Foreshadowing Forgetting Foucault

Foucault, Discipline and Punish, p.167 (emphasis added):

To sum up, it might be said that discipline creates out of the bodies it controls four types of individuality, or rather an individuality that is endowed with four characteristics: it is cellular (by the play of spatial distribution), it is organic (by the coding of activities), it is genetic (by the accumulation of time), it is combinatory (by the composition of forces). And, in doing so, it operates four great techniques: it draws up tables; it prescribes movements; it imposes exercises; lastly, in order to obtain the combination of forces, it arranges 'tactics.'

Interestingly, with the language that Foucault uses in this passage he is already prefiguring his own forgetting (cf. "Forget Foucault") — that is, the break point at which the computer age shifts these characteristics of disciplinary individuality into digital code.

However, we must note that the organic and cellular necessarily means decay, rot, etc. We might suggest, then, that the general strategy of the society of control, not unlike that of the plague-ridden disciplinary society, is a universal campaign against decay, rot, lack of hygiene. The difference is that the quest for hygiene reaches beyond the social body to the extended body of code, databases and information networks.

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  1. sportsBabel » Universal Contagion says:

    [...] Other, but rather an even more fundamental post-racial binary, which features Pure bodies being contaminated by Polluted bodies. Date: April 5, 02006Feedback: 0 comments | Permalink: url Tags: Empire | [...]