domenica 3 aprile 2016

4.2. The insurrection of subjugated knowledges - Pt. XXIII - Excerpt from the essay «Money, Revolution and Acceleration in Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus», Obsolete Capitalism Free Press/Rizosphere, 2016

The insurrection of subjugated knowledges

In the lecture he gave on 7 January 1976, Foucault focused his attention on returns of knowledge that descend from what he calls “insurrection of subjugated knowledges”.
With this expression he refers to two specific factors: 1) the ‘knowledges’ that derive from historical contents, which he deems buried, and thus adequate to be subjected to a rediscovery attributable, to a ‘sumptuous’ research linked, in a way, to “typical secret societies of the West” since ancient times and emerged at the time of early Christianity: the “great warm and tender Freemasonry of useless erudition” – here, with his peculiar and subtle humour, Foucault introduces his own analysis and the one of his rhizospheric fellows just like modern variations of the struggle and insurrection of Alexandrine gnosis related to the idea of salvation through knowledge. The French rhizosphere is, according to the malicious Foucaultian antichristian- Nitzschean-accelerationist interpretation, a sort of secular and revolutionary neo-gnosis which hands its wisdom and research over from one generation to the next, following the Hellenic-Alexandrine tradition.
2) those ‘knowledges’ that are assumed to lay on the opposite side of “dusty and useless” erudition, that is, those disqualified and inadequate knowledges – here, once again, presented in an extraordinary way. In this category of “naïve knowledges located low down on the hierarchy” beneath the required academic and scientific levels, Foucault includes popular knowledge (“le savoir des gens”) – which must not be confused with “general common sense” – like those of criminals, crazy people, ill persons, psychiatric patients, detainees. The direct knowledge of these subjects, merged with the specific knowledges of specialised workers, like nurses, doctors and soldiers, will not result in a “general common-sense knowledge”, but in a “a differential knowledge incapable of unanimity and which owes its force only to the harshness with which it is opposed by everything surrounding it” (PK, 82)
Foucault does not miss the paradox of enclosing in the same rhizomatic framework of subjugated knowledges both “the academia and the street”: nonetheless he finds in this well-marked disparity the essential leverage of the critique promoted with those discontinuous discourses. According to Foucault this is “historical knowledge of struggles”: “In the specialised areas of erudition as in the disqualified, popular knowledge there lay the memory of hostile encounters which even up to this day have been confined to the margins of knowledge. What emerges out of this is something one might call a genealogy, or rather a multiplicity of genealogical re- searches, a painstaking rediscovery of struggles together with the rude memory of their conflicts. And these genealogies, that are the combined product of an erudite knowledge and a popular knowledge, were not possible and could not even have been attempted except on one condition, namely that the tyranny of globalising discourses with their hierarchy and all their privileges of a theoretical avant-garde was eliminated” (PK, 83) . In this passage, Foucault attempts an early outline of his overall plan, where he
generously includes and aligns the French components of the rhizosphere and, above all, the authors of the Anti-Œdipe, although the detailed description of the “returns of knowledge” fits perfectly his research style. That style which he adopted at the beginning of his lectures at the Collège de France (1970) and carried on until the end of that period, 1975-1976, the year before the crucial 1977 when he entered a period of crisis and suspended his course. It was Foucault’s annus horribilis, during which he received attacks from multiple fronts – such as Baudrillard’s Forget Foucault – and started a profound reformulation of his thought, his analysis and his political approach, which in turn would end his friendship with Deleuze and destroy the underground empathy within the French Nietzschean revolutionary community. What seems extraordinary is the way in which Foucault linked his research to the fight and critique of his rhizospheric fellows, attributing the essential leverage of the critique and of the “success” of those years precisely to the discontinuity and de-centralisation of practices and discourse advocated by Klossowski, Deleuze and Guattari, Blanchot and Lyotard, among others. In 1976, Foucault is able to advance this critique: “Let us give the term genealogy to the union of erudite knowledge and local memories which allows us to establish a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today” (PK, 83) . During the same lecture, Foucault links the genealogy to the struggle against the alleged “scientificity” of the new sciences, namely Marxism and Psychoanalysis, guilty of bearing “power ambitions”, not even concealed, and thus of pursuing those “effects of power” that usually institutions assign to enthroned sciences. According to Foucault, “By comparison, then, and in contrast to the various projects which aim to inscribe knowledges in the hierarchical order of power associated with science, a genealogy should be seen as a kind of attempt to emancipate historical knowledges from that subjection, to render them, that is, capable of opposition and of struggle against the coercion of a theoretical, unitary, formal and scientific discourse. It is based on a reactivation of local knowledges – of minor knowledges, as Deleuze might call them – in opposition to the scientific hierarchisation of knowledges and the effects intrinsic to their power: this, then, is the project of these disordered and fragmentary genealogies. If we were to characterise it in two terms, then 'archaeology' would be the appropriate methodology of this analysis of local discursivities, and 'genealogy' would be the tactics whereby, on the basis of the descriptions of these local discursivities, the subjected knowledges which were thus released would be brought into play” (PK, 85)
In Foucault’s works, within the genealogy/ archive relation mentioned above, special attention is reserved to money, ever since the first lectures of his inaugural course in 1970-71, directly after the re-emergence in Klossowski and Deleuze of Nietzschean

topics such as will to power, formations of sovereignty, impulse and value. Indeed, an early taste of the strong and innovative critical capacity on this front – which includes aspirations, will to power, universal rhizomatic economy, physical and noologic subconscious – comes from the debut of Deleuze and Guattari as authors, under the sign of Klossowski. La synthèse disjunctive is the title of their first essay dedicated to Klossowski and published in the 43rd issue of the journal L’Arc, precisely in the third term of 1970. The text is presented already as the abstract of a book titled Capitalism and schizophrenia. The writing style is already the imaginary, transverse, aggressive, humoristic and “genealogic” one of the Anti-Œdipe. La synthèse disjunctive is an incisive prelude to an announced explosion: Foucault immediately grasps the collateral effects that it would have on the style and content of his own research. 

Click here to read more

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento