he allows us to think beyond the e6istemological categories which inform anarchism8 It is clear that #tirner<s antistate 6hiloso6hy has a great deal in common with anarchism= 6articularly his re@ection of the Marxist conce6tion of state 6ower as being subordinated to class interests= and his im6lied criti9ue of Marxist revolutionary 6olitics8 Eowever #tirner sits almost as uncomfortably with anarchism as he does with Marxism8 It will become increasingly clear that #tirner cannot be confined within the category of traditional anarchism8 Ee breaks with this category on several grounds* he re@ects the notions of human and social essence which are the foundation of anarchist thoughtF he eschews the moral and e6istemological discourses which are based on this essenceF and this leads him to an entirely different conce6tion of revolutionary action8 'hese 6oints however will be discussed later8 First we must look at the 6hiloso6hical background which gave rise to #tirner<s thought8

"tirner/s , istemolo$ical Brea#

Criti*ue of Feuer(ach
#tirner<s thought develo6ed in the shadows of Feuerbach<s The 'ssen!e of *hristianity8 It was this work which #tirner came to re@ect:and in doing so= he broke decisively with the theoretical category of humanism8 In The 'ssen!e of *hristianity Feuerbach a66lied the notion of alienation to religion8 3eligion is alienating because it re9uires that man abdicate his own 9ualities and 6owers by

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego

6ro@ecting them onto an abstract &od= beyond the gras6 of humanity8 In doing so= man dis6laces his essential self= leaving him alienated and debased8 Man<s 9ualities= according to this argument= become the characteristics of &od81." Feuerbach argued that the 6redicates of &od were= therefore= really only the 6redicates of man as a s6ecies being8 &od was an illusion= a hy6ostati,ation of man8 (hile man should be the single criterion for truth= love= and virtue= these characteristics are now the 6ro6erty of an abstract being who becomes the sole criterion for them8 In claiming= however= that the 9ualities which we have attributed to &od or to the absolute are really the 9ualities of man= Feuerbach has made man into an almighty being himself8 Feuerbach sees will= love= goodness= and thought as essential 9ualities in man:he wants to restore these abstracted 9ualities to man8 Man becomes= in Feuerbach<s eyes= the ultimate ex6ression of these 9ualities8 Ee becomes almighty= sacred= 6erfect= infinite:in short= man becomes &od8 Feuerbach embodies the Enlightenment humanist 6ro@ect of restoring to man his rightful 6lace at the center of the universe8 Feuerbach<s intention was to make the Ahuman the divine= the finite the infinite8B It is this attem6t to re6lace &od with man= to make the finite infinite= that #tirner condemns8 According to #tirner= Feuerbach= while claiming to have overthrown religion= merely reversed the order of sub@ect and 6redicate= doing nothing to undermine the 6lace of religious authority itself81.% 'he alienating category of &od is retained and solidified by entrenching it in man8 Man thereby usur6s &od= ca6turing for himself the category of the infinite= the 6lace of &od8 Man becomes the substitute for the 7hristian illusion8 Feuerbach= #tirner argues= is the high 6riest of a new religion:humanism* A'he ECMA> religion is only the last metamor6hosis of the 7hristian religion8B1.$ Let us follow #tirner<s argument here* it will be the key to the criti9ue of essentialist 6olitics that I am trying to construct8 #tirner starts by acce6ting Feuerbach<s criti9ue of 7hristianity* the infinite is an illusion= being merely the re6resentation of human consciousness8 'he 7hristian religion is based on the divided= alienated self:the religious man seeks after his alter ego that cannot be attained because it has been abstracted onto the figure of &od8 In doing so he denies his concrete= sensual self81.. Eowever= #tirner argues that by seeking the sacred in Ahuman essence=B by 6ositing an essential man and attributing to him certain 9ualities that had hitherto been attributed to &od= Feuerbach has merely reintroduced religious alienation8 'he individual finds himself alienated within the symbolic order* he is sub@ected to a series of signifiers:man= human essence:that im6oses an identity on him which only half re6resents him= and which is not of his own creation or choosing8 'his is similar to Lacan<s theory of sub@ectification= and will be discussed in later cha6ters8 #tirner shows that by making certain characteristics and 9ualities essential to man= Feuerbach has alienated those in whom these 9ualities are not found8 And so man becomes like &od= and @ust as man was debased under &od= so the concrete individual is debased beneath this 6erfect being= man8 Like the Marxist revolution that only reaffirmed state 6ower= Feuerbach<s AinsurrectionB has not destroyed the 6lace of religious


7ha6ter 'hree

authority:it has merely installed man within it= re6lacing &od8 For #tirner= man is @ust as o66ressive= if not more so= than &od* AFeuerbach thinks= that if he humani,es the divine= he has found truth8 >o= if &od has given us 6ain= ;Man< is ca6able of 6inching us still more torturingly8B1. 'he essential man of Feuerbachian humanism is a new ideological construct= a new dece6tion which= according to #tirner= o66resses and denies the individual8 It is a mutilating= alienating idea:a As6ook=B or a Afixed idea=B as #tirner calls it:something that desecrates the uni9ueness of the individual by com6aring him to an ideal which is not of his own creation8 'his is 7hristian alienation all over again= according to #tirner* A'o &od= who is s6irit= Feuerbach gives the name ;/ur Essence8< 7an we 6ut u6 with this= that ;/ur Essence< is brought into o66osition to us:that we are s6lit into an essential and unessential selfD +o we not therewith go back into the dreary misery of seeing ourselves banished out of ourselvesDB1.4 #tirner<s criti9ue of the idealism latent within Feuerbachian humanism had a resounding effect on Marxism8 It forced Marx to take account of the ideological constructions in his own notions of human essence that he derived to some extent from Feuerbach8 Although #tirner never directly critici,ed Marx= The 'go and -is 1wn ins6ired criticism of Marx<s latent humanism from many 9uarters81.- Marx himself was shocked by #tirner<s work into what is seen by some Marxists as a decisive break with humanism and with the notion of a moral or humanistic basis for socialism8 Ee was clearly troubled by #tirner<s suggestion that socialism was tainted with the same idealism as 7hristianity and that it was full of su6erstitious ideas like morality and @ustice8 'his is manifested in the relentless= vitriolic= and sarcastic attack on #tirner= which the largest 6art of the <erman /deology is devoted to8 'he <erman /deology re6resents a cathartic attem6t by Marx to tarnish #tirner with the same brush that he himself had been tarnished with:that of idealism:while= at the same time trying to exorcise this demon from his own thought81 J Marx saw the a66lication of #tirner<s work for his own revolutionary socialism and he used #tirner<s criti9ue of idealism while= at the same time= accusing #tirner himself of idealism8 #tirner showed Marx the 6erils of Feuerbachian humanism= forcing Marx to distance himself as much as 6ossible from his earlier stance8 'he early humanism of Marx= found in the '!onomi! and $hilosophi!al 7anus!ripts of 2CGG= stands in contrast to his later materialism8 'he 7anus!ripts are founded on the notion of the As6ecies beingB and they describe the way in which 6rivate 6ro6erty alienates man from his own s6ecies8 'here is a notion of human essence:an image of a ha66y= fulfilled man who affirms his own being through free= creative labor81 1 Marx<s early humanism bears the unmistakable im6rint of Feuerbach8 For Marx= man is estranged from his As6ecies beingB by abstract forces such as 6rivate 6ro6erty= and it is with the overthrow of 6rivate 6ro6erty that man reclaims himself:thus everything becomes Ahuman8B1 ! For Marx= man is essentially a communal= social creature :it is in his essence to seek the society of others8 Man and society exist in a natural bond in which each 6roduces the other8 Man can only become com6lete= become the Aob@ectB when he affirms this social essence= when he becomes a so!ial #eing81 "

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


Marx relies on an essentialist conce6tion of man and an anthro6ological notion of s6ecies8 #tirner= as we have seen= re@ects these categories= seeing them as religious 6ostulates8 For #tirner:and this is the crux of his criti9ue of the humanist Marx:man creates himself8 'here is no essential human nature:it is merely a construct8 #tirner wants to stri6 away the layers of human existence8 Ee wants to go beyond AessencesB till one finds the individuum8 'his is the foundation for what #tirner terms the Acreative nothing=B Athe uni9ue one8B1 % 3ather than there being a set of essential characteristics at the base of human existence= there is a nothingness= something that cannot be defined= and it is u6 to the individual to create something out of this and not be limited by essences :by what is A6ro6erly human8B 'his idea of em6tiness or lack at the base of identity will be crucial to the theori,ation of a non)essentialist 6olitics of resistance8 As #tirner will show= the old Enlightenment)based 6olitics founded on an essential identity:like anarchism and Marxism:is no longer relevant to today<s strugglesF it can no longer ade9uately resist modern forms of 6ower which work= as we shall see= through an essential identity8 'he lack that #tirner finds at the base of identity will allow the individual to resist this modern sub@ectifying 6ower8

Be)ond 0umanism
#tirner<s im6lied criti9ue of Marx is ex6ressed in an antidialectic that he constructs to challenge the Eegelian dialectical 6rocess that culminates in the freedom of humanity8 #tirner= in o66osition to this= charts the develo6ment of humanity in relation to the 6olitical institutions that it corres6onds to= and instead of this culminating in freedom= it ends with the enslavement of the individual8 'he analysis starts with liberalism= or what #tirner calls A6olitical liberalism=B characteri,ed by e9uality before the law= 6olitical e9uality= and 6olitical liberty8 As #tirner shows= however= 6olitical liberty merely means that the state is free= in the same way that religious liberty means that religion is free81 $ Ee writes* AIt does not mean my liberty= but the liberty of a 6ower that rules and sub@ugates me8B1 . #tirner<s differences with Marx become more a66arent in his dissection of the second stage of the dialectical 6rocess:Asocial liberalismB or socialism8 #ocial liberalism comes about as a re@ection of 6olitical liberalism= which is 6erceived as too egoistic81 For #tirner= on the other hand= 6olitical liberalism was characteri,ed not by too much egoism= but by too little= and he sees the enforced e9uality in socialism as a further destruction of the ego= a further desecration of the individual8 Instead of the A6ro6ertyB:or the ego:of the individual being 6ossessed by the state= it is now 6ossessed by society81 4 /nce again= according to #tirner= the individual has been subordinated to an abstract 6ower= a 6lace outside him* first the state= and now society8 #ociety has become the new 6lace of 6ower to which the individual is sub@ugated8 #tirner= in o66osition to Marx= does not believe in society* he sees it as another abstraction= another illusion like &od and human essence8 'hey are all ideological devices


7ha6ter 'hree

that the individual is sacrificed to8 'he individual is not an essential 6art of society= as Marx believed8 #ociety means nothing more to the egoistic individual than &od or the state* A'hat society is no ego at all= 8 8 8 that we owe society no sacrifice= but= if we sacrifice anything= sacrifice it to ourselves:of this the #ocialists do not think= because they:as liberals:are im6risoned in the religious 6rinci6le= and ,ealously as6ire after:a sacred society= such as the #tate was hitherto8B1 For #tirner= then= socialism is @ust another extension of liberalism* both are systems that rely on an ideal or essence deemed sacred:the state and law for 6olitical liberalism= and society for social liberalism:and which the individual ego is subordinated to8 #tirner then 6roceeds to examine the third and final form of liberalism in this dialectic* Ahumane liberalismB or= for our 6ur6oses= humanism8 Eumane liberalism is based on a criti9ue of both 6olitical and social liberalism8 For the humanist= these two liberalisms are still too egoistic* the individual should act for selfless reasons= 6urely on behalf of humanity and one<s fellow man814J Eowever= as we have seen= humanism is based on a notion of human essence that= as #tirner has shown= is fictional8 Moreover= it is an ideological device used to @udge and condemn individuals who do not conform to this Aessence8B 'he discourse of humane liberalism is centered around this standard of @udgement8 As #tirner argues= humanism forces everyone to be human beings and to conform to a human essence8 It contends that everyone has within them an essential kernel of humanity that they must live u6 to* if they transgress this essence they are deemed Ainhuman8B 'he humanist insists= for instance= that if one goes beyond the surface differences between individuals= one finds that we all share a common human essence:we are all men8141 #tirner= on the other hand= wants to assert the individual<s right to be an individual* to be different= to not be 6art of humanity:to eschew human essence and recreate oneself8 Man is a religious ideal= according to #tirner= an ideological construct that restricts individuality:it is a Afixed ideaB that o66resses the ego8 It is this religious ideal= however= which has become= in the discourse of humanism= the 6rinci6le governing the individual<s activity* the only labor which will now be tolerated is Ahuman labor=B labor which glorifies and benefits man= and which contributes to the develo6ment of one<s essential humanity814! For #tirner= then= humane liberalism is the final stage in both the liberation of man and enslavement of the individual ego8 'he more man frees himself= through Ahuman labor=B from the ob@ective conditions which bind him:such as the state and society:the more individual ego= the Aself)will=B is dominated8 'his is because man and human essence= have con9uered the last bastion of the ego= the individual<s thoughts or Ao6inions8B Political liberalism tried to destroy Aself)will=B #tirner argues= but it gained refuge in 6rivate 6ro6erty814" #ocialism abolished 6rivate 6ro6erty= making it the domain of society= and so the ego then found refuge in what #tirner calls Aself ownershi6B:the individual<s o6inions8 Eumanism now seeks to abolish even this domain of the individual= making 6ersonal o6inion refer to a generality:man8 Personal o6inion becomes Ageneral human o6inion=B and individual autonomy is thus effaced814% 'he humanist

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


Enlightenment fantasy of man<s liberation= now fulfilled= is therefore concomitant with the slavery of the individual8 At the heart of this dialectic of liberation there is nothing but domination8

The Un67an
Eowever the su6remacy of man is always threatened by what #tirner calls the Aun)man=B that element of the individual that refuses to conform to human essence= to the ideal of man814$ 'his is the other of man= a +ionysian force that cannot be contained:both a creation of man and a threat to it8 As #tirner says= then* ALiberalism as a whole has a deadly enemy= an invincible o66osite= as &od has the devil* by the side of man stands the un)man= the individual= the egoist8 #tate= society= humanity= do not master this devil8B14. 'he un)man may be seen as a figure of resistance against the sub@ectifying 6ower of Enlightenment humanism* it is something which makes 6roblematic the idea of the essential human sub@ect by transgressing its narrow boundaries and thus breaking them o6en8 'his idea of excess has many connections with 6oststructuralist thought* +errida<s notions of Asu66lementarityB and Adifference=B +eleu,e and &uattari<s figure of the Awar)machine=B and Lacan<s idea of Alack=B can all be seen as exam6les of this desire to find a 6oint of transgression and resistance to sub@ectification8 'his convergence between #tirner and 6oststructuralism will be ex6lored in subse9uent cha6ters= but it is clear already that he shares with 6oststructuralism a fundamental re@ection of essentialism and dialectical thought8 #tirner<s criti9ue is im6ortant here because liberalism has the same ontological framework as anarchism8 Indeed Ahumane liberalismB may be seen as a kind of anarchism8 Anarchism is based= as I have shown= on a notion of human essence:this is its 6oint of de6arture8 Anarchism is 6art of the Enlightenment tradition= which has as its goal the liberation of man and human consciousness from o66ressive external conditions8 It is dee6ly influenced by Feuerbach<s humanist insurrection against &od8 Anarchism is the most radical ex6ression of humanism= and it is therefore 6ossible to a66ly #tirner<s criti9ue of humanism to anarchism= to uncover its essentialist 6ostulates8 #tirner<s re@ection of human essence is 6articularly im6ortant here8 For anarchists= human essence is the 6oint of de6arture from which state 6ower will be overthrown8 Eowever= #tirner has shown that human essence is thoroughly 9uestionable8 Ee has argued= first= that human essence is a fiction= an abstraction invented through Feuerbach<s Atheological insurrection8B Euman essence has not broken with the religious categories it 6ur6orted to overthrow8 /n the contrary= it has become installed within these categories* man has become @ust as much a fiction as &od= an ideological construct which alienates and o66resses individuals8 Anarchism contends that human essence is the true basis for individual activity8 Eowever as #tirner argues* AIntercourse resting on essence is an intercourse with the s6ook= not with anything real8B14 If we acce6t #tirner<s criti9ue of man= then the entire 6hiloso6hy of anarchism is based on a religious illusion:it falls victim to the very idealism which it claimed to transcend8


7ha6ter 'hree

#econd= #tirner argues that not only is human essence an illusion= but it is also a 6ernicious illusion8 It is linked fundamentally to state 6ower:it is the discourse through which this 6ower o6erates= and it is itself a structure which o66resses individuals8 ?ust as &od was a 6ower that sub@ugated the individual= now it is man and Athe fear of Man is merely an altered form of the fear of &od8B144 Man and human essence have become the new criteria by which individuals are @udged and 6unished* AI set u6 what ;Man< is and what acting in a ;truly human< way is= and I demand of every one that this law become norm and ideal to himF otherwise he will ex6ose himself as a ;sinner and criminal8< B14'hus= human essence= which for anarchists contains the seeds of revolution and liberation= is seen by #tirner to be the new machine of 6unishment and dominationF the basis of a binary discourse which 6ersecutes those individuals who do not measure u6 and conform8 Euman essence is the new norm that condemns difference8 Iro6otkin<s treatment of crime as a disease to be cured is an exam6le of the way that this 6unitive discourse functions8 As #tirner argues* A;curative means< always announces to begin with that individuals will be looked on as ;called< to a 6articular ;salvation< and hence treated according to the re9uirements of this ;human calling8<B1-J In other words= crime being treated as a disease= as the anarchists 6ro6ose= is no better than crime being seen as a sin* crime is still seen in terms of a failing= a lack of some kind:only this time it is condemned as a failing of human essence= as a transgression against Ahuman calling8B For #tirner there is no difference between cure and 6unishment:it is a rea66lication of the old moral 6re@udices in a new guise8 1-1 'his is 6recisely Foucault<s argument about the modern formula of 6unishment* a formula in which medical and 6sychiatric norms are only the old morality in a new guise8 For #tirner= 6unishment is only made 6ossible by making something sacred8 Anarchism= in making human essence sacred= in making it an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= has 6erha6s only recreated in a new form= the authoritarian discourse it was meant to destroy8 Maybe it has created= in #tirner<s words= Aa new feudalism under the su,erainty of ;Man8<B1-!

0umanist %o!er
Moreover= for #tirner= human essence being 6osited as a 6oint of de6arture uncontaminated by 6ower is naive and 6olitically dangerous8 Euman essence is not a 6ure 6lace untouched by 6ower* on the contrary= state 6ower has already coloni,ed human essence8 For exam6le= #tirner 6osits a theory of state 6ower that is altogether different from that of anarchism* while anarchists argue that state 6ower sub@ugates and o66resses man= #tirner suggests that the state rules through Aman8B Man is constructed as a site of 6ower= a 6olitical unit through which the state dominates the individual* A'he kernel of the #tate is sim6ly ;Man=< this unreality= and it itself is only a ;society of men8<B1-" 'he state and man are not o66osed as the anarchists would argue8 /n the contrary= they are 6art of the same 6olitical discourse in which one de6ends on the other* the state

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


relies on a conce6tion of man and human essence in order that its rule be legitimi,ed8 In other words= the state sub@ectifies the individual* it demands that the individual be man= be human= so that he can be made 6art of state society and thus dominated* A#o the #tate betrays its enmity to me by demanding that I be a man 8 8 8 it im6oses being a man u6on me as a duty8B1-% #tirner here has defined a new o6eration of 6ower that com6letely eluded 6olitical theories like anarchism8 Ee describes a 6rocess of sub@ectification in which 6ower functions= not by re6ressing man= but by constructing him as a 6olitical sub@ect and ruling through him8 It is 6recisely this fundamental undermining of Enlightenment humanist ontology that will allow Foucault= and +eleu,e and &uattari= to see 6olitical action in an entirely new way8 Ee has broken with traditional 6olitical theory in seeing the individual and human essence as se6arate8 Euman essence is not a transcendental 6lace created by natural laws which 6ower comes to o66ress8 3ather it is a fabrication of 6ower= or= at least= a discursive construct that can be made to serve 6ower8 #tirner<s re@ection of essence= then= has dealt classical anarchism a severe blow8 First= it has made im6ossible anarchism<s notion of a 6ure 6oint of de6arture= a 6lace of revolution uncontaminated by 6ower8 Power= argues #tirner= has already coloni,ed this 6lace and uses it for it own 6ur6oses:it is no longer a 6lace outside 6ower8 #econd= #tirner has shown that in subscribing to a Manichean 6olitical logic which conceives of a 6lace of resistance outside the realm of 6ower= anarchism has failed to gras6 the new functioning of 6ower* domination through sub@ectification= rather than re6ression8 'he im6lications of this are enormous* the reliance of revolutionary theory on human essence is not only 9uestionable= but immanently dangerous8

#tirner has shown= moreover= that in order to study state 6ower one must analy,e it at its more minute levels* what is im6ortant is not necessarily the institution of the state itself= but the way it functions= and the sites:like human essence and man:through which it o6erates8 'here is exactly the same em6hasis in Foucault<s study of 6ower8 In 6articular= #tirner stresses the im6ortance of ideas= Afixed ideasB:like human essence and man:as sites of 6ower8 Ee is talking about a hitherto neglected area of 6ower= namely ideology8 An im6ortant site of ideological domination is morality8 Morality= #tirner argues= is a Afixed ideaB:a fiction derived from 7hristian idealism= which dominates the individual8 Morality is merely the leftover of 7hristianity= only in a new humanist garb= and as #tirner argues* AMoral faith is as fanatical as religious faithSB1-$ 'his is what #tirner ob@ects to= not morality itself= but the fact that it is a sacred= unbreakable law8 #tirner ex6oses the will to 6ower= the cruelty and the domination behind moral ideas* AMoral influence takes its start where humiliation beginsF yes= it is nothing else than this humiliation itself= the breaking and bending of the tem6er down to humility8B1-. It is based on the desecration= the breaking down= of the individual will:the ego8 Morality


7ha6ter 'hree

mutilates the individual* the individual must conform to 6revailing moral codes= otherwise he becomes alienated from his Aessence8B For #tirner= moral coercion is @ust as vicious as the coercion carried out by the state= only it is more insidious and subtle:it does not re9uire the use of 6hysical force8 'he warden of morality is already installed in the individual<s conscience8 Morality is fundamentally linked to 6olitical domination= legitimating the continued existence of the 6olice state81- #tirner<s criti9ue of morality has im6lications for anarchism because= as we have seen= anarchism relies on a moral discourse to distinguish man from the 6ower that o66resses him* human sub@ectivity is essentially moral= while 6olitical 6ower is fundamentally immoral8 Eowever= #tirner has shown that not only does the discourse of morality sub@ugate the individual= it is also inextricably related to the very 6ower it is meant to o66ose8 'his may also be a66lied to rationality= which anarchists claimed to act in the name of8 3ational truths are always held above individual 6ers6ectives= and #tirner argues that this is another way of dominating the individual ego8 As with morality= #tirner is not necessarily against truth itself= but rather the way it has become sacred= absolute= removed from the gras6 of the individual and held over him* AAs long as you believe in the truth= you do not believe in yourself= and you are a:servant= a:religious man8B1-4 3ational truth= for #tirner= has no real meaning beyond individual 6ers6ectives:it is something that can be used by the individual8 Its real basis= as with morality= is 6ower and to ignore this= as anarchism does= is extremely 6erilous8 #tirner<s criti9ue of human essence= morality= and rational truth has enormous im6lications for anarchism= and indeed any Enlightenment)based 6olitical theory8 It has shown the danger in not 9uestioning these ideas= in neglecting their malleability:the fact that they can be used as much by 6ower= as they can against it8 Above all= #tirner 6oints to the fact that 6ower o6erates at the level of the sub@ect and his ideas= and that 6ower relies on us allowing it to dominate us8 'his was something which anarchism was unable to fully come to terms with8 #tirner is not so much interested in 6ower itself= but in the reasons why we allow ourselves to be dominated by 6ower* he wants to study the ways in which we 6artici6ate in our own o66ression8 Ee wants to show that 6ower is not only concerned with economic or 6olitical 9uestions:it is also rooted in 6sychological needs8 It has embedded itself dee6 within our conscience= in the form of fixed ideas such as the state= human essence= and morality8 For instance= the dominance of the state= #tirner argues= de6ends on our willingness to let it dominate us*
'he #tate is not thinkable without lordshi6 and servitude 1sub@ection2F for the #tate must will to be lord of all that it embraces= and this will is called the ;will of the #tate< 8 8 8 Ee who= to hold his own= must count on the absence of will in others is a thing made by these others= as a master is a thing made by the servant8 If submissiveness ceased= it would be all over with lordshi681--

#tirner argues that the state itself is essentially an abstraction= a fiction much like &od= and it only exists because we allow it to exist= because we abdicate to it our own authority= in the same way that we create &od by abdicating our

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


authority and 6lacing it outside ourselves8 (hat is more im6ortant than the institution of the state= is the Aruling 6rinci6leB:it is the idea of the state that dominates us8!JJ #tirner does not discuss the mechanics of the state8 'he state<s 6ower is really based on our 6ower8 Is it not undeniable that any kind of rule de6ends on our willingness to let it rule usD Political 6ower cannot rest solely on coercion8 It needs our hel6= our willingness to obey8 It is only because the individual has not recogni,ed this 6ower= because he humbles himself before the sacred= before authority= that the state continues to exist8!J1 'he dominance of the state is based on the moral and ideological indoctrination of its sub@ects and #tirner argues that if this indoctrination can be ex6osed= then this is the first stage in the state<s destruction8 Marx argues that this is an exam6le of #tirner<s idealism8 For Marx= #tirner lives in the world of his own illusions= mistaking them for reality8!J! 'his idealism= Marx argues= ignores and= thus= leaves intact the real materiality of the state8 Eowever= this is a serious and deliberate misreading of #tirner8 3ather than dismissing the reality of 6olitical 6ower= #tirner actually sees it as the 6redominant force in society:more so even than economic 6ower8 3ather than #tirner<s conce6tion of the state breeding inaction and a6athy as Marx argues= it could actually have the o66osite effect:it may give individuals a reali,ation of their 6ower over the state8 Is it really 6ossible= then= to say that #tirner frivolously neglects reality by stressing the im6ortance of ideasD /n the contrary= it may be that Marx= because he is tra66ed within the narrow confines of materialism and because he neglects the im6ortance of ideas and their gri6 on the 6syche= is doomed to 6er6etuating existing reality rather than changing it8 As it was suggested in the first cha6ter= Marxism is limited by its economic reductionism* it neglects other arenas and sources of domination8 #tirner merely argues that the state is based on illusory 6remises= like morality= which he intends to ex6ose8 #tirner believes= then= that the state must be overcome as an idea before it can be overcome in reality8 (hat must be attacked is the desire for authority8 'he state does not re6ress desire:rather it channels it to itself* A'he #tate exerts itself to tame the desirous manF in other words= it seeks to direct his desire to it alone= and to content that desire with what it offers8B !J" It is this desire for authority= this love for the state= which 6er6etuates its 6ower8 Peo6le are dominated= #tirner suggests= because they desire it8 +eleu,e and &uattari are interested in the same 6henomenon8 #elf)sub@ection and its relation to desire is a 6roblem that Marx as well as the anarchists did not foresee8 It is the s6ecter that haunts revolutionary theory8 #tirner was among the first to recogni,e that statism exists as much in our heads and hearts= as it does in reality8 It is only by getting rid of this internali,ed authoritarianism:this 6lace of 6ower:that one can ensure that the state is not 6er6etuated8 As long as the idea of the state is left intact there is always the danger of it lurking around every corner8

Insurrection and the %olitics of the "elf


7ha6ter 'hree

For #tirner= revolutionary action in the 6ast has been a dismal failure8 It has remained tra66ed within the 6aradigm of authority= changing the form of authority but not its 6lace* the liberal state was re6laced by the workers< stateF &od was re6laced with man8 5ut the category of authority itself has remained unchanged= and has often become even more o66ressive8 Perha6s= then= the idea of revolution should be abandoned* it is based on essentialist conce6ts and Manichean structures which always end u6 6er6etuating= rather than overcoming= authority8 #tirner has unmasked the links between human essence and 6ower= and has shown the dangers in building a revolutionary theory around this notion8 Perha6s= therefore= revolutions should be about esca6ing sub@ectification:re@ecting the enforced identity of human essence and man8 Perha6s= as #tirner argues= revolution should become insurrection*
3evolution and insurrection must not be looked u6on as synonymous8 'he former consists in an overturning of conditions= of the established condition or status= the #tate or society= and is accordingly a politi!al or so!ial actF the latter has indeed for its unavoidable conse9uence a transformation of circumstances= yet does not start from it but from men<s discontent with themselves= is not an armed rising but a rising of individuals= a getting u6 without regard to the arrangements that s6ring from it8 'he 3evolution aimed at new arrangementsF insurrection leads us no longer to let ourselves be arranged= but to arrange ourselves= and sets no glittering ho6es on ;institutions8< It is not a fight against the established= since= if it 6ros6ers= the established colla6ses of itselfF it is only a working forth of me out of the established8!J%

It may be argued= then= that insurrection starts with the individual refusing his enforced identity= through which 6ower o6erates* it starts Afrom men<s discontent with themselves8B Insurrection does not aim at overthrowing 6olitical institutions themselves8 It is aimed at the individual= in a sense overthrowing his own identity:the outcome of which is= nevertheless= a change in 6olitical arrangements8 Insurrection is therefore not about becoming what one is: becoming human= becoming man= as the anarchist argues:but about becoming what one is not8 #tirner<s notion of individual rebellion involves= then= a 6rocess of becoming8 It is about continually reinventing one<s own self:an anar!hism of su#He!tivity= rather than an anarchism based on sub@ectivity8 'he self= or the ego, is not an essence= a defined set of characteristics= but rather an em6tiness= a Acreative nothing=B and it is u6 to the individual to create something out of this and not be limited by essences8 'he self exists only to be consumed* AI on my 6art start from a 6resu66osition in 6resu66osing myselfF but my 6resu66osition does not struggle for its 6erfection like ;Man struggling for his 6erfection=< but only serves me to en@oy it and consume it 8 8 8 I do not 6resu66ose myself= because I am every moment @ust 6ositing or creating myself8B!J$

The 'go as Su#He!t

Many argue that #tirner 6osits an essential sub@ectivity:the ego:one which is entirely selfish8!J. Eowever this is clearly untrue* #tirner does 6osit a self= but it is a self which is em6ty= undefined= and contingent8 As Iathy

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego

Ferguson argues= the self= for #tirner= is a 6rocess= a continuous flow of self) creating flux8!J 'his is a 6rocess that eludes= to some extent= the im6osition of fixed identities and essences* Ano conce6t ex6resses me= nothing that is designated my essence exhausts me8B!J4 'here is always an excess= then= which esca6es identity8 'his excess may ex6ress itself in the un)man= the other of man= but even this is only an e6hemeral identity [or nonidentity]* the un)man exists only as a brief flicker of resistance to man8 It too will die and change once this binary of man0un)man is overcome8 'he im6ortance of #tirner<s notion of #e!oming for 6olitics= 6articularly 6oststructuralist 6olitics= is great indeed* he has shown that resistance to 6ower will never succeed if it remains tra66ed within fixed= essential identities8 'he other side to this 9uestion would be the argument that #tirner does not concede a stable identity and that for this reason he should be condemned* if he does not allow a stable identity= then how can there be any notion of ethics or ethical actionD 'his is the same criti9ue that has been directed against various 6oststructuralist thinkers= as we shall see8 For #tirner= however= ethical action does not necessarily de6end on there being a fixed= stable identity= or an identity that is dialectically mediated8 /n the contrary= the 6ossibility of ethics would de6end on the very o6enness= contingency= and instability of identity that his critics denounce8 Although #tirner does not set down any ethical guidelines: this would be against the very spirit of #tirner:it could be argued that ethical action would involve 9uestioning morality= unmasking the domination involved in moralityF an ethi!al criti9ue of morality= in other words8 An ethical self eschews a fixed moral and rational identity and remains o6en to change and contingency8 'his would be #tirner<s 6olitical and ethical identity of resistance* it is 6olitical= not because it affirms a fixed 6olitical or moral stance= but rather because it re@ects all such fixed 6ositions and the o66ressive obligations attached to them8

3elated to the notion of self is the 9uestion of freedom8 Freedom has always been the final goal of all revolutionary movements* the freedom of humanity= the freedom of man= the freedom of the self8 Freedom still 6lays a dominant role in 6olitical discourse today8 Anarchism is founded on the desire for man<s liberation from the o66ressive external conditions= namely 6olitical 6ower and economic ex6loitation8 If man is to fully develo6 his humanity= anarchists argue= he must first be free8 Eowever= in res6onse to this discourse of liberation= #tirner asks= what it is that should be freed:man= human essenceD If= as #tirner has shown= human essence is a fabrication of 6ower as well as a discourse of domination= then does not the desire for freedom 6lay right into the hands of 6owerD If what is being freed is itself an authoritarian structure= then does not this only facilitate further dominationD 'his is what ha66ens= #tirner argues= under humane liberalism8 Man has been freed from external forces such as the state and society= and has thus gained a virtual su6remacy over the individual


7ha6ter 'hree

ego8 #urely= #tirner suggests= what should be freed is not human essence from external conditions= but the self from human essence= from fixed identities8 'he self must be freed from the self8 5ecause the idea of freedom is linked fundamentally to the liberation of man= #tirner suggests that one should= instead= be seeking ownness*
(hat a great difference between freedom and ownnessS 8 8 8 ;Freedom lives only in the realm of dreamsS< /wnness= on the contrary= is my whole being and existence= it is I myself8 I am free from what I am rid of= owner of what I have in my 6ower to control8 8 8 8 'o be free is something that I cannot truly will= because I cannot make it= I cannot create it* I can only wish it and:as6ire toward it= for it remains an ideal= a s6ook8!J-

Freedom is only negative freedom= while ownness is a 6ositive freedom= by which #tirner means freedom to reinvent oneself8 /wnness means that one can be free even in the most o66ressive situations= because it is a form of freedom that starts with the individual8 #tirner believes that freedom must be sei,ed by the individual for himself:if it is handed to him then it is always limited by o66ressive conditions8!1J 'his is because freedom is a dia6hanous term* it is always someone<s 6articular idea of freedom which the individual is forced to conform to8 It is a freedom= then= which entails further domination8 Freedom is a Abeautiful dream=B whose true basis is 6ower8 'he individual must therefore sei,e or invent his own freedom= based on his own 6ower* Aonly the freedom one takes for himself= therefore the egoist<s freedom= rides with full sails8B!11 #tirner= however= does not believe that the conce6t of freedom should be com6letely abandoned8 /n the contrary= he wants to see the conce6t of freedom ex6anded to include positive freedom= which is contingent and is o6en to the individual to define8 Freedom is not a fixed= transcendental conce6t* it is 6art of a struggle between the individual and authority= and it is constantly redefined within this struggle8 Foucault will em6loy a similar notion of freedom in the next cha6ter8 Freedom= then= cannot be se6arated from antagonism and 6ower* ownness is the reali,ation and= indeed= the affirmation, of this8

"ociet) !ithout ,ssence

'he idea of antagonism is 6revalent in #tirner<s work* he 6er6etuates the war model discussed in the last cha6ter8 'he war model= I have argued= is not a celebration of actual war= but rather a model of analysis that eschews essences and unities= and seeks out differences and 6luralities8 It revels in dislocation= disunity= and radical o6enings at the level of re6resentations8 It could be argued that #tirner a66lies the war model to the 9uestion of identity* he finds em6tiness= rather than essence= at the base of sub@ectivity8 'his= however= is a creative em6tiness:a radical o6ening which the individual can use to create his own sub@ectivity and not be limited by essences8 #tirner says= then* A'he essence of

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


the world= so attractive and s6lendid= is for him who looks to the bottom: em6tiness8B!1! #tirner also a66lies the model of war to the identity of the social8 #ociety is a fictional collectivity:it has no essence* A(ho is this 6erson that you call ;All<D :It is ;society<S:5ut is it cor6oreal= thenD:(e are its bodyS:NouD (hy= you are not a body yourselves8 8 8 8 Accordingly the united society may indeed have bodies at its service= but no one body of its own8B!1" For #tirner= society is an ideological construct that im6risons the individual within a collectivity8 #tirner sees this collectivity= moreover= as a unit through which state 6ower is 6er6etuated8 (hile anarchists see society as a natural communality that is o66ressed and stultified by the state= #tirner sees the state and society as 6art of the same o66ressive collectivity8!1% A'he 6eo6leB is a collectivity created by 6ower:it has no ego8!1$ If we acce6t #tirner<s argument= social essence cannot be the basis for resistance to domination= as it is for anarchists8 Following this logic= we can 9uestion the idea of the social altogether* the social is not an essential organism but rather a discursive arrangement that= because it is based on a lack or constitutive em6tiness= is always o6en to different articulations8 'his is an idea that will be ex6lored later8 Eowever= #tirner<s criti9ue of essentialist logic has forced us to abandon the idea of society as a stable= essential unity8 #tirner is not o66osed to all forms of mutuality* he wants to see mutual arrangements between individuals which are freely formed by individuals= instead of being im6osed from above= and which do not deny the autonomy of the individual8 Ee s6eaks of the Aunion of egoistsB as such an arrangement8 !1. #ociety= argues #tirner= is a false tie* it is based on a notion of the sa!red and is= therefore= a forced intercourse between individuals8 'he union, on the other hand= is based on nothing but the desires of the individuals who enter it* it is solely a relationshi6 of ex6edience and utility= which dissolves any notion of essence8!1 (hat #tirner is against= then= is the o#ligation to be 6art of a community= to live together8 Ee is not necessarily against the notion of community itself8 'his is 6erha6s the same for morality= rationality= society= humanity8 #tirner is not necessarily o66osed to these ideas at all= if only they did not become abstract= sacred conce6tsF if only they were not taken out of the gras6 of the individual and turned into an obligation8 +omination lies= not in these conce6ts themselves= but in the way that they have consumed the individual8 'his is why #tirner talks about ownness he does not mean ownershi6 of material 6ossessions= but rather the bringing down to the level of the individual these conce6ts which have become abstracted from him8 'hey must become the 6ro6erty of the individual= something that can be reinvented by the individual8 #tirner calls for these ideas to become contingent= o6en to change and redefinition8 #tirner<s a66lication of the war model has= therefore= not destroyed ideas such as morality= society= and humanity* it has merely freed them from essences= from the sacred8 It has 6laced them within a field of struggle and contingency8

7ha6ter 'hree

Creati1e Nihilism
#tirner<s use of the war model= because it finds em6tiness rather than essence at the base of existence= is nihilisticF but the nihilism that it 6roduces is a !reative nihilism8 It creates a theoretical o6ening for a 6lay of differences in inter6retation8 &illes +eleu,e sees #tirner as Athe diale!ti!ian who reveals nihilism as the truth of the diale!ti!8B!14 Ee ex6oses the nihilism= the closure= the denial of difference and 6lurality that essentialism and dialectical logic 6roduce8 Eowever= for #tirner= the way to counter these discourses is not through sim6le transgression= not by affirming immorality over morality= irrationality over rationality= the un)man over man8 'his kind of transgression merely reaffirms= in a negative sense= the authority of the dominant idea8 7rime= for instance= only reaffirms the law that it has transgressed against8!1- #imilarly to >iet,sche= #tirner argues that it is only by thinking outside the binaristic logic of authority and its transgression that one can esca6e the o66ressive dialectic of 6lace= the constant re6lacement of one form of authority with another:the movement from &od to man= from the state to society= from religion to morality8 It is by inventing new ideas:like uni9ueness and egoism:rather than reacting to the established ones= which allows thought= 6articularly 6olitical thought= to esca6e its own authoritarian tendencies8 It is 6erha6s this as6ect of #tirner<s thinking that 6rom6ted ?ohn P8 7lark<s criticism of him from the anarchist 6ers6ective8 7lark argues that #tirner<s egoism leads him to defend the very authoritarianism that he would seem to denounce8 #tirner<s 6osition= claims 7lark= would lead to a valori,ation of the will to 6ower and individual domination8!!J Furthermore= 7lark argues that #tirner<s re@ection of social totalities and essences= and his 6ositing of an ego which 7lark sees as wholly autonomous and fictitious= 6recludes him from having any 6olitical or social relevance8!!1 'his is in contrast to anarchism which= 7lark argues= because it has a clear 6icture of human nature= of the self as essentially a social being= is ethically and 6olitically valid today8!!! In this cha6ter= however= I have argued 6recisely the o66osite8 'he first criticism that 7lark makes can be re@ected* we have seen that #tirner<s egoism= and his use of the war meta6hor= is more about achieving 6ower over oneself:through the idea of ownness:than 6ower over others8 As to the second criticism= I have argued that it is 6recisely through #tirner<s re@ection of essence and totality that we are able to engage in 6olitical action8 #tirner has o6ened u6 a theoretical s6ace for 6olitics that was hitherto confined by the limits of essentialism and rationality8 Eis criti9ue of human essence has enabled us to theori,e a 6olitical identity that is contingent and o6en to reinvention by the individual8 #o rather than classical anarchism= with its Enlightenment humanist 6aradigm of essence= being the way forward as 7lark argues= it is 6recisely this 6aradigm that holds us back= theoretically and 6olitically8 #tirner<s fundamental break with this 6aradigm allows us to reinvent 6olitics in ways that are not limited by essence8 I have argued so far that anarchism is reliant on an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower= which is embodied by an Enlightenment notion of essential human sub@ectivity8 >ow= in light of #tirner<s criti9ue= this whole

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego

6aradigm of 6ower and resistance needs to be rethought8 #tirner<s re@ection of humanism has shown that not only is the notion of human essence an illusion= it is also intimately linked to state authority and 6ractices of domination8 #tirner ex6lores= in a way un6recedented= the subtle connections between identity= 6olitics= and 6ower8 Ee re@ects the old humanist 6olitics based on essential identity= moral absolutism= and un9uestioned rational truth= and forces us to look at the inade9uacies of revolutionary 6olitical theory:its hidden 6erilsF its silent authoritarian murmurings8 #tirner thus goes beyond both Marxism and anarchism= creating the 6ossibility for a new way of theori,ing 6olitics:a 6ossibility which will be develo6ed by 6oststructuralism8 #tirner occu6ies a 6oint of ru6ture in this discussion* the 6oint at which anarchism can no longer deal ade9uately with the very 6roblematic that it created:the 6roblem of the 6lace of 6ower8 Ee is the catalyst= then= for an e6istemological break= or 6erha6s more accurately= a break with e6istemology altogether8 Above all= #tirner<s ex6lorations into the nature of 6ower= morality= and sub@ectivity= have made it im6ossible to continue to conce6tuali,e an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= the 6ure 6lace of resistance which anarchism relied so heavily u6on8 'here is no longer any 6lace outside 6ower which 6olitical theory can find sanctuary in8 Politics must now work within the confines of 6ower:and this is where the ideas of Michel Foucault will be im6ortant8 It is to his work that we now turn our attention8

18 Max #tirner= The 'go and /ts 1wn= trans8 #8 5yington 1London* 3ebel Press= 1--"2= 14$8 !8 #ee Andrew Ioch= APoststructuralism and the E6istemological 5asis of Anarchism=B in $hilosophy of the So!ial S!ien!es !"= no8 " 11--"2* "! )"$18 "8 #tirner has been seen as a nihilist= a libertarian= an anarchist= an individualist= an existentialist= and even= rather unfairly= as a 6rotofascist8 %8 #tirner= The 'go= !$%8 $8 #tirner= The 'go= !! 8 .8 #tirner* AIf the 7hurch had deadly sins= the #tate has !apital !rimesF if one had hereti!s= the other has traitorsF the one e!!lesiasti!al penalties= the other !riminal penaltiesF the one in.uisitorial pro!esses, the other fis!alF in short= there sins= here crimes= there in9uisition and here:in9uisition8B #ee The 'go= !"8 8 #tirner= The 'go= !!.8 48 #tirner= The 'go= !!-8 -8 #tirner= The 'go= !!%8 1J8 #tirner* Alittle scru6le was left about revolting against the existing #tate or overturning the existing laws= but to sin against the idea of the #tate= not to submit to the idea of law= who would have dared thatDB #ee The 'go= 4 8 118 #tirner= The 'go= !!48 1!8 Frank Earrison= The 7odern State %n %nar!hist %nalysis 1Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4"2= .!8 1"8 #tirner= The 'go= 11$8 1%8 Feuerbach= The 'ssen!e of *hristianity, ! )!48 1$8 #tirner= The 'go= $48

7ha6ter 'hree

1.8 #tirner= The 'go= 1 .8 1 8 #tirner= The 'go= ""8 148 #tirner= The 'go= 1 %8 1-8 #tirner= The 'go= "!8 !J8 Among them= Arnold 3uge and &ustav ?ulius who were both influenced by #tirner and who used #tirner<s criti9ue= accused Marx of the Feuerbachian humanism and idealism that #tirner had linked to religious alienation8 Following #tirner<s criti9ue of socialism= ?ulius saw the socialist as a modern day version of the 7hristian= 6ossessed with a religious fervour= and denouncing egoism as the 7hristian would have denounced atheism8 #ee 38 I8 (8 Paterson= The +ihilisti! 'goist 7a8 Stirner 1London* /xford Cniversity Press= 1- 12= 1J48 !18 #ee Iarl Marx= A'he &erman Ideology* ;III #aint Max=<B in *olle!ted (or"s vol8 $= 11 )%! 8 It is interesting that= given Marx<s vitriolic attack on The 'go= it was initially welcomed by Engels8 In a letter to Marx he wrote* ANou will 6robably have heard of= if not read= #tirner<s book 8 8 8 this work is im6ortant= far more im6ortant than Eess believes= for instance 8 8 8 the first 6oint we find is true that= before doing whatever we will on behalf of some idea we have first to make it our cause= 6ersonal= egoistic 8 8 8 it is e9ually from egoism that we are communists 8 8 8 #tirner is right to re@ect the ;Man< of Feuerbach 8 8 8 since Feuerbach<s Man is derived from &od8B Engels was to change his o6inion shortly afterwards u6on receiving Marx<s re6ly8 Eowever it is interesting that Engels< initial view was that #tirner<s work could have some relevance to communism in se6arating it from various forms of idealistic socialism8 #tirner would argue that any form of revolutionary action must be made not in the name of ideals like man= or @ustice= or morality:it must be made by the worker for 6urely selfish reasons8 #ee Paterson= The +ihilisti! 'goist 7a8 Stirner= 1J"8 !!8 ?ohn 7arroll= ?rea"61ut from the *rystal $ala!e; The %nar!ho6$sy!hologi!al *riti.ue; Stirner, +ietzs!he, &ostoyevs"y, 1London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1- %2= .!8 !"8 Iarl Marx= AEconomic and Philoso6hic Manuscri6ts of 14%%=B in The 7ar86 'ngels )eader, !d ed8= ..)1!$8 !%8 Marx= AManuscri6ts of 14%%=B 4 8 !$8 #tirner= The 'go= "-8 !.8 #tirner= The 'go= 1J 8 ! 8 #tirner= The 'go= 1J 8 !48 #tirner= The 'go= 1J 8 !-8 #tirner= The 'go= 11 8 "J8 #tirner= The 'go= 1!"8 "18 #tirner= The 'go= 1!%8 "!8 #tirner= The 'go= 1!.8 ""8 #tirner= The 'go= 1"18 "%8 5y A6ro6ertyB #tirner does not necessarily mean material 6ossessions= but rather an integral 6art of the individual:that which belongs to the individual as 6art of his individuality* this may be ex6ressed in material 6ossessions= or in something more indefinable8 #tirner uses this ca6italist terminology 6erha6s as a way of subverting it= but 6erha6s also because 6rivate 6ro6erty does guarantee the individual at least some freedom8 It is this terminology of #tirner<s that has led some 6eo6le:including Marx: to see him as a libertarian ca6italist8 (hile this is a little unfair= there is still a 6ossible connection here8 "$8 #tirner= The 'go= 1!48 ".8 #tirner= The 'go= 1 8 " 8 #tirner= The 'go= 1%J8 "48 #tirner= The 'go= 14-8

