- 桃山学院大学社会学論集 (ISSN:02876647)
- vol.49, no.2, pp.145-176, 2016-02-25
This paper aims to characterize the neoliberal rationality that Michel Foucault(1926-84)posed in his 1979 lectures, Naissance de la biopolitique, at the College de France, through analyzing the transformation of his theory of power in the 1970s. The key concept to grasp this transformation is a "formation of truth". To attain this aim, the following three issues have to be examined using Foucault's logic. First, this paper clarifies that the governmental practices are regulated by a truth(a norm: a "normal price" and an average considered as optimal). This truth which makes a division between the normal and the abnormal is formed by the rational behavior of those who are governed. It was this conception that constituted his new theory of power which he developed in 1978 and 1979 lectures at the College de France. Second, this paper specifies that the truth is formed by the "natural mechanism(the spontaneous mechanism)" which function in the market from the eighteenth century. This mechanism functions as a "laissez-faire". This truth formed by the natural mechanism assures liberal rationality. Finally, this paper specifies that the truth is formed by the "competitive structure" which has an internal logic. This truth assures neoliberal rationality. This structure extends the competitive forms over the "society" (a"government of society"). In other words, neoliberal government produces a"society subject to the dynamic of competition". By examining these points, I would like to demonstrate that the "formation of truth" is the most important concept to grasp the transformation of Foucault's theory of power in the 1970s and to comprehend the neoliberal rationality.