By Walter Truett Anderson
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Extra info for The Truth about the Truth
Marxism has been criticized for analyzing everything in terms of economics and even of reducing everything, in the final analysis, to an economic problem. Can you, too, not be criticized for seeing power everywhere and, in the final analysis, of reducing everything to power? FOUCAULT That's an important question. For me, power is the problem that has to be resolved. Take an example like the prisons. I want to study the way in which people set about using-and late on in historyimprisonment, rather than banishment or torture, as a punitive method.
We may deal with flimsier coin, but, like the abstractness of high finance, the business is even the more serious for it. The most astonishing thing of all, about man's fictions, is not that they have from prehistoric times hung like a flimsy canopy over his social world, but that he should have come to discover them at all. It is one of the most remarkable achievements of thought, of self-scrutiny, that the most anxietyprone animal of all could come to see through himself and discover the fictional nature of his action world.
Of course, there are sociological studies that show us who the bosses of industry are at present, how politicians are formed and where they come from; but there are also more general studies, usually inspired by Marxism, concerning the domination of the bourgeois class in our societies. But, under this general umbrella, things seem to me to be much more complex. In the Western industrialized societies, the questions "Who exercises power? How? " are certainly the questions that people feel most strongly about.