Class Rule in the Name of Democracy

  • Henrik Paul Bang
Part of the International Political Theory book series (IPoT)


Before Foucault in his later years began seriously to contemplate the opposition between obedience and parrhesia empirically as well as normatively, he had spent decades criticizing modern science and philosophy for neglecting how political power provides a creative capacity for doing things otherwise, and how the bourgeoisie exploits this capacity to keep laypeople in the firm fist of hierarchy and obedience. Modernity, his continuing argument is, must somehow try to get rid of the premodern figure of the sovereign king that enables the bourgeoisie to make use of the juridical and administrative system to freeze the (invariant?) political capacity to make a difference in a state of strongly hierarchized domination. McDonald in his book about Performing Marx (2006: 109) notes that

the very way in which Foucault articulates the ‘positivity’ of disciplinary power — its ability at once to subject the body and make it more useful — is intimately related to the specific needs associated with the control of population and bodies under capitalism.


Class Rule Discursive Practice Representative Democracy Class Power Political Class 


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Copyright information

© Henrik Paul Bang 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henrik Paul Bang
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Governance and Policy AnalysisUniversity of CanberraAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenDenmark

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