#tirner and the Politics of the Ego


"-8 #tirner= The 'go= 14$8 %J8 #tirner= The 'go= !J%8 %18 #tirner= The 'go= !%J8 %!8 #tirner* I*urative means or healing is only the reverse side of punishment= the theory of !ure runs 6arallel with the theory of 6unishmentF if the latter sees in action a sin against right= the former takes it for a sin of the man against himself= as a decadence from his health8B #ee The 'go= !%J8 %"8 #tirner= The 'go= "1%8 %%8 #tirner= The 'go= 14J8 %$8 #tirner= The 'go= 1 -8 %.8 #tirner= The 'go= %.8 % 8 #tirner= The 'go= 418 %48 #tirner= The 'go= !%18 %-8 #tirner= The 'go= "$"8 $J8 #tirner= The 'go= 1-$)1-.8 $18 #tirner= The 'go= !!.8 $!8 #tirner* Afrom this moment #tate= 7hurch= 6eo6le= society= and the like= cease= because they have to thank for their existence only the disres6ect that I have for myself= and with the vanishing of this undervaluation they themselves are extinguished8B #ee The 'go= !4%8 $"8 #ee Marx= A'he &erman Ideology* ;III #aint Max=<B 1.18 $%8 #tirner= The 'go= "1!8 $$8 #tirner= The 'go= "1.8 $.8 #tirner= The 'go= 1$J8 $ 8 #ee ?ohn P8 7lark= 7a8 Stirner;s 'goism 1London* Freedom Press= 1- .2= "48 $48 Iathy Ferguson= A#aint Max 3evisited* A 3econsideration of Max #tirner=B /dealisti! Studies 11= no8 " 1#e6tember 1-4!2= ! -8 $-8 #tirner= The 'go= "..8 .J8 #tirner= The 'go= 1$ 8 .18 #tirner* A'he man who is set free is nothing but a freed man= a li#ertinus= a dog dragging a 6iece of chain with him* he is an unfree man in the garment of freedom= like the ass in the lion<s skin8B #ee The 'go= 1.48 .!8 #tirner= The 'go= 1. 8 ."8 #tirner= The 'go= %J8 .%8 #tirner= The 'go= 11.8 .$8 #tirner* A(hat is called a #tate is a tissue and 6lexus of de6endence and adherenceF it is a #elonging together= a holding together= in which those who are 6laced together fit themselves to each other= or= in short= mutually de6end on each other8B #ee #tirner= The 'go= !!"8 ..8 #tirner= The 'go= !"!8 . 8 #tirner= The 'go= "1"8 .48 #tirner= The 'go= "J.8 .-8 &illes +eleu,e= +ietzs!he and $hilosophy= trans8 E8 'omlinson 1London* 'he Athlone Press= 1--!2= 1.18 J8 #tirner= The 'go= !J!8 18 7lark= 7a8 Stirner;s 'goism, -"8 !8 7lark= 7a8 Stirner;s 'goism, - )-48 "8 7lark= 7a8 Stirner;s 'goism, --)1JJ8

7ha6ter 'hree

Chapter Four

Foucault and the 2enealo$) of %o!er

#tirner ex6anded the sco6e of the 6roblematic o6ened by anarchism8 Ee has 6ushed the criti9ue of authority and 6ower to its furthest conclusion= beyond the very limit constructed by anarchism itself* namely= the essential human sub@ect as the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture8 Anarchism relied on this 6ure 6lace in order to define 6ower= and define resistance to it8 Power had to have a limit that it could not transgress= and this limit was human essence8 #tirner<s criti9ue= however= went beyond this limit and= in doing so= destroyed it8 Euman essence= which was seen by the anarchists to be beyond the reach of 6ower= was found by #tirner to be constructed by it8 Moreover= human essence was not only a construct of 6ower= but a discourse which came to dominate the individual8 'hus the limit which su66osedly re6elled 6ower and authority was found to be an authoritarian limit itself= a limit which stultified resistance against 6ower= which doomed revolutions to 6er6etuating 6ower8 It was a limit that reaffirmed= in other words= the 6lace of 6ower8 #tirner broke fundamentally with the humanist categories that bound anarchism and= to a great extent= Marxism8 Ee showed that human essence= constituted by a AnaturalB morality and rationality= can no longer be the rallying cry of the revolution against 6ower8 It cannot remain the 6ure 6lace of resistance because it is coloni,ed by the very 6ower it 6rofesses to o66ose8 #tirner discovered a new arena of 6olitical theory:one without guarantees= and in which resistance can no longer rely on an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture as a fundamental limit to 6ower8 #tirner thus o6ens the way for 6oststructuralist ideas:6articularly those of Michel Foucault8 Foucault argues that it is futile for 6olitical theory to continue to think in terms of essential limits to 6ower= of uncontaminated 6oints of de6arture8 'he game of 6olitics must now be 6layed within the confines of 6ower8 Eowever= these AconfinesB are not inexorable and in fact o6en u6 unimaginable 6ossibilities for freedom8 'his cha6ter= therefore= will discuss:using this theoretical s6ace created by #tirner:Foucault<s contribution to the 9uestion of 6ower and resistance8 It will focus on Foucault<s genealogi!al= or war analysis of 6ower= an analysis which finds 6ower to be dis6ersed rather than centrali,ed= and 6roductive rather than re6ressive8 'his has tremendous im6lications for 6olitical theory= and it will enable us to further engage the 6ossibility of resistance to 6ower8

7ha6ter Four

A Ne! Theor) of %o!er

Be)ond Reductionism
(hile Foucault is by no means an anarchist:at least not in the acce6ted meaning of the term:he does= however= like #tirner= have certain similarities with the anarchist 6osition8 'his is 6articularly so in his criti9ue of Marxism8 Ee argues= as I did in the first cha6ter= that there is a link that can be established between Marx<s ideas and the authoritarian system develo6ed in the #oviet Cnion8 Ee sees the &ulag= for instance= as the ultimate and logical conclusion of Marxism= refusing to ex6lain it away as the result of a deviation from the true letter of Marx8 For Foucault= if the &ulag is to be truly challenged and resisted= one must start with Marx<s texts8!!" Like the anarchists= Foucault suggests that there are hidden authoritarian currents within Marx<s texts themselves= and that these have found their reality in 6olitical domination8 Marxists can no longer hide behind theory= or se6arate theory from 6ractice because= as Foucault as well as the anarchists argue= theory is 6ractice8 For Foucault= then= #talinism Awas the truth= rather naked= admittedly= of an entire 6olitical discourse which was that of Marx and of other thinkers before him 8 8 8 'hose who ho6ed to save themselves by o66osing Marx<s real beard to #talin<s false nose are wasting their time8B!!% Foucault<s criticism of Marxism bears out the anarchists< 6ro6hecy of the 6lace of 6ower8 Foucault= like the anarchists= believes that Marxism has only reaffirmed the 6lace of 6ower8 'his is because it has neglected the 9uestion of 6ower by reducing it to an economic analysis* A#o long as the 6osing of the 9uestion of 6ower was ke6t subordinate to the economic instance and the system of interests which this served= there was a tendency to regard these 6roblems as of small im6ortance8B!!$ Foucault= therefore= shares with anarchism a criti9ue of Marx<s economic and class reductionism8 For Foucault= 6ower cannot be reduced sim6ly to the interests of the bourgeoisie or ca6italist economics* 6ower does not flow from the bourgeoisie= but from institutions= 6ractices= and discourses that o6erate inde6endently of the bourgeoisie8 'he 6roblem= for Foucault= in ex6laining every strategy of 6ower through the convenient mechanism of class domination is that it is too easy8!!. It neglects other arenas of 6ower:such as the 6rison= the family= 6sychiatric discourse:which have their own strategies and logic8 Foucault would agree= then= with the anarchist 6osition that the Marxist revolution is only a changing of the guard* it does not undermine the 6lace of 6ower= it only changes the form and distribution of 6ower in society8 In other words= Marxism leaves 6ower itself intact8!! For Foucault= as well as for the anarchists= any attem6t to re6lace one institution with another is doomed to 6er6etuate it* AIf you wish to re6lace an official institution by another institution that fulfils the same function:better and differently:then you are already being reabsorbed by the dominant structure8B!!4 'his is the logic of the 6lace of

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power

6ower8 For anarchists= the 6lace of 6ower was the state* any revolution that did not involve the immediate dismantling of state 6ower would ultimately 6er6etuate this 6ower:it would get caught within the logic of 6lace8 Foucault= while his conce6tion of state 6ower differs from that of the anarchists= nevertheless acknowledges the dangers of a revolution that leaves the 6lace of 6ower:embodied by the state:intact8!!- A Marxist revolutionary 6olitics that neglects the autonomy of state 6ower by reducing it to an economic analysis is bound to 6er6etuate this 6ower* it will not sim6ly Awither away8B Foucault argues then* A/ne can say to many socialisms= real or dreamt* 5etween the analysis of 6ower in the bourgeois state and the idea of its future withering away= there is a missing term* the analysis= criticism= destruction= and overthrow of the 6ower mechanism itself8B!"J Like the anarchists= then= Foucault believes that 6ower must be studied in its own right= not reduced to a mere function of the ca6italist economy or class interest8 Power demands a new area of study and new tools of analysis8 If it is continually subordinated to an economic analysis= then the 6roblem of 6ower will never be addressed and will continue to 6er6etuate itself8 Foucault sought a new method of analy,ing 6ower:one that went beyond the economic reductionism of Marxism8 &iven the limitations of Marxist theory :namely those discussed in the first cha6ter:new analytical tools are needed8 Eowever= one finds that 6olitical theories like anarchism= which see 6ower solely in terms of the domination of the state= are em6loying a reductionism of their own8 Instead of reducing 6ower to the workings of the ca6italist economy= they reduce it to the o6eration of the state* 6ower is centrali,ed within the state and emanates from it8 'his is 6art of the Manichean logic that informs anarchism* it relies on an essential division between the state and society= where the state re6resses society and the individual8 In this way 6ower has once again= according to Foucault= become subordinated to a generality= an institution of some kind whether it be the economy= the state= the bourgeoisie= etc8 'his is 6erha6s another means of avoiding the 6roblem of 6ower* by relegating the 9uestion of 6ower to another generality= another 6lace= 6ower is once again neglected and= therefore= 6er6etuated8 Perha6s the only way to subvert the 6lace of 6ower itself is to avoid ex6lanations that confine 6ower to a 6lace8 #o Foucault would argue that the Marxist and anarchist conce6tions of 6ower are two sides of the same coin8 5oth 6olitical 6hiloso6hies are caught within a traditional A@uridico)discursiveB notion of 6ower* namely that 6ower is a commodity that can be 6ossessed= and which is centrali,ed within the figure of the sovereign= the 6lace of authority= be this the king= the state= the bourgeoisie= etc8 In other words= it is 6ower attributed to an institution= a 6lace8 For Foucault= this is an outdated and naive idea of 6ower that no longer has any relevance to 6olitical theory8 (hat is needed= Foucault argues= is a new mechanism for 6olitical analysis that is not based on the figure of the sovereign* Awhat we need 8 8 8 is a 6olitical 6hiloso6hy that isn<t erected around the 6roblem of sovereignty8 8 8 8 (e need to cut off the Iing<s head* in 6olitical theory that has still to be done8B!"1

7ha6ter Four

A 3Micro h)sics4 of %o!er

For Foucault= 6ower can no longer be confined within the institution of the state= or indeed in any institution8 Power is a 6olyvalent force that runs through multi6le sites throughout the social network8 It is dis6ersed= decentered 6ower= diffused throughout society* it may run through the 6rison or the mental asylum= or through various knowledges and discourses such as 6sychiatry or sexuality8 As Foucault says* A6ower is everywhere because it comes from everywhere8B !"! (hile 6ower can be coloni,ed by the state= it should not be seen as belonging to or deriving from the state as the anarchists believed8 Power= for Foucault= is not a function of the institutionF rather the institution is a function= or an effect= of 6ower8 Power flows through institutions= it does not emanate from them8 Indeed= the institution is merely an assemblage of various 6ower relations8 It is= moreover= an unstable assemblage because 6ower relations themselves are unstable= and can @ust as easily turn against the institution which AcontrolsB them8 Flows of 6ower can sometimes become blocked and congealed= and this is when relations of 6ower become relations of domination8!"" 'hese relations of domination form the basis of institutions such as the state8 Power is to be thought of as a series of ongoing strategies= rather than a 6ermanent state of affairs:as a Amode of action u6on the action of others8B!"% Foucault is interested in the mi!rophysi!s of 6ower* 6ower which o6erates at the level of minute and 6reviously unobserved discourses and 6ractices8 'hese may extend from the function of 6sychiatric norms in the asylum= to the governmental 6ractices of the state8 'he latter is a good exam6le* for Foucault the state has no essence itself= but is rather a function of the 6ractice of government8!"$ &overnment is not an institution but a series of 6ractices and rationalities= which Foucault calls governmentality or the Aart of government8B!". 'herefore= for Foucault= the state is not an institution that exists above and beyond the sum total of its o6erations= as the anarchists suggested8 Its o6erations= discourses= 6ractices:which Foucault is more interested in:are the state8 Anarchist and Marxist conce6tions of the state are two ex6ressions of what Foucault considers the excessive em6hasis 6laced on the 6roblem of the state8 Anarchism sees the state as the 6rimary o66ressive and evil force in society= which must be destroyed in a revolution8 Marxism= while it sees the state through the reductionist lens of its economic analysis= still overvalues the im6ortance of the state in maintaining ca6italist 6roductive relations8 In other words= both 6olitical 6hiloso6hies make the state the main target of the revolution:anarchism sees it as a target to be destroyed= while Marxism sees it as a target to be sei,ed and utili,ed8!" 5oth see the state as a unified institution that can be assailed8 Eowever= as Foucault argues= the state= Ano more 6robably today that at any other time in its history= does not have this unity= this individuality= this rigorous functionality= nor= to s6eak frankly= this im6ortanceF maybe= after all= the state is no more than a com6osite reality and a mythici,ed abstraction= whose im6ortance is a lot more limited than many of us think8B !"4 Perha6s an interesting link can be made here with #tirner= who also sees the

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power

state as an abstraction= whose formidable omni6resence exists mostly in our minds and in our subconscious desire to be dominated8 In any case= Foucault suggests that the 6roblem of the state needs to be rethought8 Perha6s what one should be looking at is not the state itself= but the 6ractices of 6ower that make the state 6ossible8!"It is clear that Foucault<s conce6tion of 6ower is fundamentally different from that of the anarchists8 (hile anarchism sees 6ower as starting from the institution= Foucault sees the institution as starting from 6ower8 (hile anarchists see 6ower as centrali,ed within the state and radiating downwards to the rest of society= Foucault sees 6ower as thoroughly dis6ersed throughout the social fabric= moving in a multitude of directions from a multitude of sites8 As Foucault says* Arelations of 6ower are not in a 6osition of exteriority with res6ect to other ty6es of relationshi6s [economic 6rocesses= knowledge relationshi6s= sexual relations] but are immanent in the latter8B!%J It is clear= moreover= that Foucault<s notion of 6ower 6oses a fundamental 6roblem for anarchism= and indeed for any kind of revolutionary 6hiloso6hy* if 6ower is so dis6ersed= revolutionary theories like anarchism are de6rived of their main target8 Anarchism de6ends on having a state to attack= a centrali,ed 6ower that defines society in o66osition to itself8 If 6ower is dissi6ated throughout the social= as Foucault claims= then one can no longer sim6ly confront the state with the social= as anarchism does8 Foucault<s notion of 6ower undermines this Manichean division between society and 6ower8 Anarchism saw society as an essential= natural organism= which was therefore outside the order of 6ower8 Eowever= according to Foucault= to see society in this way is dangerous* it disguises the fact that 6ower has already infiltrated it8 3evolutionary theory has generally avoided the 6roblem of the social= because if it acknowledged that 6ower has 6ermeated the social itself= then the very notion of revolution:as the overthrow by society of 6ower:would become redundant8 Foucault<s notion of dis6ersed 6ower therefore renders the idea of revolution as the final= dialectical overturning of 6ower an anachronism8 'his a66lies to the vanguardist revolution of Marxism= as well as to the anarchist revolution8 Perha6s the whole idea of revolution should be abandoned for a form of resistance to 6ower which is= like 6ower itself= nebulous and dis6ersed8 After all= for Foucault= 6ower is a kind of strategy* Ait is the name that one attributes to a com6lex strategic situation in a 6articular society8B!%1 3esistance to 6ower must= therefore= be e9ually strategic8 In fact as Foucault argues= 6ower and resistance always exist in a relationshi6 of agonism= a 6er6etual battle= a relationshi6 of mutual 6rovocation8 Foucault does not com6letely discount the 6ossibility of revolution* he argues that @ust as 6ower relations can be arranged on a mass scale= so to can resistances8!%! Eowever Foucault wants to ex6lore relations of 6ower and resistance at their most minute level8 In order to do this he must em6loy different tools= different models of analysis8 'he idea of revolution refers to the @uridico)discursive model of 6ower that Foucault wants to eschew8 Moreover= it is based on the 6ossibility of a dialectical overcoming of 6ower8 Foucault argues that 6ower relations can never be com6letely overcome* all that


7ha6ter Four

can be ho6ed for is a reorgani,ation of 6ower relations:through struggle and resistance:in ways that are less o66ressive8

-ar Model of %olitics: %o!er (e)ond %lace

'his nondialectical notion of 6ower is based on the meta6hor of war and struggle8 'his is a way of counteracting theories which subordinate 6ower to a mere function:of the state= of the economy:and which are= therefore= deficient in their ex6lanation of 6ower8 It is a way of devoting 6olitical analysis to the study of 6ower itself= avoiding reductionist ex6lanations8!%" Power is not stagnant o66ression but rather an ongoing struggle of forces 6ervading all as6ects of life8 Foucault thus continues the a66lication of the war model develo6ed by Eobbes= and used by #tirner* it is a mode of analysis that eschews essence8 For these 6ro6onents of the war model= history is nothing but the ceaseless clash of re6resentations:essence itself is a re6resentation= nothing more8 As Foucault suggests= maybe antagonism:or the absence of essence:is the essential condition* AMust we regard war as a 6rimary and fundamental state of things in relation to which all the 6henomena of social domination= differentiation and hierarchi,ation are merely derivativeDB!%% 'his Eobbes)like 6aradigm= as I have argued= is not a celebration of war= but rather a re@ection of essence8 Power= for Foucault has no essence* it is not a commodity= or a strength that one is endowed with8 It is sim6ly a relation between certain forces8 Foucault reverses 7lausewit,<s assertion that war is 6olitics continued by other means* for Foucault= 6olitics is war continued by other means8 'his war is 6er6etual* it does not culminate in a dialectical reconciliation of forces= in a final 6eace which= according to the anarchists= would ensue after the revolution8 Peace is sim6ly another form of warfare:not a reconciliation but a relationshi6 of domination due to a tem6orary dise9uilibrium of forces8 For Foucault then* AEumanity does not gradually 6rogress from combat to combat until it arrives at a universal reci6rocity8 Eumanity settles each one of its violences within a system of rules= and thus goes from domination to domination8B!%$ (ar is sim6ly recodified in institutions= laws= economic ine9ualities= and even in language8 Political 6ower is this 6rocess of recoding* it is= according to Foucault= an Auns6okenB warfare8!%. Foucault em6loys this >iet,schean war analysis= which he calls genealogy= to Aawaken beneath the form of institutions and legislations the forgotten 6ast of real struggles= of masked victories or defeats= the blood that has dried on the codes of law8B !% 'he war model thus undermines or= at least= dis6laces the @uridico)discursive model which is based on law and which sees law as an antidote to war8 For the genealogist= law and 6olitical 6ower are merely other forms of warfare8 'he genealogist also recogni,es that there can never be any esca6e from 6ower= from the Aha,ardous 6lay of dominations8B!%4 Life is a constant struggle of forces= a struggle >iet,sche says= Aof egoisms turned against each other= each bursting forth in a s6lintering of forces and a general striving for sun and for the light8B!%- #tirner sees the world in similar terms= as a struggle of egos . Eowever=

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


it must be em6hasi,ed that this form of analysis is not a valori,ation of actual warfare= but rather an attem6t to see the world without the comforting ga,e of essentialism and unity8 &enealogy is a 6ro@ect of unmas"ing* it seeks to ex6ose the antagonism= disunity= and dise9uilibrium of forces at the heart of essence8 As Foucault argues= behind history there is not a Atimeless and essential secret= but the secret that things have no essence or that their essence was fabricated in a 6iecemeal fashion from alien forms8B!$J &enealogy attem6ts to dismantle 6lace :the 6lace of 6ower and the 6lace of resistance:seeing both as an essentialist facade hiding the antagonism behind8 In other words= genealogy unmasks the dis6lacement behind 6lace:the non6lace at the heart of 6lace8 'he forces that struggle are forces of absolute difference= and the struggle occurs in a Anon6lace=B Aa 6ure distance= which indicates that the adversaries do not belong to a common s6ace8B!$1 'his would seem to re@ect anarchism<s notion of a social essence= a commonality which= in its Manichean schema= is fundamentally o66osed to the state8 Moreover= for Foucault= Aonly a single drama is ever staged in this ;non6lace=< the endlessly re6eated 6lay of dominations8B!$! 'herefore the 6lace of 6ower is not a pla!e* A'his relationshi6 of domination is no more a ;relationshi6< than the 6lace where it occurs is a 6lace8B !$" Power= as we have seen= does not reside in the state= or in the bourgeoisie= or in law* its very 6lace is that of a Anon6laceB because it is shifting and variable= always being reinscribed and reinter6reted8

%roducti1e %o!er: %o!er5Kno!led$e

Foucault<s conce6tion of 6ower as o6erating in a non6lace:in other words= as diffuse= variable= and decentrali,ed:is aimed at undermining the @uridico) discursive model of 6ower which= as I have said= sees 6ower in terms of law* in other words= as re6ression and 6rohibition8!$% Anarchism= which subscribes to this model= claims that 6ower= enshrined in the state= re6resses human essence within the individual* it denies the individual the reali,ation of his essential morality and rationality= the reali,ation of himself as a human being8 Foucault argues= in contrast to this= that 6ower is not re6ressive:rather it is produ!tive: and that to see 6ower entirely in terms of re6ression is to fundamentally misunderstand it8 More insidiously= the Are6ressive hy6othesisB as Foucault calls it= disguises the way 6ower actually o6erates8 !$$ Foucault argues= for instance= that 6ower 6roduces= rather than re6resses= knowledge8 Power and knowledge are not hostile= as the anarchists believed8 Anarchists such as Iro6otkin and 5akunin saw knowledge and rationality as emanci6ative discourses8!$. Foucault is not 9uite as enthusiastic about the liberating effects of knowledge8 Inowledge has= at best= an ambiguous relationshi6 with 6ower* 6ower works through and 6roduces knowledge= and knowledge in turn 6er6etuates 6ower8!$ Inowledge and rationality are not necessarily subversiveF they are= on the contrary= fundamentally related to 6ower and must be treated cautiously8 According to Foucault= rational truth is a 6roduct of 6owerF it is one of the axes around which 6ower o6erates8 'ruth does not exist in a realm outside 6ower= as


7ha6ter Four

anarchists and other classical 6olitical theorists believed8 'o s6eak the truth about 6ower relations is also to be fundamentally embroiled in them* Athe 6olitical 9uestion 8 8 8 is not error= illusion= alienated consciousness or ideologyF it is truth itself8B!$4 'his argument is shared by #tirner= who= as we have seen= re@ects the idea that truth is beyond the realm of individual 6ers6ective and struggle8 'here is not one 'ruth= but many truths= as many as there are individual 6ers6ectives8 'ruth is a wea6on in a 6ower game8 !$- It can be used against 6ower but it can at the same time 6er6etuate the very 6ower it 6rofesses to o66ose8 According to this war model of analysis= then= truth is entirely im6licated in 6rocesses of struggle and 6ower8 'he 6oint= however= is not to discard knowledge= rationality= and truth= according to Foucault8 /ne must= however= recogni,e the link between these discourses and 6ower= and be aware of their dangers8 'his 6erha6s exem6lifies the 6oststructuralist stance on these discourses* not a re@ection= but rather a 9uestioning= a certain incredulity8 Morality also is not innocent of 6ower* it does not constitute a critical site outside 6ower= as the anarchists believed8 Iro6otkin argued= for instance= that the 6rison was an affront to any code of human morality* APrisons do not morali,e their inmates8B!.J Eowever= Foucault is against the 6rison 6recisely because it does morali,e the inmate8 (hat must be resisted= for Foucault= is not only the 6ractices of domination which make u6 the 6rison= but also the morality which @ustifies and rationali,es these 6ractices8 !.1 'herefore the main focus of Foucault<s attack on the 6rison is not necessarily on the domination within= but on the fact that this domination is @ustified on moral grounds8 Foucault wants to disru6t the Aserene domination of &ood over Evil8B!.! #tirner<s criti9ue of morality also a66lies here8 Ee argues= as we have seen= that morality is merely a new form of 7hristianity now in humanist garb8 Moreover= it is based on domination= cruelty= and humiliation8!." 5oth Foucault and #tirner would argue that morality is an idea that has become absolute and sacred= and this is its 6roblem8 >either is necessarily against moral conduct itself= merely its abstraction8 Foucault and #tirner want to 6lace morality within the struggle of re6resentations and the realm of 6ower8 Ideas like morality and @ustice do not somehow transcend the world of re6resentation and struggle8 'hey o6erate as discourses within the limits of 6ower= and may be as easily used as a tool of domination as a tool against it8!.% For Foucault then= morality= truth= and knowledge do not en@oy the 6rivilege of being beyond the gras6 of 6ower8 'hey are not 6ure sites uncontaminated by 6ower but= on the contrary= are effects of 6ower* they are 6roduced by 6ower= and they allow 6ower itself to be 6roduced8 Foucault has thus gone against the 6olitical rationality of the Enlightenment= which 6romoted these ideals as tools in the struggle against tyranny* morality= rationality= and truth were seen as an antidote to the immorality= irrationality= and distortion of absolute 6ower8 'his is the 6olitical logic that informed anarchism8 Foucault<s criti9ue= as well as the interventions of #tirner= 9uestion the emanci6ative 6otential of these ideals= and thus deny 6olitical theories such as anarchism a 6rivileged 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower8 As Foucault says* AIt seems to me that 8 8 8 one is never outside

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


[6ower]= that there are no margins for those who break with the system to gambol in8B!.$ Foucault<s criti9ue of the Are6ressive hy6othesisB undermines Enlightenment humanism and the 6olitical theories like anarchism= which it s6awned= in a more crucial way* it denies the autonomy of human sub@ectivity from 6ower8 'he re6ressive hy6othesis= which Foucault considers obsolete= sees essential human sub@ectivity as re6ressed by 6ower8 Anarchism= as we have shown= is based on a fundamental notion of human essence that is sub@ugated by 6ower= yet outside the order of 6ower8 'his is the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture that anarchism relies u6on in order to theori,e resistance to 6ower8 #tirner= on the other hand= saw human essence itself as an abstraction= an ideological construct that dominates the individual8 Foucault= continuing this criti9ue of humanism= re@ects any essentialist notions= seeing human sub@ectivity as an effect of 6ower8 Power= for Foucault= is 6roductive rather than re6ressive* it does not re6ress human sub@ectivity= as 6olitical theorists have hitherto argued:rather it 6roduces it8 'his denies the 6ossibility of an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower= because the human sub@ect who hitherto constituted this A6ureB 6lace is contaminated by 6ower8 'his= argues Foucault= is the ruse of 6ower* the fact that 6ower tricks us into thinking that we are re6ressed= so that we try to assert our essence= but in doing so we 6lay right into the hands of the 6ower we are su66osed to be resisting8 'his is because human essence is not an essence at all but a 6roduct of 6ower0knowledge8 'herefore= humanist 6olitical strategies like anarchism= which call for the liberation of human essence= fall victim to the tra6 6ower has laid for them in the same way that Marxist revolutionary strategy= according to the anarchists= is ensnared by the logic of the state8 For Foucault then= A'he man described for us= whom we are invited to free= is already in himself the effect of a sub@ection much more 6rofound than himself8B!.. Foucault talks about the way that the sub@ectivity of the 6risoner and the delin9uent is constructed within the 6rison8 In &is!ipline and $unish= he argues that the 6ur6ose of the 6rison is not to 6ut a sto6 to crime* as with sexuality= the old language of re6ression and 6rohibition does not a66ly here8 3ather= the 6ur6ose of the carceral system is to re6roduce a steady flow of delin9uency in order to @ustify the 6rison<s continued existence8 Moreover= the 6rison 6roduces a discourse of criminology that focuses on the 6risoner as an individual case to be studied8 In this way= the 6risoner is 6inned down within a constructed identity of Adelin9uent8B Foucault suggests that these techni9ues of sub@ection are not confined to the 6rison but are at work at all levels of society8 Moreover= within the 6rison= through various techni9ues of surveillance= the AsoulB of the 6risoner is constructed* if the 6risoner believes that he is always being watched= even when he is not= then he becomes his own moral warden8 'hus the guilty AsoulB of the 6risoner is constructed as a tool of self)sub@ection8 'his internali,ed self)surveillance and self)sub@ection is the central feature of Foucault<s descri6tion of modern 6ower8 'here is no need for a massive= re6ressive 6ower= because the individual re6resses himself8 (ith the Pano6ticon= for instance= there is no need for anyone to be in the watchtower= as


7ha6ter Four

long as the 6risoner believes there is someone watching him8 !. 'his= it could be argued= is truly 6ower without essence= without 6lace8 Power itself may be an em6ty 6lace= like the em6ty watchtower= and it may function without agents8 All it needs are sub@ects who 6artici6ate in their own domination by believing they are re6ressed8 Power may o6erate from below= not from above8!.4 It may be interesting here to com6are Iro6otkin<s discussion of the 6rison and criminology with Foucault<s8 Iro6otkin argues that the 6rison is ineffectual against crime because it dehumani,es the 6risoner:robs him of his humanity: inculcating within him a greater 6ro6ensity for crime8 Instead of treating crime= then= as a sin to be 6unished= it should= Iro6otkin argues= be treated as a sickness to be cured8!.- 'he criminal should therefore be taken out of the 6rison and treated humanely= in order to restore to him a sense of humanity and morality8 /n the surface= Iro6otkin<s ideas are liberatingF they are aimed at emanci6ating the essential humanity of the 6risoner that is su66osedly crushed by the 6rison8 Eowever= Foucault= as a genealogist= wants to unmask the domination behind such ostensibly 6rogressive ideas8 Ee argues that the domination of the 6rison does not re6ress human essence* on the contrary= it o6erates through it8 (e know from #tirner that humanism is a discourse that o66resses the individual8 Euman essence= seen to be so redeeming and liberating by Iro6otkin= is found by Foucault to be the standard of Anormali,ationB by which individuals are @udged and condemned8! J Foucault thus continues #tirner<s criti9ue of humanism* man and humanity are discursive constructs= standards according to which individuals are @udged and @udge themselves:a standard which rationali,es in the name of what is Atruly human=B the 6ersecution of those who do not fit in8 Foucault does not see Iro6otkin<s 6ro6osal that the criminal should be cured rather than 6unished= as any more liberating either8 'he strategy of cure is sim6ly the strategy of 6unishment under a different name* it is still an a66lication of the same moral and rational norms to an identity that does not measure u68 In other words= whether crime or madness is considered either as a sin to be 6unished or a sickness to be cured= it is still a form of condemnation: an attribution of some kind of lack= or failing to these ex6eriences8 ! 1 #tirner also sees 6unishment and cure as two sides of the same coin* Aif the latter sees in an action a sin against right= the former takes it for a sin of the man against himself= as a decadence from his health8B! ! #tirner and Foucault force us to ask the 9uestion* what right do rationality and morality have to AcureB irrationality and immoralityD As I suggested earlier= this conflict between Foucault<s and Iro6otkin<s ideas about crime and 6unishment is not an outdated one* anarchist ideas are still being used as a basis for 6ro6osals for the reform of criminology8 ! " 'he arguments for reform are based on various essentialist ideas about what constitutes human sub@ectivity and what human needs are8 'he differences between Iro6otkin and Foucault= then= go to the heart of the debate between humanism and antihumanism or posthumanism. For radical humanists= human essence is re6ressed by institutions such as the 6risonF and this essence must be liberated if 6eo6le are to be free8 For antihumanists= on the other hand= like

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


Foucault and #tirner= human essence is not only an effect of domination= but also a tool of it8 Individuals are dominated= in 6rison= and in other ways= because they do not conform to this constructed notion of human essence8 Like #tirner<s un)man= and like Foucault<s delin9uent= mad= and 6erverse= they are 6ersecuted because of their difference from a norm constructed around the notion of what constitutes a human being8 'herefore= 6olitical reforms and struggles that are based around the notion of liberating human essence are often concomitant with further domination8

0umanism and %o!er

#tirner<s and Foucault<s criti9ue of humanism has 6ointed to the o6eration of a new kind of 6ower:humanist 6ower:which is based on the denial of our own 6ower= on our abdication of 6ower over ourselves8 Foucault sees humanism as Aeverything in (estern civili,ation that restricts the desire for 6ower8B! % Eumanism is a discourse in which we have become tra66ed* it claims to free individuals from all sorts of institutional o66ressions while= at the same time= entailing an intensification of the o66ression over ourselves and denying us the 6ower to resist this sub@ection8 In humanism the individual has only A6seudo) sovereignty8B Eumanism claims to hold sovereign= Aconsciousness 1sovereign in the context of @udgement= but sub@ected to the necessities of truth2= the individual 1a titular control of 6ersonal rights sub@ected to the laws of nature and society2= basic freedom 1sovereign within= but acce6ting the demands of an outside world and ;aligned with destiny<28B! $ In other words= within the humanist language of rights and freedoms there is= according to Foucault= a tra6* rights and freedoms are granted to the individual in return for the relin9uishment of 6ower= 6ower over oneself8 And= as #tirner has shown= rights and freedoms are meaningless without 6ower8 'herefore= for Foucault= humanism is based on the individual<s abdication of his 6ower8 #tirner shares this condemnation of humanism8 Ee argues= for instance= that humanism<s claim of freeing the consciousness means only a further sub@ection to rational truth* AIf thoughts are free= I am their slave8B! . #tirner<s analysis of humanism has shown that it is concomitant with the domination of the individual ego8 (hile humanism is couched in terms of rights and freedoms= these are granted to man:who is an abstraction:not to the individual8 'herefore= #tirner and Foucault see humanism as a discourse that frees man while enslaving the individual8 (hat Foucault and #tirner o66ose in humanism is the absoluti,ation of man8 #tirner= as we have seen= talks about the way in which Feuerbach<s Atheological insurrectionB of man against &od:which is the basis of humanism:has re6roduced man as &od8 Man becomes the very 6lace of authority that it once o66osed8 'he individual in humanist discourse is now subordinated under man= in the same way that man was subordinated under &od8 Man has killed &od= as >iet,sche claimed= but he has also become &od8 Foucault too= believes that man is not only an effect of 6ower:6roduced in the ways described:but he is also


7ha6ter Four

an institution of domination= a 6lace of 6ower8 Man has become= in the 6ast cou6le of centuries= the dominant figure within scientific= medical= sociological= and 6olitical discourses8 'his absoluti,ation of man= and the 6ower0knowledge regimes associated with it= are o66ressive8 'hey tie the individual to a certain identity:the criminal= the insane= the homosexual= the heterosexual= man= woman= etc8:which is limiting and o66ressive= and which further sub@ects the individual to various strategies of 6ower8 'he figure of man establishes itself as a norm that functions in a binary way= constructing identities and their dialectic o66osites* sane0insane= innocent0guilty= normal06erverse= and it is according to these discursive constructions that individuals are dominated8 Foucault argues that this 6rocess of 6inning down individuals within certain categories and identities is the way that modern 6ower functions8 It is not aimed at re6ressing and 6rohibiting certain sub@ectivities:rather it is aimed at 6roducing them as ob@ects of knowledge and sub@ects of 6ower8 It is= for instance= naive to say= according to Foucault= that homosexuality is re6ressed and that one is challenging 6ower by asserting one<s homosexuality8 5y doing this= one is merely 6laying into the hands of 6ower= further tying oneself to a sub@ectivity that 6ower has created8 Foucault calls his form of 6ower Asub@ectification8B! #tirner as well:while he does not analy,e a s6ecific notion of 6ower like Foucault:talks about a similar 6rocess of sub@ectification carried out by the state8 'he state functions= as we have seen= through a strategy of tying individuals to a constructed sub@ectivity based on human essence8 'his is the basis of state 6ower8! 4 'hus= #tirner and Foucault argue that 6ower 6roduces identities which are 6olitically useful and this sub@ectifying 6ower is made 6ossible by the humanist deification of man8 #o Foucault argues that 6ower 6roduces sub@ectivities based on human essence= and it 6roduces them in such a way that their liberation is really their continued domination8 'his is the cunning of 6ower* it disguises itself in the language of re6ression= when it actually functions in a far more 6ervasive and insidious way8 'he re6ressive guise of 6ower is essential to 6er6etuation of 6roductive 6ower= because it kee6s alive the dream= the A6ollonian illusion= that there is a world outside 6ower:from which 6ower can be resisted:when= in fact= there is not8 'herefore= for Foucault= the anarchists< idea of there being an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture:in the form of human essence:would be nothing but a self)deluding fantasy= as 6ower has already coloni,ed this su66osedly 6ure 6lace8 Political theory= then= can no longer rely on there being an essential 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower* 6olitics must function within 6ower<s limits8

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power

(hile 6ower is 6roductive rather than re6ressive= this does not mean that 6ower= for Foucault= is not o66ressive8 3e6ression refers to a human essence which 6ower restricts8 (hile 6ower is not re6ressive in this way= it is still oppressive in the sense that it im6oses limits u6on individuals by tying them to a su66osedly re6ressed human essence8 3e6ression and o66ression are often confused by those of Foucault<s critics= such as ?urgen Eabermas and >ancy Fraser= who argue that Foucault does not 6rovide any reason why 6ower should be resisted8! - (hile Foucault 9uestions moral and rational discourses= it is wrong to say that he does not 6rovide ethical reasons for resistance8 'he fact that 6ower is o66ressive= that it im6oses limits on the individual= that it im6risons him within a fixed sub@ectivity= would be reason enough to resist8 Moreover= Foucault does not want to im6ose strict moral and rational criteria u6on resistance because this would be a limitation in itself8 It would deny the singularity of resistance*
/ne does not make the law for the 6erson who risks his life before 6ower8 Is there or is there not a reason to revoltD Let<s leave the 9uestion o6en8 'here are revolts and that is a fact8 8 8 8 For there to be a sense of listening to them and in searching for what they say= it is sufficient that they exist and that they have against them so much which is set u6 to silence them8 A 9uestion of moralityD Perha6s8 A 9uestion of realityD 7ertainly8!4J

3esistance= then= does not necessarily need a reason* if it ha66ens= then that is @ustification enough8 Foucault sees resistance and 6ower existing in a relationshi6 of mutual antagonism and incitement:a relationshi6 of agonism8 'his is a continuation of the war model according to which resistance is not necessarily sanctioned by moral and rational standards= or by the 6romise of a better world* resistance is an absolute refusal of domination:a des6erate struggle= sometimes to the death= with a 6articular relation of 6ower8 It is similar to #tirner<s notion of the insurrection as a s6ontaneous u6rising8 Foucault argues that one can study resistance from the starting 6oint of 6ower= @ust as 6ower may be analy,ed from the 6ers6ective of resistance8!41 'hus= resistance to 6ower can be @ustified by the asymmetries and excesses of the 6ower it confrontsF by a regime<s denial of further 6ossibilities of a reversal in 6ower relations8 Foucault= therefore= would seem to have an ethic of resistance:6ermanent resistance= an ongoing struggle with 6ower8 As soon as 6ower relations become blocked and hierarchical= as soon as resistance itself becomes aligned with 6ower and creates the 6otential for further domination= this is when resistance is necessary8!4! It is= therefore= mistaken to say that Foucault has no normative guidelines for resistance8 Moreover= @ust because Foucault 9uestions the rights discourse of the Enlightenment:and for this he has been critici,ed by >ancy Fraser:he does not discount the 6ossibility that rights may be used in the struggle against 6ower8 In fact= he says* AAgainst 6ower it is always necessary to o66ose unbreakable law and unabridgeable rights8B!4" Foucault argues that rights and


7ha6ter Four

values are ambiguous* they are not essentially on the side of 6ower or essentially on the side of resistance8 'hey are wea6ons to be used in struggle= and it is u6 to the individual to inter6ret them8 'his war analysis that I have em6loyed does not chea6en or invalidate rights and values* it merely leaves them o6en to change and contingency8 Foucault= like #tirner= then= does not o66ose rights and values* he is only against their absoluti,ation:when they are taken out of the gras6 of the individual and serve the interests of 6ower8 'herefore= the criticism that Foucault does not 6rovide any reasons for resistance to 6ower can be re@ected8 'he second criticism:that Foucault does not allow any possi#ility for resistance:is 6erha6s more valid8 7ritics argue that because Foucault<s notion of 6ower is so 6ervasive= because it leaves no s6ace uncontaminated by it= resistance to 6ower is im6ossible* it has no ground= no 6lace from which it can emanate8 Even human essence= the 6oint of de6arture for 6olitical theory since the Enlightenment= is not free from 6ower8 'his criticism has been made so often and by so many 6eo6le that it has become the standard criticism of Foucault8 5ut the fact that it is clichGd does not make it invalid8 >ancy Fraser is 6robably one of Foucault<s most articulate critics* she argues that because the sub@ect for Foucault is merely an effect of 6ower relations= then Athere is no foundation 8 8 8 for a criti9ue oriented around the notions of autonomy= reci6rocity= mutual recognition= dignity= and human rights8B!4% 7ritics such as Fraser want to use human essence and the human values that emanate from this essence as a limit to 6ower8 Eowever= because Foucault denies this limit= because he does not recogni,e a 6lace outside 6ower= they argue that this makes resistance im6ossible8 (here does resistance come fromD 'his criticism of Foucault is 6ossibly the most damaging one8 Foucault can answer this criticism= but he cannot do so without revealing certain inconsistencies in his notions of 6ower and resistance8 'hese inconsistencies= however= do not 6oint to the existence of a central contradiction in his work8 3ather they reveal an attem6t on the 6art of Foucault to leave the 9uestion of resistance o6en to further debate8 Foucault does not have= as the anarchists do= a 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower* he re@ects human essence and the notion of a transcendental morality and truth8 'here is no eternal 6lace or essence outside 6ower from which resistance emanates* Athere is no single locus of great 3efusal= no soul of revolt= source of all rebellions= or 6ure law of the revolutionary8B!4$ Eowever= for Foucault= this does not negate the 6ossibility of resistance or freedom* A'o say that one can never be ;outside< 6ower does not mean that one is tra66ed8B!4. Power creates resistanceF resistance is the fli6side of 6ower8 Foucault says then* A(here there is 6ower there is resistance= and yet= or rather conse9uently= this resistance is never in a 6osition of exteriority to 6ower8B !4 Power incites resistance* 6ower is always checked by the 6otential for resistance that it creates8 Foucault= then= can account for resistance8 Eowever= this would a66ear to be a rather im6overished notion of resistance* always de6endent on 6ower:6urely reactive8 It would seem that Foucault has a deterministic notion of resistance akin to a determinist Marxist who argues that revolution will only unfold according to the logic of

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


ca6italism8 Foucault is aware of this 6ossible inter6retation= and tries to counter it by arguing that although there is no 6lace outside 6ower= there are certain elements which esca6e it= if only momentarily= and these elements give rise to resistance= a certain A6lebeian 9uality8B!44 Foucault takes 6ains to ensure us that this is not some kind of essence that stands outside 6ower8 If this were the case= Foucault would be no different from the anarchists who insisted on a revolutionary human essence un6olluted by 6ower8 Foucault tells us that A6lebsB is not a sub@ectivity or essence= but rather an energy= a discharge8 Eowever= Foucault does= on occasion= fall into the essentialist tra6 on this 9uestion8 Ee argues for instance that Athe rallying 6oint for the counterattack against the de6loyment of sexuality ought not be sex) desire= but bodies and 6leasures8B!4- For Foucault= sex and sexuality cannot be a basis for resistance because= as he has shown= they are effects of 6ower8 Eowever= he does not say why Abodies and 6leasuresB should be any different from sexuality8 Foucault cannot 6ossibly exem6t bodies from his argument that everything is constructed discursively and through 6ower relationsF that there is no outside to 6ower8 'his would= to some extent= go against his genealogical 6ro@ect= which was aimed= in 6art= at undermining the idea of the body as a stable essence outside history8!-J As >ancy Fraser rightly argues= Foucault gives us no reason why Abodies and 6leasuresB is a better basis for resistance than sex8!-1 Foucault<s notion= then= of Abodies and 6leasuresB as a 6lace of resistance is highly 9uestionable8 Eowever= there is another way of thinking about resistance that avoids essentialism8 3esistance may 6erha6s be seen as an excess which= while 6rovoked by 6ower= is not necessarily confined or determined by it* it is something which esca6es= however tem6orarily= the gras6 of 6ower8 Foucault argues that revolt= for instance= is 6roduced by conditions of 6ower= but it is not ca6tured by it8 3evolt is a dislocation= with un6redictable conse9uences8!-! 'his dis6lacement is 6robably what Foucault was hinting at in his notion of A6lebsB* A'his measure of 6lebs is not so much what stands outside relations of 6ower as their limit= their underside= that which res6onds to every advance of 6ower by a movement of disengagement8B!-" For instance= life is the target of 6owerF yet life is also an underside of 6ower= which resists 6ower by ex6osing its limits8 Life is= according to Foucault= the limit of 6ower* when 6eo6le are 6re6ared to die to resist= Awhen life will no longer barter itself=B then 6ower has reached its limit8!-% Perha6s this limit is a kind of outside in terms of its 6ure o6enness and 6ossibility8

Trans$ressin$ the "elf

For Foucault= the death of &od signified the death of infinitude and limitlessness8 In other words= it meant the reign of the Limit8!-$ Man was now limited by 6ower= but 6ower itself also had limits8 'he limits created by 6ower are themselves limited8 'here is an excess= Foucault argues= which both transgresses and affirms 6ower<s limits8 'ransgression and limit de6end on one


