Foucault’s Lectures on the Punitive Society X

Barry Stocker’s reading continues…


Lecture of March 7th 1973

Foucault continues a discussion from the last lecture of the lawyer Guy-Jean-Baptiste Target, he refers to there in connection with the dehumanised account of peasant rebels against the regime of the French Revolution. Foucault goes on to say that Target defines a difference between classes in moral terms, so that one is characterised by virtues and the other by vices. The morally bad class is like a stranger within the social body. Foucault suggests a convergence with the (Anglo-American) Quaker view (discussed in earlier lectures) according to which the state is a necessity for absorbing evil with an order of goodness. In both cases the state is necessary to correct the moral delinquency of the lower class, which is the class of the economically poor as well as the morally deficient.

Foucault goes onto discuss the role of fear in organising penalty in the nineteenth…

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