Chakra: Political Philosophy and Foucault Essay

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Comparing the Chakrabarty and Foucault Modern Power Understanding


Comparing the Chakrabarty and Foucault Modern Power Understanding According to Mawani (2010), in the past two decades, Foucault Michel’s compendium of lectures and writings about modern power has spurred enormous, vibrant and long-term discussion within studies of post-colonial and beyond. Philosophers have reworked and debated on the insights of Foucault such as the proposed triangle between discipline, government, sovereignty; the relationship between knowledge, power, subjection and subjectivity; as well as his sexuality and biopower work. Scholars of postcolonial have largely valued the speculations and insights of Foucault based on characteristics, contradictions and qualities of modern power and its generative and productive impulses. However, vistas from colonial period have generated scholarly theories that are deemed critical and skeptical the absences and priorities of Foucault. Recently, Chakrabarty has plotted other genealogies of contemporary power via postcolonial and colonial histories of non-Western nation-states. Chakrabarty and Mbembe Achille have demonstrated how Foucault speculations have spawned imperative new directions and questions in the studies of colonial and postcolonial period. The modern power genealogies are the most important contributions of Foucault to cultural and social approach. Foucault traces his trajectory in the eighteenth century and beyond. At his historical juncture, Foucault articulates that the emergence of distinct and new power constellation. The previous centuries before this era as he vividly documents in Discipline and Punish experienced a dramatic movement in the control of sovereignty and jurisdiction above his titles. In the previous era, the state’s power was centralized and was practiced via death spectacle and via torture of the public. Foucault continues by arguing that in later moments, power was largely decentralized and extensively dispersed; with minimal exercise of public violence, fear, intimidation. Instead it employed subject surveillance, domestication and discipline (Mawani, 2010). Foucault then adds that at the close of 18th century, there was the emergence of what he calls human race ‘biopolitics’. An interpretation and extension of discipline, this power articulation entails novel such that it is concerned with the maximization of body capacity (through self-government and development) as well as the maximization and fostering of life. Discipline entails individualistic characteristic aimed at the creation of docile bodies, which are governmental biopolitics. However, Foucault believes that discipline entails massifying, focusing on the enhancement of species biological life. These altered objectives of politics were the inspirations of interventions that aimed at protection of blood purity and realizing race triumph. Imperatively, Foucault demystifies the sovereignty to biopower shift as that of merging and complementarity. Mawani (2010) quotes Foucault’s words, “I wouldn’t say exactly that sovereignty’s old right- to take life or let live-was replaced, but it came to be complemented by a new right… It is power to ‘make’ live and ‘let’ die.” The modern power discussions have lately been subject of extensive debate and critique from studies of postcolonial period as well as the cultural and social theory. Chakrabarty attests that he practices scope within governmentality framework proportionally enhances the scope from which an individual can search for resistance. In his book ‘Habitations of Modernity: Essays in the Wake of Subaltern Studies’, Chakrabarty investigates the governmental traces of modern ethnicity. The race notions explained by Foucault are viewed external in India. On the other hand, Chakrabarty traces the connection between internal community views, ethnicity and government processes and caste; just like