In Reply to: Re: Foucault and The Asylum/Scholars & Cult leaders posted by LaFourmi on October 10, 2005 at 22:56:15:
La Fourmi asked me “Have you actually read Foucault's The Asylum or Madness & Civilization?”
My answer was no, so I read it—well, most of it…both of them…followed by large portions of pro commentary and reaction to Foucault’s writing. I am well aware of the contra viewpoint to his scholarship. I was impressed. I also checked out Discipline and Punishment and found it eminently readable; and I realized that since leaving the Family/Cult I have approached many of these same issues through other intellectual writers (better in my opinion) and in a different manner (deeper psychology). Avoiding the French Theorists like the plague—as it had no appeal for me: the style, jargon, and hip tones, drove me in another direction.
All the talk of the French Theorists about power structures and culture’s evil (the system) and paternalism, patriarchal oppression, etc (should men get a vagina, act feminine, have sex with Jesus? -- Like the Family advocates? To rid ourselves of male chauvinism.) Reminded me of the Family again…
It’s a long story….Although, under different circumstances I might well have been drawn toward the Theorists.
This is an issue (the triad of French Theory: Derrida, Foucault, Lacan) that cast a large shadow over the teaching of the humanities in higher education in America and Europe and the culture wars and the subtleties are not easily grasped by the uninformed,--just like the COG/Family/Family International Triad is alien territory for the average Joe. I could almost say you need to be initiated into the conversation on Theory and the Family/ cults.
So in light of this view, I have put information and reactions to Foucault and French Theory on a blog for you or anyone to peruse if you are interested. It is history in the making and that concerns me, almost preoccupies me now—as well as the history of the Family cult—in which we all invested so much unrequited sincere labor and were paid in blithe disregard, slander, or worse. Information, education, to assist in thinking and developing one’s own thoughts—personality—or individuation—maturity are needed.
Is this an apology? I wouldn’t go that far. Evolution has been busy building inner radar in my psyche and if I even get a whiff of cultic sycophancy and naïve lemmings on the march – I go ballistic. My sense of smell is strong now, but the ability to breakdown the various layers of whiff and smoke into coherency is still primitive.
La Fourmi’s final question to me was: “shouldn't we also ask whether Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel is simply an expression of a deviant lifestyle?”
My answer is why not? Every question should be asked. But I feel that art should first be treated as art—aesthetically, not as political propaganda, or politically correct missives of discipline for the masses, or broken down into examples of power structures or social energies without an author or genius behind the art—without a soul.
Religionists must protect their religion with diligence, intelligence, wisdom and human faith for their children who will be here after they are gone.
Artists must protect their art are in a similar manner.
Scholars too, must be diligent—real—learned—in for the long haul.
When we are gone, the children will still be here, we must give them something with fiber and reality to live on and faith, dreams, and imagination to aspire to in the dark nights.
At this blog I compiled stuff about Foucault, it's a mess, but may be interesting