7ha6ter Four

another8 'ransgression ex6oses the limit of the limit8 !-. 'hus= the 6ur6ose of transgression is not to overcome the limits of 6ower:as the anarchist revolution 6roclaimed:because these limits can never be totally overcome= because the overcoming of one set of limits will ultimately mean the construction of another8 'ransgression can only be e6hemeral* it burns itself u6 once it has 6assed the limit and only exists insofar as the limit itself exists8 'herefore= transgression can only be a criti9ue conducted u6on limits* it can only ex6ose the limits which give rise to it and limit it= Alike a flash of lightning in the night= which 8 8 8 gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies8B!- In other words= transgression= for Foucault= is a constant overcoming= a transgression of transgression= and the 6olitics of resistance must be humbled by this8 'his notion of transgression runs counter to revolutionary 6hiloso6hies= such as anarchism= which foresee the final overcoming of 6ower and the eternal reign of freedom8 For the 6ro6onent of the war model= however= 6ower is here to stay8 It can never be entirely overcome because every overcoming is itself the im6osition of a new kind of 6ower8 Foucault has taken the anarchist logic of 6lace to its ultimate conclusion8 Ee has shown that there is no overcoming of the logic of 6laceF that there is no 6romise of freedom taking the 6lace of 6ower= because freedom itself is another kind of 6ower8 'his is close to #tirner= who argues that freedom is always based on 6ower= and that one<s idea of freedom may be another<s domination8 Foucault and #tirner= however= do not re@ect the idea of freedom* they merely argue that it is based on struggle and o6en to reinter6retation8 For Foucault= freedom is not a final state that can be reached= but rather a constant relationshi6 of struggle and renegotiation with 6ower8 Freedom cannot transcend 6ower because= according to Foucault= freedom is the condition for the exercise of 6ower8!-4 'herefore= the relationshi6 between 6ower and freedom is not one of mutual exclusion as anarchists contended8 'here is rather a constant inter6lay= an agonistic struggle between them in which each is 6itted at the other but= at the same time= de6ends u6on the other8 Freedom= then= cannot be seen as overcoming of 6ower= or even existing outside the world of 6ower8 'he two are fundamentally intertwined8 Eowever= this does not mean we are doomed to 6er6etual domination and that one= therefore= should no longer bother resisting 6ower8 /n the contrary= while there is no ending 6ower:because 6ower is involved in almost every social relationshi6: there are certain arrangements of 6ower which allow greater 6ossibilities of freedom than others8 'he aim of resistance is to maximi,e these 6ossibilities of freedom8 Freedom is always 6ossible= even within the most o66ressive conditions* it is a freedom which= while conditioned by 6ower= is never com6letely limited by it= and which always has un6redictable effects8 'he 6oint is to invent one<s own forms of freedomF to not be seduced= as #tirner argues= by mankind<s eternal dream of freedom= because this always results in another domination8 !-- #tirner= as we have seen= calls this ownness:6ower over oneself= the 6ersonal autonomy that is denied under humanism= which grants all sorts of freedoms a6art from this one8"JJ /wnness= then= 6erha6s a66roaches a 6osthumanist= or

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


6oststructuralist= form of freedom* one that is de6endent on 6ower and antagonism and which is= nevertheless= an affirmation of this8 Foucault also talks about various ethical and aesthetic strategies of existence and work on oneself:AaskesisB:which increase the 6ower that one exercises over oneself8 'his does not mean that freedom is limited to having 6ower over oneself= to ownness:but this surely must be one of the fundamental conditions of freedom8 'his notion of ownness is remarkably close to Foucault<s idea that one should= as a way of combating sub@ectifying 6ower= re@ect one<s AessentialB identity and invent for oneself new identities8 Like #tirner= Foucault believes that because sub@ectification is made 6ossible only by our willingly submitting to it= liberation should therefore start with ourselves* AMaybe the target nowadays is not to discover who we are= but to refuse who we are8 8 8 8 'he 6olitical= ethical= social= 6hiloso6hical 6roblem of our days is not to liberate the individual from the #tate and its institutions= but to liberate ourselves from the #tate and the ty6e of individuali,ation linked to it8B "J1 If 6ower works by confining us to an essential identity that it has 6roduced= then we should re@ect 6olitical strategies= such as those of classical anarchism for instance= which are based on the liberation of one<s essence8"J! In order to remain one ste6 ahead of 6ower we can 6erha6s engage in aesthetic and ethical 6ractices which involve the constant reinvention of identity8 (hile this is a strategy that 6romises no final liberation from 6ower and is engaged in within the confines of 6ower= it can still offer new 6ossibilities of 6ersonal freedom8 Foucault suggests that individuals refuse who they are:refuse to be limited by essence:and become something that they are not8 'he em6hasis is on becoming and flux= rather than on the achievement of an identity8 'he individual might engage in an anarchism of sub@ectivity:rather than an anarchism based on sub@ectivity= on essence* the anarchism of 5akunin= Proudhon= and Iro6otkin8 Perha6s Foucault is only an anarchist who takes the idea of anarchism beyond the limits set down for it by humanism8 Ee has extended the re@ection of authority to the level of sub@ectivity= seeing human essence itself as a 6lace of authority and calling for its destruction8 As 3einer #churmann argues= Foucault calls for us to constitute ourselves as anarchist sub@ects8"J" 'his may be seen as a sub@ectivity em6tied of essence and based on antagonism and difference:a sub@ectivity founded on the model of war8 'he war model is a re@ection of all totalities and essences8 Foucault argues= like #tirner= that unities must be broken down because the threads that tie them together are not based on a consensus of values= but on the domination of one kind of value over another8 'he war model= then= re@ects the humanist idea of an essential common ground= a shared social reality8"J% For Foucault the struggles around values and inter6retations are Aanarchistic struggles8B "J$ Eowever they are anarchistic not in the sense that they transcend 6ower= but rather in the sense that they reali,e that 6ower can never be transcended8 Foucault<s ethics seeks out lines of flight or esca6e from 6ower= cou6led with the reali,ation that 6ower can never really be esca6ed= only momentarily eluded8 Foucault is on thin ground here= however= and this 6aradox:the 6aradox of the transgression of


7ha6ter Four

transgression= the limit of the limit= freedom within confinement:while being essential to his work= 6resents him= as we have seen= with various 6roblems in theori,ing resistance8 Foucault<s use of the war model has displa!ed the notion of 6lace* it has not only undermined the 6lace of 6ower= but also the 6lace of resistance8 5y seeing human essence as an effect of 6ower= Foucault has denied 6olitical theory the notion of the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= the 6lace u6on which anarchism is founded8 5ut has Foucault gone too far in this last res6ectD Eis anarchism has transgressed the limits of human sub@ectivity set down by 5akunin= Proudhon= and Iro6otkin8 5ut in following #tirner= in seeing the world in terms of difference and antagonism= has Foucault not created for himself his own set of limits which he cannot really transcend without being= to some extent= inconsistentD 'he dream of esca6e= the line of flight= the Anon6laceB of resistance:while these are not sleights of hand= they are notions which need further ex6lanation8 'his is the 6aradox of Foucault8 Eowever= it is not a 6aradox that cannot be solved dialectically8 3ather= it is a 6aradox that continues to generate 6ossibility at the limits of im6ossibility= o6enness at the limits of closure8 Foucault has fundamentally altered the 6arameters and conditions of 6olitical theory= defining its limits but also showing us its exhilarating limitlessness8 'he 6roblem left unanswered by Foucault= however :that of finding a 6ositive non)essentialist figure of resistance:will be further ex6lored= through +eleu,e and &uattari= in the next cha6ter8

18 Foucault condemns those on the left who refuse to 9uestion the &ulag Aon the basis of the texts of Marx or Lenin or to ask oneself how= through what error= deviation= misunderstanding or distortion of s6eculation or 6ractice= their theory could have been betrayed to such a degree8B #ee APowers and #trategies=B 1"$8 !8 Luoted from 7allinicos= /s There a Future for 7ar8ismE= 1J48 "8 Michel Foucault= A'ruth and Power=B in $ower0,nowledge, 1J-)1""8 %8 For instance= the Marxist ex6lanation of the re6ression of masturbation in children might go as follows* onanism was su66ressed by the bourgeoisie because it did not contribute to the 6roduction of the labour force re9uired by ca6italism8 Foucault argues= on the other hand= that if a labor force were needed= might not the bourgeoisie have encouraged= rather than re6ressed= onanism in order to inculcate re6roductive training in childrenD 'he argument works both ways8 $8 Foucault= A3evolutionary Action=B !"18 .8 Foucault= A3evolutionary Action=B !"!8 8 Foucault* Aone can 6erfectly well conceive of revolutions which leave essentially untouched the 6ower relations which form the basis for the functioning of the #tate8B #ee A'ruth and Power=B 1!"8 48 Michel Foucault= A'he Politics of 7rime=B trans8 M8 Eorowit,= $artisan )eview %"= no8 " 11- .2* %$")%..8 -8 Foucault= A'ruth and Power=B 1!18 1J8 Michel Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality J/ /ntrodu!tion, trans. 38 Eunter 1>ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1- 42= -"8

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


118 Michel Foucault= A'he Ethic of 7are for the #elf as a Practice of Freedom* Interview with Michel Foucault=B in The Final Fou!ault= ed8 ?ames 5ernauer and +avid 3asmussen 17ambridge= Mass8* MI' Press= 1-442= 1)!J8 1!8 Michel Foucault= A'he #ub@ect and Power=B in 7i!hel Fou!ault ?eyond Stru!turalism and -ermeneuti!s, Eubert L8 +reyfus and Paul 3abinow 17hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1-4!2= !J4)!!.8 1"8 7olin &ordon= A&overnmental 3ationality* an introduction=B in The Fou!ault 'ffe!t Studies in <overnmentality, ed8 7olin &ordon et al8 17hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1--12= 1)$18 1%8 Michel Foucault= A&overnmentality=B in The Fou!ault 'ffe!t, 4 )1J%8 1$8 Foucault= A&overnmentality=B 1J"8 1.8 Foucault= A&overnmentality=B 1J"8 1 8 Foucault= A&overnmentality=B 1J"8 148 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, -%8 1-8 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, -"8 !J8 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, -.8 !18 Foucault* Aif 6ower is 6ro6erly s6eaking the way in which relations of forces are de6loyed and given concrete ex6ression= rather than analysing it in terms of cession= contract or alienation= or functionally in terms of its maintenance of the relations of 6roduction= should we not analyse it 6rimarily in terms of struggle= !onfli!t= warDB #ee Michel Foucault= ALecture /ne* ?anuary 1- .=B in $ower0,nowledge, -J8 !!8 Michel Foucault= A(ar in the Filigree of Peace* 7ourse #ummary=B trans8 I8 Mcleod= in 18ford :iterary )eview %= no8 ! 11- .2* 1$)1-8 !"8 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B -18 !%8 Foucault= ALecture /ne=B -J8 !$8 Foucault= A(ar in the Filigree of Peace=B 1 )148 !.8 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B 4"8 ! 8 Friedrich >iet,sche= ?eyond <ood and 'vil= trans8 38 ?8 Eollingdale 1London* Penguin 5ooks= 1--J2= !J18 !48 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B 48 !-8 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B 4$8 "J8 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B 4$8 "18 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B 4$8 "!8 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, 1J!8 ""8 Foucault* Awe must cease once and for all to describe the effects of 6ower in negative terms* it ;excludes<= it ;re6resses<= it ;censors<= it ;abstracts<= it ;masks<= it ;conceals8< In fact= 6ower 6roducesF it 6roduces realityF it 6roduces domains of ob@ects and rituals of truth8B #ee Michel Foucault= &is!ipline and $unish the ?irth of the $rison= trans8 A8 #heridan 1London* Penguin 5ooks= 1--12= 1-%8 "%8 5akunin saw science and knowledge as tools with which to unmask a 6ower which works through religious obfuscation8 'he masses are o66ressed because they are ke6t in ignorance:they are denied knowledge8 #ee $oliti!al $hilosophy, 4"8 "$8 Foucault* A6ower and knowledge directly im6ly one anotherF there is no 6ower relation without a correlative constitution of a field of knowledge= nor any knowledge that does not 6resu66ose and constitute at the same time= 6ower relations8B #ee &is!ipline and $unish, ! 8 ".8 Foucault= A'ruth and Power=B 1""8 " 8 According to #tirner= Atruth has never won a victory= but was always my means to the victory= like the swordB #ee The 'go= "$%8 "48 Iro6otkin= /n )ussian and Fren!h $risons, ""48


7ha6ter Four

"-8 Foucault sees the domination of the 6rison as Acynical and at the same 6ure and entirely @ustified because its 6ractices can be totally formulated within the framework of morality8 Its brutal tyranny a66ears as the serene domination of &ood over Evil= of order over disorder8B #ee AIntellectual and Power* A conversation between Michel Foucault and &illes +eleu,e=B in :anguage, *ounter67emory, $ra!ti!e= !J%)!1 8 %J8 'he ultimate 6ur6ose of the &IP 1Information &rou6 on Prisons2= in which Foucault was involved= was Ato 9uestion the social and moral distinction between the innocent and the guilty8B #ee A3evolutionary Action=B !! 8 %18 #tirner= The 'go= 418 %!8 Foucault* Ait seems to me that the idea of @ustice in itself is an idea which in effect has been invented and 6ut to work in different ty6es of societies as a wea6on of a certain 6olitical and economic 6ower8B #ee debate between Michel Foucault and >oam 7homsky= AEuman >ature* ?ustice versus Power=B in )efle8ive (ater The ?asi! *on!erns of 7an"ind, ed8 Fons Elders= et al8 17anada* 7ondor 5ooks= 1- %2= 1"")1- 8 %"8 Foucault= APower and #trategies=B 1%18 %%8 Foucault= &is!ipline and $unish= "J8 %$8 Foucault= &is!ipline and $unish= !JJ)!J18 %.8 #tirner also sees selfsub@ection as a mode of 6ower8 For #tirner= like Foucault= the state is an em6ty 6lace of 6ower= with no essence of its own* its unity is an illusion8 (hat is im6ortant is its 6erceived unity and 6ower= and our attachment to it8 'hus the domination of the state de6ends on the domination of ourselves8 #tirner then has forced 6olitical theory to address the 6roblem of selfsub@ection:how we 6artici6ate in our own domination:and Foucault= through his analysis of sexuality= the asylum= and the 6rison= has continued this 6ath of 9uestioning8 % 8 Iro6otkin* A'he same has to be done with the great social 6henomenon which has been called 7rime until now= but will be called #ocial +isease by our children8 Prevention of disease is the best of cures8B #ee /n )ussian and Fren!h $risons, ""-8 %48 Foucault= &is!ipline and $unish, 14"8 %-8 Foucault= &is!ipline and $unish, !!8 $J8 #tirner= The 'go= !%J8 $18 #ee 'ifft and #tevenson= AEumanistic 7riminology8B #ee also Larry L8 'ifft= A'he 7oming 3edefinitions of 7rime* An Anarchist Pers6ective=B in So!ial $ro#lems !%= no8 % 1A6ril 1- -2* "-!)%J!8 $!8 Foucault= A3evolutionary Action=B !!18 $"8 Foucault= A3evolutionary Action=B !!18 $%8 #tirner= The 'go= "%$8 $$8 Foucault* A'his form of 6ower a66lies itself to immediate everyday life which categorises the individual= marks him by his own individuality= attaches him to his own identity= im6oses a law of truth on him which he must and which others must recognise in him8 It is a form of 6ower which makes individuals sub@ects8B #ee A'he #ub@ect and Power=B !1!8 $.8 #tirner= The 'go= 14J8 $ 8 #ee >ancy Fraser= AFoucault on Modern PowerF Em6irical Insights and >ormative 7onfusions=B $ra8is /nternational 1= no8 " 11-412* ! !)!4 8 $48 Michel Foucault= AIs it Cseless to 3evoltDB $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism 4= no81 11-412* 1)-8 $-8 Foucault= A'he #ub@ect and Power=B !118 .J8 Foucault says* AMy 6oint is not that everything is bad= but that everything is dangerous8 8 8 8 If everything is dangerous= then we always have something to do8 #o my 6osition leads not to a6athy but to a hy6er) and 6essimistic activism8B #ee Michel

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power


Foucault= A/n the &enealogy of Ethics* An /verview of (ork in Progress=B in The Fou!ault )eader= "%J)" !8 .18 Foucault= AIs it Cseless to 3evoltDB 48 'his em6hasis on rights:6articularly individual rights:has some similarities with libertarian discourse8 Indeed= there is much in Foucault<s work which would suggest that if one were forced to find a 6olitical label for him= and for that matter 6erha6s= 6oststructuralist 6hiloso6hy generally= it would be libertarianism= or at least left libertarianism8 Eowever= one must be careful about reading too much into this because Foucault and #tirner re@ect the liberal categories of the essential individual and rationality which libertarianism is based on8 5ut if one were to look at some of the 6olitical im6lications of Foucault<s and #tirner<s ideas:their ethic of maximi,ing 6ersonal freedom and autonomy for instance:one could make a tenuous connection with libertarianism8 .!8 >ancy Fraser= Unruly $ra!ti!es $ower, &is!ourse and <ender 17ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press= 1-4-2= $.8 ."8 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, -$)-.8 .%8 Foucault= APower and #trategies=B 1%18 .$8 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, -$8 ..8 Foucault* Athere is indeed always something in the social body= in classes= grou6s and individuals themselves which in some sense esca6es relations of 6ower= something which is by no means a more or less docile or reactive 6rimal matter= but rather an inverse energy 8 8 8 a certain 6lebeian 9uality8B #ee APower and #trategies=B 1"48 . 8 Foucault= The -istory of Se8uality, 1$18 .48 Foucault= A>iet,sche= &enealogy= Eistory=B 4 8 .-8 Fraser= Unruly $ra!ti!es= .J8 J8 Foucault= AIs it Cseless to 3evoltDB $8 18 Foucault= APower and #trategies=B 1"48 !8 Foucault= AIs it Cseless to 3evoltDB $8 "8 Michel Foucault= AA Preface to 'ransgression=B in :anguage, *ounter67emory, $ra!ti!e, !-)$!8 %8 Foucault= AA Preface to 'ransgression=B "%8 $8 Foucault= AA Preface to 'ransgression=B "$8 .8 Foucault= A'he #ub@ect and Power=B !!18 Foucault believes that 6ower is only exercised u6on free sub@ects8 Power is action on action= and for 6ower to o6erate there must be a certain freedom with regard to the 6ossibilities of action o6en to us8 For Foucault= then= slavery is not a 6ower relationshi6 Awhen the man is in chains8B A'he #ub@ect and Power=B !!18 77. #tirner says about the French 3evolution* A'he craving for a 6articular freedom always includes the 6ur6ose of a new dominion8B #ee The 'go, 1.J8 Perha6s as #tirner argues= the idea of freedom should give way to ownness* ownness is based on a war model of relations= in which it is recogni,ed that all freedom is based on 6ower and must therefore be sei,ed by the individual8 /wnness allows one to invent one<s own forms of freedom through resistance8 48 For #tirner= ownness is the strategy of inventing one<s own forms of freedom8 Eis notion of rebellion= discussed in the 6revious cha6ter= is based on this strategy of freeing oneself from sub@ectification= from a 6ower which ties individuals to a fixed identity= and of reinventing one<s 6ersonal autonomy* Ainsurrection leads us no longer to let ourselves be arranged= but to arrange ourselves8B #ee The 'go, "1.8 -8 Foucault= A'he #ub@ect and Power=B !1.8 4J8 For exam6le the 6olitics of gay liberation would be no longer radical because homosexuality has been coloni,ed by 6ower and becomes a limit 6laced on the


7ha6ter Four

individual8 'his would account for Foucault<s interest in #0M as a transgressive 6ractice and sub@ectivity* it was a strategy that attem6ted to turn the tables on 6ower by erotici,ing it and by freeing the body from the limits of sex8 #ee ?on #imons= Fou!ault and the $oliti!al 1London* 3outledge= 1--$2= --)1JJ8 418 #ee 3einer #churmann= A/n 7onstituting /neself as an Anarchist #ub@ect=B in $ra8is /nternational .= no8 " 1/ctober 1-4.2* !-%)"1J8 4!8 Foucault* A;'he whole of society< is 6recisely that which should not be considered exce6t as something to be destroyed8B #ee A3evolutionary Action=B !""8 4"8 Foucault= A'he #ub@ect and Power=B !118

Foucault and the &enealogy of Power

Chapter Five

The -ar-Machine: &eleu6e and 2uattari

It was argued in the last cha6ter that Foucault tries to ex6lain the 6henomenon of resistance= yet cannot do so without revealing certain ambiguities in his thinking8 Following in #tirner<s wake= Foucault deterritorializes 6olitical thought= showing that resistance to 6ower must take 6lace within 6ower<s limits= and that there is no 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower8 In doing this= Foucault comes close to defining a non)essentialist 6olitics of resistance8 Eowever= in trying to 6rovide a 6ositive figure for resistance:A6lebs=B Abodies and 6leasuresB:Foucault falls victim to the very essentialism and foundationalism he was trying to esca6e8 Moreover= it was suggested that resistance to 6ower cannot be conce6tuali,ed without thinking in terms of an outside to 6ower8 Eowever= the notion of an outside is= as we have seen= 6roblematic for Foucault8 (hile his notion of 6lebs could be seen as an excess 6roduced by 6ower= but momentarily eluding and resisting it= Foucault is unclear on this 6oint8 And while he chooses to leave the 9uestion of resistance o6en= the reader may be forgiven for taking this gesture of theoretical o6enness as a 6oor excuse for leaving the 9uestion unanswered8 If= for Foucault= the study of resistance is vital for the study of 6ower itself= then it is too im6ortant a 6roblem to be left unattended8 &illes +eleu,e and Felix &uattari take u6 the 9uestion of resistance from where Foucault left it8 'hey seek to give more content to Foucault<s ambiguous idea of 6lebs= conceiving it in terms of either desire= or a war6ma!hine that resists state Aca6ture8B 'hese figures of resistance are made 6ossible by theori,ing an outside to state 6ower= an outside formulated through the image of war8 +eleu,e and &uattari resume the assault on the notion of 6lace through an analysis that em6hasi,es 6roduction and 6ower over essenceF flux and becoming over stasisF difference= 6luralism= and nondialectical antagonism over 6lace8 'herefore= +eleu,e and &uattari may be seen to be a66lying the war model of relations that I have 6erversely a66ro6riated from Eobbes and ex6anded through #tirner and Foucault8 'his cha6ter will examine +eleu,e and &uattari<s contribution to the 9uestion of 6lace:the 6lace of 6ower and the 6lace of resistance8 It will also consider their notion of desire as a figure of resistance* whether their idea of desire as constituting a revolutionary outside to 6ower is a reaffirmation of the essentialist 6olitics that +eleu,e and &uattari claim to re@ect8 +oes desire fall victim to the logic of 6ower= or is it the figure of resistance that has hitherto eluded usD


7ha6ter Five

The A(stract "tate

+eleu,e and &uattari<s work 6rovides us with a curious 6oint of com6arison with anarchism= 6articularly with regard to the 9uestion of the state8 Cnlike Foucault= they do not shy away from macro6olitical analyses8 3ather they colla6se the distinction between the micro and macro6olitical s6heres= seeing one as always referring to the other:seeing a transformation in one area as always having im6lications in others8 'hey argue that* A6olitics is simultaneously a ma!ropoliti!s and a mi!ropoliti!s8B"J. Like the anarchists then= +eleu,e and &uattari are inclined to make the state their target of criti9ue= seeing it as an abstract form which gives rise to minor dominations= giving them meaning and form8 'he state 6rovides Ageneral models of reali,ationB for the various dominations within society* Athe a66aratus of the #tate is a concrete assemblage which reali,es the machine of overcoding of a society8B"J For +eleu,e and &uattari= then= the state is an abstract form or model rather than a concrete institution= which essentially rules through more minute institutions and 6ractices of domination8 'he state AovercodesB these dominations= stam6ing them with its im6rint8 'herefore= the state has no essence itself= but is rather an Aassemblage=B or even a 6rocess of Aca6ture8B"J4 +eleu,e and &uattari<s notion of the Astate)formB is similar to the anarchist<s idea of the Aruling 6rinci6leB of the state* the state is a generic form= an abstraction= an idea which actuali,es itself in different forms throughout history8 Like the anarchists= +eleu,e and &uattari see the state as an Aabstract machineB that manifests itself in different forms and different regimes of signs8 Eowever= what is im6ortant about this abstract machine is not the form in which it a66ears= but rather its function8 In the same way= anarchists critici,ed Marxists for 6aying too much attention to the form of state 6ower:the liberal state= the workers< state:while neglecting its fundamental o6eration and function8"JFor +eleu,e and &uattari= moreover= there has always been a state:the Urstaat= the eternal state:which comes into existence fully formed8"1J +eleu,e and &uattari are ins6ired here by >iet,sche<s discussion of the origins of the state* a terrible= o66ressive a66aratus= im6osed from without by a Amaster raceB who Aa66ear as lightning a66ears= too terrible= too sudden= too convincing= too ;different< even to be hated8B"11 Moreover= they claim that this archaic state did not rise as a result of an agrarian mode of 6roduction= as Marx argued= but= in fact= 6redates= and is 6resu66osed= by this mode of 6roduction* AIt is not the #tate that 6resu66oses a mode of 6roductionF 9uite the o66osite= it is the #tate that makes 6roductions a ;mode8<B"1! 'hey see the state as an a66aratus or machine= a model of thought and organi,ation that over!odes economic flows= flows of 6roduction= organi,ing them into a mode8 /n this 6oint= then= +eleu,e and &uattari<s notion of the state is close to anarchism* the origins of the state cannot be attributed to the mode of 6roduction= as Marxists argue8 3ather it may work the other way around* the mode of 6roduction may in fact be derived from the state8 'he modern state= for +eleu,e and &uattari= however= is infinitely bound u6 with ca6italism* it 6rovides the models of reali,ation for the ca6italist axiomatic=

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


reterritoriali,ing the decoded flows released by ca6italism8"1" 'he state is seen= therefore= as 6art of the ca6italist machine* ca6ital and the state form a system of signifiers and axioms that become internali,ed within individuals as infinite debt8"1% 'hus= the Aholy #tateB and A&od)ca6italB become almost religious signifiers which individuals are subordinated to8"1$ 'he state= however= is continually dis6laced by ca6italist flows that reduce all social relations to commodity relations8 7a6ital= while it Adeterritoriali,esB desire by overthrowing traditional state)coded structures= simultaneously Areterritoriali,esB through the state= these flows of desire which= if unrestricted= 6resent a threat to it8 'he state= they argue= 6lays a fundamentally re6ressive role= holding in check the free flow of forces= thereby dissi6ating the 6otential for revolution8"1. For this reason= +eleu,e and &uattari= like the anarchists= see the state as something to be resisted8"1 Eowever this resistance must involve a re@ection of state 6hiloso6hies:discourses such as the social contract theory= which attem6t to legitimi,e the state= making it a66ear necessary and inevitable8 "14 7ertain forms of thought= for instance= have com6licity in the state= 6roviding it with a legitimate ground and consensus* A/nly thought is ca6able of inventing the fiction of a #tate that it is universal by right= of elevating the #tate to de @ure universality8B"1- 'hus= +eleu,e and &uattari= as well as the anarchists= discuss the way in which thought has com6licity in state domination8 Eowever= +eleu,e and &uattari take this analysis further than anarchism= looking at the way that the state has 6enetrated and AcodedB thought= in 6articular rational thought8 3ationality does not 6rovide= as it did with the anarchists= a 6oint of de6arture for resisting the state* the state actually de6ends u6on rational discourses for its legitimi,ation and functioning while= in turn= making these discourses 6ossible8 It is not @ust that these discourses seek to 6rovide a rational @ustification for the state:they are manifestations of the state form in thought8 3ational thought is state 6hiloso6hy* A7ommon sense= the unity of all the faculties at the center of the 7ogito= is the #tate consensus raised to the absolute8B"!J 'he state is immanent in thought= giving it ground= logos= 6roviding it with a model that defines its Agoal= 6aths= conduits= channels= organs8B"!1 According to this analysis= most 6olitical 6hiloso6hy:including even anarchism:based on a rational criti9ue of the state and a Manichean division between ArationalB society and AirrationalB 6ower= would be considered state 6hiloso6hy8 It leaves the 6lace of state 6ower intact by sub@ecting revolutionary action to rational in@unctions that channel it into state forms8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= if the state is to be overcome one must invent new lines of 6olitical action= new lines of flight that do not allow themselves to be reterritoriali,ed by rationality* A6olitics is active ex6erimentation since we do not know in advance which way a line is going to turn8B"!! It is clear that while anarchism constructed a theory of the state that was much broader than that of Marxism= +eleu,e and &uattari go beyond even this8 In a sense they turn their theory of the state back on anarchism itself8 'hey continue #tirner<s and Foucault<s reinscribing of the 6olitical= seeing as the state 6recisely the same discourses that the anarchists saw as o66osed to the state8 'hey have ex6anded the argument by further rendering= through their


7ha6ter Five

ex6ansive idea of 6ower and the state= anarchism<s uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture im6ossible8

&esire and Oedi us

If anarchism took little account of the com6licity of rationality in state domination= it also failed to recogni,e the link between desire and state 6ower8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= desire is not necessarily su66ressed by the state but= rather= used by it8 'his is similar= in many ways= to #tirner<s idea of the state* an abstraction with no real essence= whose domination is made 6ossible through our com6licity:through our desire for the state= for authority8"!" +eleu,e and &uattari argue that individuals can desire their own domination= @ust as they can desire freedom8"!% (hen we desire our own re6ression we are not necessarily falling victim to an ideological tra6= we are not suffering from false consciousness8 3ather= domination and re6ression are 6art of desire* A'o the 9uestion ;Eow can desire desire its own re6ression= how can it desire its slaveryD<= we re6ly that the 6owers which crush desire= or which sub@ugate it= themselves already form 6art of the assemblages of desire8B "!$ 'herefore 6olitical action against the state must take 6lace at the level of desire* we must rid ourselves of the desire for the state= the desire for our own domination8 If we do not do this= then the figure of the state will always haunt anti)authoritarian theory* resistance will always reinvent the state:it will always reaffirm the 6lace of 6ower8 'he 6olitical investment at the level of desire was a 6roblem the anarchists never counted on8 For anarchists there was always a division between the state and the desiring sub@ect8"!. Moreover= +eleu,e and &uattari argue= like Foucault= that the sub@ect itself is a fabrication= and that it is constructed in such a way that its desire becomes the desire for the state= the desire for its own domination8 'his has im6ortant im6lications for radical 6olitical theory* if 6ower o6erates at the level of individual and collective desire= then 6erha6s the Enlightenment)humanist 6ro@ect should be 9uestioned8 'he state= according to +eleu,e and &uattari= where it once o6erated through a massive re6ressive a66aratus= now no longer needs this:it functions through the self)domination of the sub@ect8 'he sub@ect becomes his own legislator* Athe more you obey the statements of dominant reality= the more you command as s6eaking sub@ect within mental reality= for finally you only obey yourself8 8 8 8 A new form of slavery has been invented= that of being a slave to oneself8B"! Modern 6ower has become individuali,ed* it functions in a similar manner to Foucault<s Pano6ticon= and #tirner<s sub@ectifying state8 (e have already seen this in the way in which the idea of self)sub@ection as the modern o6eration of 6ower has @eo6ardi,ed the 6lace of 6ower* 6ower no longer has a centrali,ed 6lace to which individuals are subordinated8 3ather we subordinate ourselves to signifying regimes all around us8 (hile +eleu,e and &uattari argue that these local sites of 6ower are still overcoded by the state<s abstract machine= their analysis of modern 6ower as self)sub@ection undermines the classical division:

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


which formed the basis of anarchism:between the 6lace of 6ower and the 6lace of resistance8 For +eleu,e and &uattari there can be no distinct 6lace of 6ower because 6ower= like desire= is involved in a multitude of instances= at every level of society8 >or can there be a distinct 6lace of resistance because we voluntarily submit to= and often desire= domination* thus the A6laceB of resistance is essentially unstable= and is always in danger of becoming 6art of the assemblage of 6ower8 3esistance= then= must be a Along labor which is aimed not merely against the #tate and the 6owers that be= but directly at ourselves8B"!4 In this modern signifying regime= desire is channeled to the state through our willing submission to oedi6al re6resentation and 6sychoanalysis8 /edi6us has become the new image of thought= the abstract machine of the state8 "!- It is a discourse that 6rovides a @ustification for the modern state= and the knowledge which allows it to function= in the same way that classical 6hiloso6hies= such as those based on the social contract theory= 6rovided the abstract machine for the state and church8 In fact +eleu,e and &uattari see 6sychoanalysis as the new church= the altar u6on which we sacrifice and sub@ect ourselves= no longer to &od but to /edi6usF 6sychoanalysts are Athe last 6riests8B""J Psychoanalysis 6oisons the modern consciousness= confining desire within the discourse of /edi6us8 /edi6al re6resentation does not re6ress desire as such= but rather constructs it in such a way that it believes itself to be re6ressed= to be based on a negativity= lack= and guilt8 According to +eleu,e and &uattari= A/edi6al desires are not at all re6ressed 8 8 8 /edi6al desires are the bait= the disfigured image by means of which re6ression catches desire in the tra68B""1 'hus= oedi6al re6ression is sim6ly the mask for the real domination of desire8 +esire is Are6ressedB in this way because unfettered it is a threat to state society8 In this way= +eleu,e and &uattari continue the 6oststructuralist criti9ue of human essence constituting a 6lace of de6arture outside 6ower8 7ertainly for +eleu,e and &uattari= desire is re6ressed= and this 6uts them at odds with Foucault who would argue that there is no desire as such to re6ress8 Eowever= the desire which they claim is re6ressed is not the desire of humanist discourses8 It is not human oedi6al desire which is re6ressedF on the contrary= they argue that this is actually a re6resentation of this very re6ression8 Psychoanalysis is a discourse that As6eaksB for the individual= for the unconscious= re6resenting its desires within the theater of /edi6us= thereby turning desire against itself8""! +esires are inter6reted as signifiers of the /edi6al unconscious= and it is through this 6rocess that desire is 6ulled into line= made safe= channeled into the state8 In 6sychoanalysis= then= according to +eleu,e* AAll real desire has already disa66eared* a code is 6ut in its 6lace= a symbolic overcoding of utterances= a fictitious sub@ect of enunciation who doesn<t give the 6atients a chance8B """ 'his criti9ue of re6resentation in 6sychoanalysis is similar to Foucault<s attack on various discourses:6olitical= medical= 6sychiatric= etc8:which attem6t to s6eak for the individual= ex6laining away and marginali,ing his wayward utterances= thereby controlling their subversive= un6redictable effects8""%


7ha6ter Five

*riti.ue of )epresentation
'his attack on re6resentation has im6lications for anarchism= which was= as 'odd May argues= essentially a criti9ue of 6olitical re6resentation8 ""$ For anarchists= 6olitical re6resentation:the relegation of 6ower from the masses to a few who 6ur6ort to s6eak for them:is a relationshi6 of domination8 'his was what the anarchists condemned in Marxism* the vanguardism of the 6arty that 6ur6orts to s6eak in the name of the massesF the 6rivileging of the industrial working class over other identities on the basis that it is the most Aclass consciousB and is= therefore= re6resentative of the rest of society8 For anarchists= as we have seen= this 6olitics of re6resentation led only to further domination and the 6er6etuation of the 6lace of 6ower8 Perha6s +eleu,e and &uattari<s criti9ue of /edi6us may be seen as an extension of this anarchist criti9ue of re6resentation into the realm of sub@ectivity itself8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= sub@ectivity= constructed through oedi6al desire= claims to re6resent desire= when in fact it im6risons it8 As we have seen with Foucault and #tirner= the human sub@ect is a fabrication constructed through the domination of the individual= through tying the individual to a fixed discursive identity that s6eaks for him8 'hus= anarchism<s re@ection of the 6olitics of re6resentation may be turned back u6on itself* the human sub@ect= the essential figure of anarchist discourse= is itself a re6resentative figure based on a dialectical negation of difference8 Its claim to re6resent wants= as6irations= and desires= is in fact a sub@ection of these8 'herefore= the 6oststructuralist interventions of +eleu,e and &uattari= as well as #tirner and Foucault= have taken the anarchist criti9ue of the 6olitics of re6resentation beyond its ontological limits8 +esire= for +eleu,e and &uattari= is not about lack8"". Like Foucault<s conce6tion of 6ower= desire= for +eleu,e and &uattari= is 6roductive and 6ositive. 3ather than desire being an effect of lack [of a lost ob@ect of desire] as Lacan would argue= lack is an effect of desire8 'his 6ositivity of desire= even in its negativity= goes back to >iet,sche<s in@unction of affirmation* it is better to will nothing than to not will at all8 It could also refer to #tirner<s idea of the ego as a !reative nothingness8 'he refusal to see the world in terms of negativity and lack is 6erha6s one of the central tenets of the 6oststructuralist criti9ue of 6lace I have been discussing8 'he language of negativity= they argue= is 6art of a dialectical analysis that seeks to efface difference and 6lurality by defining it in terms of lack of the #ame8 'hus= madness is seen as a lack of rationalityF criminality is seen as a deviation from= 6erversion of= lack of= normality8"" +esire= then= for +eleu,e and &uattari must be seen in terms of 6roduction: indeed= they call it Adesiring)6roduction8B +esire 6roduces the social= it 6roduces the flows of ca6ital= it even 6roduces the signifiers and forces that re6ress it8 It is a system of Aa)signifying signs with which fluxes of the unconscious are 6roduced in a social field8B""4 'he 6roductivity of desire has an enemy in the state and its forces which= +eleu,e and &uattari argue= Aform a gigantic enter6rise of anti 6roduction8B""'he oedi6al 6sychoanalytic structure is the main wea6on of Aanti) 6roductionB* its function is to channel the 6lural= 6olyvalent flows of 6roductive desire into the re6ressive schema of the state8 +esire is 6rofoundly social* it is

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


about flows and becomings= and forming connections and assemblages with other desires= with the social8 'his is why it is essentially and fundamentally revolutionary* Abecause it always wants more connections and assemblages8B "%J 'herefore= according to +eleu,e and &uattari* Ait is of vital im6ortance for a society to re6ress desire= and even to find something more efficient than re6ression= so that re6ression= hierarchy= ex6loitation= and servitude are themselves desired8B"%1 Eowever= /edi6us individuali,es this desire= cutting it off from its 6ossible connections= im6risoning it within the individual sub@ect8 In the same way= #tirner argues that the essential human sub@ect is a figure that im6risons the ego= trying to ca6ture its 6luralities and fluxes within a single conce6t8 'he /edi6al sub@ect= then= according to +eleu,e and &uattari= is a figure constructed in order to contain desire= and re6resent it in a way that contains and stultifies its threat to state society8 Its liberation is desire<s domination= in the same way that the emanci6ation of man= for #tirner= is concomitant with the further domination of the ego8 'his may be seen as 6art of the 6oststructuralist attack on the unity and the essentialism of Enlightenment sub@ectivity= central to anarchist 6hiloso6hy8

7a!hini! Su#He!tivity
#o for +eleu,e and &uattari= the essential human sub@ect is an effect of re6ression= as well as a 6lace of authority inextricably linked to the authority of the state8 'hey therefore try to dis6erse the sub@ect through a nomenology of machines= desiring ma!hines* AEverywhere it is machines:real ones= not figurative ones* machines driving other machines= machines being driven by other machines= with all the necessary cou6lings and connections8B"%! 'he su66osed essential unity of the sub@ect is thus broken down8 It becomes a series of flows= connections= and assemblages of heterogeneous 6arts of social and natural machines8"%" 'his breakdown is achieved through an association of organic and non)organic com6onents8 As individuals we 6lug into various social machines and= in doing so= we become com6onents of larger machines8 /ne cannot even think of the body as unified* we are com6osed of different 6arts that may function 9uite inde6endently8 'his is the schi,o6hrenic ex6erience of the body8 (hat is im6ortant is not the sub@ect or the various com6onents themselves= but rather what ha66ens between com6onents:connections and flows8 'he Asub@ectB is 6art of= or secondary to= these flows:flows of desire8 #ub@ectivity= for +eleu,e and &uattari= is not a 6lace= a stale 6oint of de6arture= but rather a 6rocess or a #e!oming8"%% 5ecoming is a 6rocess of evolution of two or more se6arate entities:a 6rocess of assemblage and connection8 #ub@ects are linked to the state through a series of lines= and if we are to resist this sub@ectification we must refuse who we are and become other8 'his in@unction to refuse one<s essential identity has been a leitmotif running throughout this 6oststructuralist criti9ue of 6lace* #tirner and Foucault= as well as +eleu,e and &uattari argue that becoming is a way of esca6ing sub@ectification8 +eleu,e and &uattari<s notion of sub@ectivity as becoming is similar to #tirner<s idea of the ego as= not an essence but= on the contrary= a flux that


7ha6ter Five

denies essence8 'he ego= for #tirner= is a radical em6tiness continually engaged in a 6rocess of change8 It is not an identifiable unity or 6lace= but rather a 6rocess= a multi6licity= a non6lace8 +eleu,e and &uattari have a similar notion which they refer to at various times as the A5ody without /rgansB [5w/]8"%$ 'he 5w/ is an anarchic dis6ersal of unity and organi,ation8 It is a smooth surface= a radical em6tiness= a non6lace= like #tirner<s ego8 It is a 6rocess of immanence and sheer movement= which 6roduces Alines of flightB:lines that refer to an outside8 Lines of flight may be understood through Foucault<s notion of transgression:an excess that esca6es 6ower only tem6orarily through its communication with an unstable outside8 'he 5w/ is a field of intensity and multi6licity in which essences and unities are broken down into flows8 5ecoming is the constant shifting of identities and assemblages with other identities= to the 6oint where the conce6t of identity is no longer ade9uate to describe it8 'he 5w/= like the ego= is a conce6t that allows one to esca6e= if only tem6orarily= state thought:thought im6risoned by unities= essences= and re6resentation8 It is a non6lace that allows thought and sub@ectivity to be freed from the im6risonment of 6lace8 'his machinic analysis of sub@ectivity im6lies a re@ection of the notion of the 6lace of resistance8 Place= whether it be the 6lace of 6ower or the 6lace of resistance= is characteri,ed by an essential unity or fixity= and this is 6recisely what is being challenged by +eleu,e and &uattari<s analysis8 'here can be no essential ground or 6lace of resistance= as the anarchists believed= because it is fundamentally unstable and may @ust as easily give rise to domination= as to resistance8 'here is no strict Manichean division= as there was in anarchist discourse= between the 6lace of resistance and the state as the 6lace of 6ower8 'he sub@ect= for +eleu,e and &uattari= is already im6licated in state domination= and the machinic flows that make u6 sub@ectivity can easily form connections with assemblages of 6ower8 'he essential human sub@ect= or even the human body itself= cannot serve as a ground for the criti9ue of 6ower because it has no unity= but is rather a volatile aggregate of different flows and forces8 It could be argued that +eleu,e and &uattari take the anarchist criti9ue of authority and a66ly it to the body itself= thus 6roducing an anarchism of the body8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= authoritarianism lies not only in the state= but also in the organi,ed= unified conce6tion of the human body and human sub@ectivity which is a 6roduct of state coding8 'he body= whose organic unity founded by natural laws was so central to anarchist discourse= is now a disorgani,ed= anarchic arrangement of 6arts and flows8

Non-Authoritarian Thou$ht
+eleu,e and &uattari<s work is an exercise in nonstate= non)authoritarian thought:thought Awithout a &eneralB as they call it8 'hey argue= like #tirner= that state authority exists as much in our thoughts and desires as it does in reality8 'herefore= it is only by freeing thought from its state coding that we can free ourselves from the state8 If we continue to think along authoritarian lines

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


then the state will be 6er6etuated8 Authoritarian thought is the 6lace of 6ower that must be resisted8 (hat must be attacked are these discourses and norms of knowledge and rationality that im6rison thought* Ait is the image of knowledge :as 6lace of truth= and truth as sanctioning answers or solutions for 9uestions and 6roblems which are su66osedly ;given8<B"%. 'hought must also resist meta6hor and re6resentation= which 6osit a dee6er truth or 6resence8 As +eleu,e and &uattari have argued= the re6resentative logic of 6sychoanalysis is a way of su66ressing= rather than ex6ressing= desire8 3e6resentative thinking is a domination of thought= in the same way that the anarchists argued that re6resentative 6olitics was a domination of the individual8 +eleu,e and &uattari have sim6ly dee6ened the anarchist criti9ue of re6resentation by attacking the norms of truth and rationality= the very discourses that the anarchists mobili,ed against 6olitical re6resentation8 In other words= the anarchists saw re6resentation as an ideological distortion of truth and rationality= while +eleu,e and &uattari see re6resentation as functioning 6recisely through these discourses8 3e6resentation is grounded in essentialist= foundational thought:it signifies an essential truth= a unity or 6lace8 'his foundationalist logic= +eleu,e and &uattari call Aarborescent thought8B"% It im6risons thought by tying it to a 6lace= a central unity= truth or essence that determines its growth and direction8 It is dialectical* thought must always unfold according to its binary logic and it is thus tra66ed within binary divisions: true0false= normal0abnormal= black0white= male0female= reason0unreason8"%4 For +eleu,e and &uattari= these are o66ressive hierarchies in which the false is subordinated to the true= in which unreason is subordinated to reason= etc8 #tirner and Foucault also engage in this attack on binary= dialectical thinking8 'hey argue that binary logic constructs norms that @udge and condemn difference8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= moreover= to see the world in terms of binary o66ositions is an exam6le of AreactiveB thinking* it is a way of su66ressing difference8

The )hizome
#o instead of this arborescent model of thought= +eleu,e and &uattari 6ro6ose a Arhi,omaticB model of thought= a model that eschews essences= unities= and binary logic= and embraces multi6licity= 6lurality= and becoming8 It may be seen as an anarchic model of thought8 Again by anar!hi! I do not mean anything 6ertaining to the essentialist and rationalist anarchism of 5akunin and Iro6otkin but= rather= something that disru6ts this very essentialism and rationalism8 Indeed= the rhizome is a model of thought that defies the very idea of a model* it is an endless= ha6ha,ard multi6licity of connections not dominated by a single center or 6lace= but rather decentrali,ed and 6lural8 It is thought characteri,ed by a radical o6enness to an outside8 It embraces four characteristics* connection= heterogeneity= multi6licity= and ru6ture8"%- 'he 6ur6ose of the rhi,ome is to allow thought Ato shake off its model= make its grass grow:even locally at the margins= im6erce6tibly8B"$J It is a form of thought that re@ects binary divisions and hierarchies= does not 6rivilege one thing over another= and is not governed by a single unfolding logic8 It thus


7ha6ter Five

9uestions abstractions which govern thought= which form the basis of various discourses of knowledge and rationality8 In other words= it is thought which defies the state8"$1 Like #tirner= +eleu,e and &uattari look for multi6licities and individual differences= rather than abstractions and unities8 Abstract generalities like truth= rationality= and human essence are images which= according to +eleu,e and &uattari= as well as #tirner= deny 6lurality and mutilate difference into sameness8 3hi,omatic thought allows these differences and multi6licities to function in a way that is un6redictable and volatile8 It releases molecular lines which make Afluxes of deterritoriali,ation shoot between the segments= fluxes which no longer belong to one or to the other= but which constitute an asymmetrical becoming of the two8B"$! It is in this way that the binari,ation of thought= which is the basis of essential identities= is disru6ted8 'he differences= ru6tures= and multi6le connections that characteri,e rhi,omatic thought have im6ortant im6lications for 6olitical 6hiloso6hy8 'he 6olitical arena can no longer be drawn u6 according to the old battle lines of the state and the human sub@ect8 'he Manichean division between the 6lace of 6ower and the 6lace of resistance that characteri,ed revolutionary 6hiloso6hies= 6articularly anarchism= can no longer o6erate here8 'his is because= according to rhi,omatic thinking= the line of revolution is ca6able of forming a multitude of connections= including connections with the very 6ower that it is 6resumed to o66ose8 +eleu,e and &uattari argue that* A'hese lines tie back to one another8 'hat is why one can never 6osit a dualism or a dichotomy= even in the rudimentary form of the good and the bad8B"$" 'he rhi,ome makes any kind of 6olitical action extremely un6redictable and volatile= ca6able of ru6turing into lines of flight or lines of authority= or both* ANou may make a ru6ture= draw a line of flight= yet there is still a danger that you will restratify everything= formations that restore 6ower to a signifier8B"$% 'o restore 6ower to the signifier is 6recisely what +eleu,e and &uattari suggest we avoid8 'hey try to free thought and language= through rhi,omatic thinking= from the dominance of the signifier= from the rational linguistic schema that they see as authoritarian8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= linguistics 6artici6ates in authoritarian or state thought and= therefore= in 6ractices of domination8 It does this by establishing a rational truth or essence of language= and this 6er6etuates the idea= the image= of a natural order of things that must be adhered to8 +eleu,e and &uattari show= then= that authority and domination exist not only in the a66aratus of the state and centrali,ed 6olitical institutionsF they are also 6revalent in thought= in images of thought= in linguistic structures= in words themselves8 #o it is not only the content of language that has 6olitical im6lications= it is the structure:the 6lace:of language itself8 Like the anarchists who were concerned not so much with the form of state 6ower= but rather its very structure= +eleu,e and &uattari are interested in the structure of thought and language8 Language= then= is 6olitical= and while it can 6artici6ate in 6olitical domination= it can also be used as a tool against it8 'he 6olitical domination involved in linguistics is masked= o6erating through re6resentation and signification8 'o counter this= +eleu,e and &uattari 6osit a A6ragmaticsB that

