Foucault’s Governmentality; Understanding Why We Don’t Trust the Government

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BY SIMONE SMITH

Usually, my column stays away from the political side of things, but with the recent election in the United States, I thought it would be a good idea to dissect the government and their current system. Foucault’s Governmentality, focused on the idea that within the government itself, there is a serious problem. Let us look at what the government is. It is how a group of individuals who exercise their power rationalize it. They are the ones who have the power to handle problems that need to be addressed and are supposed to offer solutions for these problems. The issue with this is that political powers are subjective; there is no rationale for their actions. It is their reality of how things should be. This reality is put into action by hiring the right people and developing agencies, institutions, procedures, legal forms and anything else needed to govern the citizens of a state, or country.

Foucault discussed government not only in political matters, but it was also discussed in philosophical, religious, medical and education matters. What Foucault saw was problems of self control in humans. It was this that made him doubt the ability for humans to govern each other. Some individuals are not able to provide guidance for their families, children or themselves; yet they wanted to govern a group of people. Foucault did not believe that this was possible. Foucault wanted to show that government and an individual who was an autonomous individual working for the government, made decisions and represented themselves. Foucault stressed on the idea just because you are an employed government figure, it does not mean that you are a moral individual. Members of the Government are supposed to rationally assess what is good for the country. Are they able to do this without thinking about how their decisions are going to serve them?

It is important that I present information about what the government represents to the community. We need to think about these people for exactly who they are, people. We are selfish, self-centered, egocentric and focused on our own needs. These behaviors can be seen in our daily actions; whether it is in work, leisure or play. We must know our rights and act on them; we must understand the evil that can exist in our government. They are just being who they are; people. A better understanding of the government will allow members of our community to exercise their rights and take back what is theirs. Below I have provided a mini lexicon for you. Please research and do your due diligence. Have a great week everyone; know that I am here to answer any questions that you may have.

Don’t forget to tune in to Carib101 Radio to listen to Hear 2 Help You, Tuesdays at 4:00 PM EST.

Key Terms to Know

Bio-Politics: Social and political power over life; groups will use it to denote studies relating to biology and political science.

Keynesianism: Theories advocating government monetary and fiscal programs designed to increase employment and stimulate business activity. Think about how this is happening in your community.

Neo-liberalism: Neo-liberalism is a political rationality that tries to render the social domain economic and to link a reduction in (welfare) state services and security systems to the increasing call for ‘personal responsibility’ and ‘self-care’

“The key feature of the neo-liberal rationality is the congruence it endeavors to achieve between a responsible and moral individual and an economic-rational actor.”

Welfare State: A social system, whereby the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens, as in matters of: health care, education, employment, and social security. Canada would be considered a welfare state.

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