[eDebate] sanchez bad on law and media
Wed Oct 29 22:24:55 CDT 2008
your recent statement:
"moreover, i wasn't making any 'foucauldian defense
of obama', but was merely pointing out that despite your own foucauldian
inclinations, you were willing to rant on about the sanctity of constitutional
law if it meant also discrediting obama. it's quite the accomplished failure
to turn up an accusation so baseless it didn't even gain traction in the rabid
media spectacle we've been subjected to for almost a year, but it certainly
fails to live up to the task of 'finding critical inroads', the measure by which
you've judged me."
the birth certificate has been forged and a media magic show put on display to make people believe it's authentic. that's a case study in positivist creation of truth through illusion. you have made a "foucauldian defense of obama" not presenting his birth certificate by misapplying his critique of law to dismiss the significance of the case appealed to the supreme court which is berg vs. obama. your bolstering of the lack of media coverage to belittle the significance of the challenge to obama's eligibility is reminiscent of acritical postures adopted by the obama campaign. "everything omitted by the media is ridiculous and trivia" that's a circular argument. the better argument is that the media often makes lies look like truth by marginalizing speakers who question that "truth". truth is determined by who is allowed the microphone to speak. in this case, "fact check" and "fight the smears" but not berg, the former deputy attorney general of pennsylvania.
i would like to see the totalizing foucault critique of all constitutional law through analysis or textual quotations. the critique by foucault, rather resides, in the traditional idea that power is possessed, an idea at the basis of legal contract theory. this view of power does not allow more minute and mobile forms of disciplinary power to first even be seen much less analyzed. that's the starting point for discipline and punish, the rejection of contract, legal theory as the basis for understanding power. not the rejection of the sanctity of law.
the foucault argument in defense of traditional ideas of law is that modern theories of criminal justice have no code for punishments. imprisonment and probation lead to infinite modulation of the penalty so that the criminal is subject to arbritrary powers delinked from legal codes after the decision of guilt by jury or judge. disciplinary power has destroyed the legal ideas of the magna carta which hold the legal system to a standard of unarbitrary procedures. the protestant reformation, particularly calvinism and presbyterianism, conceived new social ideas for reforming the criminal that confer power onto the judge to use extra-legal means of punishment. foucault brings to a head a major contradiction between the legal system and the criminal justice system and shows the historical usurpation of the legal system by the CJS. the protestants introduced new laws further expanding the definition of criminals to include deviant social behavior. these are the laws which foucault calls into question because they have been the historical mechanism for transferring extra-legal power over the criminal.
it's a poor reading to conclude from the critical starting point of questioning contract social theory an implied argument that the constitutional laws at the heart of the democratic selection of prime ministers or leaders are suspect in the same way that laws against stealing, drug trafficking or sexual deviance are suspect. you have oversimplified the implications of foucault's theory into a generic "statism" or "anarchy" critique where "law is bad" or "law is suspect". an application of his critique that foucault himself warned against on numerous occasions. the constitutional laws designed by the founding fathers like article 2 trace back to the magna carta which foucault does not hold suspect. i can not accept the idea that a candidate who supports warrantless wiretapping and the expansion of the CJS is conducting a revolution to overturn constitutional law which foucault has claimed to be an explicit right of the magna carta. given your ideas about media control good, the obama subversion of article 2 refusing to submit his birth certificate to court or multiple 3rd party forensic experts is most plainly and clearly a coup d'etat which detaches the leaders from their accountability to the law in the manner of dick cheney and the OVP.
foucault has said that regimes must be held to standards of law as a check against the extra-legal appropriation of power by fascist leaders who also have the tendency to rile up the extra-legal means of punishment to silence dissent. if the leaders are allowed to establish an arbitrary relationship to the law, the legal system rapidly becomes a tool for the imprisonment of the opposition as has happened in many of the communist countries like the soviet union, poland, and china which foucault found intolerable.
if you review foucault's activist history, you will see his cooperation with lawyers and the law to protect criminals from social practices which attack the sanctity of unarbitrary punishment mechanisms which have overtaken the law. the mobility of power includes ability to deploy the law back against the disciplinary mechanisms exploiting the modern contradiction between the legal system and the CJS. not all power resides in the hands of the punishers as long as the constitutional framework has been usurped by extra-constitutional powers in which case the ability to exploit the contradiction of the modern system radically diminishes.
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