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


6laces language within a field where its relation to 6ower is clear8 According to the 6ragmatic analysis of language= utterances only have meaning in the context of 6ower relations= so that language becomes 6art of a 6olitical assemblage= not something abstracted from it8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= A6olitics works language from within8B"$$ It is by making this connection between language and 6olitics= and thereby making language a field of 6olitical contestations= that one can free language from essentialist structures and rational unities where the real domination lies8 Linguistics has thus been deterritoriali,ed by the 6oliticalF it can turn u6on itself and allow its dominant 6lace of unity and rationality to be challenged 6olitically8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= linguistics must become rhi,omatic* it must be allowed to form multi6le connections with fields traditionally viewed as being external to it8 5y seeing language as 6art of a 6olitical assemblage= it releases lines of flight which deterritoriali,e it= dis6lace it= and challenge the authoritarian conce6ts and images which have ca6tured it8 'he attem6t to use thought and language against itself in order to dis6lace it has been a feature of the 6oststructuralist criti9ue of 6lace8 #tirner for instance= contaminates and dis6laces the Eegelian dialectical structure by turning it u6on itself8 Ee uses the affirmation)negation logic of the dialectic when describing the develo6ment of man= but he cunningly subverts this by 6lacing at the AendB of the dialectical 6rocess= not rationality= but an arational o6enness or egoism= thus offering the 6ossibility of further contestation= rather than a culmination8 Foucault uses a genealogical analysis of various discourses to make these discourses shudder with horror at their own 6erniciousness* the in@ustices committed in the name of @ustice= the immoralities 6er6etrated in the name of morality8 Ee does not condemn these discourses from a 6lace of higher morality or @usticeF he merely uses these discourses to condemn themselves8 Moreover= he finds within various discourses certain muted voices of ru6ture which form lines of flight and excess= 6roduced by the dominant discourse but= at the same time= dis6lacing and resisting it8 (ith Foucault there is always the 6ossibility of esca6e= without there being an outside to esca6e to8

A Fi$ure of Resistance
The 3-ar-Machine4
+eleu,e and &uattari= on the other hand= do have a notion of an outside= an outside that Foucault only hinted at= but could not 6roclaim without being inconsistent8 Foucault calls for resistance to 6ower without 6roviding a 6ositive figure for this resistance8 Ee reali,ed this and suggested= halfheartedly= some notion of A6lebs=B which= I suggested= is inade9uate8 For +eleu,e and &uattari= this unwillingness or inability to 6ositively define resistance leaves o6en a ga6 that could be filled by reactive or even fascist figures8 "$. 'heir notion of the Awar)machineB may be seen as an attem6t to fill in this conce6tual ga68 'he


7ha6ter Five

war6ma!hine constitutes an outside to the state8 (hile the state is characteri,ed by interiority= the war)machine is characteri,ed by absolute exteriority8 Eowever= it must be understood that this notion of the outside is not essentialist like the anarchist notion of natural laws8 3ather= the war)machine is 6urely conce6tual* it is an image of thought= an idea without an ob@ect= a 6lane of consistency that allows one to conceive lines of flight from the state8 'hought= language= 6olitical action= and desire can all be AassemblagesB of the war) machine8 +eleu,e and &uattari<s war)machine could be seen as a more 6ositive a66lication of the war model of analysis that has been used against the notion of 6lace8 'he war model allows one to tear away the veil of essences and unities to reveal the struggle and antagonism behind identity* it is a non6lace formed by the absence of essence8 'he war)machine is a 6ositive reali,ation of this model of analysis8 It is a non6lace= a s6ace characteri,ed by 6luralities= multi6licities= difference= and becoming= which esca6es state coding because it eschews the binary structures of the state8 'he state is a conce6tual 6lace that is coded and striated* it confines flows and thought within arborescent= binary structures8 It claims universality= and it sub@ectifies those within its domain8 'he war) machine= on the other hand= is sheer nomadic movement= smooth= non)striated= and uncodedF a 6lace characteri,ed by its very inability to become a 6lace8 According to +eleu,e* A#tate 6ower does not rest on a war)machine= but on the exercise of binary machines which run through us and the abstract machine which overcodes us8 8 8 8 'he war)machine= on the other hand= is run though with woman)becomings= animal becomings= the becomings im6erce6tible of the warrior8B"$ 'he war)machine is= therefore= a social and conce6tual mode that wards off the state8"$4 In the same way= I am em6loying AwarB as a conce6tual tool that wards off 6lace8 'he origins of the war)machine are different from those of the state* AAs for the war)machine itself= it seems to be irreducible to the #tate a66aratus= to be outside its sovereignty and 6rior to its law* it comes from elsewhere8B "$- 'he state and the war)machine are always o66osed= but not in a binary= dialectical sense8 3ather the war)machine is the state<s exteriority* whatever esca6es the state<s ca6ture8 (hile certain functions of the war)machine can be a66ro6riated by the state in order to make war= the war)machine itself is always fundamentally different= fundamentally exterior8".J 'he war)machine is a non6lace= an absence of essence and central authority8 'he non6lace of war is essentially hostile to 6lace= to the unity and authority u6on which the state rests* A@ust as Eobbes saw clearly that the #tate was against war= so war is against the #tate and makes it im6ossible8B".1 'herefore +eleu,e and &uattari= as well as Foucault= and indeed #tirner= use a war model that em6hasi,es antagonism and struggle= to dismantle the notion of 6lace= which is the arrest and culmination of struggle8 It is a tool of resistance against 6ower and authority8 Eowever= it is not a 6lace of resistance= like the anarchist notion of a natural human essence8 (ar= for +eleu,e and &uattari= is not a state of nature* it is not essential8 3ather= it is a formation or assemblage= a mode that undermines essence8 It is a conce6tual mode= a way of thinking

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


which= by its rhi,omatic nature= is always o6en to reinter6retation and is therefore fundamentally 6recarious* it can always form connections with 6ower8 (ar can always be a66ro6riated by the state8 3esistance= for Foucault as well as +eleu,e and &uattari= is a dangerous enter6rise* it can always be coloni,ed by the 6ower it o66oses8 3esistance is no longer to be conceived in the anarchists< Manichean sense= as a revolution:an overthrow of 6ower from a 6oint uncontaminated by it8 3ather resistance is seen in terms of war* a field of multi6le struggles= strategies= locali,ed tactics= tem6orary setbacks= and betrayals:ongoing antagonism without the 6romise of a final victory8 As +eleu,e argues* Athe world and its #tates are no more masters of their 6lane than revolutionaries are condemned to a deformation of theirs8 Everything is 6layed in uncertain games8B".! 'he war)machine= then= with its shunning of essence and universalities= and its embracing of multi6licity= 6lurality= and o6enness= has become the figure of resistance for this 6oststructuralist assault on the 6lace8

Eowever= this notion of the war)machine is at odds with +eleu,e and &uattari<s other figure of resistance:desire8 (hile the war)machine re@ects essence= desire a66ears to have essentialist and meta6hysical connotations8 +eleu,e and &uattari see desire as a universal notion that has always existed8 'hey deny that desire is anthro6omor6hic and natural* they argue that it is !onstru!tivist rather than s6ontaneist8"." 'hey also argue that desire can desire its own re6ression8 Eowever= they still em6loy an essentialist notion of desire by claiming that it is fundamentally revolutionary8".% 'his la6ses into the Manichean logic of emanci6ation familiar to anarchism* on the one hand there is desire which is= in essence= revolutionary and life)affirming= and on the other hand there is state)coded society or the Asocius=B which attem6ts to ca6ture desire= restricting its flows and corru6ting it by re6resenting it as oedi6al desire8 Cnlike Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari argue that desire is actually re6ressed= only that this re6ression is masked by the construction of oedi6al re6ression8 'hey thus o66ose constructed oedi6al desire= in an ideological sense= to ArealB desire which forms a revolutionary outside to 6ower8 Foucault would argue= on the other hand= that there is no notion of desire that esca6es regimes of 6ower8 /ne might argue that +eleu,e and &uattari<s notion of desire is no more universal and essentialist than Foucault<s idea of 6ower8 'he difference is= however= that= for Foucault= 6ower does not exist outside the signifying regimes that give rise to it8 'he notion of 6ower that Foucault ex6lores has not always existed= while the notion of desire 6ro6ounded by +eleu,e and &uattari is universal and outside history8 +esire= for +eleu,e and &uattari= is an emanci6ative force that can rend the chains of history and destroy the regimes that try to re6ress it8 'heir notion of desire= then= while not necessarily grounded in human essence= is nevertheless meta6hysical8 As 5est and Iellner argue* A'hey [+eleu,e and &uattari] are committed to a meta6hysical conce6t of desire= claiming that desire is ;inherently revolutionary<= that it has a fundamental nature= essence= or intentionality which is to be creative and


7ha6ter Five

6roductive= rather than mani6ulated and re6ressed8B".$ (hile one can acce6t that +eleu,e and &uattari<s notion of desire is not anthro6omor6hic= it does= however= invoke essentialist ideas8 Perha6s= then= this notion of desire has succumbed= after all= to the logic of 6lace8 Maybe by 6ositing a notion of desire that is outside 6ower and inherently revolutionary= +eleu,e and &uattari have only ended u6 invoking an essential 6lace of resistance= the very notion which they sought to dis6el through rhi,omatic thought8 #o have +eleu,e and &uattari fallen into the tra6 of 6laceD Eas their universal notion of desire only reaffirmed the very authoritarian unities and essences that they sought to overthrowD It may be argued that there are two lines in +eleu,e and &uattari<s thought8 /ne is traced by the notion of desire= with its 6itfalls= which can only lead to the essentialist thinking that it has been the 6ur6ose of this analysis to try to esca6e8 'he other line is traced by the war) machine= by rhi,omatic thought= by the re@ection of essences and generalities8 'he latter line:the line of war:is the one most 6roductive for this analysis* it is the line of thought that attacks the logic of 6lace8 If= as +eleu,e and &uattari argue= we are to free ourselves from authoritarian structures= if we are to think beyond the state= then we must re@ect the binary= essentialist= and re6resentative= structures which im6rison thought8 (e must free thought from the logic of 6lace8 'he goal of 6olitical thinking= then= is to discover forms of resistance and thought which do not end u6 6er6etuating the 6lace of 6ower* Ais an organi,ation 6ossible which is not modeled on the a66aratus of the #tate= even to 6refigure the #tate to comeDB".. It is here that +eleu,e and &uattari<s conce6ts of the rhi,ome and the war)machine can be a66lied8 (hat is valuable= then= about +eleu,e and &uattari<s 6hiloso6hy is not the unwieldy notion of desire= but rather the new non)authoritarian ways of thinking they introduce8 'heir work= like that of Foucault and #tirner= is there to be used* it is a toolbox of ideas and conce6ts that can be used 6olitically8 3hi,omatic thought and the war)machine can be used to critici,e existing 6olitical categories= to ex6and the field of 6olitics beyond its 6resent limits8 +eleu,e and &uattari<s criti9ue of re6resentation and meta6hor in thought= 6articularly with regard to /edi6al thinking= can be a66lied= for instance= to a criti9ue of 6olitical re6resentation8 3hi,omatic thought gives one an awareness of the 6ossible connections that can be formed between resistance and the 6ower being resisted8 It has allowed one to esca6e the Manichean logic of revolutionary 6olitical theory= and to ex6and our thinking beyond these categories8 'he task of 6hiloso6hy= according to +eleu,e and &uattari= is to free thought from the authoritarian categories of the state= which it had hitherto been in the service of8 /ne must be able to think beyond the authoritarian logic of 6lace: beyond the 9uestion of what is to re6lace the 6ower one intends to overthrow8 3hi,omatic thought can 6rovide us with the conce6tual armory to free 6olitics from the blackmail of this eternal 9uestion8 'he re@ection of meta6hor= essentialism= and o66ositional logic for multi6licity= 6lurality= and connection allows us to rethink 6olitics in a way that avoids 6lace8 3esistance against domination begins with the re@ection of authoritarian thought= and this is where +eleu,e and &uattari<s ideas have value8 (hat must be eschewed is their

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


essentialist conce6tion of desire8 'his does not mean= though= that the notion of desire must be discarded altogether8 +esire still 6lays a role in this analysis= and it is im6ortant to recogni,e the link between desire and domination8 Eowever= desire itself must be sub@ected to a rhi,omatic= war analysis that would free it from the essentialism it is grounded in8 'he division= in other words= between Areal=B revolutionary= life)affirming desire= and the oedi6al desire which re6resses it= must be abandoned= otherwise one remains tra66ed within the logic of 6lace8 'he discussion so far has tried to find a non)essentialist figure of resistance= and it is suggested that= 6aradoxically= that this cannot be theori,ed without referring to an exteriority that somehow eludes 6ower8 #tirner= Foucault= and now +eleu,e and &uattari have all referred to it in some way8 'hus the shadowy figure of the /utside continues to haunt this analysis= 6resenting us with a 9uestion that has not= and 6erha6s cannot= be answered ade9uately within the 6oststructuralist argument* is a notion of an outside necessary for resistance and= if so= how can a notion of an outside to 6ower be formulated in a way which avoids reaffirming 6laceD 'his 9uestion of exteriority is ex6lored further in the next cha6ter= on +errida8

18 &illes +eleu,e and Felix &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus *apitalism and S!hizophrenia, trans. 58 Massumi 1London* Althone Press= 1-442= !1"8 !8 &illes +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B in &ialogues, eds8 &illes +eleu,e and 7laire Parnet= trans8 Eugh 'omlinson 1>ew Nork* 7olumbia Cniversity Press= 1-4 2= 1!%)1$"8 "8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus= %".)%" 8 %8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !!18 $8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus= %" 8 .8 >iet,sche= 1n the <enealogy of 7orals, 4.8 8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus= %!-8 48 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1!-8 -8 3onald 5ogue= &eleuze and <uattari 1London* 3outledge= 1-4-2= 1J18 1J8 5ogue= &eleuze and <uattari, 1J18 118 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus= "4.8 1!8 &iven the 6roximity of +eleu,e and &uattari to the anarchists on the 9uestion of the #tate= it is somewhat sur6rising that they do not mention anarchism8 'here is= however= a work that refers to anarchism in the context of +eleu,e and &uattari<s ideas8 #ee 3olando Pere,= 1n (%n)ar!hy and S!hizoanalysis 1>ew Nork* Autonomedia= 1--J28 1"8 Anarchists re@ect the @ustifications for the state 6ut forward by 3ousseau and Eobbes= as well as Eegel= who saw the state as the culmination of the develo6ment of 3ationality8 5akunin= for instance= re@ected the theory of the social contract as an ideology of the state* AAccording to this theory human society began only with the conclusion of the contract8 5ut what then is this societyD It is the 6ure and logical realisation of the contract 8 8 8 it is the #tate8B #ee $oliti!al $hilosophy, !J-8 1%8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, " $8 1$8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, " .8 1.8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, %"%8 1 8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1" 8


7ha6ter Five

148 #tirner= The 'go, "1!8 1-8 As Foucault says in his introduction to %nti61edipus= +eleu,e and &uattari have made us aware of the Afascism in us all= in our heads and in our everyday behaviour= the fascism that causes us to love 6ower= to desire the very thing that dominates and ex6loits us8B #ee Michel Foucault= APrefaceB to &illes +eleu,e and Felix &uattari= %nti61edipus *apitalism and S!hizophrenia 1>ew Nork* Oiking Press= 1- !28 !J8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1""8 !18 'he transgression of this division was hinted at by 5akunin when he s6oke of the A6ower 6rinci6leB as the lust for 6ower8 !!8 +eleu,e and &uattari, % Thousand $lateaus, 1.!8 !"8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1"48 #tirner<s idea of insurrection also called for strategies of resistance against ourselves* he argued that insurrection starts from Amen<s discontent with themselves=B and he saw insurrection as a way of freeing the self from the internalised authoritarianism that is concomitant with essential identities8 #ee The 'go, "1.8 !%8 &illes +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis* Analyse=B in &ialogues, )1!"= 448 !$8 +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B 418 !.8 +eleu,e and &uattari= %nti61edipus, 11.8 ! 8 +eleu,e= for exam6le= s6eaks of Alittle Eans=B a 6atient of Freud<s whose Aanimal) becomingB as a line of flight or esca6e becomes reterritoriali,ed through the /edi6al re6resentative schema into a desire for the father8 #ee +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B 4J8 !48 +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B 4J8 !-8 Indeed= as +eleu,e once said in an interview with Foucault= ANou were the first 8 8 8 to teach us something absolutely fundamental* the indignity of s6eaking for others8B #ee AIntellectuals and Power=B !J-8 "J8 May= The $oliti!al $hilosophy of $oststru!turalist %nar!hism, $J8 "18 ALackB is a term in Lacanian 6sychoanalysis= which refers to the ga6 between the individual and the ob@ect of his desire= a ga6 that nevertheless defines the identity of the sub@ect8 +eleu,e and &uattari argue that because Lacanian logic founds desire on this lack of the ob@ect= this constructs desire as negative and reactive= whereas= in fact= it is 6roductive8 Lacan<s logic of the lack will become crucial for my argument and will be discussed in subse9uent cha6ters8 "!8 Foucault says in his guide on how to live a Anon)fascistB life* A(ithdraw allegiance from the old categories of the >egative 1law= limit= castration= lack= lacuna2= which (estern thought has so long held sacred as a form of 6ower and an access to reality8 Prefer what is 6ositive and multi6le= difference over uniformity= flows over unities= mobile arrangements over systems8 5elieve that what is 6roductive is not sedentary but nomadic8B #ee 6reface to %nti61edipus. ""8 +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B 48 "%8 +eleu,e and &uattari= %nti61edipus, !"$8 "$8 +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B -8 ".8 +eleu,e and &uattari= %nti61edipus, 11.8 " 8 +eleu,e and &uattari= %nti61edipus, 18 "48 5ogue= &eleuze and <uattari, -%8 "-8 +eleu,e<s exam6le of the orchid and the was6 ex6lains becoming8 #ee &illes +eleu,e and 7laire Parnet= AA 7onversation* (hat is itD (hat is it forD=B in &ialogues, 1)""8 %J8 +eleu,e and &uattari= %nti61edipus, $48 %18 +eleu,e= AA 7onversation=B !%8 %!8 Its image of thought is the root and tree system* Atrees are not a meta6hor at all but an image of thought= a functioning= a whole a66aratus that is 6lanted in thought to make

'he (ar)Machine* +eleu,e and &uattari


it go in a straight line and 6roduce famous correct ideas8 'here are all kinds of characteristics in the tree* there is a 6oint of origin= seed or centreF it is a binary machine or 6rinci6le of dichotomy= which is 6er6etually divided and re6roduced branchings= its 6oints of aborescenceF 8 8 8 it has a future and a 6ast= roots and a 6eak= a whole history= an evolution= a develo6ment8 8 8 8 >ow there is no doubt that trees are 6lanted in our heads* the tree of life= the tree of knowledge= etc8 'he whole world demands roots8 Power is always arborescent8B #ee +eleu,e and Parnet= AA 7onversation=B !$8 %"8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1!48 %%8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, 8 %$8 +eleu,e and Parnet= AA 7onversation=B &ialogues= !%8 %.8 +eleu,e and &uattari argue that it is a thought which* Awould be defined in the movement of learning and not in the result of knowledge= and which would not leave it to anyone= to any Power= to ;6ose< 9uestions or to ;set< 6roblems8B #ee % Thousand $lateaus, !%8 % 8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1"18 %48 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, -8 %-8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, -8 $J8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, 4"8 $18 Paul Patton= A7once6tual Politics and the (ar)Machine in 7ille $lateau8,B Su#stan!e %%0%$ 11-4%2* .1) -8 $!8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1%18 $"8 +eleu,e and &uattari argue that 6rimitive societies em6loyed war as a mechanism for 6reventing the formation of distinct= centrali,ed organs of 6ower:in other words= the state8 #ee +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, "$ 8 $%8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, "$"8 $$8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, "$"8 $.8 +eleu,e and &uattari= % Thousand $lateaus, "$"8 $ 8 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1% 8 $48 +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B -.8 $-8 +eleu,e= A+ead Psychoanalysis=B 48 .J8 #teven 5est and +ouglas Iellner= $ostmodern Theory *riti!al /nterrogations 1London* Macmillan= 1--12= 1J.8 .18 +eleu,e= AMany Politics=B 1%$8


7ha6ter Five

Chapter Six

&errida and the &econstruction of Authorit)

'he last cha6ter showed the way in which +eleu,e and &uattari located the 6lace of 6ower in language and in the 6hiloso6hical structures which condition our reality8 'hey unmasked a hidden authoritarianism in meta6hysical notions such as essence and truth, which ground language and thought8 'hey tried to free 6hiloso6hy from these in@unctions by develo6ing a non)essentialist= rhi,omatic model of thought8 It is a non6lace characteri,ed by difference= 6lurality= flux= and even antagonismF a model of resistance to the authority of state governed thought= develo6ed through a war model or machine8 It was found= however= that although the rhi,ome and the war)machine are useful tools of anti)authoritarian thought= they are still ultimately insufficient in themselves for conce6tuali,ing resistance8 'his is because they do not ade9uately conce6tuali,e the outside to which they refer8 (hile more 6ositive= 6erha6s= than Foucault<s bodies and 6leasures and 6lebs= they still remain= in a sense= Atra66edB within a 6aradigm and a language of difference which renders them nothing more than lines of flight and esca6e= without an outside to esca6e to8 ?ac9ues +errida also tries to undermine structures of authority and hierarchy in 6hiloso6hy8 Ee em6loys a war model of writing to ex6ose the su66ressed antagonisms and differences within the western 6hiloso6hical discourse whose claims to universality= wholeness= and lucid self)reflection have been sounded since the time of Plato8 Eis criti9ue has im6ortant im6lications for 6olitical theory* his 9uestioning of the claims of 6hiloso6hy may be a66lied to the claims of 6olitical institutions and discourses that are founded u6on them8 Moreover= +errida<s discussion of the relation between meta6hysical structures of essence and 6resence= and the hierarchies and dominations they make 6ossible= as well as his criti9ue of o66ositional and binary thinking= allows his work to be read= along with that of #tirner= Foucault= and +eleu,e and &uattari= as an assault on the 6lace of 6ower8 Eowever= I will argue that the logic of deconstruction o6erates in a somewhat different way to the 6oststructuralist logic of dis6ersal8 'his difference in a66roach is crucial* it ex6oses the limits of 6oststructuralism argument from within those limits themselves= and in doing so= o6ens the way for the logic of anti)authoritarianism to advance beyond its self)im6osed confines8 +errida hel6s us to ex6lore= through the logic of deconstruction= the 6ossibility of strategies of resistance that refer to an exteriority= an outside to 6ower:a 6ossibility which 6oints to the limits of the 6oststructuralist argument8



7ha6ter #ix

A+econstructionB is the term most commonly associated with +errida and= while it is a widely misunderstood and misused term= it will nevertheless be used here to describe the general direction of +errida<s work8 7hristo6her >orris defines deconstruction as a series of moves that include* the dismantling of conce6tual o66ositions and hierarchical systems of thoughtF and an unmasking of aporias and moments of self)contradiction in 6hiloso6hy8". It might be said= then= that deconstruction is a way of reading texts:6hiloso6hical texts:with the intention of making these texts 9uestion themselves= forcing them to take account of their own contradictions= and ex6osing the antagonisms which they have ignored or re6ressed8 (hat deconstruction is not= however= is a 6hiloso6hical system8 +errida does not 9uestion one kind of 6hiloso6hy from the stand6oint of another= more com6lete= less contradictory system8 'his would be to fall into the tra6 of 6lace= to merely substitute one kind of authority for another:@ust as the anarchists substituted the authority of man for the authority of the state8 +errida= therefore= does not come from a 6oint of de6arture outside 6hiloso6hy8 'here is no essential 6lace of resistance outside the system8 3ather= +errida works within the discourse of western 6hiloso6hy itself= looking for hidden antagonisms that @eo6ardi,e it8 Moreover= his aim= as we will see= is not to destroy 6hiloso6hy= as has often been claimed8 /n the contrary= +errida<s criti9ue of 6hiloso6hy is itself fundamentally 6hiloso6hical8 5y o6ening 6hiloso6hical discourse to this 9uestioning= +errida is being faithful to the s6irit of 6hiloso6hy* un9uestioning and slavish adulation of 6hiloso6hy ultimately makes a mockery of it8 +econstruction is therefore a strategy of 9uestioning 6hiloso6hy<s claims to reflexive self)identity8 'his is what makes it im6ortant for our analysis* it forces us to 9uestion the 6urity of any identity of resistance8 +econstruction may be seen as a criti9ue of the authoritarian structures in 6hiloso6hy= in 6articular logo!entrism:that is 6hiloso6hy<s subordination= throughout its history= of writing to s6eech8 'his is an exam6le of what +errida calls the Ameta6hysics of 6resenceB in western 6hiloso6hy8 It is an indication of how much 6hiloso6hy is still grounded in the meta6hysical= and therefore= authoritarian= conce6ts which it claims to have transcended8 +errida 6oints to Plato<s $haedrus, in which writing is re@ected as a medium for conveying and recording truth* it is seen as an artifice= an invention which cannot be a substitute for the authenticity and the immediate 6resence of meaning associated with s6eech8 (here s6eech is seen as a means of a66roaching the truth because of its immediacy= writing is seen as a dangerous corru6tion of s6eech:a lesser form of s6eech that is destructive of memory= and susce6tible to deceit= to the 6erversion of truth8".4 +errida attacks this AlogocentricB thinking by 6ointing out certain contradictions within it8 +errida shows that Plato cannot re6resent s6eech exce6t through the meta6hor of writing= while at the same time denying that writing has any real efficacy as a medium at all8 ".- #6eech is= therefore= de6endent on the writing it excludes8 (riting is a supplement to s6eech:it is excluded by 6resence= but is= at the same time= necessary for the formation of its identity8

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


'he unmasking of this logic of Asu66lementarityB is one of the deconstructive moves em6loyed by +errida to resist the logocentrism in 6hiloso6hy8 It is im6ortant from the 6ers6ective of our argument to understand this logic* it will be used later on against the idea of an essential revolutionary identity8 #6eech claims to be a self)6resence immediate and authentic to itself= whereas writing is seen as a diminishing of this 6resence8 Eowever= +errida shows that this authenticity and 6urity of self)identity is always 9uestionable* it is always contaminated by what it tries to exclude8 According to this logic= then= no identity is ever com6lete or 6ure* it is constituted by that which threatens it8 +errida does not want to deny self)identity or 6resence8 Ee merely wants to indicate that this 6resence is never as 6ure as it claims to be8 It is always o6en to the other= and contaminated by it8 'his logic may be a66lied to the 9uestion of essence= and the 6lace of resistance in anarchist discourse8 I have already shown the way that 5akunin was forced to concede that human essence was not a com6lete identity* the desire for 6ower= which was the 6rinci6le threat to human sub@ectivity= formed an essential 6art of this identity8 Moreover= the 6oststructuralist thinkers discussed in the 6revious cha6ters have argued that discourses and 6ractices of 6ower are actually im6licated in the construction of human sub@ectivity:in the construction of the very identity which 6ower is said to be an enemy of8 Might it be said= then= that 6ower is the su66lement to human sub@ectivity= in the same way that writing is the su66lement to s6eechD Perha6s 6ower is something that both threatens= and is necessary for the constitution of= human identity8 'he identity of resistance is made highly 6roblematic if it is= in 6art= constituted by the very forces it 6rofesses to o66ose8 'his undermines= then= the idea of the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture= the 6lace of resistance to 6ower8

Criti*ue of ,ssential Identities

+errida<s criti9ue throws into doubt the 9uestion of human essence and whether it can continue to be the foundation for resistance to 6ower8 Like the 6revious 6oststructuralist arguments= +errida<s criti9ue of self)identity forces us to confront the fact that 6ower itself cannot be contained in stable identities: like the state= for instance8 3ather= 6ower is an identity that is always unstable= contingent= and diffuse8 #o not only does this deconstructive logic make the identity of the revolutionary sub@ect 6roblematic= it also undermines the identity of the 6ower it is said to o66ose8 Furthermore= +errida continues this criti9ue of essential identity by showing that not only is its 6urity 9uestionable= but also that it constitutes an authoritarian identity8 It establishes a series of hierarchical binary relationshi6s= in which one term is subordinated to another:+errida sees these as Aviolent hierarchies8B Logocentrism= as we have seen= establishes the hierarchical binary of s6eech0writing in which writing is subordinated to s6eech= re6resentation to 6resence8 Presence constitutes a form of textual authority that attem6ts to dominate and exclude its su66lement8 Eowever= this authority is shown to be


7ha6ter #ix

continually @eo6ardi,ed by the excluded su66lement because it is essential to the formation of the dominant term<s identity8 #tirner= in the same way= saw the un) man as a sort of excess or su66lement which @eo6ardi,es the identity of man8 'hese binary structures form a 6lace of 6ower in 6hiloso6hical discourse8 Moreover= as we have seen= they 6rovide the foundations for 6olitical domination8 Foucault argues= for instance= that 6hiloso6hy<s binary se6aration of reason0unreason is the basis for the domination and incarceration of the mad8 5inary structures in 6hiloso6hy 6er6etuate 6ractices and discourses of domination8 #o +errida may be seen as ex6anding the 6oststructuralist criti9ue of essential identity and the o66ositional thinking8 Eowever= +errida does not sim6ly want to invert the terms of these binaries so that the subordinated term becomes the 6rivileged term8 For instance= he does not want to 6ut writing in the 6lace of s6eech8 Inverting the terms of the binary leaves intact the hierarchical structure of the binary division8 #uch a strategy of revolution or inversion only reaffirms the 6lace of 6ower in the very attem6t to overthrow it8 (e have seen the way in which Marxism fell victim to this logic of 6lace by re6lacing the bourgeois state with the e9ually authoritarian workers< state8 (e have also seen the anarchists= in their attack on state 6ower= merely re6lace it with a new logic of 6ower and authority= this time based on human essence8 'his logic of 6lace has haunted 6olitical 6hiloso6hy8 +errida recogni,es the dangers of this tra6* A(hat must occur then is not merely a su66ression of all hierarchy= for an)archy only consolidates @ust as surely the established order of a meta6hysical hierarchyF nor is it a sim6le change or reversal in the terms of any given hierarchy8 3ather the Umdrehung must be a transformation of the hierarchical structure itself8B" J In other words= in order avoid the lure of 6lace= one must go beyond both the anarchic desire to destroy hierarchy= as well as the mere reversal of terms8 'his only reinscribes hierarchy in a different guise* in the case of anarchism= a humanist guise8 3ather= as +errida suggests= if one wants to avoid this tra6= then the hierarchical structure itself= its 6lace= must be transformed8

Te8tual %nar!hism
It could be argued= then= that +errida has an anarchism of his own= if by anar!hism one means a 9uestioning of all authority= including textual and 6hiloso6hical authority= as well as a desire to avoid the tra6 of re6roducing authority and hierarchy in one<s attem6t to critici,e it8 It is also clear that his criti9ue of meta6hysical authority and hierarchy has great im6lications for classical anarchism8 First= it undermines the essentialist categories on which anarchism is based= 9uestioning the 6urity and stability of these identities8 #econd= it shows that any criti9ue of 6ower= hierarchy= and authority cannot sim6ly be an outright re@ection of these terms8 'his sort of o66ositional thinking merely reaffirms the original terms8 3ather= as +errida might argue= 6olitical action must invoke a rethinking of resistance and authority in a way that traces a 6ath between these two terms= so that one does not merely reinvent the 6lace of 6ower8 +errida may be used in this argument as a su66lement to anarchism8 Eis criti9ue both challenges it= and yet= if anarchism were to take account of this

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


very criti9ue= then it could 6erha6s be greatly advanced8 5y showing that the identity of the anarchist sub@ect is actually constituted through its subordinated other:the 6ower that it claims to eschew:then anarchism would be forced to reflect on the authoritarian 6ossibilities within its own discourse= and develo6 a66ro6riate strategies of resistance to this8 'his deconstructive attem6t to transform the very structure of hierarchy and authority= to go beyond the binary o66osition= is also found in #tirner8 Ee argues= as we have seen= that the sacred cannot sim6ly be transgressed by affirming the sacrilegious= because this is to remain caught within the framework of the binary o66osition* even though it is a form of resistance= it is resistance according to the terms of the dominant 6osition8" 1 #acrilege therefore only reinscribes the sacred8 'he idea= then= is not to re6lace one term with another:but to dis6lace both terms of the hierarchy:to displa!e 6lace8" ! 'his strategy of dis6lacement= rather than re6lacement= ado6ted by +errida= 6rovides certain clues to develo6ing a non)essentialist theory of resistance8 3ather than reversing the terms of the binary o66osition= one should 6erha6s 9uestion= and make 6roblematic= its very structure8

The ,nd7s8 of Man: the %ro(lem of 0umanism

'he 6revalence of these binary structures indicates= according to +errida= how much 6hiloso6hy is still tied to meta6hysics* it is still dominated= in other words= by the 6lace of meta6hysics8 In the same way= one might argue that 6olitical theory is still dominated by the need for a 6lace= for some sort of essence that it has never had= and yet continually tries to reinvent8 'he demand for a self)identical essence in 6olitics and 6hiloso6hy would be= according to +errida= the residue of the category of the divine8 &od has not been com6letely usur6ed from 6hiloso6hy= as it has always been claimed8 &od has only been reinvented in the form of essence8 " " As much as we may claim the contrary= we have not ousted &od from 6hiloso6hy8 'he 6lace= the authority of the category of the divine remains intact= only reinscribed in the demand for 6resence8 A connection can be made here with #tirner who believes= as we have seen= that the humanist insurrection against theology was merely an inversion of terms= leaving the actual 6lace of the divine intact* man merely became the new &od= the new form of authority8 #o for +errida= and indeed for #tirner= the man of humanist discourse has been reinscribed in the 6lace of &od8" % 'his s6ecter of &od)Man has yet to be exorcised from our midst8 " $ +errida<s analysis is im6ortant here because it ex6oses the authoritarianism that still inhabits structures in thought8 Moreover= it shows that any kind of 6olitical resistance must first be aware of its own latent meta6hysical structures and= therefore= its own 6otential for domination8 +errida argues= then= that it is necessary to think the end of man= without thinking essence* a 6ro@ect that= I have already suggested= is extremely difficult8 In other words= one must try to a66roach the 6roblem of the end of man in a way that avoids the 6erilous tra6 of 6lace8 'he Enlightenment humanist 6roclamation


7ha6ter #ix

of the death of &od did not resound at all confidently for #tirner8 In the same way= 6hiloso6hy<s 6roclamation of the death of man does not entirely convince +errida8 Perha6s= then= Foucault<s sounding of the death knell of man:when he 6redicted that the figure of man would disa66ear like a face drawn in the sand at the edge of the sea:should be taken with a grain of salt8 'here is still= at least for +errida= the intransigent s6ecter of &od)Man)Essence that refuses to be exorcised* it remains as firmly entrenched in 6hiloso6hy= and indeed in 6olitics= as ever8" . Moreover= as +errida has argued= it is not 6ossible to destroy this 6lace8 Eeidegger= by 6ositing a 6re)ontological 5eing to overcome meta6hysics= has remained only more faithful to the meta6hysical tradition8" 'his strategy of absolute re@ection never works* it merely reinvents it in another form8 It constructs the dubious binary of authority)6ower0revolution= in which revolution is 6otentially the new form of 6ower8 'his was found to be the case with anarchism8 Eowever= have Foucault= and +eleu,e and &uattari= fallen into the same tra6D (hile they have not constructed absolute o66ositions between resistance and 6ower 1they are very em6hatic about this2= they have 6erha6s attacked humanism a little too violently= and= in doing so= have been forced into 6ositing an essentialist or meta6hysical figures of resistance which= in the context of their work= is 6roblematic8 It could be argued that Foucault<s dis6ersal of the sub@ect into sites of 6ower and discourse= and +eleu,e and &uattari<s fragmentation of the sub@ect into an anarchic and ha6ha,ard language of machines= 6arts= and flows= are o6erations which deny radical 6olitics of a 6oint of de6arture8 'his has left a theoretical void which= as we have seen= could only be filled by essentialist conce6ts= such as desire and bodies and 6leasures8 #o maybe= in other words= in their re@ection humanism= 6erha6s Foucault= and +eleu,e and &uattari have= 6aradoxically= denied themselves the 6ossibility of non) essentialist forms of resistance8 In this way= +errida 6oints to the limits of the 6oststructuralist argument8 Ee forces us to ask why we have not been able to develo6= through the logic of 6oststructuralism= non)essentialist theories of resistance= seeing that 6oststructuralism may itself be seen as a form of resistance against essentialism8 Perha6s we have been too hasty in re@oicing at the end of man:has it forced us into a theoretical void= a 6olitical dead)endD It is here= then= that +errida can be seen as de6arting from the 6oststructuralist re@ection of the 6roblematic of man8

The T!o Tem tations of Anti-Authoritarian %olitics

+errida allows us to reevaluate the 6roblem of humanism8 Ee describes two 6ossible ways dealing with the 6roblem of 6lace in 6hiloso6hy:the two tem6tations of deconstruction8 'he first strategy*
'o attem6t an exit and a deconstruction without changing terrain= by re6eating what is im6licit in the founding conce6ts and the original 6roblematic= by using against the edifice the instruments or stones available in the house= that is=

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


e9ually= in language8 Eere= one risks ceaselessly confirming= consolidating= relifting (relever), at an always more certain de6th= that which one allegedly deconstructs8 'he continuous 6rocess of making ex6licit= moving toward an o6ening= risks sinking into the autism of the closure8" 4

#o this strategy of working within the discourse of Enlightenment humanist meta6hysics= using its terms and language= risks reaffirming and consolidating the structure= the 6lace= that one is trying to o66ose8 +errida is talking here about Eeidegger<s criti9ue of humanism= which= he argues= involved a re6lacement of man with the e9ually essentialist and meta6hysical 5eing8 Eowever= in terms of my argument= 6erha6s we could say that= in a 6erverse kind of way= this is also the strategy ado6ted by the anarchists8 Anarchism tried to 6resent a criti9ue of 6olitical 6ower using the language of Enlightenment humanism8 It was found= however= that this was ultimately self)defeating8 As #tirner showed= 6ower and authority are tied to the very humanist discourses and essentialist categories that were used by the anarchists to critici,e it8 5y remaining within the e6istemological and ontological framework of Enlightenment humanism= anarchism tra66ed itself within the confines of its own criti9ue8 As it accused Marxism of doing= anarchism itself merely challenged the form of authority= but not its 6lace8 In other words= due to the logic of this strategy= anarchism only reaffirmed the 6lace of 6ower8 'he second strategy= according to +errida= is*
'o decide to change terrain= in a discontinuous and irru6tive fashion= by brutally 6lacing oneself outside= and by affirming an absolute break or difference8 (ithout mentioning all the other forms of trompe6lKoeil 6ers6ective in which such a dis6lacement can be caught= thereby inhabiting more naively and strictly than ever the inside one declares one has deserted= the sim6le 6ractice of language ceaselessly reinstates the new terrain on the oldest ground8" -

'his alternative move of making an absolute break with the discourse of humanist meta6hysics= of seeking an outside to which one can esca6e= and from which one can resist authority= may be seen to re6resent the logic of 6oststructuralism8"4J As I suggested before= Foucault= and +eleu,e and &uattari may be seen to be making an absolute break with humanism:smashing the sub@ect into fragments and effects of discourses= machines= desires= and 6ractices= etc8 C6 until now the anti)authoritarian 6rogram has followed this logic= but if we take into account +errida<s argument here= 6erha6s we should at least 9uestion it8 Paradoxically= it has the same effect as the first strategy* by attem6ting a com6lete change of terrain:through lines of flight= for instance: one only reaffirms one<s 6lace within the old terrain8 'he more one tries to esca6e the dominant 6aradigm= the more one finds oneself frustratingly within it8 As we have seen= Foucault= and +eleu,e and &uattari have often ended u6 resorting to essentialist categories to ex6lain resistance8 'his is because= in its overhasty re@ection of humanism and the sub@ect= 6oststructuralism has denied


7ha6ter #ix

itself a 6oint of de6arture for theori,ing resistance8 It has left itself a theoretical vacuum= an em6ty 6lace= which can be filled only by essentialist conce6ts8 In other words= as +errida would argue= this strategy also risks reaffirming 6lace8 +errida argues that deconstruction:and for that matter= any form of resistance against authority:is always caught between the #cylla and 7harybdis of these two 6ossible strategies= and must therefore navigate a course between them8 'hese two strategies of deconstruction skewer 6olitical theory* they are the two 6ossible 6aths confronting anti)authoritarian thought and action8 'hey are both dominated by the threat of 6lace8

?eyond $oststru!turalismE
+errida can 6erha6s show us a way out of this theoretical abyss8 'here may be a way of combining these two seemingly irreconcilable 6aths in a way that allows anti)authoritarian thought to advance8 3ather than choosing one strategy over another= +errida believes that we must follow the two 6aths simultaneously8"41 (e must find a way of combining or AweavingB these two 6ossible moves= thereby transcending them8 For instance= as Alan #chrift argues= +errida does not com6letely dis6ense with the category of the sub@ect: rather he seeks to dis6lace and reevaluate it8"4! 3ather than think in terms of the end of man= as Foucault does= +errida refers to the AclosureB of man in meta6hysics8"4" 'he difference is that= for +errida= man will not be com6letely transcended but= rather= reevaluated= 6erha6s in terms of >iet,sche<s Ahigher man8B"4% For +errida= the authority= the 6lace= of man will be decentered within language= but the sub@ect will not be discarded altogether8 It is not clear that there is an enormous difference between the two 6ositions8 Eowever= +errida<s refusal to dis6ense with the sub@ect does 6oint to a number of interesting 6ossibilities for anti)authoritarian thought* 6erha6s the category of the sub@ect can be retained as a decentered= non)essentialist category= existing as its own limit= thus 6roviding a 6oint a de6arture for theori,ing resistance8 'his idea will be develo6ed further when I discuss Lacan in the next cha6ter8 Eowever it is clear already that +errida is ex6osing certain limitations with the 6oststructuralist argument* by dis6ensing with the sub@ect altogether= and by not being able to 6rovide ade9uate figures of resistance in its 6lace= Foucault and +eleu,e and &uattari have= des6ite their contribution to the criti9ue of essentialist discourse= 6erha6s only reaffirmed essentialist categories in their very attem6t to dismiss them8 5y discarding man so hastily= they have 6erha6s neglected the 6ossibility of his reemergence in another form8 #o +errida<s criti9ue goes to the heart of the anti)authoritarian 6roblematic* it goes beyond the limits= or at least= works at the limits of the 6oststructuralist argument: thereby 6ointing to a beyond8 Ee suggests= for instance= that the motif of difference is inade9uate:while it claims to eschew essence= 6erha6s it only allows another essence to be formed in its 6lace8

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


+econstruction tries to account for the su66ressed= hidden differences and heterogeneities in 6hiloso6hical discourse* the muffled= half)stifled murmurs of disunity and antagonism8 It might be argued that +errida em6loys a war model as a mode of analysis that breaks down unities and essences= unmasking the su66ressed heterogeneities= antagonisms= and absences= behind the facade of totality8 +errida calls this strategy AdifferanceB:differen!e s6elled with an AaB:in order to signify that it is not an absolute= essential difference8 It is rather a difference= or movement of differences whose identity is always unstable= never absolute8"4$ 5ecause differan!e does not constitute itself as an essential identity of difference= because it remains o6en to contingency= thereby undermining fixed identities= it may be seen as a tool of anti)authoritarian thought* AIt governs nothing= reigns over nothing= and nowhere exercises any authority 8 8 8 >ot only is there no kingdom of differance= but differance instigates the subversion of every kingdom8B"4. 'his warlike series of differences has a AstructureB or= as 3odol6he &aschG says= an Ainfrastructure8B"4 'he infrastructure is a weave= an unordered combination of differences and antagonisms8 It is= as +errida says= a Acombat ,one between 6hiloso6hy and its other8B"44 It is a system= moreover= whose very nature is that of a nonsystem* the differences that constitute it are not dissolved by the infrastructure= nor are they ordered into a dialectical framework in which their differences become only a binary relation of o66osites8"4- 'his is a AsystemB of nondialectical= nonbinary differences* it threads together differences and antagonisms in a way that does not order or efface them8 Infrastructures are not essentialist* their very essence is that of a non)essence8 "-J It does not have a stable or autonomous identity= nor is it governed by an ordering 6rinci6le or authority8 It is a A6laceB that eschews essence= authority= and centrality8 Its structural inability to establish a stable identity:is a threat to 6lace= to the authority of identity8 As +errida argues then* A'here is no essence of the differanceF not only can it not allow itself to be taken u6 into the as su!h of its name or its a66earing= but it threatens the authority of the as su!h in general= the thing<s 6resence in its essence8B"-1 It is here also 6erha6s that +errida goes beyond the 6oststructuralist argument8 (hile he em6loys a war model of difference= like Foucault= and like +eleu,e and &uattari= he uses it in a slightly different way* differance refers back to some sort of AstructureB or infrastru!ture= some sort of unity constructed on the basis of its own disunity= constituted through its own limits8 >ow because 6oststructuralism lacks this idea of an AinfrastructureB of difference which remains structurally o6en:even to the 6ossibilities of the #ame:it could be seen as essentiali,ing difference8 #o= 6aradoxically= maybe it is 6recisely because 6oststructuralism lacks a structure or A6lace=B in the way that +errida 6rovides= that it falls back into a 6lace:a 6lace constituted by essentialist ideas8 +errida<s argument is 6ointing to the need for some kind of 6oint of de6arture:not the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture of anarchist


7ha6ter #ix

discourse:but rather a 6oint of de6arture constructed through the logic of su66lementarity= and based on its own Acontaminatedness8B 'he infrastructure= then= may be used as a tool of anti)authoritarian thought* it is a model which= by its own structural absence of 6lace= by its own lack of essence= undermines from within various structures of textual authority8 At its center is an absence= a lack8 It is AgovernedB by a 6rinci6le of unde!ida#ility* it neither affirms identity or nonidentity= but remains in a state of undecidability between the two8 'he infrastructure is a way of theori,ing difference:the difference= or series of differences which makes the formation of stable= unified identities in 6hiloso6hy im6ossible8 It is also a model that allows thinking to transcend the binary structures that limit it8 #o the aim of this strategy is not to destroy identity or 6resence8 It is not to affirm difference over identity= absence over 6resence8 'his would be= as I have suggested= falling once again into the tra6 of 6lace* it would be to reverse the established order= only to establish a new order8 +ifference would become a new identity= and absence a new 6resence8 'he aim of war:my notion of war= at any rate:is not to seek the founding of a new order= but rather the dis6lacement of all orders:including its own8 Moreover= the undecidable nature of this war model derived from +errida :its state of undecidability between difference and the same= essence and non) essence= 6resence and absence= authority and anarchy= etc8:traces the general 6ath of deconstruction8 'he war model of deconstruction refuses to be circumscribed by these o66ositional structures which inform much radical 6olitical theory= including anarchism* it affirms neither one side nor the other= but combines and= therefore= transcends them8 For instance= it affirms neither essence nor non)essence= but goes beyond these o66osing terms and= in doing so= reevaluates them* it does not re@ect essence= but rather constructs its essence as a non)essence8

