The Necessity of Delinquency
Category : Articles
Applications of Foucault and Althusser on the Asian-American phenomenon in the United States.
Using well-known Marxist philosophers including Foucault and Althusser, this paper discusses the way in which the culture of power in the United States attempted to keep the Japanese Nisei, second generation in the United States, from prospering in their new home.The author analyses the laws and state apparatuses involved in keeping the Nisei from rising and thriving in society.
“In the chapter “The Means of Correct Training” of Michel Foucault’s book Discipline and Punish, Foucault states, ?The chief function of the disciplinary power is to ?train,? rather than to select or to very, or no doubt, to train in order to levy and select all the more? (188). It is the attempt of the disciplines of imprisonment and schooling to create docile bodies to maximize economic production. According to Marxist theory, as applied by Louis Althusser in his essay Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, in a capitalistic state, the economy is the basis for society, and all apparatuses and disciplines focus around the capitalists and the accumulation of wealth. Althusser states, ?. . . Marx conceived the structure of every society as constituted by levels or instances articulated by a specific determination: the infrastructure, or economic base and the super structure? (134). However, in the capitalists attempt to train individuals to become docile bodies for the economic base to use as a means of reproduction of the conditions of production, those who do not conform to the rules, do not measure up to standards of intellect, or those that do not have the same racial background as the ruling class, are manufactured as delinquents or useless people. The ruling class uses the imprisonment and schooling disciplines to create a sense of uselessness in the people who are of no use or pose a threat to the ruling class. By encouraging delinquency in its enemies, the ruling class is able to control people they feel are of no use to them.”