To punish is the most difficult thing there is. A society such as ours needs to question every aspect of punishment as it is practiced everywhere: in the army, the schools, the factories.
Matthey, a Geneva physician very close to Rousseau's influence, formulates the prospect for all men of reason: 'Do not glory in your state, if you are wise and civilized men; an instant suffices to disturb and annihilate that supposed wisdom of which you are so proud; an unexpected event, a sharp an
During the years 1945-1965 (I am referring to Europe), there was a certain way of thinking correctly, a certain style of politicaldiscourse, a certain ethics of the intellectual. One had to be on familiar terms with Marx, not let one's dreams stray too far from Freud.... These were therequirements t
Homosexuality appeared as one of the forms of sexuality when it was transposed from the practice of sodomy into a kind of interior androgyny, a hermaphroditism of the soul. The sodomite had been a temporary aberration; the homosexual was now a species.
What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn't everyone's life become a work of art? Why should the lam
... we are obliged to produce the truth by the power that demands truth and needs it in order to function: we are constrained, we are condemned to admit the truth or to discover it. Power constantly asks questions and questions us; it constantly investigates and records; it institutionalizes the sea
Because they claim to be concerned with the welfare of whole societies, governments arrogate to themselves the right to pass off as mere abstract profit or loss the human unhappiness that their decisions provoke or their negligence permits. It is a duty of an international citizenship to always brin
We demand that sex speak the truth and we demand that it tell us our truth, or rather, the deeply buried truth of that truth about ourselves wich we think we possess in our immediate consciousness.
From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think there is only one practical consequence: we have to create ourselves as a work of art.
What is peculiar to modern societies is not that they consigned sex to a shadow existence, but that they dedicated themselves to speaking of it ad infinitum, while exploiting it as the secret.
I'm not making a problem out of a personal question; I make of a personal question an absence of a problem.
There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses.
People know what they do; frequently they know why they do what they do; but what they don't know is what what they do does.
Do not ask who I am and do not ask me to remain the same.
You know the difference between a real science and a pseudoscience? A real science recognizes and accepts its own history without feeling attacked. When you tell a psychiatrist his mental institution came from a lazar house, he becomes infuriated.
Politics is not what it pretends to be, the expression of a collective will. Politics breathes well only where this will is multiple, hesitant, confused, and obscure even to itself.
At every moment, step by step, one must confront what one is thinking and saying with what one is doing, what one is.
A critique does not consist in saying that things aren't good the way they are. It consists in seeing on just what type of assumptions, of familiar notions, of established and unexamined ways of thinking the accepted practices are based... To do criticism is to make harder those acts which are now t
there is no glory in punishing
The practice of S/M is the creation of pleasure.... And that's why S/M is really a subculture. It's a process of invention. S/M isthe use of a strategic relationship as a source of pleasure.
Justice must always question itself, just as society can exist only by means of the work it does on itself and on its institutions.
In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure and the police take the place of pirates.
Knowledge is not for knowing: knowledge is for cutting.
We should not be content to say that power has a need for such-and-such a discovery, such-and-such a form of knowledge, but we should add that the exercise of power itself creates and causes to emerge new objects of knowledge and accumulates new bodies of information. ... The exercise of power perpe
There are moments in life where the question of knowing whether one might think otherwise than one thinks and perceive otherwise than one sees is indispensable if one is to continue to observe or reflect ... What is philosophy today ... if it does not consist in, instead of legitimizing what we alre
Perhaps [transgression] is like a flash of lightning in the night which, from the beginning of time, gives a dense and black intensity to the night it denies, which lights up the night from the inside, from top to bottom, yet owes to the dark the stark clarity of its manifestation, its harrowing and
Power is everywhere...because it comes from everywhere.
What desire can be contrary to nature since it was given to man by nature itself?
Nature, keeping only useless secrets, had placed within reach and in sight of human beings the things it was necessary for them to know.
For millenia, man remained what he was for Aristotle: a living animal with the additional capacity for a political existence; modern man is an animal whose politics places his exitence as a living being in question.