The Undecida(le Outside

+errida argues that the strategy of deconstruction cannot work entirely within the structures of logocentric 6hiloso6hyF nor can it work com6letely outside it8 3ather= it traces a 6ath of undecidability between the two 6ositions or Aterrains8B In this way it might be argued that deconstruction avoids the tra6 of 6lace* it establishes neither a 6lace of 6ower= nor a 6lace of resistance:which= as I have suggested= are two sides of the same logic of domination:but= rather= constructs a 6ath between them= disru6ting the identity of both terms8 It works from within the discourse and meta6hysical structures of 6hiloso6hy to find an outside8 It is neither inside nor outside 6hiloso6hy= but rather o6erates at the limits of 6hiloso6hical discourse8"-! +econstruction cannot attem6t an immediate neutrali,ation of 6hiloso6hy<s authoritarian structures8 3ather= it must 6roceed through a strategy of dis6lacement:what +errida calls a Adouble writing=B which is a form of criti9ue neither strictly inside= nor strictly outside= 6hiloso6hy8 It is a strategy of continually interrogating the self)6roclaimed closure of this discourse8 It does this by forcing it to account for the excess that

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


always esca6es and= thus= makes 6roblematic= this closure8 For +errida= this excess has nowhere to esca6e to* it does not constitute a 6lace of resistance and= once it esca6es= it disintegrates8 'his excess= moreover= is 6roduced by the structures it threatens* it is a su66lement= a necessary but= at the same time= dangerous and wayward 6art of the dominant structure8 'his excess which deconstruction tries to identify= confronts 6hiloso6hy with a limit to its limitlessness= a limit to its closure8 'his 6roclaimed totality of 6hiloso6hy= this limitlessness= is= at the same time= a limit itself8 Eowever= its com6lete closure to what threatens it is im6ossible because= as deconstruction has shown= the thing that it attem6ts to exclude is essential to its identity8 'here is a strange logic at work here= a logic which continually im6edes 6hiloso6hy<s as6iration to be a closed= com6lete system8 +econstruction unmasks this logic= this limit of the limit8 'he limits that +errida identifies are 6roduced within the tradition of 6hiloso6hy:they are not im6osed from a nihilistic= irrational outside8 As +errida says* A'he movements of deconstruction do not destroy structures from outside8 'hey are not 6ossible and effective= nor can they take accurate aim= exce6t by inhabiting those structures8B"-" 'his 6ositioning of limits is im6ortant here because it 6oints= 6erha6s= to the 6ossibility of an outside:an outside of resistance:on the inside8 'o 6osition oneself entirely on the outside of any structure as a form of resistance is only to reaffirm= in a reversed way= what one resists8 'his idea= however= of an outside created by the limits of the inside may allow us to conceive of a 6olitics of resistance which does not restore the 6lace of 6ower8 #o not only does +errida suggest a way of theori,ing difference without falling back into essentialism:something which 6oints to the limits of the 6oststructuralism:he also 6oints to the 6ossibility of an outside: something that 6oststructuralist argument could not do convincingly8 #o this limit= this im6ossibility of closure is 6erha6s= at the same time= the constitution of a 6ossible outside:an outside constructed from the limitations and contradictions of the inside8 'hese contradictions make closure im6ossibleF they o6en 6hiloso6hical discourse to an other8 'his is a radi!al outsideF it is not 6art of the binary structure of inside0outside8 Cnlike the anarchist 6lace of resistance located in essential human sub@ectivity= the outside located by deconstruction has no stable identity8 It is not clearly divided from the Inside by an inexorable line* its AlineB is continually reinter6reted= @eo6ardi,ed= and constructed= as we shall see= by relations of antagonism8 It is a finite and tem6orary outside8 Moreover= it is an outside that obeys a strange logic* it exists only in relation to the inside it threatens= while the inside exists only in relation to it8 Each is necessary for the constitution of the identity of the other= while at the same time threatening the identity of the other8 It is therefore an outside that avoids the two tem6tations of deconstruction* on the one hand= it is an outside that threatens the insideF on the other hand= it is an outside formulated from the inside8 +errida makes it clear that it cannot be seen as an absolute outside= as this would only reconsolidate the inside that it o66oses8 'he more one tries to esca6e to an absolute outside= the more one finds oneself obstinately on the Ainside8B As +errida says* Athe ;logic< of every relation to the outside is very


7ha6ter #ix

com6lex and sur6rising8 It is 6recisely the force and the efficiency of the system that regularly changes transgressions into ;false exits8<B"-% Csing +errida<s argument here= we can 6erha6s say that the 6oststructuralists discussed have found only Afalse exitsB:because they have not= and 6erha6s cannot within the confines of their argument= ade9uately theori,e the outside to which they im6licitly refer8 (ithout this= as I suggested= they leave a theoretical void= which can only be filled by essentialist ideas= which are 6roblematic within the limits of their argument8 'heir transgression of essence= unity= and 6lace has led only to the 6ossibility of their reemergence8 An absolute break= such as that made within 6oststructuralism= is only a reaffirmation of the AsystemB one wishes to esca6e8 'ransgression= as +errida argues then= can only be finite= and it cannot establish a 6ermanent outside* Aby means of the work done on one side and the other of the limit the field inside is modified= and a transgression is 6roduced that conse9uently is nowhere 6resent as a fait a!!ompli8 /ne is never installed within transgression= one never lives elsewhere8B"-$ +econstruction may be seen as a form of transgression that= in transgressing the limits of meta6hysics= also transgresses itself8"-. It affirms nothing= does not come from an o66ositional outside= and dissi6ates u6on crossing this limit8 It ex6oses the limits of a text by tracing the re6ressed absences and discontinuities within the text:the excess that the text fails to contain8"- In this sense it is transgressive8 Eowever= it is also a self)effacing movement:a transgression that cancels itself out8 +econstruction neither affirms= nor destroys= the limit it AcrossesB* rather it reevaluates it= reinscribing it as a 6roblem= a .uestion8 'his uncertainty as to the limits of transgression is the closest +errida comes to the outside8 It remains to be seen whether it has been ade9uately theori,ed8

An ,thics of Im urit)
'his undecidable outside is= for +errida= ethical8 Philoso6hy has been o6ened to what it excludes= to its other8 'his forcing of 6hiloso6hy to confront its own structures of exclusion and re6ression= is a thoroughly ethical gesture8 +errida is influenced here by Emmanuel Levinas= who tries to think the limits of the Eegelian tradition by showing the 6oint at which it encounters the violence of an outside= of an alterity that is ethical in its exclusion and singularity8"-4 +econstruction may be seen= therefore= as an ethical strategy that o6ens 6hiloso6hy to the other like Foucault<s notion of resistance= deconstruction tries to ste6= if only for an instant= beyond the confines of reason and historical necessity8 'his Aste66ing beyondB constitutes an ethical dimension:an ethi!s of alterity8 +errida writes*
'o ;deconstruct< 6hiloso6hy= thus= would be to think:in a most faithful= interior way:the structured genealogy of 6hiloso6hy<s conce6ts= but at the same time to determine:from a certain exterior that is un9ualifiable or unnameable by 6hiloso6hy:what this history has been able to dissimulate or

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


forbid= making itself into a history by means of this somewhere motivated re6ression8"--

'his 9uestioning of 6hiloso6hy does not lead to the moral nihilism that deconstruction has often been accused of 6romoting8 As ?ohn 7a6uto argues= deconstruction is a strategy of res6onsibility to the excluded other8 Cnlike hermeneutics= which tries to assimilate difference into the order of the same= of 5eing= deconstruction tries to o6en a s6ace for difference8 +errida<s is= therefore= a responsi#le anar!hy= not an irres6onsible anarchy as some have claimed8%JJ +econstruction= then= is by no means a re@ection of ethics= even when it 9uestions moral 6hiloso6hy* rather= it is a reevaluation of ethics8 %J1 It shows us that moral 6rinci6les cannot be absolute or 6ure* they are always contaminated by what they try to exclude8 &ood is always contaminated by evil= reason by unreason8 (hat +errida 9uestions= like #tirner and Foucault= is the ethi!s of morality if morality becomes an absolute discourse= then can it still be considered moral or ethicalD +econstruction allows us to o6en the realm of ethics to reinter6retation and difference= and this o6ening is itself ethical8 It is an ethics of im6urity8 If morality is always contaminated by its other:if it is never 6ure:then every moral @udgment or decision is necessarily undecidable8 Moral @udgment must always be self)9uestioning and cautious because its foundations are not absolute8 Cnlike anarchist moral 6hiloso6hy= grounded u6on the firm foundations of human essence= deconstructive anti)authoritarian ethics has no such 6rivileged 6lace and= therefore= en@oys no such self)assurance8

La!9 Authorit)9 and :ustice

'his undecidability of decision and @udgment= which is the necessary outcome of a deconstructive criti9ue= has im6lications for 6olitical discourses and institutions= 6articularly the institution of law8 +errida argues that the authority of law is 9uestionable and= to a certain extent= illegitimate8 'his is because the authority that su66osedly grounds law= is only legitimi,ed once the law is instituted8 'hat means that the authority u6on which law is established is= strictly s6eaking= nonlegal= because it had to exist 6rior to law8 'herefore= the originary act of instituting law is an illegitimacy= a violence8%J! Anarchism would em6loy a similar criti9ue of law= arguing that it has no moral authority8 Eowever= unlike the anarchists who critici,e AartificialB law from the 6ers6ective of what they consider to be a morally su6erior AnaturalB system of law= +errida allows no such 6rivileged stand6oint8 Csing a deconstructive logic= then= one could argue that the so)called natural law that anarchists use as a 6ure 6oint of de6arture= is= in actual fact= not so 6ure* its identity is contaminated by the 6olitical authority it is @uxta6osed to8 #o= in the same way that writing is the su66lement to s6eech in +errida<s analysis= 6erha6s the artificial law that anarchists o66ose to natural law= can be seen as a su66lement to this natural law:that which contaminates its identity by making the constitution of this identity 6ossible8


7ha6ter #ix

A deconstructive interrogation of law reveals the absence= the em6ty 6lace at the base of the edifice of law= the violence at the root of institutional authority8 'he authority of law can= therefore= be 9uestioned* it can never reign absolute because it is contaminated by its own foundational violence8 'his criti9ue can allow one to 9uestion any institutional discourse that claims to rest on law= and this makes it an invaluable tool of resistance to 6ower and authority8%J" Eowever= if one is to avoid reestablishing the authority of law= then law must be distinguished from @ustice8 Law= for +errida= is merely the general a66lication of a rule= while @ustice is an o6ening of law to the other= to the singularity which law cannot account for8 ?ustice exists in a relation of alterity to law* it o6ens the discourse of law to an outside8 For +errida= @ustice= unlike law= cannot be deconstructed* A?ustice in itself= if such a thing exists= outside or beyond law= is not deconstructible8 >o more than deconstruction itself= if such a thing exists8B%J% /ne could ask= though= if @ustice [and indeed= deconstruction] is not deconstructible= then is this not 6ositing some sort of essence that sits a little uncomfortably with the antiessentialist logic of deconstruction itselfD (ithout an ade9uate conce6tion of the outside= @ustice cannot be conce6tuali,ed as +errida intends it= and inevitably falls back into essentialist terminology8 It would seem= then= that while +errida has ex6anded the anti)authoritarian argument by ex6osing its 6ossible 6itfalls and limits= he falls back into the same tra6* without an ade9uate conce6tuali,ation of the outside= he is forced to resort to essentialist conce6ts8 In any case= for +errida= @ustice 6erforms a deconstructive dis6lacing of law8 For a decision to be @ust= +errida argues= for it to account for the singularity denied by law= it must be different each time8 It cannot be the mere a66lication of the rule:it must continually reinvent the rule8 'herefore= @ustice conserves the law because it o6erates in the name of the lawF but= at the same time= sus6ends the law because it is being continually reinter6reted8%J$ ?ustice= moreover= exists in an ethical realm because it im6lies a freedom and a res6onsibility for one<s own actions8%J. ?ustice is the ex6erience of the im6ossible because it always exists in a state of sus6ension and undecidability8 It is always incalculable* the 6romise of something yet to come= which must never be com6letely gras6ed because then it would cease to be @ustice and become law8 As +errida says* A'here is an avenir for @ustice and there is no @ustice exce6t to the degree that some event is 6ossible which= as an event= exceeds calculation= rules= 6rograms= antici6ations8B%J ?ustice is an AeventB that o6ens itself to the other= to the im6ossible* its effects are always un6redictable because it cannot be determined= as law can and is= by an a 6riori discourse8 It is an excess that overflows from law and cannot be gras6ed by it8 ?ustice functions as an o6en= em6ty signifier* its meaning or content is not 6redetermined8 #o @ustice occu6ies an ethical ground that cannot be reduced to law or 6olitical institutions= and it is for this reason that @ustice o6ens u6 the 6ossibility for a transformation of law and 6olitics8%J4 My criti9ue of the 6lace of 6ower in 6olitical 6hiloso6hy has been aimed at 6recisely this* a transformation of 6olitics= 6articularly the 6olitics of resistance8 'his transformation= though= is not an absolute destruction= but rather a refounding of 6olitical and legal

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


discourse in a way that unmasks their lack of legitimate ground and= thus= leaves them o6en to continual and un6redictable reinter6retation8 'he classical 6olitical discourse of emanci6ation= for instance= should not be re@ected but= rather= reformulated in this manner8 (hile the Enlightenment ideal of emanci6ation has the 6otential for becoming a discourse of humanist domination:we have seen this in the ex6erience of anarchism:it can also become a discourse of liberation if it can be un)moored from its humanist foundations and refounded as a non6lace8 As +errida says*
>othing seems to me less outdated than the classical emanci6atory ideal8 (e cannot attem6t to dis9ualify it today= whether crudely or with so6histication= at least not without treating it too lightly and forming the worst com6licities8 5ut beyond these identified territories of @uridico)6olitici,ation on the grand 6olitical scale= beyond all self)serving inter6retations 8 8 8 other areas must constantly o6en u6 that at first seem like secondary or marginal areas8%J-

/ne could argue that because 6oststructuralism abandons the humanist 6ro@ect= it denies itself the 6ossibility of using the ethical)6olitical content of this discourse for resistance against domination8 In other words= it has thrown the baby out with the bath water8 5ecause +errida= on the other hand= does not rule out the Enlightenment)humanist 6ro@ect= he does not deny himself the emanci6ative 6ossibilities contained in its discourses8 >or should the anti) authoritarian 6ro@ect deny itself these 6ossibilities8 Perha6s= as we shall see later on= the ethical)6olitical content of anarchism itself= which is derived from Enlightenment)humanism= can be ado6ted by the anti)authoritarian argument: that is= if it can be freed from the humanist foundations which limit it to certain forms of sub@ectivity8 +errida suggests that we can do 6recisely this* we can free the discourse of emanci6ation from its essentialist foundations= thereby ex6anding it to include other 6olitical identities and struggles hitherto regarded as of little im6ortance8 In other words= the discourse of emanci6ation can be left structurally o6en= so that its content would no longer be limited or determined by its foundations8 'he &e!laration of the )ights of 7an = for instance= may be ex6anded to encom6ass the rights of women and even animals8 %1J 'he logic of emanci6ation is still at work today= although in different forms and re6resented by different struggles8 'he 9uestion of rights reflects u6on the differences between deconstructive 6olitics and the revolutionary 6olitical logic of anarchism8 5oth strategies have a notion of 6olitical rights and a form of emanci6atory struggle on the basis of these rights8 'he difference is= though= that anarchism sees these rights as essential and founded in natural law= while the 6olitics of deconstruction would see these rights as radically founded* in other words= these rights are without stable foundations and= therefore= their content is not 6refixed8 'his leaves them o6en to a 6lurality of different 6olitical articulations8 'his logic of a radical refounding based on a lack will become clearer later8 As we have seen= however= the anarchist discourse of rights is founded u6on a stable human essence8 (e have also seen the way in which these rights are strictly determined by this human essence* they remain rights limited by the figure of man and are


7ha6ter #ix

denied to any form of sub@ectivity outside this conce6tion8 #tirner<s notion of the un)man= as a sub@ectivity excluded by man= was a reaction to this o66ressive humanist logic8 A deconstructive analysis 9uestions this idea of natural= inalienable rights8 +errida= for instance= in his criti9ue of liberal social contract theory= suggests that these AnaturalB rights are actually constituted discursively through the social contract and that= therefore= they cannot claim to be natural8%11 'hese rights= then= are dis6laced from the social to the natural realm= and the social is subordinated to the natural= @ust as writing is subordinated to s6eech8 As +errida argues in his criti9ue of 3ousseau= the social is the su66lement that threatens= and at the same time is necessary for= the identity of the natural* the idea of natural rights can only be formulated discursively through the contract8 'here is no 6ure natural foundation for rights= then= and this leaves them o6en to change and reinter6retation8 'hey can no longer remain inscribed within human essence and= therefore= can no longer be taken for granted8 If they are without firm foundations= we cannot always assume that they will continue to exist* they must be fought for= and in the 6rocess they will be reformulated by these struggles8

&econstructi1e An-arch)
It is through this deconstructive logic that 6olitical action becomes an)archic8 An)archic action is distinguished here from anarchist action= which is= as we have seen= 6olitical action governed by an original 6rinci6le such as human essence or rationality8 (hile it is conditioned by certain 6rinci6les= an)anarchic action is not necessarily determined or limited by them8 An)archic action is the 6ossible outcome of a deconstructive strategy aimed at undermining the meta6hysical authority of various 6olitical and 6hiloso6hical discourses8 3einer #churmann defines an)archic action as action without a AwhyDB %1! Eowever= my deconstructive notion of an6ar!hy might be somewhat different* it may be defined as action with a AwhyDB:action that is forced to account for itself and 9uestion itself= not necessarily in the name of a founding 6rinci6le= but in the name of the deconstructive enter6rise it has embarked u6on8 In other words= an) archic action is forced to account for itself= @ust as it forces authority to account for itself8 It is this self)9uestioning that allows 6olitical action to resist 6lace= to avoid becoming what it o66oses8 #o this notion of an)archism may be a way of advancing the anti)authoritarian 6olitical 6ro@ect embarked u6on by the classical anarchists8 An)archism seeks to make this anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect account for itself= making it aware of the essentialist and 6otentially dominating categories within its own discourse8 Moreover= it seeks= through the logic of deconstruction= to free the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect from these categories that inevitably limit it8 It therefore ex6ands the anarchist criti9ue of authority by 6ushing it beyond its own limits= and allowing it to reinvent itself8 +errida<s unmasking of the authority and hierarchy which continues to inhabit western thought= as well as his outlining of various strategies to counter it= have made this an)archist intervention 6ossible8

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


+errida occu6ies a number of crucial terrains= then= in the anti)authoritarian argument8 Eis unmasking and deconstruction of the textual authority of logocentric 6hiloso6hy has allows us to critici,e= using the same logic= the 6olitical institutions and discourses which are based on this authority8 'he logic that he em6loys here is im6ortant for the 6ers6ective of our argument* it 9uestions the 6urity and closure of any identity8 A 6ure identity of resistance= an uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture is denied because it is always contaminated by the identity it excludes8 Csing this logic= then= the identity of the human sub@ect in anarchist discourse is contaminated by the identity of 6ower8 +errida also forces anti)authoritarian thought to resist o66ositional thinking= to o6erate outside the binary structures which have hitherto im6risoned it within the 6ernicious logic of 6lace8 More im6ortantly= however= +errida suggests a way of resisting this o66ositional= binary thinking* he allows us to develo6 a strategy of deconstruction which traces a 6ath of criti9ue= dis6lacing= and thereby transcending the two 6oles of anti)authoritarian thought:the com6lete affirmation= and the com6lete destruction= of authority8 It is in this way that +errida allows to understand and reflect on the limits of the 6oststructuralist argument= and in this way= the limits of our own argument8 Ee forces us to 9uestion our abandonment of the humanist sub@ect8 5y dis6ensing with the category of the sub@ect= 6oststructuralism has o6ened u6 a theoretical void it cannot fill within the confines of its own argument8 +errida has argued that by seeking an absolute break= one reaffirms one<s 6lace in the terrain one seeks to esca6e8 In the same way= I have argued that 6oststructuralism= in its attem6t to seek lines of flight and esca6e= to seek an absolute break with man and the terrain of essentialist humanism= has only reaffirmed it= because it has left itself without a 6oint of de6arture= and it can only fill this void with essentialist figures of resistance8 >ot only does +errida ex6ose the limits of this argument= he also allows us to develo6 ways of breaking out of the dead)end the 6oststructuralist argument has left us in8 3ather than dis6ersing the sub@ect in a universe of difference= 6erha6s= following +errida= the sub@ect may be retained as its own limit= an identity that is structurally o6en8 Moreover= instead of the 6oststructuralist model of difference= which only becomes= according to this argument= an essentialist category= +errida 6ro6oses an infrastructure:a unity constructed through disunity and difference8 'his allows the identity of difference to be left structurally o6en8 In doing this= +errida hints at the 6ossibility of an outside generated from the inside, an im6ortant develo6ment from the 6ers6ective of our argument8 Ee unmasks this AlineB of undecidability between the inside and the outside= and works at the limits of the inside to find an outside= @ust as he works at the limits of the 6oststructuralist argument in order to find a Abeyond8B It is becoming a66arent that the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect can no longer be sustained within the framework of difference= and that the argument= in a 6erverse way= is AreturningB:in the Lacanian sense:to the need for some sort of radical 6oint of de6arture:some sort non)essentialist outside8 +errida<s argument= by 6ointing to these limitations within the logic of 6oststructuralism=


7ha6ter #ix

em6hasi,es more than ever the need for a radical exteriority8 It is on this 9uestion= however= that +errida ex6oses his own limitations* while he tries to formulate a notion of the outside in terms of the ethical ArealmB of @ustice= it still remains radically undertheori,ed8 I have argued that this idea of @ustice is meaningless without a better defined conce6t of the exteriority to which it refers8 5y +errida<s own admission= a notion of an outside is necessary for a criti9ue of the dominant order* AA radical trembling can only come from the outside=B he says8%1" If this is the case= it is a conce6t and a reality that we must now confront= and it is becoming clear that we cannot do this within the confines of the 6oststructuralist argument8 And while +errida makes significant advances in this direction= he does not go far enough8 A theory of the outside is necessary for a criti9ue of 6ower and authority= and 6erha6s it re9uires going beyond the limits of the 6oststructuralist argument in order to do so8 (hat= then= is this enigmatic outside that has been lurking in the shadows of the criti9ue of authorityD Eow is it constituted and why is it necessary= structurally= for a criti9ue of 6owerD More im6ortantly= how can it be constructed without bringing in the essentialist and foundationalist terms and logic that we have been trying to shedD 'hese are the 9uestions that will be ex6lored in the next cha6ter when I discuss the contribution of Lacan8

18 7hristo6her >orris= &errida 1London* Fontana Press= 1-4 2= 1-8 !8 Moreover= s6eech is associated with the authority of the teacher= while writing is seen by Plato as a threat to this authority because it allows the 6u6il to learn without the teacher<s guidance8 >orris= &errida, "18 "8 As +errida 6oints out* Ait is not any less remarkable here that the so)called living discourse should suddenly be described by a meta6hor borrowed from the order of the very thing one is trying to exclude from it8B #ee ?ac9ues +errida= &issemination, trans. 58 ?ohnson 17hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1-412= 1%48 %8 ?ac9ues +errida= Spurs +ietzs!he;s Styles 17hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1- 42= 418 $8 For instance= #tirner has argued that crime only reaffirms the law that it transgresses8 #ee The 'go, !J!8 .8 >iet,sche too= believes that one cannot merely o66ose authority by affirming its o66osite* this is only to react to and= thereby= affirm the domination that one is su66osedly resisting8 >iet,sche believes that one must transcend o66ositional thinking altogether:to go beyond truth and error= beyond being and becoming= beyond good and evil8 Ee argues= for instance= that it is sim6ly a moral 6re@udice to 6rivilege truth over error8 Eowever= he does not try to counter this by 6rivileging error over truth= because this leaves the o66osition intact8 3ather he refuses to confine his view of the world to this o66osition8 >iet,sche displa!es, rather than re6laces= these o66ositional and authoritarian structures of thought:he dis6laces 6lace8 Ee says* AIndeed what com6els us to assume that there exists any essential antithesis between ;true< and ;false<D Is it not enough to su66ose grades of a66arentness and as it were lighter and darker shades and tones of a66earanceDB #ee Friedrich >iet,cshe= ?eyond <ood and 'vil, .$8 8 +errida is influenced here by >iet,sche= who argues that as long as we continue to believe absolutely in grammar= in essence= in the meta6hysical 6resu66ositions of

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


language= we continue to believe in &od8 #ee Alan +8 #chrift= A>iet,sche and the 7riti9ue of /66ositional 'hinking=B -istory of 'uropean /deas 11 11-4-2* 4") -J= 4.8 48 +errida* A(hat was named in this way 8 8 8 was nothing other than the meta6hysical unity of Man and &od= the relation of man to &od= the 6ro@ect of becoming &od as the 6ro@ect of constituting human)reality8 Atheism changes nothing in this fundamental structure8B #ee ?ac9ues +errida= 7argins of $hilosophy, trans. A8 5ass 15righton* Earvester Press= 1-4!2= 11.8 -8 According to +errida= for instance= Eeidegger<s notion of 5eing does not dis6lace the category of &od)Man)Essence as it claims to have done* on the contrary= 5eing merely reaffirms this 6lace8 'he notion of 5eing is only a re)inscri6tion of humanist essence= @ust as man was= according to #tirner= only a re)inscri6tion of &od8 'he authority of religion= of meta6hysics= remains intact8 #ee +errida= 7argins of $hilosophy, 1!48 1J8 +errida 6lays u6on this idea of s6ecter or As6irit8B Ee reflects on Marx<s dismissal of #tirner<s terminology of ghosts or As6ooks8B #ee ?ac9ues +errida= Spe!ters of 7ar8 The State of &e#t, the (or" of 7ourning and the +ew /nternational, trans. P8 Iamuf 1>ew Nork* 3outledge= 1--%2= 1!J)1!18 I have argued in the cha6ter on #tirner= that Marx<s ridicule of #tirner ex6oses his own desire to exorcise the demons of ideology that #tirner unmasks8 'here is a certain con@unction of conce6ts here between #tirner and +errida* they both have a hauntology= which seeks to ex6ose certain s6ecters= such as the s6ecter of religion 1&od2 and meta6hysics= that continue to haunt structures and ideas that claim to have exorcised and transcended them8 118 3odol6he &aschG= The Tain of the 7irror &errida and the $hilosophy of )efle!tion 17ambridge= Mass8* Earvard Cniversity Press= 1-4.2= 11-8 1!8 +errida= 7argins of $hilosophy, 1"$8 1"8 +errida= 7argins of $hilosophy, 1"$8 1%8 +errida says that this style of deconstruction is the one that Adominates France today8B #ee 7argins of $hilosophy, 1"$8 Also #chrift sees this strategy in Foucault<s The 1rder of Things. #ee Alan +8 #chrift= AFoucault and +errida on >iet,sche and the End1s2 of ;Man=< B in '8!eedingly +ietzs!he %spe!ts of *ontemporary +ietzs!he6/nterpretation, eds8 +avid Farrell Irell and +avid (ood 1London* 3outledge= 1-442= 1"1)1%-= 1" 8 1$8 #chrift= AFoucault and +errida=B 1"48 1.8 #chrift= AFoucault and +errida=B 1"48 1 8 #chrift= AFoucault and +errida=B 1%$8 148 #chrift= AFoucault and +errida=B 1%$8 1-8 As +errida says* Adifferance is the name we might give to the ;active<= moving discord of different forces= and of differences of forces 8 8 8 against the entire system of meta6hysical grammar8B #ee 7argins of $hilosophy, 148 !J8 +errida= 7argins of $hilosophy, !!8 !18 #ee &aschG= Tain of the 7irror, 1% )1$%8 !!8 +errida= &issemination, 1"48 !"8 &aschG= Tain of the 7irror= 1$!8 !%8 &aschG= Tain of the 7irror= 1$J8 !$8 ?ac9ues +errida= Spee!h and $henomena, and 1ther 'ssays on -usserlLs Theory of Signs, trans.= +8 Allison 1Evanston* >orthwestern Cniversity Press= 1- "2= 1$48 !.8 3odol6he &aschG= /nventions of &ifferen!e 1n =a!.ues &errida 17ambridge= Mass8* Earvard Cniversity Press= 1--%2= !48 ! 8 ?ac9ues +errida= 1f <rammatology, trans. &8 7 #6ivak 15altimore* ?ohns Eo6kins Cniversity Press= 1- .2= !%8 !48 +errida= 1f <rammatology, 1"$8 !-8 ?ac9ues +errida= $ositions, trans. A8 5ass 1London* Athlone Press= 1-412= 1!8


7ha6ter #ix

"J8 #ee Michael 38 7lifford= A7rossing 1out2 the 5oundary* Foucault and +errida on 'ransgressing 'ransgression=B $hilosophy Today "1 1fall 1-4 2* !!")!""8 "18 7lifford= A7rossing 1out2 the 5oundary=B !"J8 "!8 >orris= &errida= !"18 Levinas tries to transcend western 6hiloso6hy= to ru6ture it by confronting it with the other= the 6oint of irreducibility which will not fit into its structures8 #ee ?ohn Lechte= Fifty *ontemporary Thin"ers from stru!turalism to postmodernity 1London* 3outledge= London= 1--%2= 11 8 ""8 +errida= $ositions, .8 "%8 #ee ?ohn 7a6uto<s A5eyond Aestheticism* +errida<s 3es6onsible Anarchy=B )esear!h in $henomenology 1- 11-442* $-) "8 +errida talks about the ethical res6onsibility of texts* he argues that 6hiloso6hical texts must bear some res6onsibility for the way they are inter6reted= suggesting that >iet,sche<s texts contained certain themes which lent themselves to >a,ism8 #ee >orris= &errida= !J%)!J$8 As I suggested in the first cha6ter= there is a similar connection that can be made between Marx<s texts and the authoritarianism that ensued after the 5olshevik revolution8 #ee >orris= &errida= !J%)!J$8 "$8 3ichard Iearney= A+errida<s Ethical 3e)'urn=B in (or"ing Through &errida, ed8 &ary 58 Madison 1Illinois* >orthwestern Cniversity Press= 1--"2= !4)$J8 ".8 +errida* A#ince the origin of authority= the foundation or ground= the 6osition of the law can<t by definition rest on anything but themselves= they are themselves a violence without ground8B #ee ?ac9ues +errida= AForce of Law* 'he Mystical Foundation of Authority=B in &e!onstru!tion and the $ossi#ility of =usti!e, ed8 +rucilla 7ornell et al8 1>ew Nork* 3outledge= 1--!2= "). 8 " 8 Eowever= as +errida argues= deconstruction cannot have as its aim the com6lete destruction of all authority* this only succumbs= as we have seen= to the logic of 6lace8 As +errida says= the two tem6tations of deconstruction= can be likened to (alter 5en@amin<s notion of the alternate 6aths of the general strike:to re6lace the state or to abolish it* AFor there is something of the general strike= and thus of the revolutionary situation in every reading that founds something new and that remains unreadable in regard to established canons and norms of reading= that is to say the 6resent state of reading or what figures the #tate= with a ca6ital #= in the state of 6ossible reading8B #ee +errida= AForce of Law=B " 8 In this sense= deconstruction may be seen as a strategy of resistance against the authority of meaning:the state:in the text of 6hiloso6hy= @ust as other struggles like anarchism might resist the state in the AtextB of 6olitics8 Indeed= there is no 6oint se6arating the deconstruction of 6hiloso6hical texts with the deconstruction of 6ower* the two ArealmsB of struggle are inextricable because 6olitical authority is de6endent u6on its sanctioning by various texts= such as those by Eobbes= for instance= and by the logocentric discourse of reason8 I have ex6lored this connection through +eleu,e and &uattari8 Anarchism may be seen in this way= as a kind of deconstructive writing aimed at the overthrow of the state8 'he deconstructive moment is a revolutionary moment= and it is therefore susce6tible to the 6olitical tra6 of 6lace:to the reaffirmation of the 6ower it o66oses8 If such struggles against domination are to avoid this tra6 they must 6ursue a 6ath between reaffirmation and com6lete destruction= which= as anarchism= and as I suggested= 6oststructuralism= have unconsciously demonstrated= come to the same thing8 +errida<s deconstruction of law has furnished antiauthoritarian thought with a uni9ue strategy8 Eowever= this strategy= +errida argues= is continually haunted by the lure of 6lace= a seduction which antiauthoritarian thought and action must avoid8 "48 +errida= AForce of Law=B 1%)1$8

+errida and the +econstruction of Authority


"-8 As +errida says* Afor a decision to be @ust and res6onsible= it must 8 8 8 be both regulated and without regulation* it must conserve the law and also destroy it or sus6end it enough to have to reinvent it in each case= re@ustify it8B #ee AForce of Law=B !"8 %J8 +errida= AForce of Law=B !!)!"8 %18 +errida= AForce of Law=B ! 8 %!8 +errida= AForce of Law=B ! 8 %"8 +errida= AForce of Law=B !48 %%8 +errida= AForce of Law=B !48 %$8 Michael 3yan= A+econstruction and #ocial 'heory* 'he 7ase of Liberalism=B in &ispla!ement &errida and %fter= ed8 Mark Iru6nick 15loomington* Indiana Cniversity Press= 1-4"2= 1$%)1.48 %.8 3einer #churmann= -eidegger on ?eing and %!ting From $rin!iples to %nar!hy, trans. 78 M8 &ros 15loomington* Indiana Cniversity Press= 1-4 2= 1J8 % 8 +errida= 7argins of $hilosophy, 1"%8


7ha6ter #ix

Chapter Seven

Lac# of the Outside5Outside of the Lac#: 7Mis8Readin$ Lacan

'he last cha6ter showed the way in which +errida advanced the anti) authoritarian argument by ex6osing the limits of the 6oststructuralist AmodelB of difference:a model which had u6 until now determined the logic of this argument8 In doing this= +errida has 6ointed to the 6ossibility of a new way of theori,ing the sub@ect:one that retains the sub@ect as its own limit= rather than dis6ensing with it8 Eis argument also 6oints to the need and 6ossibility for an outside [to 6hiloso6hy= discourse= 6ower] constructed= 6aradoxically= from the inside. (hile it was found that +errida cannot ade9uately theori,e this outside= he nevertheless laid the theoretical groundwork for it8 I will try in this cha6ter= using the ideas of the 6sychoanalytic thinker ?ac9ues Lacan= to construct a notion of the outside through this radical retention of the sub@ect8 Lacan wrote about the AobsessiveB and the AhystericB sub@ect8 'he obsessive never 9uite catches u6 with the ob@ect of his desire= while the hysteric= in his des6erate 6ursuit of the ob@ect of desire= overtakes it and goes beyond it8 'herefore= neither attains the ob@ect of his desire= one going too far and the other not going far enough8 'he ob@ect of desire eludes them both8 Perha6s we can say that in our analysis= the sli66ery and elusive ob@ect of desire is the /utside:a notion that sits most uncomfortably with a non)essentialist 6olitics of resistance and yet= 6aradoxically= remains absolutely crucial to it8 Perha6s we can also say that Foucault is like the obsessive neurotic= who hints at and desires an outside to 6ower= but never goes far enough in defining it8 And maybe +eleu,e can be likened to the hysteric who= in his mad dash after the /utside= after a figure of resistance= ends u6 missing it altogether by defining it in terms of a meta6hysical notion of desire8 +errida 6ossibly comes closest to an outside in his notion of differance= but it still remains somewhat ambiguous8 #o it seems that while a notion of an outside is necessary for a 6olitics of resistance= it remains so far in this analysis= sufficiently o6a9ue and abstract as to be without much value8 'he figure of the /utside lives amongst the shadows of radical 6olitical theory= only half hinted at and obscurely alluded to= but without any real attem6t made at defining or ex6loring it8 It remains= 6aradoxically= on the limits of this work= yet at the center of the discussion8 'he 9uestion central to this discussion is how !an we formulate a notion of resistan!e to domination that does not reaffirm the pla!e of power #y su!!um#ing to essentialist temptationsE #tirner= Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari= and +errida have= in their own ways= hinted at the need for an outside8 Eowever= they have been unable to formulate it clearly8 It seems that the closer one gets to the outside= the more elusive and indefinable


7ha6ter #even

it becomes8 'he rigors of the 6oststructuralist argument do not allow for an outside to 6ower and discourse* an outside that was 6osited by the anarchists= yet remained tra66ed within the logic of 6lace8 Perha6s= like Lacan<s im6ossible ob@ect of desire= the outside remains una66roachable8 And yet some notion of an outside is necessary if the argument is to 6roceed8 'his cha6ter will attem6t= then= to ex6lore the 6ossibility of an outside which is not essentialist and which does not re6roduce 6lace8

The "u(.ect of the 3Lac#4

(hile the outside a66ears to be an im6ossible and indefinable Aob@ect=B 6erha6s= 6aradoxically= the only way that it can be gras6ed is 6recisely by recogni,ing its fundamental im6ossibility8 Lacan<s idea of the lack at the basis of sub@ectivity may be used here to ex6lore the radical im6ossibility that structures the notion of the outside8 Lacan<s notion of sub@ectivity would seem at first glance to coincide with the 6oststructuralist argument8%1% Ee re@ects the 7artesian sub@ect= the sub@ect of autonomous self)knowledge= the self)trans6arent sub@ect8 'he autonomous sub@ect of the 7ogito is subverted within language* the consciousness is an effe!t of signification8 Moreover= the 6reeminence 6laced on consciousness neglects the role of the unconscious which Ais structured like a language8B%1$ It is a Achain of signifiers8B%1. 7ontrary to the cogito= then= the sub@ect is given meaning by an external world of signifiers= by the symbolic order:the /ther8 'he sub@ect is seen as secondary to the signifier and constituted only in relation to the signifierF the sub@ect is written as #1s2:the small 1s2 re6resenting the sub@ect= the big S re6resenting the signifier8%1 Lacan<s analysis subverts the Enlightenment idea= which informs anarchist theory= of an autonomous essential sub@ectivity* Lacan<s sub@ect has no inde6endent identity outside the order of the signifier8 'his notion of sub@ectivity a66ears to fit 9uite neatly into the logic of 6oststructuralism= which sees the sub@ect as an effect of discursive and 6ower arrangements8 'here is= however= an im6ortant difference between Lacan<s analysis and that of the 6oststructuralists8 'he difference here is the notion of a radical ga6 or lack between the sub@ect and the signifier:a lack that actually constitutes the sub@ect8 'he sub@ect is subverted in Lacan<s analysis= not because it is entirely determined by signifiers= as the logic of 6oststructuralism would suggest= but because its determination by signifiers is fundamentally flawed8 According to Lacan= the individual enters the symbolic network= the order of signifiers where he is re6resented for another signifier8 Eowever= this re6resentation ultimately fails* there is a lack or ga6 between the sub@ect and its re6resentation8 'he sub@ect fails to recogni,e himself in the symbolic order and is thus alienated8 Ee is 6inned to a signifier 1s12 which re6resents him for another signifier8 'he sub@ect is inca6able of fulfilling this symbolic identity and so there is an excess or sur6lus of meaning 6roduced by this failed inter6ellation :a radical ga6 or absence between the sub@ect and meaning8 'his is what Lacan

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


calls Aob@ect a=B and it is this that actually constitutes the sub@ect8 'he sub@ect is= then= the failed A6laceB of significationF the Aem6ty 6lace of the structureB of symboli,ation8%14 'he sub@ect is the su#He!t of the la!"* it is the name given to this ga6 or void in the symbolic structure= this fundamental misre6resentation8 'here is always something in language that cannot be signified= a ga6 or blockage of some sort:but it is 6recisely this failure of signification that allows signification8%1- 'he lack= then= is always 6art of the 6rocess of signification8 'he signifier can never wholly account for what it is su66osed to signify* A(hen we s6eak or read a word= we do not sto6 at the mere sound or dro6s of ink8 8 8 8 (e see through the word to another that is absent8B %!J 'here is= therefore= a lack between the signifier and what it signifies:an excess of meaning that eludes signification= and yet enables it to take 6lace8 #ub@ectivity is constituted by this ga6= by this failure of signification8 'he sub@ect exists= then= as its own limit:as the limit of its own full reali,ation in the symbolic order8 'he sub@ect is s1/2: with the 1 crossed out or barred8 'his symboli,es the failure of the signifier to re6resent the sub@ect= the AcutB in the signifying chain that re6resents the sub@ect* Awe must bring everything back to the function of the cut in discourse= the strongest being that which acts as a bar between the signifier and signified 8 8 8 8 'his cut in the signifying chain alone verifies the structure of the sub@ect as discontinuity in the real8B%!1 'he sub@ect is= therefore= constitutively s6lit* its alienation within the symbolic order of language cannot be overcome8 'his s6lit is= Lacan argues= the result of a 6rimary re6ression of oedi6al desires8 'his original 6rohibition constructs the sub@ect<s desire as continually blocked and frustrated by the signifier that eludes it8 'he sub@ect is= thus= constituted through this 6rohibition of desire= a desire for the im6ossible ob@ect:its re6resentation in the /ther which can never be attained8%!! #o the sub@ect is constituted through its fundamental inability to recogni,e itself in the symbolic order8 It is re6resented 6recisely by its failure of re6resentation8 (hereas 6oststructuralism would see the sub@ect as fully determined by its re6resentation= Lacan sees the sub@ect as only 6artially determined8 'here is always an excess of meaning that disru6ts symboli,ation= which blocks the signifying circuit by eluding re6resentation8 %!" 'his ga6= this sur6lus of meaning that cannot be signified= is a void in the symbolic structure:the A3eal8B 'he 3eal resists being subsumed in the symbolic order and therefore blocks the formation of a full identity8 'he 3eal is the traumatic kernel of identity* something which never actually existed but whose effects are nevertheless felt8

Be)ond %oststructuralism
'his lack or void which constitutes the sub@ect is not= however= a fullness or essence8 It is= on the contrary= an absence= an em6tiness:a radical lack8 In other words= it is a non6lace that resists essence because it does not allow a stable identity to arise8 'he sub@ect can never form a com6lete or full identity because the lack can never be filled8 'his notion of absent fullness allows Lacan to go


7ha6ter #even

beyond the 6aradigm of 6oststructuralism8 (hile the sub@ect is subverted in the order of signifiers= as 6oststructuralists would argue= it is not wholly determined* the 6rocess of signification is blocked by the void that defies re6resentation8 'he leftover= sur6lus meaning esca6es signification= and it is this that constitutes sub@ectivity8 For Lacan= then= the sub@ect is s6lit* sub@ectivity is not @ust an effect of the #ymbolic /ther= of discourse= law= 6ower= etc8:it is also the 3eal= the leftover from this failed signification8 'he sub@ect is defined through the failure of self)recognition8 'herefore= 6oststructuralist motifs of nonself)re6resentation and difference do not necessarily undermine sub@ectivity* rather= they are the structure of sub@ectivity8%!% Poststructuralism would see the sub@ect as dis6ersed by a 6lurality of signifiers8 Lacan= on the other hand= would see this 6lurality and nonre6resentation as actually constitutive of the sub@ect8 #o= whereas the logic of 6oststructuralism 6ro6oses the transgression of identity= Lacan<s analysis 6oints to an identity based on transgression:an identity constituted u6on its own im6ossibility8 As #lavo@ Hi,ek argues= Lacan goes beyond the mere deconstruction of sub@ectivity* he 6osits a re!onstru!tion of the sub@ect based on the limits of its own im6ossibility8%!$ Moreover= the sub@ect is re6resented by one signifier:the Master #ignifier:instead of a multitude of signifiersF only this re6resentation is= as we have said= flawed8 'he sub@ect is not dis6ersed in Lacan<s analysis* it is not entirely determined by multi6le signifying regimes [discourses] as it is for 6oststructuralists8 3ather= it is constitutively s6lit between signification and the meaning that eludes it8 'here is always a lack between the sub@ect and signification:a void that disru6ts signification:which can never be overcome8 'his is why the identity of the sub@ect is always failed8 'his constitutive lack:the ga6 between meaning and signification= between the sub@ect and re6resentation:6erha6s 6oints to the 6ossibility of the radical outside and may enable us to go beyond the limits of the 6oststructuralism8 5oth #tirner and Lacan<s arguments are used as 6oints of intervention in this discussion8 #tirner<s criti9ue of essence allowed us to break out of the Enlightenment)humanist logic of anarchism and= thus= antici6ate 6oststructuralism8 Lacan ideas are used here in a similar way= to transcend the 6arameters of the 6oststructuralism:a logic that has reached its conce6tual limits and= therefore= no longer advances the argument8 It may be useful= in this case= to look at the similarities between #tirner and Lacan<s notions of sub@ectivity8 Perha6s #tirner<s notion of the ego can hel6 us to see Lacan<s lack in terms of a radical absence or em6tiness= but an em6tiness that is nevertheless creative8 #tirner has often been seen as affirming a new essential sub@ectivity= one that is su6remely individualistic= selfish= and egotistical8 Indeed= this was how Marx saw him:as an ideologue of the bourgeoisie8 Eowever= as I have argued= #tirner can be read in another way* rather than seeing the ego as an essential identity= it may be seen as a radical em6tiness= a non6lace which re@ects essence= affirming instead flux= contingency= and becoming8 'he ego= for #tirner= is an em6tiness or void that= 6recisely because it is a nothingness= is fundamentally creative8 /nce this em6tiness at the base of identity is acce6ted= the sub@ect is no longer limited by essence and is allowed to recreate himself= to ex6lore new identities8 'hese

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


identities are never essential= though= because they in themselves are based on nothing8 #o= like Lacan= #tirner does not necessarily re@ect sub@ectivityF rather= he sees it as founded on a fundamental em6tiness or lack= and so it is always 6artly fragmented and incom6lete8 It can never become a closed= whole identity8 #o there is a sur6rising convergence here between #tirner and Lacan8 For #tirner= the sub@ect is alienated by various signifiers:man= human essence: and there is always a ga6 between the sub@ect and the way it is re6resented* A'hey say of &od ;>ames name thee not<8 'hat holds good of me* no conce6t e8presses me= nothing that is designated as my essence exhausts meF they are only names8B%!. #tirner<s sub@ect is alienated by the names and signifiers that are im6osed u6on it in the #ymbolic /rder8 #tirner<s sub@ect= like the Lacanian sub@ect= is somehow misre6resented= and the AnamesB or signifiers cannot ade9uately ex6ress or account for it8 'here is= for #tirner= like Lacan= always an excess of meaning 6roduced by this alienation* the un)man may be seen as that sur6lus of meaning which eludes signification= which does not fit in with the symbolic order of Afixed ideasB and which always disru6ts it8 (hile this sur6lus is 6roduced by signification= it somehow esca6es it and counteracts it8 'hus= the #tirnerian un)man may be com6ared with the Lacanian 3eal as a radical absence or excess which cannot be signified= and which blocks the com6lete subsum6tion of the sub@ect into the symbolic order8 Moreover= #tirner<s ego may allow us to see Lacan<s lack as creative and 6roductive* a ga6 out of which new 6ossibilities and desires may be 6roduced8 (hile +eleu,e saw Lacan<s idea of desire grounded in lack= as negative and reactive= it may= in another sense= be seen as 6ositive and 6roductive* if desire is grounded in lack= in em6tiness and im6ossibility= it can never become a closed= essentialist identity and= therefore= remains o6en to other 6ossibilities8 'his notion of a creative lack= a 6roductive em6tiness= is crucial for my argument in two related ways8 First= it allows one to retain a notion of the sub@ect:effectively denied by 6oststructuralist logic:albeit a sub@ect whose identity is fundamentally flawed and incom6lete8 It is a sub@ectivity that eschews the ground of essence8 It is based rather on a war model of radical antagonism and lack:a nonground8 It is a sub@ectivity based on its own im6ossibility= and it thus remains o6en to contingency and reinter6retation8

