Vara med och regera – governmentality hos Foucault

Michel Foucaults begrepp governmentality kan översättas med konsten att bli med och regera.  Traditionella föreställningar om makt, att vi skulle styras av en centralmakt, vänds upp och ner. Foucault visar hur regerande gör oss till aktörer i regerandet.

Istället för att en mystisk makt långt däruppe skulle styra oss som lydiga objekt blir vi subjekt. Det är vi som skapar makt. Vi är med och regerar. Makt är samverkan och lydnad.

Makt begrips därmed inte som en maktpyramid. Dominans och ojämlikhet produceras snarare på en mer platt yta. Över- och underordning kommer från att vi medregerar.

Ojämlikhet produceras alltså mer jämlikt än vad vi kanske förutsätter.

Governmentality är:

  1. Hur rumsliga och kroppsliga makttekniker blir aktörer tillsammans med organisationer och personer. Metoderna blir aktörer. Makttekniker agerar med oss. Träning och metoder, saker och platser är också aktörer.
  2. Hur regerandet utvecklas som färdigheter, och som kroppsliga och rumsliga ordningar. Vi tränar oss i att ta på oss bördan att regera.
  3. Hur vi medagerar med andra grupper. Regerande sker mellan, och i mellanrum.
  4. Hur vi regerar med och mot olika maktcentran, som bilföretag eller statliga organ.
  5. Hur regerande skapar samlingsregeringar, medregerande mellan regerande aktörer. Det existerar ingen regering som ensam regerar.

Makt och regerande mystifieras om vi föreställer oss att makthavare styr oss. Vad skulle det vara för mystiska trådar som någon marionettspelare (regering, företag, styrelse) skulle ha tillgång till? Makt är samverkan och lydnad. Det går därför inte att inneha makt. Jag föreslår att Foucault bör förstås som makthavare-ateist.  Det finns ingen som har makt undanskuffad i något förråd. Makthavare existerar alltså inte.

Per Herngren
26 mars 2019, version 0.1

Referens

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009.

Per Herngrens texter om Michel Foucault.

Per Herngrens texter om makt.

Foucault-texter om governmentality – bilaga

Begripa governmentality

“By this word “governmentality” I mean three things. First, by governmentality” I understand the ensemble formed by institutions, procedures, analyses and reflections, calculations, and tactics that allow
the exercise of this very specific, albeit very complex, power that has the population as its target, political economy as its major form of knowledge, and apparatuses of security as its essential technical instrument. Second, by “governmentality” I understand the tendency, the line of force, that for a long time, and throughout the West, has constantly led towards the pre-eminence over all other types of power – sovereignty, discipline, and so on – of the type of power that we can call “government” and which has led to the development of a series of specific governmental apparatuses (appareils) on the one hand, [and, on the other]† to the development of a series of knowledges (savoirs). Finally, by “governmentality” I think we should understand the process, or rather, the result of the process by which
the state of justice of the Middle Ages became the administrative state in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and was gradually “governmentalized.””

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 108.

Foucault historicerar governmentality

“We live in the era of a governmentality discovered in the eighteenth century.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 109.

Governmentality bygger staten

“And it is likely that if the state is what it is today, it is precisely thanks to this governmentality that is at the same time both external and internal to the state, since it is the tactics of government that allow the continual definition of what should or should not fall within the state’s domain”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 109.

Regerande är inte att ge order

“Assuming that “governing” is different from “reigning or ruling” and not the same as “commanding” or “laying down the law” or being a sovereign, suzerain, lord, judge, general, landowner, master, or a teacher, assuming therefore that governing is a specific activity, we now need to know something about the type of power the notion covers.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 115-116.

Bli subjekt – pastoral bakgrund till regerande som lydnad

“So, the pastorate is a prelude to governmentality in that way. And it is also a prelude to governmentality through the constitution of a specific subject, of a subject whose merits are analytically identified, who is subjected in continuous networks of obedience, and who is subjectified (subjectivé) through the compulsory extraction of truth. Well, I think this typical constitution of the modern Western subject makes the pastorate one of the decisive moments in the history of power in Western societies.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 184-185.

Staten en händelse i governmentality

“But the state is only an episode in government, and it is not government that is an instrument of the state. Or at any rate, the state is an episode in governmentality.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 248.

Governmentality ersätter förbud och tvång

“What does it mean to say that the facts of population and economic processes are subject to natural processes? It means, of course, that not only will there be no justification, but also quite simply there will be no interest in trying to impose regulatory systems of injunctions, imperatives, and interdictions on these processes. The basic principle of the state’s role, and so of the form of governmentality henceforth prescribed for it, will
be to respect these natural processes, or at any rate to take them into account, get them to work, or to work with them. That is to say, on the one hand, intervention of state governmentality will have to be limited, but this limit will not be just a sort of negative boundary. An entire domain of possible and necessary interventions appears within the field thus delimited, but these interventions will not necessarily, or not as a general rule, and very often not at all take the form of rules and regulations. It will be necessary to arouse, to facilitate, and to laisser faire, in
other words to manage and no longer to control through rules and regulations. The essential objective of this management will be not so much to prevent things as to ensure that the necessary and natural regulations work, or even to create regulations that enable natural regu-lations to work.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 352-353.

Staten skyddar tryggheten och friheten

“The fundamental objective of governmentality will be mechanisms of security, or, let’s say, it will be state intervention with the essential function of ensuring the security of the natural phenomena of economic processes
or processes intrinsic to population. This explains, finally, the insertion of freedom within governmentality, not only as the right of individuals legitimately opposed to the power, usurpations, and abuses of the sovereign or the government, but as an element that has become indispensable to governmentality itself. Henceforth, a condition of governing well is that freedom, or certain forms of freedom, are really respected. Failing to respect freedom is not only an abuse of rights with regard to the law, it is above all ignorance of how to govern properly. The integration of freedom, and the specific limits to this freedom within the field of governmental practice has now become an imperative. You can see how that great over-regulatory police I have been talking about breaks up.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 353.

Staten placerar sig i evigheten

“we could say that raison d’État basically posited as the primary, implacable law of both modern governmentality and historical science that man henceforth has to live in an indefinite time. There will always be governments, the state will always be there, and there is no hope of having done with it.”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 355.

Governmentality utan stat

“when, if you like, the indefinite governmentality of the state will be brought to an end and halted. By what? Well, by the emergence of something that will be society itself. The day when civil society can free itself of the constraints and controls of the state, when the power of the state can finally be reabsorbed into this civil society”

Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1977-78, Palgrave Macmillan 2009, p 356.

Följa Foucaults metod för att läsa Foucault

  1. Ifall vi försöker förstå vad Foucault egentligen menade riskerar vi att gå åt fel håll: letar bakom texten. När jag läser Foucault försöker jag istället respektfullt följa Foucaults metod. Jag använder Foucault på Foucault. Var kommer det ifrån och vart är det på väg. Vad gör Foucault och hur kan vi göra samma för att greppa andra företeelser. Det innebär att vi kan samarbeta med Foucault för att intervenera i den värld vi lever i.
  2. Foucault lanserar inte en individualistisk teori som förklarar politik utifrån attityder och föreställningar. Inte heller skapar han en teori om hur en regering högt däruppe styr oss. Governmentality analyserar snarare medregerandet mellan grupper, organisationer och personer.
  3. Governmentality är vanligtvis en analys av hur vi underordnar oss. Hur vi underordnar varandra. Men governmentality kan också bygga regerande som konkurrerar med annat regerande. Det är därför möjligt att använda governmentality för att analysera motstånd.

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