Re: foucault on slavery and politics --Psych/physical tools?

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Mar 22 2005 - 10:37:47 PST

Your thoughts connect up with mine on this, Iraj. Glad it was relevant
to a third
party, so to speak.

This is also related to Yrjo's idea of development as "breakikng away." There is
a real dialectical dilema that Kris and I have started to discuss. One
the one hand,
a newborn is helpless and must be "enculturated" (using both
strategies) in order
for it to survive, but in order for there to be
adaptive/transformative change to deal with an always changing
environment, there must be creation of the new,
a "going beyond" that destroys at least part of what nurtured it.

Perhaps we need to add Freud and Luke Skywalker to the discussion? (A thought
brought about by another of my kin, the 6 year old variety).

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 09:56:24 -0800, IRAJ IMAM <> wrote:
> "a stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true
> politician binds them even more strongly by the chain of thier own
> ideas....this link is all the stronger in that we do not know of what
> it is made and we believe it to be our own work."
> -----
> Thanks Mike for sharing.
> This is a good example of utilizing [your] categories of 'physical' and
> 'psychological' tools, and evaluating their effectiveness from the stand
> point of ruling over people. Two social technologies of control: Capture
> their body by physical force and assuming that the mind is captured too (eg,
> use of torture). Or, capturing their minds and assuming that their bodies
> will follow (eg, advertisements/propaganda of all sorts). In fact, all
> social spaces use both technologies.
> Looking at it spatially, the question becomes 'where' to start--from the
> physical/real space or the virtual/imagined space of people. Since both
> spaces are interconnected in our activities, the question then becomes about
> learning (and performing). Perhaps similar 'learning' targets and social
> technologies are involved in empowering and in enslaving.
> One tends to destroy the old learning and produce a new one in an empowering
> social space. The other also tends to destroy the existing and substituting
> it with a new learning. the difference is the former is open and
> reflective--thus empowering and self-determined. The other has to remain
> seductive, hidden, and must produce a deceptive space in order to work. But
> it needs to produce two spaces: one that appears self-determined to the
> 'user' while the other is producing a captured (but hidden) social space
> (eg, The Matrix).
> This just seemed related to the prior discussion about
> 'empowering/enslaving' learning spaces in classrooms.
> iraj imam
> The Center for Applied Local Research
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