A Radical 3Outside4
#econd= it allows us to theori,e a notion of the outside that has so far eluded us8 &iven the 6oststructuralist argument about the 6ervasive nature of 6ower= language= and discursive structures= one cannot talk= as the anarchists did= about an actual 6lace outside 6ower and discourse from where the domination that it gives rise to can be o66osed8 'here is= as we have said= no essential= uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower8 Eowever= what if the outside were to be seen as a AthingB which is inside the world of 6ower and discourse= yet somehow missing from that structureD It may be seen as a kind of traumatic void= a kernel of em6tiness which is within the structure of symboli,ation= yet


7ha6ter #even

which constitutes an outside because it resists symboli,ation8 In other words= the 3eal or lack is not necessarily the outside of the symbolic order of Law but rather an Aexcluded interiorBF a AthingB which is not exactly outside the structure but absent from it8 Lacan talks of the 3eal as Aexcluded in the interior8B %! ?8A8 Miller sees the 3eal as a kind of Moebius stri6= which confuses the line between the sub@ect and the symbolicF the sub@ect is the AcutB which allows the stri6 to be laid out flat8%!4 'his notion of the e8!luded interior or intimate e8terior may be used to redefine the outside8 5ecause it is an outside 6roduced by the failed and incom6lete Astructure=B it is not an essence or meta6hysical 6resence8 It does not transcend the world of the symbolic [or discourse or 6ower] because it AexistsB within this order8 It is not a s6atial outside= but rather a radi!al outside:an outside= 6aradoxically on the Ainside8B 'herefore the ga6 between meaning and symboli,ation can be constituted as a radical outside= not because it is from a world outside the symbolic structure= not because it is a transcendental essence= but because it is a void which cannot be filled= a lack which cannot be re6resented8 'his outside of the lack thus avoids the 6itfalls of essentialism and 6lace8 It is not a 6resence but rather a creative and constitutive absence8 'his conce6t is useful in several res6ects8 It can 6ossibly 6rovide a nonessential AgroundB or non6lace for resistanceF it o6ens the structure of sub@ectivity to change and contingency= allowing the invention of new 6olitical identities8 If the sub@ect is not wholly determined and inter6ellated= there is a As6aceB o6ened for a 6olitics and an identity:albeit an unstable one:of resistance8

%o!er and Lac#

Moreover= the logic of the lack can be a66lied to the 9uestion of 6ower itself8 It may be argued that the identity of 6ower is ultimately a failed identity8 As Ernesto Laclau and Lilian Hac argue= 6ower can never become absolute= because when it does it loses its identity as 6ower8%!- If 6ower is ubi9uitous= as Foucault argued= then it becomes indefinable and abstractF it can no longer really be seen as 6ower8 Perha6s this was the mistake that Foucault made in his analysis of 6ower8 For 6ower to have an identity it cannot be absoluteF there must be a ga6 between it and what it o66resses8 Even Foucault conceded= although 6ower is Aeverywhere=B it exists in an agonistic relation to resistance= and this would indicate the need for some notion of a ga6 that defines 6ower in o66osition to itself8 Eowever= Foucault= as we have seen= is rather unclear on this 6oint8 'his lack in the structure of 6ower is what constitutes 6ower<s identity as A6owerB and it cannot function without it8 It differentiates 6ower from other signifiers8 Net= 6aradoxically= this lack makes resistance to 6ower 6ossible8 Like +errida<s notion of the su66lement= the lack is both necessary for the constitution of identity of 6ower= while at the same time it destabili,es and allows it to be resisted8 In other words= the lack is the limit of 6ower* it is the limit that both defines it and threatens it8 Perha6s this notion of a constitutive lack as the limit of 6ower was what Foucault was driving at8 'his lack= however= is not an

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


essential 6lace of resistance* it is created by 6ower itself= and is only the excess or sur6lus of meaning which esca6es it8 'he 3eal of 6ower is not outside the order of 6ower= but rather o6erates on the inside* it is the void within 6ower that both subverts its meaning and= through this subversion= gives it meaning8 #o= therefore= the Lacanian idea of a constitutive lack may be a66lied to 6owerF it creates the 6ossibility of a radical outside that both constitutes and resists 6ower8 'his notion of 6ower as constituted by its fundamental lack can be contrasted with Foucault<s idea of 6ower as all 6ervasive8 Foucault argued that although 6ower is Aeverywhere=B it masks itself through the @uridico)discursive model= which leaves a ga6 between 6ower and the society that it o66resses8 For Foucault= 6ower would not be tolerable if it did not mask itself 6artially= if there did not a66ear to be a A6laceB of resistance that it does not invade8 #o= for Foucault= while 6ower disguises itself through the lack= this lack or ga6 between 6ower and what it dominates does not actually exist8 A Lacanian notion of 6ower would be almost directly o66osed to this* rather than 6ower disguising itself through an ideological lack= it is actually constituted through a real lack8 Power cannot be omni6resent because if it is= it loses its identity as A6ower8B For 6ower to exist= then= there must be some kind of ga6 limiting it8 As I have argued= this ga6 is not a meta6hysical or essentialist notion like the anarchist idea of human essenceF it is itself a void in the symbolic structure of 6ower= but it exists nevertheless= and while it exists it limits 6ower8 #o this lack between 6ower and the sub@ect is not a dece6tion= as Foucault suggested* it would= be according to Lacan= real and actually constitutive of 6ower as an identity8 'here is a 6arallel here with #tirner<s conce6tion of the state8 #tirner argues that the 6ower of the state is not absoluteF in fact= it is very fragile and is based largely on the sub@ect<s obedience to it8 /nce the sub@ect reali,es this= then the state<s 6ower over him will be undermined8 'he state is= like &od= an abstraction based on the individual<s abdication of his own authorityF it is merely an inverted image of the individual= based on his own lack8 #tirner says* A#o in #tate)life I am at best:I might as well say= at worst:a bondman of myself8B %"J Csing a similar= yet Lacanian)ins6ired= logic Hi,ek argues that everyone knows that the 6ower of bureaucracy is not absolute= yet we behave as though it is and this is what 6er6etuates its 6ower8%"1 #o one might say= then= that rather than 6ower being ubi9uitous and absolute= while claiming that it is not:as Foucault argues:6ower is actually limited and lacking= yet claims to be ubi9uitous and absolute8 For Foucault= in other words= the all)6ervasiveness of 6ower is masked by a lackF whereas for Lacan= the lack in 6ower would be masked by its all) 6ervasiveness8

La!9 Trans$ression9 and %leasure

'his 6ossible Lacanian conce6tion of 6ower as founded u6on a lack is based on his analysis of law8 Lacan argues that the Law functions only through its failure to function= through its essential incom6leteness8 In his reading of Iant and #ade= Lacan suggests that the Law 6roduces its own transgression= and that


7ha6ter #even

it can only o6erate through this transgression8%"! 'he excess of #ade does not contradict the in@unctions= laws= and categorical im6eratives of Iant* rather= they are inextricably linked to it8 Like Foucault<s discussion of the As6iralsB of 6ower and 6leasure= in which 6ower 6roduces the very 6leasure which it is seen to re6ress= Lacan suggests that the very denial of en@oyment:embodied in law= in the categorical im6erative:6roduces its own form of 6erverse en@oyment= or A@ouissanceB as a sur6lus8 Iant has failed to recogni,e this reverse side of the Law= the obscene 6leasure of the Law8%"" #ade ex6oses this obscene en@oyment by reversing the 6aradigm* he turns this 6erverse 6leasure into a law itself= into a sort of Iantian universal 6rinci6le or right8 'he right to 6leasure is= for #ade= the necessary accom6animent and logical extension of the 3ights of Man* ALet us say that the nerve of the diatribe is given in the maxim which 6ro6oses a rule for Houissan!e= bi,arre in that it makes itself a right in the Iantian fashion= that of 6osing itself as a universal rule8B%"% #ade unmasks= then= the 6erverse 6leasure which 6ermeates the Law based on the renunciation of this 6leasure8 Ee does this by turning this 6leasure= denied yet affirmed by the Law= into the Law itself8 #o= the 6leasure of the Law becomes the law of 6leasure8 'he desire that transgresses and exceeds the Law is only the other side of the Law8 'his is why #ade is seen as the necessary counter6art to Iant8 'his link between law [or= for our 6ur6oses= 6ower] and the 6leasure which both transgresses and affirms it= is also recogni,ed by Iafka8 'he seemingly neutral= faceless= anonymous bureaucracies that are so much 6art of Iafka<s writings= 6roduce= through their very renunciation of 6leasure= their own excess of 6erverse 6leasure8 'his is often manifested in the sadistic en@oyment that Iafka unmasks in bureaucratic functioning8 'ake= for instance= the torture machine:the Earrow:in Iafka<s /n the $enal Settlement8%"$ Its hideous workings are described by the executioner in mundane detail= in a voice of absolute bureaucratic neutrality8 'he effect is to 6roduce an excess of 6unishment and suffering which 6al6itates at the limits of the Law8 'he Earrow is a machine which literally carves the law into the condemned man<s body* the letter of the Law is inscribed only through the excess:the irrational excess of sadistic 6leasure:which seems to transgress its limits8 'he renunciation of en@oyment:embodied in the neutral letter of the Law= in the anonymous functioning of the bureaucracy:6roduces its own 6erverse en@oyment= an en@oyment based on its own denial8 For Lacan= law does not 6rohibit or re6ress 6leasureF on the contrary= it 6roduces it= but 6roduces it as Are6ressedB* A5ut it is not the Law itself that bars the sub@ect<s access to Houissan!e:rather it creates out of an almost natural barrier a barred sub@ect8B%". #o rather than 6rohibition being grounded in law= law is actually grounded in 6rohibition= in the fundamental lack between the sub@ect and his re6resentation= the ob@ect of his desire8%" 'he en@oyment which exceeds law= Lacan argues= is 6roduced within the order of law* en@oyment is never a s6ontaneous transgression of the Law= but rather an in@unction of the Law:an in@unction to AEn@oySB (e are always being told to en@oy ourselves= to be ha66y= to not be de6ressed= and yet this en@oyment is seen in terms of a rebellion= a transgression of some sort8 As Foucault argues= when we confess

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


our dee6est AsecretsB and most 6erverse 6leasures= when we affirm our Are6ressed sexuality=B this gives us a certain 6leasure= because we think we are flouting a re6ressive 6ower or law8 Eowever= in doing this= we are 6laying right into the hands of the very 6ower we believe we are transgressing8 #imilarly for Lacan= the Law does not 6rohibit or re6ress= but rather= incites its own transgression* AIndeed= the Law a66ears to be giving the order= ;?ouis S< B%"4 'herefore for Lacan= the Law generates a sur6lus or excess of 6leasure that resists it8 Moreover= the rule of law de6ends u6on this excess8 For Lacan= the function of the Law is 6recisely to malfun!tion* to 6roduce an excess which both transgresses against it and which= through this transgression= allows it to o6erate8%"- For Lacan= an identity is constituted only through its distortion= its inability to be constituted8 #imilarly= it is only through its distortion that the Law has meaning8 Iafka<s bureaucratic machine seems to function= not des6ite but rather through= its chaotic workings= through its inability to function 6ro6erly8 'his fundamental link between Law and its transgression is also suggested by #tirner= who argues that crime merely reaffirms the law that it transgresses against8%%J Foucault= too= recogni,es this connection* he argues that the 6ur6ose of the 6rison= for instance= is 6recisely to fail* to continue to 6roduce an excess of criminality which it is su66osed to eliminate8 It is only through the 6roduction of its transgression= of its failure= that the 6rison continues to o6erate8 Is it not obvious that the 6rison system has a vested interest in 6er6etuating criminality* if there were no crime= there would be no need for 6risonsD #o there is a fundamental and constitutive failing in the functioning of the Law:a lack in the structure of 6ower8

The /maginary State

For #tirner= moreover= 6ower:embodied in the state:is based on this fundamental lack* it is founded u6on the abstraction of the individual<s own authority and 6ower8 In itself the state is nothing* it is based entirely u6on the individual<s obedience to it:to its signifier8 'he state is merely a hy6ostati,ed self= an ego8 Like Lacan<s sub@ect who futilely seeks his own re6resentation in the #ymbolic /rder:a re6resentation which always eludes him:#tirner<s individual recogni,es the state= and through this recognition actually re6roduces the state as an o66ressive force over him8 In seeking and obeying the state= the individual is merely seeking an abstracted version of himself* he is= in a sense= chasing after his own tail8 'he state= then= for #tirner= is an illusion= a fantasy) construction8 'his is not to say that it does not actually exist= but it only comes into existence when the individual starts seeking it and abdicates his authority to it8 Iafka<s The *astle also de6icts the structure of 6ower:the bureaucracy:as an Aillusion=B a fantasy* the more the 6rotagonist seeks contact with the bureaucracy= the further it seems to recede into fantasy and the more elusive it becomes8 'he individual= in trying to a66roach the structure of 6ower is only seeking his own recognition in the #ymbolic /rder8%%1 Eowever= as Lacan has shown= this recognition is structurally im6ossibleF there is always something blocking it or lacking from it:namely= the 3eal8


7ha6ter #even

#o if 6ower and authority are structured in this way:in terms of a fundamental im6ossibility:where does this leave usD First= it is necessary to see how this Lacaniani,ed notion of 6ower de6arts:if it does at all:from the 6oststructuralist idea of 6ower8 (hile only Foucault engaged the 9uestion of A6owerB directly= +eleu,e and &uattari= and indeed +errida= also dealt with 6ower in= for instance= linguistic and 6hiloso6hical structures8 (hile= these notions of 6ower are very different= it can be argued that for 6oststructuralists= the 6lace of 6ower is dis6ersed. For Foucault= 6ower is multiform and Acomes from everywhereFB for +eleu,e and +errida= 6ower is im6licated in a dis6ersed series of linguistic and discursive structures8 Power= for 6oststructuralists= has 6erha6s little meaning as a conce6t in its own right* it is a thoroughly 6lural= dis6ersed notion8 A Lacanian notion of 6ower might differ from this in the following way* rather than 6ower having no single identity= 6ower would have an identity and a structure= but one which is fundamentally flawed:an identity constituted= as we have seen= through its own transgression8 A Lacanian conce6t of 6ower would be a form of 6ower which did not work= which did not function 6ro6erly= which allowed an excess to esca6e it= but which o6erated 6recisely through this failure8 'here is a constitutive lack= then= in the structure and identity of 6ower* a lack which allows the 6ossibility of an outside= from where it might be resisted8 'his resistance= however= would always be an undecidable* while it can threaten 6ower= it also= according to this two)sided logic= allows 6ower to achieve an identity8 #o while 6oststructuralists might argue that the diffuse= multiform character of 6ower denies it any real identity= Lacan would argue that this is 6recisely why 6ower has an identity8 'he identity of 6ower is failed and based on a lack= but this does not rob it of an identity8 /n the contrary= this is 6recisely how its identity is formed8 Eowever= this notion of 6ower does not necessarily conflict with the 6oststructuralist notion* difference and 6lurality are not denied= but rather form 6art of a flawed= o6en identity8

%olitics of the Real

Moreover= 6erha6s the notion of the 6lace of 6ower can be seen in terms of the Lacanian 3eal:as that im6ossible ob@ect which eludes signification8 'he 6lace of 6ower is manifested in many forms8 For anarchists= it was embodied in the state= and in statist revolutionary 6rograms8 For #tirner= it came in the form of human essence= which became @ust as dominating as religious essence8 For Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari= and +errida= the 6lace of 6ower reali,ed itself in institutional and discursive 6ractices= and linguistic regimes8 Perha6s these were @ust different and ultimately unsuccessful attem6ts to symboli,e the one thing* the 6lace of 6ower:the 3eal that cannot be symboli,ed8 'hese symboli,ations of 6ower were somehow inade9uate* there was always a sur6lus of meaning that resisted and eluded it8 'he 3eal of domination is the traumatic kernel that always returns in another form8%%! 'he 6oststructuralist notion of 6ower:as diffuse as it is:is maybe @ust another attem6t to symboli,e the un6 sym#oliza#le. In the same way that the identity of the sub@ect is constituted

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


through a lack between it and its re6resentation= 6erha6s the identity of 6ower is also constituted through a similar lack:through its inability to be entirely re6resented8 +oes this mean= though= that the 6lace of 6ower will always be with usF that our inability to com6letely come to terms with it will mean that we cannot engage or resist itD Eas the logic of the 3eal left us= 6olitically= at a dead endD /ne may= 6erha6s= look at it in another way* if a com6lete re6resentation of the 6lace of 6ower eludes 6olitical theori,ing= then it disru6ts the self)assurance of any theory or 6olitics of resistance that it has truly countered the logic of 6lace8 'he 3eal of the 6lace of 6ower leaves every theory of resistance o6en to the 9uestion of whether it has really accounted for its own 6otential for domination8 In other words= the logic of the 3eal leaves the notion of resistance o6en to doubt8 Like +errida<s notion of difference= the 3eal forces the identity of resistance to account for itself8 'he logic of the 3eal= while 6resenting 6ower with an outside which resists it= also confronts resistance itself with an outside: the 6lace of 6ower:which 9uestions it8 'he Lacanian 3eal:that traumatic kernel or sur6lus which esca6es signification:is a logic= then= which may be a66lied to 6olitical thinking8 First= the sub@ect of 6olitics is neither com6letely undermined= nor com6letely essentiali,ed8 3ather= according to this logic= the identity of the 6olitical sub@ect is flawed and incom6leteF its identity is never wholly constituted by signifiers= as the logic of 6oststructuralism suggested8 'his means that the identity of the sub@ect is contingent* it is always o6en to the 6ossibility of resistance against sub@ectification8 In other words= the sub@ect is inevitably 6olitical* its identity remains o6en to contestation8 'his also means that the sub@ect of resistance is not an essential identity as the anarchists believed8 'he identity of resistance is never 6ure or stable8 Eowever= this does not mean that the sub@ect can never form an identity of resistance8 /n the contrary= by freeing the sub@ect from essence= it allows it to form new identities of resistance8 'he logic of the 3eal= when a66lied to the 6olitical sub@ect= sim6ly makes 6olitical identities undecidable, and o6en to contingency and contestation8 In other words= it 6olitici,es identities8 #econd= the logic of the 3eal can be a66lied to the identity of society8 For instance Ernesto Laclau and 7hantal Mouffe see the social as series of signifiers founded= like the Lacanian sub@ect= on a constitutive lack8 'here is always something missing from the social totality= something that esca6es social signification:a ga6 u6on which society is radically founded8 'here is an excess of meaning that esca6es various social signifiers8 'his means that the identity of society is incom6leteF it can never form a closed identity= because there is always a 3eal that remains unsymboli,able8 #ociety is= therefore= an Aim6ossibility8B%%" 'he 3eal is the empty signifier that Athe socialB is structured around* it is not fixed by any essence and= thus= remains o6en to different 6olitical signifiers= which try to AfillB this symbolic em6ty 6lace8 Political 6ro@ects have been attem6ts to AfillB or AsutureB this fundamental lack in society= to overcome its fundamental antagonism8 5ut this is an im6ossibility* the 3eal of antagonism= which eludes re6resentation= can never be overcome8


7ha6ter #even

5oth Marxism and anarchism were 6olitical 6ro@ects that attem6ted to overcome the fundamental antagonism and alienation that rent society a6art8 Marxism was an attem6t to overcome the trauma of class antagonism and to transcend the logic of classical liberal economism that insisted on an isolation of the 6olitical s6here from the economic s6here= of the state from society8 In other words= it sought to overcome the antagonism in society= which alienated the individual= and to reconcile society with itself8 Anarchism was a re@ection of the Marxist logic of economic determinism that= anarchists claimed= only 6roduced a further alienation and antagonism between the individual and 6olitical 6ower8 5oth theoretical interventions ultimately failed due to the logic of the 3eal* they tried to overcome the fundamental antagonism in society= which could not be overcome because this was the very condition of society8 'hey were= in other words= ultimately failed attem6ts to a66roach and overcome the 3eal:that which can never be overcome8 'he 3eal cannot be su66ressed* it only manifests itself somewhere else8 'hus= we saw that the overcoming of the class antagonism only 6roduced another antagonism= this time between the individual and the abstract 6olitical 6ower of the state8

Anta$onism and the "ocial

'heories of revolution such as Marxism and anarchism advocated the overthrow of the existing order in the desire to establish the fullness 6revented by it8 5oth theories attem6ted to overcome domination= but in this very attem6t= as we have seen= they ended u6 reaffirming it8 'his 6olitical logic of AfillingB the unfillable ga6 in society= of overcoming the void that can never be overcome= is an exam6le of hegemoni! 6olitics8%%% 5ecause society can never form a closed identity= this leaves a ga6 o6en for different 6olitical articulations to Afill outB the social totalityF although this is= as we have seen= only 6artially 6ossible8 Perha6s this logic of hegemony:of the constitutive o6enness of the social:can hel6 us to ex6lore the 6roblem of the 6lace8 If the 6lace of 6ower is the 3eal that can never be com6letely overcome= then 6ro@ects of resistance will be only 6artially successful in overcoming domination8 Perha6s= then= the logic of the 6lace of 6ower can only be resisted through the reali,ation that it can never be entirely transcended8 #ociety= according to this analysis= is founded u6on a radical antagonism that constitutes it through its own im6ossibility8 'he antagonism is the 3eal that cannot be symboli,ed= the trauma which does not in itself exist= but whose effects are nevertheless felt8 Antagonism 6revents society from achieving a full identity* it is the fundamental outside:the limit of society8 It is the excess of meaning which surrounds society and which limits it8 'he 3eal functions like the +erridean su66lement8 Antagonism is the constitutive outside of society8 It both threatens the identity of society:because it leaves it o6en to different articulations:and= 6aradoxically= allows it to achieve an identity= albeit incom6lete:because it is only through various 6olitical articulations which try to overcome this fundamental lack that society has an identity at all8

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


Antagonism= then= is a constitutive outside which sub@ects society to the logic of undecidability* society may be seen= rather than as an im6ossible ob@ect= as an undecidable ob@ect= caught between the 3eal of antagonism and signification8 It is governed by this radical ga6= this em6tiness= in the same manner as the Lacanian sub@ect8 Antagonism is not= however= the essence of society8 3ather= it is 6recisely that which denies society an essence8 As Laclau and Mouffe argue* A ;#ociety< is not a valid ob@ect of discourse8 'here is no single underlying 6rinci6le fixing :and hence constituting:the whole field of differences8B%%$ Antagonism exists= therefore= as the excess of meaning that cannot be gras6ed by social signifiers= which surrounds AsocietyB as its limit8%%. 'his idea of society as a field of differences founded on a radical antagonism= runs contrary to the anarchist notion of society as an essential identity governed by natural laws8 #tirner= also= reali,ed that society has no essence= that it is not a thing in itself* it has no ego . Antagonism may be com6ared= for instance= with +eleu,e<s notion of the war) machine= which is= as we have seen= a radical exteriority of fluxes= becomings= and differences that threatens the state form:the order of essence and fixed identity8 7an we not say= then= that this notion of antagonism as a non6lace= a radical outside= is an extension of the war model of relations= a model that has a66eared throughout this discussionD 'he war model has been used as a tool of analysis* it is a model of relations that embraces dislocation and antagonism= thus eschewing any idea of an essential identity8 It is that which is in itself nothing= but which blocks the constitution of a com6lete identity8 It may be seen in terms of the Lacanian idea of trauma8 It has been a66lied in various ways= from #tirner to +errida= to 9uestion and undermine the idea of essence or 6lace8 In other words= it has functioned as a non6lace that threatens the identity of 6lace8 'he war machine= when used in this Lacanian sense= however= does not re@ect the idea of society8 It does not seek to abolish society= devouring it in a conflagration of absolute difference and 6lurality8 'his would be another attem6t to essentiali,e society:to im6ose the essence of difference on society8 3ather= war is used as a motif to attack the idea of society as an essence= a closed identity8 It merely leaves this identity o6en to 6olitical contingency8 #o rather than the war model entirely subverting the idea of society= it retains society as its own limit8

Trauma and Rational Communication

It may be useful= at this 6oint= to com6are this war model of 6olitics= based on the Lacanian lack, to the Eabermasian model of rational communication or Acommunicative action8B 'his com6arison is relevant because ?urgen Eabermas< idea of communication and consensus= based on shared rational norms and understanding= is 9uite close to anarchism* it is 6erha6s the last bastion of the 6rivileged sub@ect of Enlightenment)humanist rationality= the logic which informs anarchism8 It is also relevant to the 9uestion of resistance against domination= because Eabermasians argue that without any notion of shared


7ha6ter #even

rational norms:which this Lacanian analysis would 9uestion:there can be no 6ossibility of any coherent 6olitical or ethical action8%% Eabermas tries to describe the re9uirements for an ideal s6eech situation in which consensus can be achieved without constraint8 For Eabermas= communicative action 6resu66oses a universal intersub@ective understanding that is latent within the lifeworld* ANet these 6artici6ants in communicative action must reach an understanding a#out something in the world if they ho6e to carry out their action 6lans on a consensual basis8B %%4 'hus= 6olitical sub@ects can reach a rational understanding about the world through s6eech acts referring to this context= and this 6oints to the 6ossibility of resolving disagreement and reaching consensus8 It 6oints= in other words= to a 6ossibility of communication without 6ower and constraint8 'he lifeworld is= then= the shared common ground u6on which rational consensus is to be based8 Anarchism= too= tried to achieve a unified identity in this way= through a 6erceived common essential ground of rationality and morality8 Like Eabermas= the anarchists dreamt of a form of communication that was trans6arent= rational= and entirely free from 6ower8 Eabermas believes that there is Aa universal core of moral intuition in all times and in all societies=B and this derives from the Aconditions of symmetry and reci6rocal recognition which are unavoidable 6ro6ositions of communicative action8B%%- #o while= for Eabermas= this moral AcoreB does not necessarily naturally occur within the human sub@ect= as it does in anarchist theory= it is still a transcendent ideal and a universal 6ossibility8 Eowever= it is this ideal of a universal ground which the war model re@ects* it sees the trauma of antagonism behind consensus= the rift behind unity and cohesion8 Lacan himself would re@ect this idea of a common ground= a shared symbolic world inter6retation8%$J 'he Lacanian analysis tells us that at the base of every identity= social and 6olitical= there is a lack= which disru6ts the com6lete constitution of this identity8 I have argued that this lack is the 3eal of antagonism and 6ower which= as Lacan would argue= always returns= although in different forms= des6ite attem6ts to re6ress it8%$1 According to Lacan= it is this traumatic void in the symbolic structure of sub@ectivity that always disru6ts its identity8 'he 3eal may even return in the form of the very forces that try to re6ress it8 'hus= as Lacan has showed us= #adeian 6leasure returns as the excess 6roduced by the Iantian law that tries to re6ress it8 Eabermas has tried to do 6recisely this* to re6ress this antagonism= the lack that is irre6ressible8 Ee tries to construct= or at least describe the circumstances that make 6ossible= a s6eech situation free from constraint8 Eowever= one could argue= using this Lacanian logic= that this very attem6t to exclude constraint and 6ower from rational communication is itself the return of constraint and 6ower8 'he 3eal of 6ower has returned as the very conditions set u6 to exclude it= thus disru6ting the identity of rational communication itself8 3ational communication= which is su66osedly free from 6ower and constraint= is found= according to this Lacanian) ins6ired analysis= to be very much embroiled in 6ower and constraint8 For instance= what the Eabermasian model does not recogni,e is that these rational norms= which it claims are universal= are not universal at all= but rather are grounded in a 6articular e6istemological and cultural 6aradigm= and are= thus=

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


inextricably related to 6ower8 Eow would the ideal s6eech situation deal with the mad= for exam6le= who did not acce6t these rational normsD Eabermas< model does not take account of its own groundedness in a s6ecific e6istemological form that restricts difference8 #o Eabermas has only reinstalled 6ower and constraint in the universal notion of intersub@ective norms constructed to free communication from 6ower and constraint8 Power may be seen= then= as the excess 6roduced by the very structures set u6 to exclude it8 'he war model would maintain that any consensus that saw itself as overcoming 6ower= was actually a form of domination8 Eabermas believes that the intersub@ective understanding 6resu66osed by communicative rationality can free communication from constraint8 Eowever= a6art from the Lacanian 3eal that undermines this su66osition= we have already seen from the 6oststructuralists discussed that rationality is already itself a form of constraint= or at least involved with 6ractices of constraint8 #o I would argue= contrary to Eabermas= that communicative rationality is itself a discourse of constraint and domination= if anything because it claims to be otherwise8 'his is not to say= of course= that there cannot be forms of communication that are not discourses of domination8 5ut there cannot be a discourse of communication that does not involve 6ower in some way8 In the cha6ter on Foucault= I tried to distinguish between his notions of 6ower and domination. Eowever= as I have argued= domination comes from the same world as 6ower8 'he idea is to try to invent forms of action and communication that minimi,e the 6otential for domination8 (e must resign ourselves= however= as #tirner<s theory of ownness exhorts us to do= to the fact that we will never be free of relations of 6ower8 'his is not so much a resignation= however= as an affirmation of this fact8 #o while the Eabermasian 6ers6ective sees the 6ossibility of a world free from 6ower= the war model of trauma does not8 Even the constitutive exterior to 6ower that I have formulated is not a universe free from 6ower= but rather a lack in the structure of 6ower 6ointing to an em6ty= undefined 6ossibility at the limits of 6ower8 I have argued= then= that any social reality= no matter how universal and consensual it claims to be= is disru6ted by the 3eal which always returns to haunt it* the limits of 6ower and antagonism which do not allow it to form a com6lete identity8 #o the social is founded u6on its own em6tiness= then:u6on an empty pla!e of 6ower8 (hile social reality is constructed by 6ower:this we know from the logic of 6oststructuralism:society cannot be com6letely determined by 6olitical signifiers8 'his is because= as I have said= society is an undecidable ob@ect:there is always an excess which eludes 6olitical articulation8 'he state= for instance= is a 6olitical signifier which= for +eleu,e and &uattari= dominates or AcodesB every social signifier8 5ut even here there is a radical exterior:the war)machine:that resists the state form8 'his lack which eludes 6olitical domination cannot= however= be seen in terms of a natural essence which binds society8 'here is no uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture that the anarchists dreamt of8 3ather= this ga6 between society and its 6olitical re6resentation exists in the flawed identity of the signifier of society8 'here is no essential 6lace of resistance8 'he lack is= rather= a non6lace of resistance* it is not of a different


7ha6ter #even

order to 6ower and= therefore= cannot become an absolute 6lace8 It must be understood through Lacan<s idea of trauma* it is the traumatic kernel of 6ower= the outside on the inside. 'his non6lace= because it is an outside= and because it cannot be fixed by 6olitical signifiers= can 6rovide a AgroundB for resistance to domination8 5ecause it remains o6en to contingency and difference in the 6olitics of resistance= it does not allow one 6olitics of resistance to dominate others and= thus= reaffirm the 6lace of 6ower8 Like 7laude Lefort<s notion of the empty pla!e of power= which characteri,es democracy= the idea of the non6lace 6rovides structural resistance against the seductive logic of the 6lace of 6ower8%$! 5y seeing identity:6olitical and social identity:as fractured and o6en= the logic of the lack has allowed us to think outside the 6aradigm of 6lace8

The Lac# and &emocratic %olitics

'he constitutive o6enness in the structure of identity may allow one to resist the logic of 6olitical domination8 'he logic of 6olitical domination o6erates= as we have seen= through Man= through the image of Athe Peo6le8B 'he Peo6le is constituted as a symbol through which totalitarianism articulates itself8 'hat is why Lefort sees democracy and totalitarianism as systems linked at the symbolic level8 Ee argues that democracy is symboli,ed by the tension between the rule of Athe Peo6leB and the Aem6ty 6lace of 6owerB that cannot be filled8 In other words= the empty pla!e is the lack that constitutes democratic society8 'otalitarianism= Lefort argues= is a 6olitical logic that tries to occu6y this em6ty 6lace of 6ower by identifying itself with the image of the Peo6le8 %$" 'he Peo6le functions as an organic meta6hor* it allows society to re6resent itself as an organic whole= a 5ody constantly threatened from without by various contaminants and 6arasites which must be 6urged8%$% 'his idea of contamination and AeliminationB is necessary if totalitarian society is to re6roduce itself8 7an we not see the same logic at work in anarchist discourse* the anarchist idea of natural society and the natural man that was 6art of it= as an organic whole whose identity and function is threatened by contamination and corru6tion from 6owerD #tirner recogni,ed the symbolic role of Man and the Peo6le in articulating 6olitical domination* A'he kernel of the #tate is sim6ly ;Man<= this unreality= and it itself is only a ;society of men8<B%$$ 'he Peo6le= then= is the symbolic identity of the 6lace of 6ower= a 6olitical unit which has been articulated in order to facilitate 6olitical domination8 Eowever= if one takes account of the lack in the structure of identity= then the Peo6le= or Man= can never be theori,ed as a unity or an organic whole* they are destroyed as the symbolic articulators of 6olitical domination8 'he unity of identity= u6on which 6olitical domination relies= is thus fragmented and made contingent through this Lacanian logic8 As Hi,ek says* A'he Lacanian definition of democracy would then be* a socio6olitical order in which the Peo6le do not exist:do not exist as a unity= embodied in their uni9ue re6resentative8B %$. Perha6s we should take this idea seriously and try to outline a 6olitical and ethical 6ro@ect which would not function through the symbolic unity of the Peo6le= and which did not rely on

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


essentialist notions of humanity= morality= and rationality8 'his will be attem6ted in the next cha6ter8 Lacanian ideas have been used here to go beyond the 6oststructuralist 6ro@ect of deconstructing identity8 'he logic of the 3eal has not deconstructed identity= but has rather re!onstru!ted identity on the basis of its own im6ossibility8 (hile it is not clear that there is a great deal of difference between the two 6ro@ects:deconstruction does not necessarily re@ect identity= but merely .uestions it:Lacan<s notion of the lack allows one to look at the argument in a different way and= thus= advance it8 112 It has allowed us to construct a notion of an outside which is necessary for a 6olitics of resistance but which has= thus far= eluded us8 5y seeing this outside= moreover= in terms of a lack:an im6ossible ob@ect lacking from the structure of signification:Lacan has enabled us to avoid turning this outside into an essentialist notion and thus falling into the tra6 of reaffirming 6lace8 1!2 (hile the identity of this radical outside is itself incom6lete and fractured:according to the Lacanian logic of signification:it can still 6rovide a ground for resistance8 'he fact that it is not a fixed identity means that the 6olitics of resistance= develo6ed through this theoretical outside= is freed from an all)determining essence= like the anarchist notion of humanity8 It thus remains o6en to an indefinite field of different articulations of resistance8 It does not allow= as we have said= one form of resistance to dominate another8 'herefore the fractured and non)essential identity of this outside is 6recisely its strength8 1"2 'he sub@ect itself:as constituted through a lack= a failure of signification:is o6en to different and contingent 6olitical identities= allowing it to resist a domination that o6erates through sub@ectification= through the fixing of identity8 3esistance against one<s fixed identity has always been a feature of the 6oststructuralist 6olitical 6ro@ect8 >ow the Lacanian radical outside has finally allowed this resistance to be theori,ed8 1%2 'he notion of the constitutive outside has been a66lied to the idea of society itself* the social is seen as being founded on the 3eal of antagonism that limits it and 6revents it forming a com6lete identity8 'his o6ens the social to different 6olitical articulations that can never overcome the lack in its own identity and= conse9uently= will never be able to become com6letely dominant8 'he 6olitics of resistance will= therefore= be determined by this hegemonic logic* it will never be able to form a closed dominant identity because its identity is flawed8 'he 6olitics of resistance is structurally o6en to difference and reinter6retation8 1$2 'he identity of 6ower= according to Lacanian logic= is also a failed identity= itself constituted through lack8 As we have shown= the structure of 6ower is flawedF it 6roduces an excess which both resists it and allows it= at the same time= to be constituted8 'he identity of 6ower is ultimately undecidable* what threatens it is also what allows its formation as an identity8 'he outside 6roduced by 6ower allows a s6ace for resistance against it8 'hese five 6oints are @ust different ways of talking about the /utside:a notion that has been develo6ed through the Lacanian logic of the lack. 'he central 9uestion of this analysis has been* how can resistance to domination be theori,ed without falling into essentialist tra6s which= as we have seen= merely 6er6etuate this dominationD 'herefore= there must be some sort of structural


7ha6ter #even

outside to 6ower from where it can be resisted= but which does not become essentiali,ed8 5ecause= on the one hand= this Lacanian outside of the lack is constituted by signification as an excess which esca6es it= and because= on the other hand= it still allows an identity of resistance:albeit a fractured and undecidable one:it satisfies the two= seemingly contradictory re9uirements of the non)essentialist 6lace of resistance that we are trying to theori,e8 >ow that a theoretical s6ace= or non6lace= has been o6ened u6 for this resistance= the 9uestion remains in this discussion* what are the ethical 6arameters of this resistance= or= how can this 6ossibility of resistance be develo6ed into an ethical 6ro@ect of resistance against dominationD 'his will be the sub@ect of the next= and last= cha6ter8

18 #ee ?an Marta= ALacan and Post)#tructuralism=B The %meri!an =ournal of $sy!hoanalysis % = no8 1 11-4 2* $1)$ 8 !8 ?ac9ues Lacan= The Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!ho6%nalysis= !J"8 "8 ?ac9ues Lacan= '!rits % Sele!tion, trans. A8 #heridan 1London* 'avistok= 1- 2= !- 8 %8 Lacan= '!rits, 1%18 $8 #lavo@ Hi,ek= A5eyond +iscourse)Analysis=B in +ew )efle!tions on the )evolution of 1ur Time, ed8 Ernesto Laclau 1London* Oerso= 1--J2= !%-)!.J8 .8 5ice 5envenuto and 3oger Iennedy= The (or"s of =a!.ues :a!an %n /ntrodu!tion 1London* Free Association 5ooks= 1-4.2= 1 .8 8 ?ohn P8 Muller= ALanguage= Psychosis= and the #ub@ect in Lacan=B in /nterpreting :a!an, eds8 ?ose6h #mith and (illiam Ierrigan 1>ew Eaven* Nale Cniversity Press= 1-4"2= !1)"!= 48 48 Lacan= '!rits, !--8 -8 Lacan= Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!ho6%nalysis= "J.8 1J8 Lacan= Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!ho6%nalysis= "J.8 118 Peter +ews= A'he 'remor of 3eflection* #lavo@ Hi,ek<s Lacanian +ialectics=B )adi!al $hilosophy ! 1?uly0August 1--$2* 1 )!-8 1!8 #lavo@ Hi,ek= For They ,now +ot (hat They &o 'nHoyment as a $oliti!al Fa!tor 1London* Oerso= London= 1--12= "-8 1"8 #tirner= The 'go, "..8 1%8 7harles #he6herdson= A'he Intimate Alterity of the 3eal=B $ost67odern *ulture .= no8 " 11--.2 Thtt6*00@efferson8village8virginia8edu06mc0contents8all8htmlP 111 ?uly !JJJ28 1$8 ?ac9ues)Alain Miller= ALa #uture=B 7ahiers 6our l<Analyse= nos8 1)! 1?an8)A6r8 1--.2* "-)$18 Luoted in ?ac9ues Lacan= ed8 :anguage of the Self the Fun!tion of :anguage in $sy!hoanalysis, 15altimore* ?ohn<s Eo6kins Press= 1-.42= !-.8 1.8 Laclau and Hac= AMinding the &a6=B 148 1 8 #tirner= The 'go, 1-.8 148 #lavo@ Hi,ek= The Su#lime 1#He!t of /deology 1London* Oerso= 1-4-2= ".8 1-8 #ee ?ac9ues Lacan= AIant with #ade=B 1!to#er $1 1winter 1-4-2* $$)-$8 !J8 Hi,ek= For They ,now +ot (hat They &o, !"!8 !18 Lacan= AIant with #ade=B $48 !!8 #ee Fran, Iafka= AIn the Penal #ettlement=B in 7etamorphosis and 1ther Stories, trans. (8 and E8 Muir 1London* Minerva= 1--!2= ).%8 !"8 Lacan= '!rits, "1-8

Lack of the /utside0/utside of the Lack


!%8 Lacan= '!rits, "1-8 !$8 Lacan= '!rits, "1-8 !.8 7harles #he6herdson= AEistory of the 3eal8B $ost67odern *ulture $= no8 ! 11--$2 Thtt6*00@efferson8village8virginia8edu06mc0contents8all8htmlP 111 ?ul8 !JJJ2 ! 8 #tirner= The 'go, !J!8 !48 Hi,ek mentions the sub@ect<s inter6ellation by the bureaucracy for Iafka* it is seen as a failed inter6ellation in which the sub@ect cannot recogni,e himself or identify with anything8 #ee Hi,ek= Su#lime 1#He!t of /deology, %%8 !-8 Hi,ek talks about concentration cam6s as the 3eal of twentieth century civili,ation* it is a traumatic kernel that has manifested itself in various forms:the &ulag for instance8 #ee Hi,ek= Su#lime 1#He!t of /deology, $J8 "J8 Ernesto Laclau and 7hantal Mouffe= -egemony and So!ialist Strategy Towards a )adi!al &emo!rati! $oliti!s 1London* Oerso= 1-4$2= 1!!8 "18 Laclau and Mouffe= -egemony and So!ialist Strategy= 1"%8 "!8 Laclau and Mouffe= -egemony and So!ialist Strategy= 1118 ""8 Laclau= +ew )efle!tions on the )evolution of 1ur Time, -J8 "%8 'his is the same criticism that= as we have seen= has been levelled against Foucault by Fraser8 "$8 ?urgen Eabermas= 7oral *ons!iousness and *ommuni!ative %!tion. 'rans. 78 Lenhardt 17ambridge= Mass8* MI' Press= 1--J2= 1".8 ".8 ?urgen Eabermas= %utonomy and Solidarity /nterviews, ed8 Peter +ews 1London* Oerso= 1-4.2= !!4)-8 " 8 Peter +ews= A'he Paradigm #hift to 7ommunication and the Luestion of #ub@ectivity* 3eflections on Eabermas= Lacan and Mead=B )evue /nternationale de $hilosophie %11--$2* %4")$1-8 "48 Lacan= The Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!ho6%nalysis= %-8 "-8 7laude Lefort= The $oliti!al Forms of 7odern So!iety ?ureau!ra!y, &emo!ra!y, Totalitarianism, ed8 ?ohn 58 'hom6son 17ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press 1-4.2= ! -8 %J8 Lefort= The $oliti!al Forms of 7odern So!iety, ! -8 %18 Lefort= The $oliti!al Forms of 7odern So!iety, !4 8 %!8 #tirner= The 'go, 14J8 %"8 Hi,ek= Su#lime 1#He!t of /deology, 1% 8


7ha6ter #even

Chapter Eight

To!ards a %olitics of %ostanarchism

'he 6revious cha6ter attem6ted to construct a constitutive outside to 6ower:a non6lace:which would make resistance to domination 6ossible8 It is a theoretical outside that tried to satisfy the two a66arently o66osed conditions of resistance* that it form a s6ace outside 6ower from which resistance can be formulatedF and= at the same time= that it not fall into the tra6 of essentialism: that it does not= in other words= become a meta6hysical or essential 6oint of de6arture outside 6ower8 'hrough the Lacanian lack= one can satisfy these two demands or= at least= reformulate the terms of these demands in such a way that they are no longer in direct o66osition8 /ne can construct a 6ath of undecidability between them which would allow for a genuinely non)essentialist 6olitics of resistance to arise8 >ow that theoretical s6ace has been o6ened for a 6olitics of resistance= it remains of this discussion to try to define this 6ro@ect of resistance= to describe its 6olitical 6arameters and ethical limits8 'hese ethical and 6olitical contours will be 6rovided by certain moral 6rinci6les contained in the anarchist discourse8 'he idea of ethical limits= es6ecially those of a 6hiloso6hy like anarchism= whose foundations have been so soundly shaken by 6oststructuralism= may seem somewhat ina66ro6riate for a non)essentialist theory of resistance against authority8 After all= have we not argued that the moral and rational discourses of anarchism are based on an essentialist notion of man which was found to be not only constructed by the very 6ower that it 6rofessed to o66ose= but also an institution of authority and exclusion itselfD 'he authoritarian im6lications of essentialist ideas of man and human nature have been ex6osed by #tirner through +errida8 Eowever= the notion of ethical limits does not necessarily go against the anti)authoritarianism of the thinkers discussed8 /n the contrary= anti)authoritarianism im6lies its own ethical sensibility8 #tirner= Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari= and +errida= have all involved= whether they liked it or not= a moral strategy of some sort in their criti9ue of authority8 'heir sus6icion of morality and rationality has only been because of the way these discourses have been tied to various essentialist ideas and were= conse9uently= an o66ressive burden 6laced u6on the individual8 Eowever= if one can release these discourses from their indebtedness to human essence= if one can free them from their foundation in man= then 6erha6s they can be reconstituted in a way that makes them valid to 6olitical thinking today8 Perha6s= by using the 6oststructuralist criti9ue= one can theori,e the 6ossibility of 6olitical resistance without essentialist guarantees* a 6olitics of postanar!hism8



7ha6ter Eight

Indeed the conflict between anarchism and 6oststructuralism need not be something that 6uts obstacles in the way of radical 6olitical theori,ing8 /n the contrary= the tension between these two 6olitical traditions 6rovides us with the im6etus and the tools to rethink the very meaning of 6olitics8 Perha6s we can find a way of bridging the ga6 between anarchism and 6oststructuralism= without snuffing out the very 6roductive flicker of conflict between them8 5y incor6orating the moral 6rinci6les of anarchism with the 6oststructuralist criti9ue of essentialism= it may be 6ossible to arrive at an ethically workable= 6olitically valid= and genuinely democratic notion of resistance to domination: one which remains sus6icious of all tem6tations of authority8 In other words= through the theoretical interaction between anarchism and 6oststructuralism= it may be 6ossible to formulate a notion 6olitics that resists the logic of 6lace8

The Criti*ue of Authorit)

Poststructuralism may be seen as a broad criti9ue of authority8 Insofar as it can be said to have a 6olitical 6ro@ect= 6oststructuralism attem6ts to unmask the authoritarian assum6tions and im6lications in various discourses and discursive structures8 It ex6osed the domination latent in institutions and discourses which were seen as somehow innocent of 6owerF which were seen as essential and= therefore= absolved from 6olitical analysis8 #tirner<s criti9ue of moralityF Foucault<s re@ection of the AessentialB division between reason and madnessF +eleu,e and &uattari<s attack on oedi6al re6resentation and state)centered thoughtF +errida<s 9uestioning of 6hiloso6hy<s assum6tion about the im6ortance of s6eech over writing= are all exam6les of this fundamental criti9ue of authority8 'herefore= anarchism and 6oststructuralism= although they function in different ways and in different arenas= and although they may be turned against one another= share= at least= a common thread which leads to a re@ection of authority and domination= and a re@ection of discourses which re6roduce= in the name of liberation= this authority and domination8 Anarchism is a 6oint of de6arture for this anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect because it was= and is= fundamentally= a criti9ue of 6olitical and religious authority:in 6articular= the authority of the state8 'his re@ection of authority is the very basis of anarchism= and the destruction of authority= through revolution= is its ultimate goal8%$ It was this fundamental condemnation of 6olitical authority that distinguished it from other revolutionary 6hiloso6hies such as Marxism= which reduced 6olitical domination to economic domination= seeing the state as secondary to bourgeois economic arrangements8 'his led= as we have seen= to the neglect of 6olitical authority and the autonomy of the state= and conse9uently= the reaffirmation of state 6ower8 (hile the im6ortance of anarchism lay in its ex6osing the authoritarianism within Marxism= and the unmasking of the 6lace of 6ower within the state= it was found that anarchism itself contained authoritarian 6ossibilities8 #tirner<s criti9ue of Feuerbachian humanism was used to ex6ose the authoritarianism within anarchism<s essentialist notions of human nature= the natural order= and

