In this weeks lecture we were looking at ‘The Economy of Power’ and in further depth at Michael Foucault.
Michael Foucault was a french philosopher. His philosophical theories concentrated on what power is and how it works, also looking at how it controls knowledge etc. He thought of it as a form of social control.
He concentrated on human science and how we work as individuals and as a collective in order to generate power. In the lecture we looked into depth about several techniques that are processed and how they are used today to explain social forms of power. ‘Foucault’s’ main idea was discourse, discourse simply means a conversation, information or knowledge. Now i briefly mentioned that he looked at how knowledge can be controlled so the idea of discourse for a social form is that when we talk to each other we have a physical control upon one another.
Many people were confused at this stage but we were just scratching the surface, the ideas Foucault had was basically that us as individuals have the ability and the power to influence and be influenced by other things and by ourselves. which brings me to the examples we looked at in the lecture.
Now even more confusion stroke at this point in time but after letting it settle and thinking about it, we can understand what Foucault was saying. The videos above are examples of three things. The first is Causality, the second is Choice and the last one is about limitations.
To begin with Causality is an excellent word and explanation for general life, for every action there is a reaction, or every cause there is an effect. Now applying this term for a general day in life is quite simple, whatever we do has a follow up, if we drop a pencil it hits the floor, if we pick it up we put it somewhere or write with it. The idea of the example is to get us to think about the idea of that and challenge it. A prime example is that if we drop a pen, what happens, it hits the floor, how about one day when we drop the pen and it floats, you would laugh, but it thinks outside the box and it is not a cliché it is a different way of looking at it. like ‘the merovingian says ‘people are told what to do’, in reply morpheus says ‘we have a choice’ and then the merovingian says no, choice is an illusion it is made by those who have power, the real questions is WHY? and that we should understand causality and that is how power is generated.
Now overall that is very confusing but it make sense, and the fact that as individuals we can apply that to our life makes us think differently, the other two videos cement that point. The second video looks at choice and we see that the choice that is given is given by morpheus who has the power, the question is why is he offering the pills in the first place, just another way of looking at the world. The last video is the limitation if we can look at these things different maybe we can touch upon something completely different to other people and make the public see things differently.
Foucault was heavily criticised due to his dense philosophical theories, however once you think about them and put then into practice they can make sense, one more example of looking at things differently was about deodorant. who told us that body odour was bad, other people now back in the 10th century i don’t think lynx was around o word of mouth and this idea of discourse has misdirected us and we have now power, because the person who distributed it has the power, the only real question is WHY?
The last thing looked at in the lecture was what the merovingian said last, we are all ‘Out Of Control’ at time in life you will look at these decisions and realise the ‘Why? and the reason don’t matter and so we just continue to live subliminally. ‘This is the nature of the universe, we struggle against it, we fight to deny it, but this is of course pretend, it is a lie, under our poised appearance the truth is, that we are completely out of control.