msGNU - “What the Foucault” [Track 4]

Accompanying Essay (PDF)
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Accompanying Essay (PDF)

The section of my lit review summarizing some of Foucault’s work can be found on pages 36-52 in my full thesis


What the Foucault?
Sayin who the Michel
He’s got all the other theorists perplexed as hell
So go ahead and yell
Cos you fear you don’t get it
Or just open up your ears
So I can hit you quick wit it

First thing to know - power isn’t some sovereign force
Dorks think they can charge overlords with sharpened forks
We all perpetuate
The structures that we say we hate
If there’s an oppressive system
We had a bit to create

As in we implicate ourselves in it
This ain’t a lottery or race, we can’t win it,
and I’ll get to that more thoroughly in just a minute

For now suffice to say power is a network of strategies
I’m just the messenger so don’t get mad at me,
Instead of words real control plays out through our anatomy
this reality is simultaneously terrifying and so rad, you see

The panopticon doesn’t work the way some people think it do
It really make the prisoner do all the surveillance for you
If you don’t know when you’re watched, it might as well be all the time
We used to take a pound of flesh, now we brand you for your crime

power is tolerable as long as it masks its true intentions
we adapt our behaviour to routine social conventions
our acquiescence constructs the present, i forgot to mention
the illusion of total inclusion trickles down like a pension

Wonder what the hell is water as the fish grow wetter
Discipline and index, hang a scarlet letter,
Indelibly ink your legal name in a ledger,
label your deviance with shame, it works better

Render bodies docile with proscribed practices
Free actions are fossils, we’ll make you think you asked for this
Normative behaviour adapts to the episteme!
What was once acceptable is rendered as a fading dream!

They’ll call you mad and put you on a ship of fools
you confess about sex, the priest quietly drools
pure biopower growing thicker by the hour
productive not repressive, concrete cracks for the flower

systemic classification sometimes makes me feel hated
but my body’s just an object to be manipulated
regimented blurry-eyed rituals of health
preoccupied by technologies of the self

there are things we love about the way we’re oppressed
button up your favourite brand name as you get dressed
social systems wouldn’t last without giving us pleasure
gettin dizzy as we chase what we’re taught to call treasure
and we consent to resented commands even within our leisure

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msGNU - what the foucault?

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