The “Explaining Academia” series exists for two reasons: 1) to show you what a massive scam college is, and 2) as a supervillain origin story for Leftist chestnuts. Today’s nonsense about “toxic masculinity,” and trans-whateverism, and proclaiming oneself narwhalsexual and calling oneself “xyr,” for instance…. all this was being hashed out in gender studies courses a decade ago. So let’s take a trip in the wayback machine, to the late 1960s. Groovy, baby!
Believe it or not, there once was a time when a thinker’s personal life had nothing to do with his ideas… but that time was not the Sixties, and Michel Foucault is one of the main reasons why. Michel Foucault was a queer Frog philosopher who liked rough sex. Had that not been the case, his infantile Nietzsche-lite act would never have seen the light of day.
Turns out that whole “rejecting bourgeois morality” thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Foucault, and the kind of people who read Foucault, weren’t satisfied with the free love they were getting in the Summer of Love (as good little Marxists, they’d rejected the capitalist axiom that things are worth what you pay for them). And since nothing can ever be a liberal’s fault, they concluded that there’s something wrong with sexuality itself.
So along comes Foucault, to tell us that sex, like morality, culture, and everything else, is nothing but power. All human interactions are merely transactions, and since no two individuals will ever be equal*, all transactions are, at bottom,** exploitation. There is no “sex,” not really, and there’s surely no “love” — there is only Domination, Submission, and Resistance.
Like every harebrained idea the ivory tower has farted out in the last half-century, Foucault’s “power / resistance” stuff is trivially true. If you have something I want, you have “power” over me — you can set the terms of the exchange. If I pay your price, I “submit.” But if the price is too high, I will search for other ways to get it — I will “resist.” Of course, all this talk of “price” and “exchange” makes the whole deal look a lot like capitalism…..
….because it IS capitalism, squeezed into gimp-suit jargon. I was a bit too young for the singles’ bar scene, but this is exactly how the world’s Kate Milletts described dating back in the Disco Era: commodity exchange, and isn’t it just awful how men expect sex after shelling out a week’s paycheck on dinner and drinks? That they got this notion from a guy who’d give Andrew Sullivan’s RawMuscleGlutes a vigorous spanking tells you everything you need to know about Second-Wave Feminism, but that’s irrelevant. The point is that only a Cheeto-dusted basement dweller would read this stuff and think yes, this is a deep and meaningful way of describing human interaction. Which is why it took academia by storm.
And once you start looking at the world this way, it gets harder and harder to stop. Foucault didn’t; he went full retard, arguing that modern penitentiaries, like modern medical centers, trick us into participating in our own slavery. We don’t draw-and-quarter people anymore, says Foucault, because early modern governments so arranged the “technologies of power” that we internalize the ruling elite’s expectations for us, making gaudy public torture unnecessary.*** Which is clever, I guess, until you start asking who is employing these “micro-physics of power;” who came up with the codes, and, most importantly, why? This is the “Nietzsche-lite” of Foucault’s infantile Nietzsche-lite act. Also the “infantile” part. Ask any teenager: The reason your parents say they have all those rules is to make you a better person, but really it’s to make things easier on them, and really it’s just because they like torturing kids. Which is why they’re literally Hitler.
The most interesting thing, in my view, is that once again we have the Left reducing the entire vast spectacle of human history to ONE thing… and then ignoring the obvious implications of that one thing. Let’s say Foucault is right, and all that stuff we call “culture” — religion, the family, honor, patriotism, heterosexuality, whatever — really are just masks for raw power. Ok, so…. we’re supposed to let “Progressives” shame us into doing what they want? The proper response to a Progressive charge of “rayciss” is, according to Progressives’ own philosophy, “so? Racism is a social construction. You’re only accusing me of it to subordinate me. I choose resistance. Pistols at dawn, motherfucker.”
If Foucault is right, then there’s no possible end to the Hobbesian war of all against all, because the social contract is just another “technology of power.” And just as Nietzsche — raw power’s original apostle — was a half-blind syphilitic, so his ape was a power bottom who died of AIDS, and so his apes in academia are noodle-armed pajamaboys and trigglypuffs.
Do y’all seriously want to keep claiming that all is power, power, nothing but power?
*If you want to say that this is why Lefties are all-in on group rights — that many of them figure the only way they’ll get laid is to equalize the collective value between themselves and potential partners — go nuts.
**heh heh…”bottom.” You really can’t avoid double entendres like this when talking about guys like Foucault, even if you tried… which is why I don’t bother trying.
***You don’t need to be an early modernist or a queer Frog philosopher who likes it rough to come up with a zillion better explanations for this fact. Common sense works just fine. Could it be, perhaps, that the reason there were so many capital crimes on the books in the pre-modern age was that law enforcement was pretty much nonexistent? Half the people in a given country didn’t know their king’s name; do you think they spent much time memorizing the penal code? If the duke actually caught a lawbreaker red-handed, he’d have every incentive to get medieval on him, pour encourager les autres.