Agamben on Tiqqun on Foucault

by Arran James

Thus, as demonstrated by Foucault, in a microphysics of power, power does and always has circulated in mechanisms of all kinds; legal, material, etc. For Tiqqun, power is nothing more than that. It doesn’t stand as a sovereign hypostatic entity in relation to civil society and life; it coincides internally with life and society.

Power cannot be understood as having a center anymore; it is a mere accumulation of mechanisms into which subjects, or in Foucault’s words “processes of subjectivation”, are entangled.

In this context, Tiqqun tries to cause the two plans, the two analyses kept separate in the work of Foucault – mechanisms and techniques of governance, subject – to fully coincide with one another. There is a text in one of the essays published in the book called “métaphysique critique”, and it says it very clearly: “a theory of the subject is only possible as a theory of mechanisms.”