“We are used to thinking that the expression of individuality, for example, or the exaltation of individuality is one of the forms of man’s liberation… But I wonder if the opposite is true. I have tried to show that humanism was a kind of form, was this sort of fabrication of the human being according to a certain model, and that humanism does not work at all as a liberation of man, but on the contrary works as an imprisonment of man inside certain types of moulds that are all controlled by the sovereignty of the subject.” – Michel Foucault
The above quote of Foucault’s is taken from an interview the entirety of which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzoOhhh4aJg
The picture is taken from the AXE commercial “Find Your Magic”.
PS. I know I’m exceeding the 30-50 word limit here, but I’m really very curious to see if anyone would care to comment the final section of the interview in which Foucault states the following:
“I don’t believe in the virtue of using language for “self-expression”. The language that interests me is the one that can actually destroy all the circular, enclosed, narcissistic forms of the subject and of oneself. And what I mean by ‘the end of man’ is, deep down, the end of all these forms of individuality, of subjectivity, of consciousness, of the ego, on which we have built and from which we have tried to build and to constitute knowledge. …The West has tried to build the figure of man in this way, and this image is in the process of disappearing. And so I don’t say the things I say because they are what I think, but rather I say them with the end in mind of self-destruction, precisely to make sure they are no longer what I think. To be really certain that from now on, outside of me, they are going to live a life or die in such a way that I will not have to recognize myself in them.”
A passage I find, frankly, quite remarkable. In which of his works might one find an elaboration of these ideas? I know there is a full transscription of the interview in book form (the youtube video covers only a part of some hour’s worth of material), but I’m thinking the foundation for these thoughts must have been laid elsewhere. Specifically, the part from “And so I don’t say these things…” onwards have me amazed and perplexed to an equal degree. Anyhow, just thought I’d share it with you.