More on Foucault, discipline, and the individual

At the heart of all disciplinary systems functions a small penal mechanism. It enjoys a kind of judicial privilege with its own laws, its specific offences, its particular forms of judgement. The disciplines established an ‘infra-penality’; they partitioned an area that the laws had left empty; they defined and repressed a mass of behaviour that the relative indifference of the great systems of punishment had allowed to escape. ‘ [. . .] The work­shop, the school, the army were subject to a whole micro-penality of time (latenesses, absences, interruptions of tasks), of activity (inattention, negligence, lack of zeal), of behaviour
(impoliteness, disobedience), of speech (idle chatter, insolence), of the body (‘incorrect’ attitudes, irregular gestures, lack of cleanliness), of sexuality (impurity, indecency).

Shared post on law and politics

This idea—that the difference between law and politics is a difference in language—lies at the heart of Niklas Luhmann’s systems theory. Luhmann suggested that society must be understood as a communication system. As such, it is differentiated into different subsystems, among them the political system and the legal system, but also, for example, the religious system, the scientific system, and so on.

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