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism


human morality and rationality8 It was in this way that anarchism was 6ushed back u6on itself= and the criti9ue of authority o6ened u6 by anarchism= was taken beyond the limits laid down by it8 'he ideas that formed the basis of anarchism<s 6ro@ect of resistance against authority were found by Foucault= +eleu,e and &uattari= and +errida= to be not only thoroughly 9uestionable:in the sense that they were constituted by the very forms of 6ower and authority that they were su66osed to o66ose:but were also= in themselves= structures and discourses which lent themselves to the 6er6etuation of 6olitical domination8 /ne exam6le of this is +errida<s contention that ideas such as essence form themselves into o66ressive binary hierarchies8 Another is +eleu,e and &uattari<s criti9ue of rationality as a discourse and 6hiloso6hy of the state8 Foucault<s idea that something as su66osedly essential and natural as sexuality is actually constituted by discourses and 6ractices which are fundamentally intertwined with 6ower and domination= is further exam6le of this 6oststructuralist extension of the criti9ue of authority8 In other words= anarchism<s 6ure 6lace of resistance against 6ower= its uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture:the essential human sub@ect and its related discourses of morality and rationality:was found to be somewhat im6ure= and contaminated by 6ower8%$4 'he 6lace of resistance was= on the contrary= a 6lace of 6ower and domination8 'he only trouble with this was that= while it ex6osed the authoritarian 6otential within anarchism and indeed any revolutionary 6hiloso6hy which was based on essentialist ideas= it de6rived the anti) authoritarian 6ro@ect of its own 6oint of resistance8 It denied it the 6ossibility of an outside from which authority and 6ower could be critici,ed* if 6ower constituted the terms of resistance themselves= and if there was no getting away from 6ower= as 6oststructuralism seemed to suggest= then u6on what basis could resistance be establishedD (hile there were attem6ts to answer this 9uestion within the 6oststructuralist framework:Foucault<s notion of A6lebsB and 6ermanent resistance= and +eleu,e and &uattari<s idea of revolutionary desire: these were found to be either too ambiguous= or too essentialist= for a clearly defined= non)essentialist 6ro@ect of resistance8

The :imits of $oststru!turalism

'his was the 9uandary= then= that the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect found itself in8 /n the one hand= we have a revolutionary 6hiloso6hy:anarchism:which offers an outside to 6ower and a basis for resistance= but which is stee6ed in essentialist ideas= which are irrelevant to today<s struggles and lend themselves to 6er6etuating new forms of domination8 /n the other hand= however= we have a diverse series of critical strategies:6oststructuralism:which= while re@ecting essentialism and the 6olitical ideas associated with it= offers no real outside to 6ower or any foundation for resistance and= therefore= little 6ossibility of a coherent theory of 6olitical action8 'his is not to say that 6oststructuralism amounts to nihilism= and that there is no 6ossibility of a 6olitical or ethical= criti9ue of 6ower and authority within the framework of 6oststructuralism itself8 7ontrary to this 6revailing criticism= 6oststructuralism is 6olitically and ethically engaged and can offer certain 6ossibilities for liberation8 Eowever= without


7ha6ter Eight

some kind of notion of a constitutive outside to 6ower= 6oststructuralism has difficulty offering a coherent and ethically viable theory of resistance8 'his is more or less evident in the case of Foucault= who struggled with the idea of resistance= and tried to construct a kind of outside which would make resistance 6ossible8 As we saw= though= Foucault could not do this within the limits that he laid down for himself8 Poststructuralism= like any 6hiloso6hy or critical strategy= has its limits8 'he whole 6oint of 6oststructuralism is not that it should be taken as a coherent 6hiloso6hy that can solve the 6roblems of theory8 3ather= 6erha6s 6oststructuralism should be taken merely as a series of limits:limits that can= nevertheless= be worked through= transcended= and built u6on8 (hile= then= 6oststructuralism does allow for various 6ossibilities of resistance= it means going beyond these limits if one is to construct a theory and a 6olitics of resistance demanded by the criti9ue of authority8

The :a!anian /ntervention

'his is 6recisely why Lacan<s arguments were a66lied* to break through the limits of 6oststructuralism= @ust as #tirner hel6ed us go beyond the limits of anarchism8 Lacan<s notion of the lack as a ga6= a radical em6tiness 6roduced by signification= yet esca6ing it= and which is= therefore= neither outside nor inside the structure of signification= was used here to theori,e a non)essentialist outside to 6ower8 It seemed to satisfy the two contrary= yet necessary= terms of anti) authoritarian 6ro@ect* something which forms a constitutive outside to 6ower and discourse= yet is not necessarily of a different order to 6ower and discourse= but which is= rather= 6roduced by them as a lack within their own structure8 'his 6ointed to the 6ossibility of transcending the seemingly stifling contradiction in this anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect8

,thical Limits
(hile the 6ossibility has been created= then= for a non)essentialist 6olitics of resistance to domination= it remains an em6ty 6ossibility8 If it is to have any 6olitical currency at all it must have contours and limits8 It must have an ethical framework of some sort:some way of determining what sort of 6olitical action is defensible= and what is not8 'he idea of limits does not necessarily go against the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect8 /n the contrary= limits are demanded by it8 'he very criti9ue of authority is based on the idea of ethical limits* the 6rinci6le that= for instance= domination= whatever form it takes= transgresses the limits of ethical acce6tability and should= therefore= be resisted8 'his would be an ethical limit that both anarchists and 6oststructuralists would agree u6on= and could become the basis for a broader ethical criti9ue of authority8 Moreover= this does not have to be an ethical limit im6osed from a meta6hysical 6lace that transcends discourse8 3ather= it is something generated within the discourse of anti)authoritarianism itself* by its definition alone= anti)authoritarianism im6lies an ethical limit8

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism


Eowever= there is a 6roblem central to this 9uestion of ethical limits8 For anarchists= ethical limits can only be based on an idea of humanity which 6ower encroaches u6on= whereas for 6oststructuralists= this idea of human essence= or the essential humanity of man= is itself a site of authority and 6ower8 3ather than human essence constituting an ethical limit o66osed to domination= it is an idea that gives rise to= and 6er6etuates= domination by im6osing limits u6on the individual:limits that are unethi!al8 In other words= for anarchists= human essence:and the morality based on this:is that which allows the individual to limit 6ower and authorityF while 6oststructuralists would argue that human essence:and the morality based on this:is what allows 6ower and authority to limit the individual8 It a66ears= then= that the whole 9uestion of ethics remains skewed on this seemingly irresolvable contradiction8 Is it 6ossible= for instance= to construct an ethical criti9ue of authority without merely 6er6etuating the very authority we wish to o66oseD In other words= is it 6ossible to have an ethics not founded on essentialist notions of humanity and manD Is it 6ossible to free ethics from these essentialist notions while retaining its critical value and 6olitical currencyD 'his is the 9uestion that the anti)authoritarian 6rogram must now address8 I will argue that such an articulation of ethics is 6ossible= but that it must involve a radical reconstruction of the idea of ethics8 If one acce6ts that an ethical criti9ue of authority can no longer be grounded in essentialist and universal conce6tions of sub@ectivity= morality= and rationality= then does anarchism= which is based on these 6remises= still have a 6lace in the 6olitics of resistanceD Perha6s= as 3einer #churmann argues= we should be thinking in terms of anar!hA rather than anarchy8 For #churmann= anarchG is an ontological anarchismF a re@ection of meta6hysical 6rinci6les such as human essence= and an affirmation of action without universal guarantees and stable foundations8 Ee distinguishes anarchG from the anarchism of Iro6otkin and 5akunin= seeing this as a reinvention of the 6lace of 6ower* A(hat these masters sought was to displa!e the origin= to substitute the ;rational< 6ower= prin!ipium= for the 6ower of authority= prin!eps@as meta6hysical an o6eration as has ever been8 'hey sought to re6lace one focal 6oint with another8B%$In other words= anarchism<s re@ection of 6olitical authority was based= nevertheless= in a new form of authority:that of rational and moral first 6rinci6les8 'hese meta6hysical first 6rinci6les merely 6rovided a moral and rational @ustification for further domination* A'he first 6hiloso6hies furnish 6ower with its formal structures8B%.J As #tirner would argue= the acce6tance of the universal authority of rational and moral first 6rinci6les is a reaffirmation of religious authority8 In light of this 6oststructuralist re@ection of 6lace= it is no longer realistic to talk about a stable= universally ethical or rational ground8 As Eeidegger would see it= we live in an age of meta6hysical closure in which the notion of universal first 6rinci6les is 9uestionable8%.1 'his is the age of undecidability= of uncertainty= in which 6olitical action no longer has a firm ontological base= in which we can no longer rely on first 6rinci6les to guide us8 Political action in this sense becomes an)archic* a form of 6raxis that no longer refers to meta6hysical first 6rinci6les= to an authoritarian ar!hA. Political action can no longer rely on such a 6riori notions and guarantees of foundations8 As


7ha6ter Eight

#churmann argues= the form of anarchy relevant here= Ais the name of a history affecting the ground or foundation of action= a history where the bedrock yields and where it becomes obvious that the 6rinci6le of cohesion= be it authoritarian or ;rational<= is no longer anything more than a blank s6ace de6rived of legislative= normative 6ower8B%.! It is this age of uncertainty into which we are thrown= and we must make do as best we can8%." 'his Ablank s6aceB that #churmann s6eaks of is what we have referred to as the non6lace created by the war model of relations as well as the Lacanian lack8 It is a As6aceB defined by its structural resistance to essential foundations and dialectical logics which try to determine itF it remains o6en to difference and 6lural discourses8 It is a As6aceB which signifies the death of 6lace= the death of essentialist foundations8

%olitics in the A$e of Uncertaint)

Political theory must live in the age of the +eath of &od and the +eath of Man8 In other words= it must continue without the essential foundations that had hitherto determined its direction8 'his instills a sense of uncertainty and dislocation= and it is this fundamental dislocation that the war model of relations :a model of analysis used throughout the discussion:has tried to account for8 'he 6oststructuralists I have discussed were all 6ro6hets of this dislocation8 'heir work 6oints to a fundamental breakdown of universal values and essentialist notions:an affirmation of rift and antagonism8 #tirner talks about the all)consuming nothingness of the ego8 Foucault bases his analysis of 6ower itself on the model of war8 +eleu,e and &uattari= as we have seen= talk about a rhi,omatic conce6tual and linguistic model that eschews any sense of unity and continuity8 +errida<s work is aimed at unmasking the 6lurality and antagonism hidden behind su66osedly uniform and coherent 6hiloso6hical and linguistic structures8 >iet,sche was also aware of this fundamental sense of dislocation8 >iet,sche<s madman= on hearing of &od<s death:no= of his murder:cries*
5ut how did we do thisD Eow could we drink u6 the seaD (ho gave us the s6onge to wi6e away the entire hori,onD (hat were we doing when we unchained this earth form its sunD (hither is it moving nowD (hither are we movingD Away from all sunsD Are we not 6lunging continuallyD 5ackward= sideward= forward= in all directionsD Is there still any u6 or downD%.%

>iet,sche is haunted by a sense of crisis= by a fundamental breakdown in the meta6hysical and social order caused by the +eath of &od= by this loss of 6lace8 As Ernesto Laclau argues= &od is no longer there to determine the social order= to legitimate 6ower in society= to relegate between sub@ect and ob@ect= identity and function8 &od 6rovided the fundamental link between 6ower and legitimacy8%.$ Eowever= with the death of &od there is a ga6 left between them8 Anarchism= as we have already suggested= may be seen as an attem6t to fill this social lack8 5y describing an essential order= governed by natural laws and

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism


guided by moral and rational 6rinci6les= anarchists tried to overcome the antagonism and ontological uncertainty:created by 6olitical and religious authority:which= as they saw it= rent society a6art8 In the words of the anarchist Proudhon* AAnarchy is orderF 1government is civil war28B%.. 'hus= the 6lace of 6ower was reinvented8 'here are two logics at work here* the logic of antagonism= characteri,ed by the war model of 6oststructuralism= which re@ects ontological certainty and social unityF and the logic of in!arnation= which characteri,es a revolutionary 6hiloso6hy like anarchism= consisting of the movement to overcome this dislocation and fill out the lack in the social order8 Eowever= as Laclau has argued= any attem6t to fill the social lack is ultimately doomed to failure because this lack cannot be overcome= and is constitutive of society itself8 (hile these two logics are o66osed= however= they are nevertheless related* there can be no logic of incarnation without first a notion of dislocation and antagonism to overcome8 'his relatedness makes the logic of incarnation always undecidable* while it claims to be essential and Aalready there=B it is always based on the logic of dislocation8 In this sense= anarchism= while it claimed to be based on an essential and universal natural order= is actually founded on the dislocation and antagonism it tries to dis6el8 In other words= any ontological or social order is always founded on a constitutive disorder= and this makes it ultimately undecidable8 'his radical undecidability may be theori,ed in another way= using Laclau<s logic of the em6ty signifier8%. 'he model of em6ty signification can 6erha6s be a66lied to the 9uestion of morality and rationality and their role in the anti) authoritarian 6ro@ect8 Perha6s morality and rationality could be conceived as em6ty signifiers which are no longer founded on a 6articular essence= or tied to a 6articular sub@ectivity= thus becoming o6en to a theoretically endless and contingent series of signifieds and identities8 'he 6oststructuralist criti9ue of the discourses of rationality and morality has been on the basis that they are grounded in a certain sub@ectivity or way of life that excludes others8 #tirner argues= for instance= that humanist morality is always tied to a 6articular conce6tion of what constitutes human essence* it is always based on the figure of man= which excludes different identities and sub@ectivities:the un)man. Ee therefore says* AMorality is incom6atible with egoism= because the former does not allow validity to me= but only to Man in me8B%.4 In other words= morality mutilates the individual because it always refers to a 6articular identity that the individual has to conform to* it excludes difference and otherness8 #imilarly= Foucault is sus6icious of rationality because it is tied to a 6articular model and series of norms that exclude and dominate those who do not measure u6 to themF rationality is constituted through its exclusion of the irrational= the mad= the other8 +eleu,e and &uattari attack the morality and rationality which oedi6ali,e the sub@ect according to 6sychiatric norms= while +errida 9uestions the ethi!s of morality by unmasking the violent binary hierarchies u6on which it is based8 'his attack on moral and rational norms does not mean that 6oststructuralism is not ethically engaged* 6oststructuralism is merely a criti9ue of the way that these norms are grounded in a 6articular essence or identity that


7ha6ter Eight

excludes others8 It is a criti9ue of the way that morality and rationality= because they are essentiali,ed= are used to @ustify the domination of those who do not conform to this essential sub@ectivity8 'his criti9ue of the latent authoritarianism inhabiting discourses of morality and rationality= a66lies to anarchism itself8 (hile anarchism claims to es6ouse a morality for everyone= a Atruly human anarchist morality=B%.- it is bound= nevertheless= to a 6articular essential identity:a certain 6icture of what constitutes the Atruly human8B For instance= 5akunin bases anarchist morality on the im6ortance of work* AEuman morality accords such rights only to those who live by working8B% J 'hus= the identity of the worker is 6rivileged above othersF different identities and lifestyles:those that are not based on work:are a66arently excluded from this Ahuman morality8B Is there not a 6aradoxical similarity here between the moral em6hasis that 5akunin 6laces on work= and today<s conservative radio talk)show hosts who endlessly glorify the Ahard workerB at the ex6ense of Adole reci6ientDB #o while 5akunin talks about a Atruly human morality=B it seems that he has s6ecific ideas of what AhumanB means and= conse9uently= who this morality a66lies to8 Iro6otkin= too= founds anarchist morality on a human essence and a natural identity= thus limiting it8 5ut what if one were to renounce this essential human identity= as #tirner<s egoist does= and become something otherD According to anarchist morality= this would be seen as immoral= or irrational= and would thus involve an exclusion of some sort8 Even some modern anarchists retain a notion of an essential human identity u6on which morality and rationality are based8% 1 Morality in anarchist discourse= then= is tied to 6articular identities that are su66osed to be re6resentative= but which= for this reason= inevitably exclude and dominate other identities and ways of life8

,thics !ithout 2round

Eowever= does this essential grounding of morality and rationality that has been so much 6art of Enlightenment humanist 6hiloso6hies like anarchism= mean that we should re@ect these discourses out of handD >o= on the contrary= they have a necessary role to 6lay in anti)authoritarian struggles8 (ithout any notion of morality and rationality it is im6ossible to develo6 a criti9ue of authority8 +errida talks about the continued im6ortance of the ideals and ethics of the Enlightenment notion of emanci6ation8 5ut he argues that it must not be a closed discourse:it must be available to other struggles and identities hitherto considered of no im6ortance8 If these discourses are to have any relevance at all= they must be freed from their grounding in essential identities* they must be reconstituted= in other words= as em6ty signifiers whose fixedness to 6articular signifieds is made theoretically im6ossible8 Csing the logic of em6ty signification= anarchist morality and rationality no longer have to remain tied to a certain conce6tion of humanity or nature8 'hey can be freed from such essentialist grounds and become free)floating signifiers= structurally o6en to a multitude of different struggles8

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism


An exam6le of this might be the intervention of feminism in anarchist discourse8 7arol Erlich argues that radical feminism and anarchism share a re@ection of all forms of institutional authority= male or female8 #he says* Awhat the socialists= and even some feminists= leave out is this* we must smash all forms of domination8B% ! 'his link between feminist struggles and the anarchist struggle against authority had traditionally been ignored by anarchists8 % " Eowever= using the logic of the em6ty signifier= there is no reason why the anarchist ethics of resistance to authority cannot signify other struggles= like feminism= or the struggles of the disabled= consumers= the unem6loyed= the young= the old= environmentalists= the mentally ill= welfare reci6ients= or indeed any individual or grou6 of individuals resisting 6articular forms of domination and ex6loitation8 As I have said= though= this will only be a 6artial signification :there will always be an excess of meaning that eludes this re6resentation and destabili,es it8 'his excess of meaning kee6s the em6ty signifier from becoming a closed one:it kee6s it constitutively o6en to a 6lurality of 6olitical articulations and inter6retations8 Anarchist morality must be freed= then= from its foundations in human essence in order to become a truly democratic morality= which would no longer be closed off to different struggles8 Proudhon= the anarchist= once called for a humanist morality that was not grounded in &od8 In the same way the anti) authoritarian 6ro@ect calls for a humanist morality which is not grounded in man8 It is only by freeing morality and rationality from their grounding in such signifieds= that the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect can avoid reinventing the 6lace of 6ower8 It is only through this 6rocess of an extension of meaning that anti) authoritarian 6olitics can avoid new forms of domination and exclusion= and become truly democratic8 It is this 6rocess of extending signification that= Laclau argues= is fundamental to a radical democratic 6ro@ect8 According to this logic= meaning is no longer im6osed on 6olitical struggles from a meta6hysical 6oint outside8 'heir direction is no longer determined in advance= or dialectically mediated= by an essential foundation8 'his was the case= as we have seen= in anarchist discourse where the struggle for liberation was ontologically determined= and thus limited= by the dialectical unfolding of human essence and the develo6ment of man8% % >ow= however= the foundations of these discourses have been re@ected= and their ontological certainty has been thrown into doubt8 Laclau sees this as a 6ositive develo6ment* AEumankind= having always bowed to external forces:&od= >ature= the necessary laws of Eistory:can now= at the threshold of 6ost)modernityF consider itself for the first time the creator and constructor of its own history8B% $ (hile this ontological uncertainty and constitutive o6enness in meaning is no doubt 6ositive and indeed necessary= it 6oses certain 6roblems8 For instance= if the 6ro@ect of resistance to authority is o6en to a 6lurality of inter6retations and struggles= then it would seem that there is no way of determining what form these struggles might take8 /bviously the definition of anti)authoritarianism 6rovides limits of its own8 For instance= it would be 1ho6efully2 theoretically im6ossible for an overtly authoritarian 6olitical logic such as fascism to be


7ha6ter Eight

constituted as an anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect8 Eowever= theoretically= there would be nothing to sto6= for instance= a racist movement that claimed to be fighting for rights of o66ressed whites against blacks [or indeed of blacks against whites] from 6ortraying itself as an anti)authoritarian struggle8 7learly= there must be an ethical content to this 6ro@ect of resistance to domination8 'here must be some notion of ethical limits8 'hese contours can be 6rovided= as we suggested= by the anarchist discourses of morality and rationality that have now been freed from their groundedness in an essential identity8 'hese discourses have been ontologically reconstituted= but their content has been retained8 (e must look at the content of these ethical discourses= and how it can be redefined in a way that makes it valid for the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect I have been trying to outline8

Anarchist ,thics
7lassical anarchism as a theory of revolution no longer has any great relevance to today<s struggles8 'he 9uestion of the state= for instance= is one whose im6ortance has diminished8 Foucault has 9uestioned the very existence of the state as a unified institution= 6referring to see it as a relatively dis6ersed series of 6ractices8 Even +eleu,e and &uattari<s analysis of the state sees it as a dis6ersed series of 6olitical and social signifiers rather than a centrali,ed institution8 Moreover= anarcho)feminists re@ect the state reductionism of classical anarchism= seeing it as a discourse that ignores other forms of domination= such as 6atriarchy:in the same way= 6erha6s= that the economic reductionism of Marxism ignored state domination8% . 'he struggles that anarchism fought are now dead struggles= and the sub@ects that it sought to liberate:the lum6en6roletariat= the 6easants= etc8:no longer exist as essential revolutionary identities8 #o what relevance does anarchism have for our 6ur6osesD As a revolutionary 6hiloso6hy based on an essentialist idea of man= and aimed at overthrowing the state and establishing a free society based on natural 6rinci6les in its 6lace= it has little real relevance8 5ut as an ethical strategy= and a strategy of resistance against domination and the 6lace of 6ower= it still has immense im6ortance8 Anarchism is= fundamentally= an ethical criti9ue of authority:almost an ethical duty to 9uestion and resist domination in all its forms8 In this sense it may be read against itself* its im6licit criti9ue of authority may be used against the authoritarian currents which run throughout its classical discourse8 In other words= this ethical AcoreB of anarchism can 6erha6s be rescued= through the logic already outlined= from its classical nineteenth)century context8 For instance= as I have already indicated= the criti9ue of authority may be ex6anded to involve struggles other than the struggle against state domination8 Perha6s= also= anarchism<s traditional re@ection of the authoritarian class reductionism of Marxism= and its o6ening of revolutionary sub@ectivity to those excluded by the Marxist analysis:the 6easantry and the Alum6en) 6roletariatB:can be used against its own essentialist ideas of what constitutes man and humanity8 'his would o6en it to a 6lurality of identities8 Perha6s anarchism should be read as a series of 6ossible contradictions which can be

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism


used against one another and which can 6roduce new 6ossibilities8 Iro6otkin argues that Ainner contradiction is the death of ethics8B% I would argue= contrary to this= that inner contradiction is the very !ondition of ethics8 For something to be ethical it can never be absolute8 Poststructuralism re@ected morality because it was an absolutist discourse intolerant of difference* this is the 6oint at which morality becomes unethical8 Ethics= for +errida= must remain o6en to difference= to the other8 In other words= it cannot close itself off to that which contradicts it8 Eowever= contradiction is not used here in its dialectical sense= as something that will be overcome in a higher morality8 3ather= contradiction is used here in the sense of the war model= or +eleu,e and &uattari<s rhi,ome:to mean an antagonism which cannot be resolved= and which generates further 6ossibilities and conditions for ethical thinking8

Freedom and '.uality

'his logic may be a66lied to the central ethical 6rinci6le of anarchism* the essential interrelatedness of freedom and e9uality8 'o its great credit= anarchism re@ected the classical liberal idea that e9uality and liberty are naturally contradictory terms that limited one another8% 4 According to liberal thinking= individuals could never have maximum e9uality and maximum liberty* there was always a trade)off between the two= so that the more e9uality one had= the less liberty one had= and vice versa8 Anarchists argued that this was based on a fundamental distrust of human natureF rather freedom and e9uality were entirely com6atible8 In fact= they are essential to one another= as 5akunin argues*
I am free only when all human beings surrounding me:men and women alike :are e9ually free8 'he freedom of others= far from limiting or negating my liberty= is on the contrary its necessary condition and confirmation8 I become free in the true sense only by virtue of the liberty of others= so much so that the greater the number of free 6eo6le surrounding me the dee6er and greater and more extensive their liberty= the dee6er and larger becomes my liberty8% -

In other words= for anarchists= freedom is not contained in its narrow= negative sense as Afreedom from8B Freedom is seen in its 6ositive= social sense as Afreedom to=B and therefore it is increased through its interaction with the freedom of others8 Freedom is fundamentally social= then= and can only exist when there is an e9uality of freedom8 >ow= what if one were to suggest= contrary to the anarchist 6osition= that freedom and e9uality are not essentially com6atibleD 'his suggestion would not , however= be made on the basis of the liberal argument= which claims that e9uality and liberty are essentially incom6atible8 'o say that freedom and e9uality are inherently incom6atible is @ust as much an assum6tion as claiming that they are naturally com6atible* both arguments are based on an essentialist idea of human nature8 (e could instead argue that e9uality and liberty are neither essentially contradictory= nor essentially com6atible:they are not essentially anything8 3ather= they must be freed from essentialist arguments altogether8 'his would leave them o6en to antagonism8 'o say that they are


7ha6ter Eight

antagonistic terms= however= does not im6ly an essentialism8 (e are not arguing that e9uality and freedom can never be com6atible= but rather that com6atibility is not essential to their terms and is not= therefore= guaranteed:it is something that must be discursively constructed= 6erha6s through the logic of em6ty signification8 If they can be freed from their essential basis in human nature= then these ethical terms can be seen as existing in an antagonistic relationshi6= in which one interacts with the other and 6roduces the other in a different way8 In other words= the relationshi6 between these two antagonists is not one of essential interrelatedness= or essential se6arateness= but rather one of !ontamination= in which each term contaminates and changes the meaning of the other8 'his relationshi6 will not be decided in advance= as it was in anarchist and liberal discourses= but rather will be continually reinter6reted and redefined by the 6olitical interventions that engage with this 9uestion8 'he relationshi6 between e9uality and freedom is central to the ethical 6roblem that we are trying to address8 It goes to the heart of the 9uestion of the ethical contours of the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect8 Imagine= for instance= a xeno6hobic 6olitical movement which claimed to be anti)authoritarian= which did so u6on the grounds of freedom of ex6ression= and which saw any attem6t to resist this ex6ression as a denial of its freedom= as an encroachment on its rights8 /ne only has to look at the current debates on racism and 6olitical correctness for an exam6le of this8 +oes this not force us to reevaluate the 9uestion of e9uality and freedom* a movement or theory which denies racial= or sexual= e9uality to others= and claiming= in doing so= to be exercising its own freedom8 #hould e9uality be affirmed at the ex6ense of freedom= or should freedom:the freedom 6ossibly to es6ouse discriminatory and intolerant ideas:be defended at the ex6ense of e9ualityD 'he anarchist notion of the essential relatedness of freedom and e9uality does not hold in this situation because we are forced to see e9uality and freedom as limits u6on one another8 Eow= then= can this misa66ro6riation of the idea of freedom be resisted without actually denying freedom itselfD If the discourse of freedom is used against the idea of e9uality= as it is in this situation= then it still nevertheless involves a notion of e9uality* freedom of ex6ression is still 6art of the discourse of e9uality:the e9ual right of all grou6s to ex6ress themselves8 Laclau<s discussion of parti!ularism and universalism in the discourse of multiculturalism= deconstructs these terms in a similar way* grou6s within a multicultural society who assert their difference and 6articularism in o66osition to universalism are= nevertheless= de6ending u6on a universal notion of e9ual rights in doing so8 %4J In the same way= the traditional o66osition between freedom and e9uality is deconstructed and made undecidable because the two terms de6end on each other8 Moreover= the AfreedomB asserted by an intolerant 6olitical movement or theory is the freedom to o66ress and exclude others:so in this sense it is not freedom that is being ex6ressed here at all= but rather a discourse of domination8 5ecause freedom has been connected discursively with e9uality= it cannot be used against e9uality and= therefore= to deny e9uality:sexual= religious= racial= etc8:in this way= is also to deny freedom8 It is on this ground= then= that intolerance can be resisted8

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism


'his is not= as we have said= an essential ground* it is not based on a notion of human nature= or on an essential interrelatedness between freedom and e9uality8 3ather= it is based on a discursively constructed relationshi6 of contamination between the two terms8

Perha6s the 6olitico)ethical 9uestion might shift altogether from the relationshi6 between e9uality and freedom= to one of singularity8 #ingularity might allow one to combine freedom and e9uality in a nondialectical way that retains a certain antagonism between them8 #ingularity would im6ly a notion of res6ect and freedom for difference:for anything singular:without this freedom encroaching on the freedom of others to be different8 It would involve= then= an e9uality of freedom for difference and individuality8 'his idea of singularity as e9ual res6ect for difference allows us to bridge the ethical ga6 between 6oststructuralism and anarchism8 If there were a minimum ethic that these two anti)authoritarian discourses shared it would be a res6ect for individuality and individual difference8 Perha6s anarchism<s central ethic was= as 5akunin said= Athe freedom of every individual unlimited by the freedom of all8B%41 Ee argues that Athe res6ect for the freedom of someone else constitutes the highest duty of men 8 8 8 this is the basis of all morality= and there is no other basis8B%4! 'he trouble for 6oststructuralists was that this freedom inevitably meant a further domination8 5ecause it was grounded in essentialist ideas it was inevitably limited to certain identities= or to certain as6ects of identity= excluding others8 Eowever= as I suggested= this idea of res6ect for the freedom of others can be rescued from its essentialist foundations through the logic of em6ty signification= and become thus de)transcendentali,ed8 It is 6recisely this de)transcendentali,ed notion of ethics that 6oststructuralism im6lies but never really makes ex6licit8 >ancy Fraser= one of Foucault<s critics= argues that what Foucault lacks is some commitment to a notion of ethics* Agood old)fashioned modern humanism or some 6ro6erly de) transcendentali,ed version thereof= begins to a66ear increasingly attractive8B%4" >ow it is on this 6oint that Fraser is wrong8 (hile 6oststructuralists like Foucault would re@ect Agood old)fashioned humanismB for the reasons 6resented above= there is nothing in 6oststructuralism that 6recludes the 6ossibility of a de) transcendentali,ed ethical strategy of some sort8 As we saw in the cha6ter on Foucault= there is ethical engagement there8 'he only criticism of 6oststructuralism that could be made is that it does not make this commitment strongly or ex6licitly enough= and this is for fear of bringing back the moral absolutism that it is trying to eschew8 It could be argued= then= that 6oststructuralism does have a minimum ethics= and this would be= as 'odd May argues= that Aone should not constrain others< thought or action unnecessarily8B%4% In other words= 6oststructuralist ethics involves resistance against the domination of the individual= against any form of authority that im6oses u6on the individual limits and constraints8 It im6lies=

1 J

7ha6ter Eight

then= a res6ect for individuality and individual difference8 'his is an ethics which im6licitly= yet undoubtedly= runs throughout Foucault<s work= des6ite his re@ection of humanist essence and re6ressive 6ower:factors which= if his critics are to be believed= made any ethical sensibility im6ossible8%4$ 'here is also the im6licit defense of the rights of the individual discussed in the cha6ter on Foucault= as well as an attack on the lack of reci6rocity in the way that institutions and institutionali,ed discourses deal with individuals8 'his condemnation of une9ual 6ower relations has much in common with anarchism8 #tirner<s work= also= is an ex6licit attack on the essentialist ideas= and the 6olitical institutions based on them= which mutilated individuality by im6osing AhumanB norms u6on it8 +eleu,e and &uattari wrote about the o66ressive /edi6ali,ation of the individual and the way that this limited individual difference and closed off the 6ossibilities of becoming8 +errida= while not as ex6licitly 6olitical as those above= tried to create a theoretical s6ace for the recognition of difference and 6lurality= which had been denied by meta6hysical unities of logocentric discourse8 Moreover= he s6oke of an ethical= and even @udicial= sensibility of res6ect for singularity8 Foucault also said that theory should always be res6ectful of the singular* this is Foucault<s ethics8%4. #o it may be argued that 6oststructuralism shares with anarchism a commitment to res6ect and recogni,e autonomy and difference* a minimum ethics of singularity8 And 6erha6s it is u6on this singularity that a de) transcendentali,ed ethical ground:or rather a non6lace:can be constructedF an ethics that will inform the 6ro@ect of resistance to authority8 Moreover= bringing together 6oststructuralism and anarchism through the ethics of singularity has shown= contrary to the received wisdom= that it is 9uite 6ossible to have a notion of res6ect for human values without a concomitant theory of humanism or a foundation in human essence8%4

%olitics (e)ond Identit)

Moreover= the idea of singularity works against essentialist discourses by constructing a notion of identity that is constitutively o6en8 As we have seen in the discussion of Lacan= identity is constituted through a lack:through a structural em6tiness blocking its full constitution as an identity= leaving it incom6lete and thus o6en to different articulations8 Eowever the ethics of singularity comes closer to ex6ressing this o6enness and flux of identities* it re@ects the idea of an essential= stable identity because this is seen= as I have argued= as a way of dominating and excluding that which differs from this AuniversalB identity8 #ingularity is a res6ect for what is different= for what is singular= and this im6lies a defense of difference against universali,ing and essentialist identities and the 6olitical discourses based on them8 It could be considered a rhi,omatic term:a term that deconstructs both the different and the same= 6roducing a nondialectical notion of difference8 It resists the idea of a stable universal identity because this is seen as merely a way of dominating other identities8 Also= singularity resists the Abinari,ationB of thought and

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1 1

identity because this is only a dialectical absor6tion of the other into the structure of the same8 'hroughout this discussion I have argued that the binari,ation of 6olitical thought:the grou6ing of a 6lurality of struggles into sim6le o66ositions of man0state= man06ower= etc8:merely reaffirms the 6lace of 6ower8 (e have seen this in the Manichean logic of anarchism8 #tirner= for instance= argues that to affirm immorality against morality= or crime against law= is not really resistance at all= but rather only reaffirms the dominance of what it is su66osed to resist8 Lacan showed that the Law is actually re6roduced= rather than resisted= by its transgression8 +errida also re@ects such o66ositional thinking= showing that it based on an essentialism that is counter6roductive= and that it only reaffirms the dominant hierarchy of thought8 Foucault= too= argues that such sim6le binary transgression limits the 6ossibilities of our thinking= in 6articular our 6olitical thinking*
'he 6roblem is not so much that of defining a 6olitical ;6osition< 1which is to choose from a 6re)existing set of 6ossibilities2 but to imagine and to bring into being new schemas of 6olitici,ation8 If ;6olitici,ation< means falling back on ready)made choices and institutions= then the effort of analysis involved in uncovering the relations of force and mechanisms of 6ower is not worthwhile8%44

In other words= the 6olitical task today is not to 6osit a certain identity in o66osition to 6ower= but rather to dismantle the binary structure of 6ower and identity itselfF to disru6t the theoretical and 6olitical logic which re6roduces this o66osition and which limits thinking to these terms8%4- #o 6erha6s anti) authoritarian thought should try to o6erate outside this o66ositional structure of identity and free itself from its obligation towards certain essential identities of resistance8 (e seem to be surrounded today by a multitude of new identities and lifestyle 6olitics:A#0MB gays= Ase6aratistB lesbians= Atransgenders=B etc8 (e are faced with a 6roliferation of new 6articularistic demands:the demands of some feminist grou6s for Awomen<s onlyB services and facilities= or the demands of gays for their own As6ace=B their own 6olitical re6resentation= their own Agay onlyB events= etc8 Everywhere there is the assertion of a 6articular= differential identity with its own demands for exclusive social= 6olitical= and cultural rights8 Eowever= as we have seen= the 6olitical field is a rhi,omatic system= with multi6le connections forming between different identities:even if they are in o66osition:thus o6ening u6 ever new and un6redictable 6ossibilities8 'herefore= to 6osit a 6articular identity of o66osition:to think solely in terms of the o66ression of women by men= gays by straights= blacks by whites= etc8:is to severely limit our 6olitical 6ossibilities8 Perha6s this is why there is certain inanity and definite sense of boredom that goes along with identity 6olitics= with waving the banners of Afeminist struggles=B Agay struggles=B Ablack struggles=B etc8 'here is a certain litany of o66ressions which most radical theories are obliged to 6ay homage to8 (hy is it that when someone is asked to talk about radical 6olitics today one inevitably refers to this same tired= old list of struggles and identitiesD (hy are we so unimaginative

1 !

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6olitically that we cannot think outside the terms of this Asho66ing listB of o66ressionsD Is this not 6recisely the kind of essentialist and o66ositional thinking that Foucault exhorts us to avoidD (hy are we assuming that being black or gay or female is necessarily an identity of resistanceD Is this not an essentialist assum6tionD 5inary 6olitical thinking is based= as >iet,sche would argue= on a culture of ressentiment that often re6roduces the structures of o66ression8 It falls into the tra6 of 6lace= and thus goes against the ethics of anti) authoritarianism8 /ne sees this in the way that certain feminist discourses demoni,e men= in much the same way that male chauvinist ideas once denigrated women8 /66ositional logic of this sort merely reaffirms the structures of o66ression that it is su66osed to resist8 'his authoritarian logic is made inevitable by essentiali,ing female identity:by 6ositing an identity which is intrinsically AgoodB and Atruth)bearing=B but which is o66ressed by male identity8 (endy 5rown analyses this culture of ressentiment in modernist feminism* the valorisation of women because of their o66ression8%-J Female identity is thus defined as Ao66ressedB and AgoodB in o66osition to male identity seen as intrinsically Ao66ressiveB and Abad8B It is 6recisely this sort of 6uerile o66ositional thinking that the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect resists8 Moreover= it is this o66ositional thinking which= as #tirner argues= mutilates individuality8 Eow would this logic deal with a woman who did not necessarily identify herself as a women= or who did not see herself as o66ressed= necessarily= by menF or a black who did not identify with being blackD (ould they be denied a 6olitical voice or 6olitical credibilityD +oes this o66ositional thinking not 6osit a stable identity to which certain 6olitical im6lications are essential* does it not close off identity to flux and becomingD 'here have been numerous cases= for instance= where transgender women have been excluded from various feminist and lesbian grou6s because they were somehow not AwomenB enough= because they were still seen as men and= therefore= could not have any idea of what it feels like to be a ArealB woman= suffering ArealB o66ression8 It is this sort of authoritarian essentialism which com6letely discredits o66ositional 6olitical thinking8 #ingularity allows us to think beyond these o66ositions= and to theori,e that which does not fit so neatly into its structures of Adifference8B 'his is not to say= of course= that women= gays= blacks= and Asians are not o66ressed or excluded in certain ways and that there are not legitimate anti)authoritarian struggles surrounding these issues8 5ut to base struggles 6urely on an essential identity:on AblacknessB or AgaynessB: and to exclude from these struggles others who do not conform to these AidentitiesB entirely for that reason= goes against the ethics of anti) authoritarianism8 (e should be getting away from such an unimaginative 6olitics= and thinking in ways that deterritoriali,e this logic8 'he danger of 6ositing difference is that it becomes essentiali,ed= allowing o66ositional structures to be built u6on it8 'his does not mean that a 6olitics of difference and 6lurality be abandonedF it means sim6ly that it resist the tem6tation of essentialism= that it become o6en to other differences:o6en even to the 6ossibilities of the #ame8 #ingularity allows us to do 6recisely this* to theori,e

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism

1 "

non)essentialist difference8 'his is the ethical task of the anti)authoritarian 6ro@ect8

,thics of %ostanarchism
It is on this ethical 9uestion of essential identities that anarchism can again be read against itself= with interesting results8 Anarchism<s defense of autonomy and individuality can o6erate against its notion of an essential identity= and its essential morality and rationality8 'he idea of autonomy in anarchist discourse is based on an essential identity= and the moral and rational im6eratives associated with this* one is autonomous within the limits of an essential humanity and within universal moral law8 Eowever= autonomy can also mean autonomy from the moral and rational im6eratives associated with this very idea of an essential human identity8 'his contradiction is evident in Iro6otkin<s work on ethics8 Ee argues= on the one hand= that morality must be based on established truths and firm rational foundations= making it im6ossible to doubt8%-1 Eowever= he also says that morality should not become an in@unction or a categorical im6erative8%-! Ee wants a Anew moralityB which is non)transcendental and which res6ects individual rights8%-" Net he wants this non)transcendental law to be based on Aorganic necessity=B on the universal law of organic evolution8%-% For Iro6otkin there is no contradiction here because he sees the basis of individuality and moral autonomy to be this universal organic law8 As we have seen from a 6oststructuralist criti9ue= however= any discourse or identity based on universal and essential foundations necessarily conflicts with the notion of autonomy and individuality8 'his contradiction 6oints to certain limitations in anarchism<s idea of autonomy8 'here are two 6ossible inter6retations of autonomy available to anarchists8 /ne is based on the idea of the true= essential self= which has moral authenticity as its ultimate goal8 It is this essentialist= dialectically mediated idea of the self that I have re@ected8 'he other is= 6erha6s= more in line with the ethics of singularity* instead of authenticity being an end goal= it is more of an ongoing 6rocess of 9uestioning and reinter6retation= and it is always sub@ect to change8 %-$ 'his latter notion of sub@ectivity re@ects the un9uestioned allegiance to the moral codes that the classical anarchists were= in reality= demanding8 It demands to know why one should acce6t a 6articular moral condition @ust because it is based on natural law or is rationally founded* and it is this 9uestioning= this demand to know why= this refusal to acce6t anything on its own terms= which is itself distinctly ethical8 #o= rather than a morally)authentic self:a notion of the self dialectically subordinated to universal moral and rational laws:there is an alternate idea of the self being morally authentic 6recisely through the 9uestioning of this very idea of authenticity8 'his latter inter6retation 6osits an identity that is structurally o6en= contingent= and morally)autonomous8 I have referred to an anarchism of sub@ectivity= rather than an anarchism based on sub@ectivity8 'his is a 6ostanarchist notion of autonomy:and it is this idea of autonomy that has greater relevance for anti)authoritarian thought8 'he structural o6enness of the logic of postanar!hism allows us to disru6t the unity of 6olitical thought by freeing it from AessentialB foundations= and

1 %

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thereby o6ening it to contingency and multi6le inter6retations8 #o in that case 6ostanarchism should not be taken as a coherent 6olitical identity= or a teleologically determined= unified body of revolutionary thought8 #uch totali,ing logic has 6roved disastrous for anti)authoritarian 6olitics8 3ather= 6ostanarchism should be seen as a series of ethical strategies for resistance to domination8 It is this constitutive o6enness which= 6aradoxically= 6rovides its own ethical limits* it remains resistant to discourses and struggles which are intolerant and restrictive8 Eowever this ethical resistance to intolerance is always undecidable* it must always 9uestion itself8 If it is @ust a mere a66lication of a limit= then it itself becomes unethical8 'his radical o6enness 6erha6s defines the ethical limits of a non)essentialist democratic 6olitics8 'his democratic ethic of radical 6luralism is 6ossible because it does not start by 6resu66osing an essential identity as its foundation and limit8 3ather than a democratic 6luralism based on identity= it is a democratic 6luralism of identity8 #o rather than democratic 6luralism starting with an identity= identity itself starts with democratic 6luralism:with a radical o6enness8 'his is the democracy both demanded= and made 6ossible= by the 6olitics of 6ostanarchism8

'his book has attem6ted to make radical anti)authoritarian thought more Ademocratic8B 'he conce6tual im6etus for this came out of a com6arison between anarchism and 6oststructuralism= a com6arison which ex6osed= in a fundamental way= the 6roblems central to anti)authoritarian thought8 'he tension between these two anti)authoritarian discourses= then= 6rovided both the dynamic for the discussion= and the analytical tools with which these 6roblems could 6ossibly be resolved8 'he 6roblem most 6ertinent to the discussion is the 6roblem of essentialism8 I have argued that without a thorough criti9ue of the essentialist categories that bind it= there can be no ho6e for radical 6olitics8 Cnless anti)authoritarianism is made aware of its own 6otential for domination= then struggles against authority continue to risk 6er6etuating it8 In order to avoid the 6lace of 6ower= radical 6olitics must be allowed to be conceived in different ways= in ways that do not rely on essentialist foundations to @ustify them8 'he e6istemological 6rivilege granted by the uncontaminated 6oint of de6arture can no longer serve as a ground for a criti9ue of domination8 'he 6olitics of resistance against domination must take 6lace in a world without guarantees8 >iet,sche exhorts us to A5uild your cities on the slo6es of OesuviusS #end your shi6s into unchartered seasSB%-. Freed from both the comforting guarantees and the stifling limits of essentialist discourses= anti)authoritarian thought may now ex6lore these unchartered seas8 'he 6oint here= however= has not been really to construct a new 6olitics= but rather to show that the old 6olitics of A6laceB:defined by essentialist ideas and o66ositional thinking:has reached its conce6tual limits8 It is to show the way

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism

1 $

in which Enlightenment)humanist ideas= exem6lified by anarchism:freedom= revolution= morality= and rationality:create the conditions for their own modification8 >or does the unmasking of the limits of these ideas mean that the old 6olitics should be com6letely abandoned8 It sim6ly contends that 6olitics can no longer be confined within these traditional terms and categories8 'here will always be something that exceeds the 6olitical definitions and boundaries laid down for it= something un6redictable= often antagonistic= fleeting and contingent= something that we had not 9uite reckoned on8 'his is the outside to 6olitics= its limitless limit8 'his discussion= by 6ointing to the limits of what we normally consider to be the 6olitical= by 6ointing to the 6otential for domination in any 6olitical movement= has tried to remain faithful and o6en to this contingency8 'his o6enness is 6recisely what is meant by politi!s8

18 As 5akunin says* AIn a word= we re@ect all 6rivileged= licensed= official= and legal legislation and authority= even though it could arise from universal suffrage= convinced that it could only turn to the benefit of a dominant and ex6loiting minority= and against the interests of the vast enslaved ma@ority8 It is in this sense that we are really Anarchists8B #ee $oliti!al $hilosophy, !$$8 !8 As we have seen= anarchism based itself on a fundamental distinction between the natural order of human essence= and the artificial= 6olitical order of 6ower and authority= and while the natural order was o66ressed and stultified by 6ower= it remained essentially uncorru6ted by it8 It was outside the world of 6ower and authority8 "8 #churmann= -eidegger 1n ?eing %nd %!ting, .8 %8 #churmann= -eidegger 1n ?eing %nd %!ting, $8 $8 #churmann= -eidegger 1n ?eing %nd %!ting, 8 .8 #churmann= -eidegger 1n ?eing %nd %!ting, .8 8 >eedless to say some modern anarchists do not exactly embrace this 6ostmodern logic of uncertainty and dislocation8 ?ohn Her,an argues that without a notion of an autonomous sub@ectivity as well as a belief in the 6ossibility of free rational communication and the 6ower of language to liberate the world:all of which 6oststructuralism has 9uestioned:there can be no 6ossibility of agency or emanci6ation= and this leads only to nihilism and relativism8 Ee sees what he calls A6ostmodernismB as a moral and 6olitical catastro6he8 #ee ?ohn Her,an A'he 7atastro6he of Postmodernism=B %nar!hy % =ournal of &esire %rmed 1fall 1--12* 1.)!$8 (e have heard this argument that e9uates 6oststructuralist ideas with nihilism and relativism many times before 16articularly with res6ect to Foucault2 from various Eabermasian and communitarian 9uarters8 I have tried to show throughout the discussion that= contrary to this claim= 6oststructuralism does not lead to nihilism and it does allow 6olitical engagement8 In fact it could be argued that 6oststructuralism better facilitates 6olitical and ethical engagement than the Enlightenment based 6olitics re6resented by Her,an= which remains tra66ed within structures and categories that are irrelevant to today<s 6olitics8 >ot all anarchists however= re@ect these ideas out of hand8 #ome have been more o6en to them= reali,ing their emanci6ative 6otential8 #ee Philli6 (inn= AAnarchism and Postmodernism* 'owards >on)Eierarchical Inowledge1s2=B %nar!hist %ge 7onthly !" 1>ovember 1--!2= ! )"J8 48 >iet,sche= The <ay S!ien!e, 1418 -8 Laclau and Hac= AMinding the &a6=B 1-8

1 .

