Archive for the ‘Michel Foucault’ Category


March 10, 2018

At the turn of the (19th) century, a new legislation defined the power to punish as a general function of society that was exercised in the same manner over all its members, and in which each individual was equally represented: but in making detention the penalty par excellence, it introduced procedures of domination characteristic of a particular type of power. A justice that is supposed to be “equal”, a legal machinery that is supposed to be “autonomous”, but which contains all the asymmetries of disciplinary subjection, this conjunction marked the birth of the prison, “the penalty of civilized societies.”
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (pp. 231-232).

They’re not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called superpredators — no conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.

Hillary Clinton

the people who continually vote in new prison bonds and tacitly assent to a proliferating network of prisons and jails have been tricked into believing in the magic of imprisonment. But prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings
Angela Davis

I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky,

Oscar Wilde. The Ballad of Reading Gaol

The law is for protection of the people
Rules are rules and any fool can see
We don’t need no riddle speakin’ prophet
Scarin’ decent folks like you and me, no siree

Kris Kristofferson

Decent folks have got a right
To say you don’t fit in
We’ll beat you and we bleed you
Till you wash away our sin

We’re gonna break you like a beast
We’re gonna squeeze the earth and sky
We’re gonna regulate your body
And squish you like a fly

It doesn’t really matter
If you rehabilitate
You legitimize our power
When you bow before the state

We’re gonna break you like a beast
We’re gonna squeeze the earth and sky
We’re gonna regulate your body
And squish you like a fly

You don’t deserve forgiveness
You can’t expect us to be nice
We worship hate and power
And we claim to worship Christ

We’re gonna break you like a beast
We’re gonna squeeze the earth and sky
We’re gonna regulate your body
And squish you like a fly

By Richard W. Bray

The deepest darkest dirty you

December 16, 2017

The confession became one of the West’s most highly valued techniques for producing truth. We have since become a singularly confessing society. The confession has spread its effects far and wide. It plays a part in justice, medicine, education, family relationships, and love relations, in the most ordinary affairs of everyday life, and in the most solemn rites; one confesses one’s crimes, one’s sins, one’s thoughts and desires, one’s illnesses and troubles; one goes about telling, with greatest precision, whatever is most difficult to tell. One confesses in public and private, to one’s parents, one’s educators, one’s doctor, to those one loves; one admits to oneself, in pleasure and in pain, things that would be impossible to tell anyone else, the things people write books about. One confesses — or is forced to confess.
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Volume One

We have the right to know what’s true
The deepest darkest dirty you
And all those nasty things you do

Every word you ever said
Every thought that’s in your head
And everything you do in bed

We’re everywhere — you won’t get far
You have to tell us who you are
The ugly, wicked, and bizarre

We goad, we taunt, we tease, we hound
We build you up — we tear you down
We have the right to watch you drown

We pillage hearts and ransack souls
We seek salvation in your skull
And pray your blood will make us whole

by Richard W. Bray

Admit It

February 8, 2017


Since the Middle Ages at least, Western societies have established the confession as one of the main rituals we rely on for the production of truth
Michel Foucault

The public has a right to know
Whatever’s hiding in your soul
Don’t cheat the mob; don’t hurt your health
And please don’t keep it to yourself

Admit it
You did it
For all those years
You hid it
You’re holding out
Just quit it

Tell a teacher, tell a priest
Tell a shrink or call police
Tell a doctor, tell a nun
Let everybody share the fun

Reduce your stress
And just confess
We need to blame
We need to bless
Don’t make us beg
Don’t make us guess

by Richard W. Bray