7ha6ter Eight

1J8 Luoted in Marshall= &emanding the /mpossi#le, $$48 118 'he em6ty signifier= Laclau argues= is a signifier without a signified8 #ignification= according to #aussure= de6ends on a system of differences that are relational8 Each identity is constituted only through its difference from all the other identities8 'his system of differences must have limits otherwise the differences would become infinitely dis6ersed and= therefore= meaningless8 It must be a closed totality for signification to take 6lace8 If there are limits= however= there must be something beyond those limits:limits are only defined by a beyond8 'he limits of signification are thus an arbitrary exclusion of the other= an arbitrary closing off of the system of differences8 'his radical exclusion causes an ambivalence inside the system of difference:the identity of each element in the system is constituted only by its difference from the other identitiesF but also these differences are e9uivalent to one another in the sense that they fall on one side of the line of exclusion8 In order for this exclusion to be signified= the various elements in the system have to cancel their differences and form= Laclau argues= Achains of e9uivalence8B 'he system becomes 6ure being= 6ure systematicity= which re9uires the creation of em6ty signifiers in order to signify itself8 #ignifiers must em6ty themselves of their fixedness to a 6articular signified in order to re6resent this system of 6ure 5eing= which is rather like the Lacanian 3eal* it is something which cannot be signified= but rather 6oints to the limits of signification themselves8 It signifies the very breakdown of signification itself: as Lacan would argue a signifier only functions through its failure to com6letely re6resent something8 'he identity of 6ure 5eing= it must be remembered= can never be com6letely reali,ed because it is based on an undecidability between difference and e9uivalence8 In other words= the logic of this systematicity means that a 6articular signifier= in order to re6resent the system= is em6tied from its content:freed from its fixity to a 6articular signified and a 6articular foundation:and= thus= becomes an em6ty signifier8 #ee Ernesto Laclau= A(hy do Em6ty #ignifiers Matter to PoliticsDB in The :esser 'vil and the <reater <ood The Theory and $oliti!s of So!ial &iversity = ed8 ?effrey (eeks 17oncord= Mass8* 3ivers /ram Press= 1--%2= 1. )1 4= 1. 8 1!8 #tirner= The 'go, 1 -8 1"8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1%.8 1%8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1$ 8 1$8 5aldelli has a notion of Aethical ca6ital=B where certain virtues= or at least virtuous tendencies= are rooted in a natural conce6tion of human society8 #ee &iovanni 5aldelli= So!ial %nar!hism 1Earmondsworth* Penguin 5ooks= 1- !2= !-)%18 1.8 7arol Erlich= A#ocialism= Anarchism and Feminism=B in )einventing %nar!hy (hat %re %nar!hists Thin"ing %#out These &aysE, ed8 Eoward ?8 Erlich 1London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1- -2= !$-)! 8 >ot all feminist theories= however= re@ect authority8 #ome feminists= like &earhart= call for the establishment of a matriarchy:female domination: to re6lace the 6atriarchy8 I would argue that it is this sort of logic which reaffirms the 6lace of 6ower and domination and which we are seeking to avoid8 #ee #ally Miller &earhart= A'he Future:If 'here is /ne:Is Female=B in )eweaving the (e# of :ife Feminism and +on6Jiolen!e, ed8 Pam McAllister 1Philadel6hia* >ew #ociety Publications= Philadel6hia= 1-4!2= !..)!448 1 8 7arol Erlich= AIntroduction:to Anarcho)Feminism=B in )einventing %nar!hy, !"") !".8 148 5ookchin= a contem6orary anarchist= argues that differences will be resolved in a dialectically 6roduced 6rinci6le of unity8 'hus= struggles are dialectically determined in such a way that their identities are effaced in the idea of unity8 I would argue that it is this sort of totali,ing and essentialist 6olitical logic that should be re@ected8 #ee Murray 5ookchin= $ost6S!ar!ity %nar!hism 15erkeley* 'he 3am6arts Press= 1- 12= !4$8

'owards a Politics of Postanarchism

1-8 Ernesto Laclau= APolitics and the Limits of Modernity=B in Universal %#andon The $oliti!s of $ost67odernism, ed8 Andrew 3oss 1Minnesota* Cniversity of Minnesota Press= 1-442= .")4!8 !J8 Erlich= AAnarcho)Feminism=B !"%8 !18 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s, ! 8 !!8 'he 6aradoxical relationshi6 between liberty and e9uality in 6olitical 6hiloso6hy is ex6lored by Eilb8 #ee 7laudia Eilb= AE9uality at the Limit of Liberty=B in The 7a"ing of $oliti!al /dentities= 1J")11!8 !"8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy= !. 8 !%8 Ernesto Laclau= ed8=A#ub@ect of Politics= Politics of the #ub@ect=B in 'man!ipation(s) 1London* Oerso= 1--.2= % ).$8 !$8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, !.48 !.8 5akunin= $oliti!al $hilosophy, 1$.8 ! 8 >ancy Fraser= Unruly $ra!ti!es, $48 !48 'odd May= AIs Poststructuralist Political 'heory AnarchistDB 1 48 !-8 'he treatment of the mad for instance= Foucault regarded as intolerable* A'he re6ressive role of the asylum is well known* 6eo6le are locked u6 and sub@ected to treatment 8 8 8 over which they have no control8B #ee A3evolutionary Action=B !!48 "J8 Foucault= AIs it Cseless to 3evoltDB -8 "18 Eooke argues with reference to Foucault that it is 9uite 6ossible to have some notion of human rights and values without grounding it in a humanist discourse= or in the figure of Man8 #ee Alexander Eooke= A'he /rder of /thers* is Foucault<s anti)humanism against human actionDB $oliti!al Theory 1$= no8 1 11-4 2* "4).J8 "!8 Foucault= A'he Eistory of #exuality=B in $ower0,nowledge, 1-J8 ""8 Foucault was against= for instance= the naive 6olitics that saw the 6risoner as an innocent freedom fighterF rather Foucault wanted to 9uestion the o66osition between innocence and guilt= between the criminal and the normal8 "%8 5rown argues that much feminist hostility towards a 6ostmodern re@ection of foundations= as well as an attachment to o66ositional 6olitics= is an exam6le of the culture of Aressentiment=B in many feminist theories* AI want to suggest that much >orth American feminism 6artakes dee6ly of both the e6istemological s6irit and 6olitical structure of ressentiment and that this constitutes a good deal of our nervousness about moving toward an analysis as thoroughly >iet,schean in its wariness about truth as 6ost) foundational 6olitical 6hiloso6hy must be8 #urrendering e6istemological foundations means giving u6 the ground of s6ecifically moral claims against domination:es6ecially the avenging of strength through a moral criti9ue of it:and moving instead into the domain of the sheerly 6olitical* ;wars of 6osition< and amoral contests about the @ust and the good in which truth is always gras6ed as coterminous with 6ower= as always already 6ower= as the voice of 6ower8B 5rown thus em6loys a war model of analysis here:an affirmation of struggle and antagonism:as an antidote to the sickness of a ressentiment) ins6ired o66ositional 6olitics that has inhabited much feminist discourse8 #ee (endy 5rown= States of /nHury $ower and Freedom in :ate 7odernity 1Princeton= >8?8* Princeton Cniversity= 1--$2= %$8 "$8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s, !!8 ".8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s, !$8 " 8 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s, !-8 "48 Iro6otkin= 'thi!s, "J)"18 "-8 &eorge 7rowder= The /dea of Freedom in +ineteenth6*entury %nar!hism (Microfiche U 1-4 2= !.!8 %J8 >iet,sche= The <ay S!ien!e, !!8

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7ha6ter Eight

Bi(lio$ra h)
Allen= 5arry8 A&overnment in Foucault8B *anadian =ournal of $hilosophy !1= no8 % 11--12* %!1)%%J8 Althusser= Louis8 For 7ar8. 'rans. 5en 5rewster8 London* >ew Left 5ooks= 1- 8 Althusser= Louis= and Etienne 5alibar= eds8 )eading *apital8 London* Oerso= 1- -8 Arac= ?ohn= ed8 %fter Fou!ault -umanist ,nowledge and $ost67odern *hallenges. London* 3utgers Cniversity Press= 1-448 5akunin= Mikhail8 From 1ut of the &ust#in ?a"unin;s ?asi! (ritings 2CD362C428 Ed8 3obert M8 7utler8 Ann Arbor= Mich8* Ardis= 1-4$8 MMMMMMMM. <od and the State. >ew Nork* +over Publications= 1- J8 UUUUUUUU8 7ar8ism, Freedom and the State8 'rans8 I8 ?8 Ienafick8 London* Freedom Press= 1-4%8 ::::8 1n %nar!hism8 Ed8 #am +olgoff8 Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4J8 ::::8 $oliti!al $hilosophy of 7i"hail ?a"unin S!ientifi! %nar!hism8 Ed8 &8 P8 Maximoff8 London* Free Press of &lencoe= 1-$"8 ::::8 Sele!ted (ritings8 Ed8 Arthur Lehning8 London* 7a6e= 1- "8 UUUUUUUU8 Sele!tions ?a"unin on %nar!hy8 Ed8 #am +olgoff8 >ew Nork* Ino6f= 1- !8 UUUUUUUU8 Statism and %nar!hy8 'rans8 and ed8 Marshall #8 #hat,8 7ambridge= C8I8* 7ambridge Cniversity Press= 1--J8 5aldelli= &iovanni8 So!ial %nar!hism. Earmondsworth= C8I8* Penguin 5ooks= 1- !8 5arry= Andrew= ed8 Fou!ault and $oliti!al )eason :i#eralism, +eo6:i#eralism and )ationalities of <overnment8 7hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1--.8 5einer= 3onald8 AFoucault<s Ey6er)Liberalism8B *riti!al )eview "= no8 - 11--$2* "%-) " J8 5envenuto= 5ice= and 3oger Iennedy8 The (or"s of =a!.ues :a!an %n /ntrodu!tion8 London* Free Association 5ooks= 1-4.8 5erlin= Isaiah8 ,arl 7ar8 -is :ife and 'nvironment. London* /xford Cniversity Press= 1-."8 5ernauer= ?ames= 7i!hel Fou!ault;s For!e of Flight Towards an 'thi!s of Thought8 Atlantic Eighlands= >8?8* Eumanities Press International= 1--J8 Bernauer, James, and David Rasmussen. The Final Foucault. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1988. Best, Steven, and D ug!as "e!!ner. Postmodern Theory: Critical Interrogations. #am$s%ire: Ma&mi!!an, 1991. 5oa,= +avid8 :i#ertarianism % $rimer. >ew Nork* Free Press= 1-- 8 5ogue= 3onald8 &eleuze and <uattari8 London* 3oultedge= 1-4-8 5ookchin= Murray8 $ost6S!ar!ity %nar!hism. 5erkeley= 7alif8* 3am6arts Press= 1- 18 UUUUUUUU8 )ema"ing So!iety. Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4-8 5ornstein= #te6hen= +avid Eeld= and ?oel Irieger= eds8 The State in *apitalist 'urope % *ase#oo". (inchester= Mass8* Allen M Cnwin= 1-4%8 5ottomore= 'om= ed8 % &i!tionary of 7ar8ist Thought. !d ed8 7ambridge= Mass8* 5lackwell 3eference= 1--18 5oyne= 3oy8 Fou!ault and &errida The 1ther Side of )eason. London* Cnwin Eyman= 1--J8 5rown= (endy8 States of /nHury $ower and Freedom in :ate 7odernity. Princeton= >8?8* Princeton Cniversity Press= 1--$8

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5utler= ?udith8 Su#He!ts of &esire -egelian )efle!tions in Twentieth *entury Fran!e. >ew Nork* 7olumbia Cniversity Press= 1-4 8 7allinicos= Alex8 /s There a Future for 7ar8ismE London* Macmillan Press= 1-4!8 7a6uto= ?ohn8 A5eyond Aestheticism* +errida<s 3es6onsible Anarchy8B )esear!h in $henomenology 14 11-442* $-) "8 7a6uto= ?ohn= and Mark Nount8 Fou!ault and the *riti.ue of /nstitutions8 Cniversity Park= Pa8* Pennsylvania #tate Cniversity Press= 1--"8 7arroll= ?ohn8 ?rea"61ut from the *rystal $ala!e. The %nar!ho6$sy!hologi!al *riti.ue Stirner, +ietzs!he, &ostoyevs"y. London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1- %8 7arter= A6ril8 The $oliti!al Theory of %nar!hism. London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1- 18 7lark= ?ohn8 The %nar!hist 7oment )efle!tions on *ulture, +ature and $ower. Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4%8 ::::8 AMarx= 5akunin and the Problem of #ocial 'ransformation8B Telos !% 1winter 1- -2* 4J)- 8 UUUUUUUU8 7a8 StirnerLs 'goism. London* Freedom Press= 1- .8 7lifford= Michael 38 A7rossing 1out2 the 5oundary* Foucault and +errida on 'ransgressing 'ransgression8B $hilosophy Today "1 1fall 1-4 2* !!")!""8 7olombat= AndrG Pierre8 AA 'housand 'rails to (ork with +eleu,e8B Su#stan!e .. 11--12 1J)!"8 7onnolly= (illiam8 A5eyond &ood and Evil* the Ethical #ensibility of Michel Foucault8B $oliti!al Theory !1= no8 " 1August 1--"2= ".$)"448 UUUUUUUU8 /dentity0&ifferen!e &emo!rati! +egotiations of $oliti!al $arado8. Ithaca= >8N8* 7ornell Cniversity Press= 1--18 UUUUUUUU8 $oliti!al Theory and 7odernity. /xford= C8I8* 58 5lackwell= 1-448 7ornell= +rucilla= ed8 &e!onstru!tion and the $ossi#ility of =usti!e. >ew Nork* 3outledge= 1--!8 7oward= 3osalind= and ?ohn Ellis8 :anguage and 7aterialism &evelopments in Semiology and the Theory of the Su#He!t. London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1- 8 7reagh= 3onald8 ALa deference= l<insolence anarchiste et la 6ostmodernitie8B :;homme et la so!iete 1)! 1?une0?uly 1-- 2* 1"1)1%48 7ritchley= #imon8 The 'thi!s of &e!onstru!tion &errida and :evinas. /xford* 5lackwell= 1--!8 7rowder= &eorge8 *lassi!al %nar!hism The $oliti!al Thought of <odwin, ?a"unin and ,ropot"in. /xford* 7larendon Press= 1--18 UUUUUUU8 The /dea of Freedom in +ineteenth6*entury %nar!hism. 1-4 8 Micro)form8 +ean= Mitchell8 AFoucault<s /bsession with (estern Modernity8B Thesis 'leven 1% 11-4.2* %%).18 +eleu,e= &illes8 Fou!ault8 'rans8 #8 Eand8 London* Althone Press= 1-448 UUUUUUUU8 +ietzs!he and $hilosophy. 'rans. E8 'omlinson8 London* Althone Press= 1--!8 +eleu,e= &illes= and Felix &uattari8 %nti61edipus *apitalism and S!hizophrenia. 'rans. 38 Eurley8 >ew Nork* Oiking Press= 1- !8 ::::8 % Thousand $lateaus *apitalism and S!hizophrenia. 'rans. 58 Massumi8 London* Althone Press= 1-448 +eleu,e= &illes= and 7laire Parnet8 &ialogues. 'rans. E8 'omlinson8 >ew Nork* 7olumbia Cniversity Press= 1-4 8 +ematteis= Phili68 /ndividuality and The So!ial 1rganism The *ontroversy ?etween 7a8 Stirner and ,arl 7ar8. >ew Nork* 3evisionist Press= 1- .8 +errida= ?ac9ues8 &issemination. 'rans. 58 ?ohnson8 7hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1-418



UUUUUUUU8 7argins of $hilosophy. 'rans. A8 5ass8 5righton* Earvester Press= 1-4!8 UUUUUUUU8 1f <rammatology. 'rans. &8 78 #6ivak8 5altimore* ?ohns Eo6kins Cniversity Press= 1- .8 UUUUUUUU8 $ositions. 'rans. A8 5ass8 7hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1-418 UUUUUUUU8 Spe!ters of 7ar8 The State of &e#t, the (or" of 7ourning 9 the +ew /nternational. 'rans8 P8 Iamuf8 >ew Nork* 3outledge= 1--%8 UUUUUUUU8 Spee!h and $henomena, and 1ther 'ssays on -usserlLs Theory of Signs. 'rans8 +8 Allison8 Evanston= Ill8* >orthwestern Cniversity Press= 1- "8 UUUUUUUU8 Spurs +ietzs!he;s Styles. 7hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1- 48 UUUUUUUU8 (riting and &ifferen!e8 'rans8 A8 5ass8 7hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1- 48 +ews= Peter8 A'he Paradigm #hift to 7ommunication and the Luestion of #ub@ectivity* 3eflections on Eabermas= Lacan and Mead8B )evue /nternationale de $hilosophie %- 11--$2* %4")$1-8 ::::8 A'he 'remor of 3eflection* #lavo@ Hi,ek<s Lacanian +ialectics8B )adi!al $hilosophy ! 1?uly0August 1--$2* 1 )!-8 +i6rose= 3osalyn= and 3obyn 'errell= ed8 *artograhies $ost6Stru!turalism and the 7apping of ?odies and Spa!es8 #ydney= Australia* Allen M Cnwin= 1--18 +olan= Frederick M8 APolitical Action and the Cnconscious* Arendt and Lacan on +ecentering the #ub@ect8B $oliti!al Theory !"= no8 ! 11--$2* ""J)"$!8 +on,elot= ?ac9ues8 A'he Poverty of Political 7ulture8B /deology and *ons!iousness $ 11- -2* ")4.8 +ra6er= Eal8 ,arl 7ar8;s Theory of )evolution J2 State and ?ureau!ra!y. >ew Nork* Monthly 3eview Press= 1- 8 +reyfus= Eubert L8= and Paul 3abinow8 7i!hel Fou!ault ?eyond Stru!turalism and -ermeneuti!s. 7hicago* Cniversity of 7hicago Press= 1-4!8 Ellingham= Francis8 A?ohn 7lark and #tirner<s >egativity8B 'go %1 11- 42* ")$8 UUUUUUUU8 A#ocial 'otalitarianism8B 'go !- 1s6ring 1- !2* 1J)1!8 Elt,bacher= Paul8 %nar!hism '8ponents of %nar!hist $hilosophy. 'rans8 #8 5yington8 London* Freedom 7hi6s 5ooksho6= 1-.J8 Engels= Freidrich8 %nti6&uhring. Moscow* Progress Publishers= 1-.-8 'r!i&%, # (ard J., ed8 )einveting %nar!hy, %gain. #an Francisco= 7alif8* AI Press= 1--.8 ::::8 )einventing %nar!hy (hat %re %nar!hists Thin"ing These &aysE London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1- -8 Ferguson= Iathy E8 A#aint Max 3evisited* A 3econsideration of Max #tirner8B /dealisti! Studies 1!= no8 " 1#e6tember 1-4!2* ! .)!-!8 Feuerbach= Ludwig8 The 'ssen!e of *hristianity. 'rans8 &8 Eliot8 >ew Nork* Ear6er= 1-$ 8 Feuerbach= Ludwig8 The Fiery ?roo" Sele!ted (ritings of :udwig Feuer#a!h. 'rans8 and ed8 Hawar Eanfi8 >ew Nork* Anchor= 1- !8 Fine= 5ob8 A#truggles Against +isci6line* 'he theory and 6olitics of Michel Foucault8B *apital and *lass 1 11-412* $)-$8 Fons Elders= ed8 )efle8ive (ater The ?asi! *on!erns of 7an"ind. 7anada* 7ondor 5ooks= 1- %8 Foucault= Michel8 The %r!haeology of ,nowledge. 'rans8 A8 M8 #8 #mith8 London* 'avistok= 1- %8 UUUUUUUU8 &is!ipline and $unish The ?irth of the $rison. 'rans8 A8 #heridan8 London* Penguin 5ooks= 1--18 UUUUUUUU8 The -istory of Se8uality J/ /ntrodu!tion. 'rans8 38 Eunter8 >ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1- 48



::::8 AIs It Cseless to 3evoltDB $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism, 4= no8 1 11-412* 1) -8 UUUUUUUU8 AIant on Enlightenment and 3evolution8B 'rans8 78 &ordon8 '!onomy and So!iety 1$= no8 1 11-4.2* 44)-.8 UUUUUUUU8 :anguage, *ounter67emory, $ra!ti!e. /xford* 5asil 5lackwell= 1- 8 UUUUUUUU8 7adness and *ivilisation. 'rans8 38 Eoward= >ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1-448 UUUUUUUU8 A/mnes et #ingulatim8B In The Tanner :e!tures on -uman Jalues //. #alt Lake 7ity* Cniversity of Ctah Press= 1-418 UUUUUUUU8 A/n Attica* An Interview8B Telos - 1s6ring 1- %2* 1$%)1.18 UUUUUUUU8 The 1rder of Things %n %r!haeology of the -uman S!ien!es. London 'avistok= 1- J8 UUUUUUUU8 A'he Politics of 7rime8B 'rans8 M8 Eorowit,8 $artisan )eview %"= no8 " 11- .2* %$")%..8 UUUUUUUU8 $oliti!s, $hilosophy, *ulture /nterviews and 1ther (ritings, 2344623CG. 'rans8 A8 #heridan8 Ed8 L8 +8 Irit,man8 >ew Nork* 3outledge= 1-448 UUUUUUUU8 $ower0,nowledge Sele!ted /nterviews and 1ther (ritings 2345644. Ed8 7olin &ordon8 >ew Nork* Earvester Press= 1-4J8 UUUUUUUU8 A(ar in the Filigree of Peace* 7ourse #ummary8B 'rans8 Ian Mcleod8 18ford :iterary )eview %= no8 ! 11- .2* 1$)1-8 Fraser= >ancy8 AFoucault on Modern PowerF Em6irical Insights and >ormative 7onfusions8B $ra8is /nternational 1= no8 " 11-412* ! !)!4 8 UUUUUUUU8 Unruly $ra!ti!es $ower, &is!ourse, and <ender in *ontemporary So!ial Theory. Minnea6olis* Cniversity of Minnesota Press= 1-4-8 Freedman= 3obert= ed8 7ar8ist So!ial Theory. >ew Nork* Earvest 5ooks= 1-.48 Friedman= ?effrey8 APostmodernism Oersus Postlibertarianism8B *riti!al )eview $= no8 ! 1s6ring 1--12* 1%$)1$48 &allo6= ?ane8 )eading :a!an. Ithaca= >8N8* 7ornell Cniversity Press= 1-4$8 &andal= Ieith8 AMichel Foucault* Intellectual (ork and Politics8B Telos . 1s6ring 1-4-2* 1!1)1"%8 &aschG= 3odol6he8 /nventions of &ifferen!e 1n =a!.ues &errida. 7ambridge= Mass8* Earvard Cniversity Press= 1--%8 UUUUUUUU8 The Tain of the 7irror &errida and the $hilosophy of )efle!tion. 7ambridge= Mass8* Earvard Cniversity Press= 1-4.8 &iddens= Anthony8 *apitalism and 7odern So!ial Theory %n %nalysis of the (ritings of 7ar8, &ur"heim and 7a8 (e#er. 7ambridge= C8I8* 7ambridge Cniversity Press= 1- 18 &odin= (illiam8 %nar!hist (ritings= ed8 Peter Marshall8 London* Freedom Press= 1-.48 &oldman= Emma8 %nar!hism and 1ther 'ssays. !d ed8 >ew Nork* Mother Earth Publishing= 1-118 &oodway= +avid= ed8 For %nar!hism -istory, Theory and $ra!ti!e. London* 3outledge= 1-4-8 &ordon= 7olin= ed8 ALuestion= Ethos= Event* Foucault on Iant and Enlightenment8B '!onomy and So!iety 1$= no8 1 1February 1-4.2* 1)4 8 )))). The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentalit*. C%i&ag : +niversit* , C%i&ag Press, 1991. &raham= Marcus= ed8 7an %n %nthology of %nar!hist /deas, 'ssays and *ommentaries. London* 7ienfuegos Press= 1-4.8 &riffin= ?ohn8 % Stru!tured %nar!hism. London* Freedom Press= 1--18 &risham= 'herese8 ALinguistics as an Indisci6line* +eleu,e and &uattari<s Pragmatics8B Su#stan!e .. 11--12* ".)$!8



&utting= &ary= ed8 The *am#ridge *ompanion to Fou!ault. 7ambridge= C8I8* 7ambridge Cniversity Press= 1--%8 Eabermas= ?urgen8 %utonomy and Solidarity /nterviews8 Ed8 Peter +ews8 London* Oerso= 1-4.8 ::::8 AFoucault<s Lecture on Iant8B Thesis 'leven 1% 11-4.2* %)48 UUUUUUUU8 7oral *ons!iousness and *ommuni!ative %!tion. 'rans8 78 Lenhardt8 7ambridge= Mass8* MI' Press= 1--J8 UUUUUUUU8 The $hilosophi!al &is!ourse of 7odernity Twelve :e!tures. 'rans8 F8 Lawrence8 7ambridge= Mass8* MI' Press= 1-4 8 UUUUUUUU8 The Theory of *ommuni!ative %!tion J28 'rans8 '8 Mc7arthy8 5oston* 5eacon Press= 1-4%8 Eardt= Michael8 <illes &eleuze %n %pprenti!eship in $hilosophy8 Minnea6olis* Cniversity of Minnesota Press= 1--"8 Earrison= Frank8 The 7odern State %n %nar!hist %nalysis8 Montreal* 5lack 3ose 5ooks= 1-4 8 Eegel= &eorg (ilhelm Friedrich= The $hilosophy of )ight The $hilosophy of -istory. 'rans8 '8 M8 Inox8 7hicago* Encyclo6aedia 5ritannica= 1-$!8 Eobbes= 'homas8 :eviathan. /xford* 5asil 5lackwell= 1-% 8 Eonneth= Axel= ed8 *ommuni!ative %!tion 'ssays on =urgen -a#ermas; Theory of *ommuni!ative %!tion8 'rans8 ?8 &aines8 7ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press= 1--18 Eooke= Alexander8 A'he /rder of /thers* Is Foucault<s Anti)humanism against Euman ActionDB $oliti!al Theory 1$= no8 1 11-4 2* "4).J8 Eoy= +avid8 78 Fou!ault % *riti!al )eader. >ew Nork* 5asil 5lackwell= 1-4.8 ::::8 A#6litting the +ifference* Eabermas<s 7riti9ue of +errida8B $ra8is /nternational 4 1?anuary 1-4-2* %% )%.%8 Eoy= 'erry8 A+errida* Postmodernism and Political 'heory8B $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism %= no8 " 11--"2* !%")!.J8 Eunt= Lester E8 APolitics and Anti)Politics* >iet,sche<s Oiew of the #tate8B -istory of $hilosophy >uarterly != no8 % 1/ctober 1-4$2* %$")%.48 ?esso6= 5ob8 State Theory $utting the *apitalist State in its $la!e8 7ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press= 1--J8 Iafka= Fran,8 7etamorphosis and 1ther Stories8 London* Minerva= 1--!8 Iearney= 3ichard8 A+errida and the Ethics of +ialogue8B $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism 1-= no8 1 11--"2* 1)1%8 Ielly= Aileen8 7i"hail ?a"unin % Study in the $sy!hology and $oliti!s of Utopianism. >ew Eaven* Nale Cniversity Press= 1-4 8 Ioch= Andrew8 AMax #tirner* 'he Last Eegelian or the First Poststructuralist8B %nar!hist Studies $ 11--"2* -$)1J 8 UUUUUUUU8 APoststructuralism and the E6istemological 5asis of Anarchism8B $hilosophy of the So!ial S!ien!es !"= no8 " 11--"2* "! )"$18 Iolakowski= Les,eck8 7ain *urrents of 7ar8ism J2 The Founders. 'rans8 P8 #8 Falla8 /xford* 7larendon Press= 1- 48 Irell= +avid8 and +avid (ood= eds8 '8!eedingly +ietzs!he %spe!ts of *ontemporary +ietzs!he6/nterpretation. London* 3outledge= 1-448 Irimerman= Len= ed8 $atterns of %nar!hy % *olle!tion of (ritings on the %nar!hist Tradition8 >ew Nork* Anchor 5ooks= 1-..8

Iri6s= Eenry8 APower and 3esistanceB $hilosophy of the So!ial S!ien!es !J= no8 ! 11--J2* 1 J)14!8
Iro6otkin= Peter8 'thi!s 1rigin and &evelopment. 'rans8 L8 #8 Friedland8 >ew Nork* 'udor Publishing= 1-% 8 ::::8 Fields, Fa!tories and (or"shops Tomorrow. London* Allen M Cnwin= 1- %8



UUUUUUUU8 The <reat Fren!h )evolution 24C36243N. London* (illiam Eeineman= 1-J-8 UUUUUUUU8 /n )ussian and Fren!h $risons. London* (ard M +owney8 144 8 UUUUUUUU8 7utual %id % Fa!tor of 'volution8 Ed8 Paul Avrich8 >ew Nork* >ew Nork Cniversity= 1- !8 UUUUUUUU8 )evolutionary $amphlets. Ed8 3oger >8 5aldwin8 >ew Nork* 5en@amin 5lom= 1-.48 UUUUUUUU8 The State /ts -istori! )ole8 London* Freedom Press= 1-%"8 Iru6nick= Mark= ed8 &ispla!ement &errida and %fter8 5loomignton* Indiana Cniversity Press= 1-4"8 Lacan= ?ac9ues8 '!rits % Sele!tion8 'rans8 A8 #heridan8 London* 'avistok= 1- 8 UUUUUUUU8 The Four Fundamental *on!epts of $sy!ho6%nalysis. >ew Nork* (8 (8 >orton= 1-418 ::::8 AIant with #ade8B 1!to#er $1 1winter 1-4-2* $$)-$8 --------. Language of the Self: The Function of Language in Psychoanalysis. 'd. .nt% n* /i!den. Ba!tim re: J %n0s # $1ins Press, 1928. 3a&!au, 'rnest . Emancipation s!. 3 nd n: 4ers , 1992. --------. "e# $eflections on the $evolution of %ur Time. 3 nd n: 4ers , 1995. )))), ed. The &a'ing of Political Identities. 3 nd n: 4ers , 1996. Laclau= Ernesto= and 7hantal Mouffe8 -egemony and So!ialist Strategy Towards a )adi!al &emo!rati! $oliti!s. London* Oerso= 1-4-8 Lash= #cott8 A&enealogy and the 5ody* Foucault0+eleu,e0>iet,sche8B Theory, *ulture and So!iety != no8 ! 11-4%2* 1)1 8 Lechte= ?ohn8 Fifty *ontemporary Thin"ers From Stru!turalism to $ostmodernity. London* 3outledge= 1--%8 Lefort= 7laude8 &emo!ra!y and $oliti!al Theory. Minnea6olis* Cniversity of Minnesota Press= 1-448 UUUUUUUU8 The $oliti!al Forms of 7odern So!iety ?ureau!ra!y, &emo!ra!y, Totalitarianism8 Ed8 ?ohn 58 'hom6son8 7ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press= 1-4.8 Lenin= Oladimir Ilich8 The State and )evolution The 7ar8ist Theory of the State and the Tas"s of the $roletariat in the )evolution. 3ev8 ed8 Moscow* Progress= 1-.$8 Love= >ancy #8 +ietzs!he, 7ar8 and 7odernity. >ew Nork* 7olumbia Cniversity Press= 1-4.8 Machan= 'ibor 38 :i#erty for the Twenty6First *entury *ontemporary :i#ertarian Thought8 Lanham= Md8* 3owman M Littlefield= 1--$8 Madison= &ary= ed8 (or"ing through &errida8 Illinois* >orthwestern Cniversity Press= 1--"8 Marshall= Peter8 &emanding the /mpossi#le % -istory of %nar!hism. London* Ear6er 7ollins= 1--!8 Marta= ?an8 ALacan and Post)#tructuralism8B The %meri!an =ournal of $sy!hoanalysis. % = no8 1 11-4 2* $1)$ 8 Martin= Luther E8= Euck &utman= and Patrick Eutton= eds8 Te!hnologies of the Self % Seminar with 7i!hel Fou!ault. Amherst* Cniversity of Massachusetts Press= 1-448 Marx= Iarl and Friedrcih Engels8 *olle!ted (or"s. 'rans8 38 +ixon8 London* Lawrence M (ishart= 1- $8 Marx= Iarl= Friedich Engels= and Oladimir Ilich Lenin8 %nar!hism and %nar!ho6 Syndi!alism. Moscow* Progress Publishers= 1- !8 Marx= Iarl8 *riti.ue of -egel;s O$hilosophy of )ight.; Ed8 ?ose6h /<Malley8 7ambridge= C8I8* 7ambridge Cniversity Press= 1- J8 UUUUUUUU8 *apital8 Ed8 Friedrich Engels8 >ew Nork* International Publishers= 1-. 8



::::8 <rundrisse8 Ed8 and trans8 +avid McLellan8 >ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1- "8 Massumi= 5rian8 % UserLs <uide to *apitalism and S!hizophrenia &eviations from &eleuze and <uattari8 7ambridge= Mass8* MI' Press= 1--!8 Masters= Anthony8 ?a"unin, The Father of %nar!hism. London* #idgwick M ?ackson= 1- %8 May= 'odd8 ?etween <enealogy and 'pistemology $sy!hology, $oliti!s and ,nowledge in the Thought of 7i!hel Fou!ault8 Cniversity Park* Pennsylvania #tate Cniversity Press= 1--"8 UUUUUUUUU8 A'he 7ommunity<s Absence in Lyotard= >ancy= and Lacoue)Labarthe8B $hilosophy Today " = no8 " 11--"2* ! $)!4%8 ::::8 AIs Poststructuralist Political 'heory AnarchistDB $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism 1$= no8 ! 11-4-2* 1. )1418 UUUUUUUUU8 AIant the Liberal= Iant the Anarchist* 3awls and Lyotard on Iantian ?ustice8B The Southern =ournal of $hilosophy !4= no8 % 11--J2* $!$)$"48 UUUUUUUUU8 The 7oral Theory of $oststru!turalism8 Cniversity Park* Pennyslyvania #tate Cniversity Press= 1--$8 UUUUUUUUU8 The $oliti!al $hilosophy of $oststru!turalist %nar!hism. Cniversity Park* Pennsylvania #tate Cniversity Press= 1--%8 UUUUUUUUU8 A'he Politics of Life in the 'hought of &illes +eleu,e8B Su#stan!e .. 11--12* !$)"$8 McAllister= Pam= ed8 )eweaving the (e# of :ife Feminism and +on6Jiolen!e. Philadel6hia* >ew #ociety Publications= 1-4!8 McIenna= Andrew ?8 Jiolen!e and &ifferen!e <irard, &errida and &e!onstru!tion. Crbana* Cniversity of Illinois Press= 1--!8 Megill= Allan8 $rophets of '8tremity +ietzs!he, -eidegger, Fou!ault and &errida 8 5erkeley* Cniversity of 7alifornia Press= 1-4$8 Mer9uior= ?osG &uilherme8 Fou!ault8 London* Fontana Press= 1-4$8 Miliband= 3al6h8 The State in *apitalist So!iety. >ew Nork* 5asic 5ooks= 1-.-8 Miller= +avid8 %nar!hism8 London* ?8 M8 +ent M #ons= 1-4%8 Miller= ?ames8 The $assion of 7i!hel Fou!ault8 >ew Nork* #imon M #chuster= 1--"8 Minson= ?effrey8 <enealogies of 7orals +ietzs!he, Fou!ault, &onzelot and the '!!entri!ity of 'thi!s8 London* Macmillan= 1-4$8 Mouffe= 7hantal8 The )eturn of the $oliti!al8 London* Oerso= 1--"8 Moussa= Mario= and 3on #ca668 A'he Practical 'heori,ing of Michel Foucault* Politics and 7ounter)+iscourse8B *ultural *riti.ue "" 1s6ring 1--.2* 4 )11!8 >egri= Antonio8 The $oliti!s of Su#version % 7anifesto for the Twenty6First *entury. 'rans8 ?8 >ewell8 7ambridge= C8I8* Polity Press= 1-4-8 >ewman= #te6hen L8 :i#eralism at (it;s 'nd The :i#ertarian )evolt against the 7odern State8 Ithaca= >8N8* 7ornell Cniversity Press= 1-4%8 >iet,sche= Friedrich8 ?eyond <ood and 'vil8 'rans8 38 ?8 Eollingdale8 London* Penguin 5ooks= 1--J8 UUUUUUUUU8 ?irth of Tragedy= and the *ase of (agner. 'rans8 (8 Iaufmann8 >ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1-. 8 UUUUUUUUU8 The <ay S!ien!e. 'rans8 (8 Iaufmann8 >ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1- %8 UUUUUUUUU8 1n the <enealogy of 7orals8 Ed8 and trans8 (alter Iaufmann8 >ew Nork* Ointage 5ooks= 1-4-8 >orris= 7hristo6her8 &errida. London* Fontana Press= 1-4 8 >o,ick= 3obert8 %nar!hy, State and Utopia8 /xford* 5asil 5lackwell= 1- %8 Parker= #8 E8 AEnemies of #ociety8B 'go (formerly 7inus 1ne) 1/ctober)+ecember 1-. 2* 1)%8



Pas9uino= Pas9uale8 APolitical 'heory of (ar and Peace* Foucault and the Eistory of Modern Political 'heory8B 'rans8 P8 (issing8 '!onomy and So!iety ! = no8 1 1February 1--"2* )448 Paterson= 38 I8 (8 The +ihilisti! 'goist 7a8 Stirner8 London* /xford Cniversity Press= 1- 18 Patton= Paul8 A7once6tual Politics and the (ar)Machine in Mille Plateaux8B Su#stan!e %%)%$ 11-4%2* .1)4J8 UUUUUUUU8 A'aylor and Foucault on Power and Freedom8B $oliti!al Studies " = no8 ! 11-4-2* ! )!418 ::::= ed8 +ietzs!he, Feminism and $oliti!al Theory8 London* Allen M Cnwin= 1--"8 Patton= Paul= and Megan Morris8 7i!hel Fou!ault $ower, Truth, Strategy. #ydney= Australia* Feral Publications= 1- -8 Pere,= 3olando8 1n %n(ar!hy) and S!hizoanalysis. >ew Nork* Autonomedia= 1--J8 Peters= Michael8 A(hat Is PoststructuralismD 'he French 3ece6tion of >iet,sche8B $oliti!al Theory +ewsletter 4 11--.2* "-)$$8 Poulant,as= >icos8 $oliti!al $ower and So!ial *lasses. London* Oerso= 1- 48 Purkis= ?on= ed8 Twenty6First *entury %nar!hism Unorthodo8 /deas for a +ew 7illennium. London* 7assell= 1-- 8 Py,iur= Eugene8 The &o!trine of %nar!hism of 7i!hael %. ?a"unin8 Milwaukee* Mar9uette Cniversity Press= 1-$$8 3abinow= Paul= ed8 The Fou!ault )eader8 >ew Nork* Pantheon 5ooks= 1-4%8 3a66a6ort= Eli,abeth8 AAnarchism and Authority8B %r!hives 'uropeenes de So!iologie [Euro6ean ?ournal of #ociology] 1 = no8 ! 11- .2* """)"%"8 3icardo= Miguel)Alfonso= ed8 )e!onstru!ting Fou!ault 'ssays in the (a"e of the CPs. Amsterdam* 3odo6i= 1--%8 3oss= Andrew= ed8 Universal %#andon The $oliti!s of $ost67odernism. Minnesota* Cniversity of Minnesota Press= 1-448 3yan= Michael8 7ar8ism and &e!onstru!tion % *riti!al %rti!ulation. 5altimore* ?ohns Eo6kins Press= 1-4!8 #altman= 3obert8 The So!ial and $oliti!al Thought of 7i!hael ?a"unin. 7onnecticut* &reenwood Press= 1-4"8 #antagali= #alvatore8 The So!ial and $oliti!al Thought of 7a8 Stirner. 1Ph8+8 'hesis2 London #chool of Economics= 1-4-8 #ax= 5en@amin 78 AFoucault= >iet,sche= Eistory* 'wo Modes of the &enealogical Method8B -istory of 'uropean /deas 11 11-4-2* .-) 418 #chrift= Alan8 A5etween 7hurch and #tate* >iet,sche= +eleu,e and the &enealogy of Psychoanalysis8B /nternational Studies in $hilosophy, !%= no8 ! 11--!2* %1)$!8 UUUUUUUU8 A>iet,sche and the 7riti9ue of /66ositional 'hinking8B -istory of 'uropean /deas 11 11-4-2* 4") -J8 UUUUUUUU8 A3eading= (riting= 'ext* >iet,sche<s +econstruction of Author)ity8B /nternational Studies in $hilosophy 1 = no8 ! 11-4$2* $$).%8 UUUUUUUU8 A3econfiguring the #ub@ect as a Process of #elf* Following Foucault<s >iet,schean 'ra@ectory to 5utler= Laclau0Mouffe= and 5eyond8B +ew Formations 1summer 1--$2* !4)"-8 UUUUUUUU8 +ietzs!he;s Fren!h :ega!y % <enealogy of $oststru!turalism. >ew Nork* 3outledge= 1--$8 #churmann= 3einer8 A;(hat 7an I +oD< In Archaeological)&enealogical EistoryDB =ournal of $hilosophy 4! 11-4$2* $%J)$% 8 UUUUUUUU8 A/n 7onstituting /neself as an Anarchist #ub@ect8B $ra8is /nternational .= no8 " 11-4.2* !-%)"1J8



UUUUUUUU8 -eidegger on ?eing and %!ting from $rin!iples to %nar!hy. 'rans8 78)M8 &ros8 5loomington* Indiana Cniversity Press= 1-4 8 #eit,= 5rian8 A7onstituting the Political #ub@ect= Csing Foucault8B 7an and (orld " 1/ctober 1--"2* %%")%$$8 #he6herdson= 7harles8 AEistory of the 3eal8B $ost67odern *ulture $= no8 ! 11--$2 Thtt6*00@efferson8village8virginia8edu06mc0contents8all8htmlP UUUUUUUU8 A'he Intimate Alterity of the 3eal8B $ost67odern *ulture .= no8 " 11--.2 Thtt6*00@efferson8village8virginia8edu06mc0contents8all8htmlP #heridan= Alan8 7i!hel Fou!ault The (ill to Truth. London* 'avistok= 1-4J8 #imons= ?on8 Fou!ault and the $oliti!al8 London* 3outledge= 1--$8 #im6son= ?ulia8 AArchaeology and Politicism* Foucault<s E6istemic Anarchism8B 7an and (orld ! = no8 1 11--%2* !")"$8 #mart= 5arry8 Fou!ault, 7ar8ism and *riti.ue. London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1-4"8 #mith= ?ose6h and (illiam Ierrigan= eds8 /nterpreting :a!an. Princeton= >8?8* Nale Cniversity Press= 1-4"8 #tauth= &eorge8 A3evolution in #6iritless 'imes* An Essay on Michel Foucault<s En9uiries into the Iranian 3evolution8B /nternational So!iology .= no8 " 11--12* !$-) !4J8 #tein= A8 L8 ALiterature and Language after the +eath of &od8B -istory of 'uropean /deas 11 11-4-2* -1) -$8 #tirner= Max8 The 'go and /ts 1wn8 'rans8 #8 5yington8 London* 3ebel Press= 1--"8 #urin= Ieith8 A'he Cndecidable and the Fugitive* Mille Plateaux and the #tate)Form8B Su#stan!e .. 11--12* 1J!)11"8 'hiele= Leslie Paul8 A'he Agony of Politics* 'he >iet,schean 3oots of Foucault<s 'hought8B %meri!an $oliti!al S!ien!e )eview 4%= no8 " 11--J2* -J )-!$8 'homas= Paul8 ,arl 7ar8 and the %nar!hists. London* 3outledge M Iegan Paul= 1-4J8 'homson= Ernie8 Feuer#a!h, 7ar8 and Stirner %n /nvestigation into %lthusser. #anta 5arbara* Cniversity of 7alifornia= 1--18 Microfiche8 Ti,,t, 3arr*. 7T%e C ming Rede,initi ns , Crime: .n .nar&%ist Pers$e&tive.8 Social Pro(lems 92, n . 6 :1979;: <99=659.

'ifft= Larry and Louis #tevenson8 AEumanistic 7riminology* 3oots from Peter Iro6otkin8B =ournal of So!iology and So!ial (elfare 1!= no8 " 11-4$2* %44) $!J8
'ifft= Larry= and +ennis #ullivan8 The Struggle to ?e -uman *rime, *riminology and %nar!hism. London* 7einfuegos Press= 1-4J8 'ucker= 3obert= ed8 The 7ar86'ngels )eader. !d ed8= >ew Nork* >orton= 1- 48 UUUUUUUU8 The 7ar8ian )evolutionary /dea. London* Allen M Cnwin= 1- J8 'urkle= #herry8 $sy!hoanalyti! $oliti!s =a!.ues :a!an and Freud;s Fren!h )evolution. !d ed8= London* Free Association 5ooks= 1--!8 (al,er= Michael8 A'he Politics of Michel Foucault8B &issent "J 1fall 1-4"2* %41)%-J8 (eeks= ?effrey= ed8 The :esser 'vil and the <reater <ood The Theory and $oliti!s of So!ial &iversity. 7oncord= Mass8* 3ivers /ram Press= 1--%8 (oodcock= &eorge8 %nar!hism % -istory of :i#ertarian /deas and 7ovements. Earmondsworth* Penguin= 1-.!8 (oolsey= (8 (illiam8 ALibertarianisms* Mainstream= 3adical= and Post8B *riti!al )eview 4= no8 1 11--%2* ")4%8 (orsley= Peter8 The Three (orlds. London* (eidenfeld M >icholson= 1-4%8 Her,an= ?ohn8 A'he 7atastro6he of Postmodernism8B %nar!hy % =ournal of &esire %rmed. 1Fall 1--12* 1.)!$8



Hi,ek= #lavo@8 For They ,now +ot (hat They &o 'nHoyment as a $oliti!al Fa!tor. London* Oerso= 1--18 UUUUUUUU8 Tarrying with the +egative ,ant, -egel, and the *riti.ue of /deology. +urham* +uke Cniversity Press= 1--"8 UUUUUUUU8 The Su#lime 1#He!t of /deology8 London* Oerso= 1-4-8


A(out the Author

#aul >ewman is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the +ivision of #ociety= 7ulture= Media= and Philoso6hy at Mac9uarie Cniversity= Australia8 Eis research interests are in the area of contem6orary and 6oststructuralist 6olitical 6hiloso6hy:in 6articular= theories of 6ower= desire= identity= ideology= 6sychoanalysis= and the 6ossibilities of 6olitical action today8 Ee has extensive research links with the 7enter for 'heoretical #tudies at the Cniversity of Essex= Cnited Iingdom= and has also been a Oisiting Fellow in the 7ritical 'heory Institute at the Cniversity of 7alifornia= Irvine8 Ee is widely 6ublished= with work a66earing in @ournals such as +ew Formations= Theory and 'vent, and $hilosophy and So!ial *riti!ism8 Ee holds a Ph8+8 in 6olitical science from the Cniversity of >ew #outh (ales= and a 58A8 in 6olitics= 6hiloso6hy and history from the Cniversity of #ydney8 Among his other interests are literature= film= boxing= American muscle cars= and diving8