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The State and Economy as Regimes of Discipline: beyond state fetishism

Chris Kortright

Almost all theories of the State proceed as if the State were indeed a universal, a prerequisite to our social existence rather than a product of our social existence. This as if act by State theorists acts to refetishize, rather than reveal, the State qua State. By treating the State as a coherent object with ontological qualities not its own (i.e. fetishizing it), State theorists reify (“thing-ify”) the State, treating it as a thing or a given, rather than, for instance, as a mappable constellation of social practices.

The State and Economy as Regimes of Discipline:
beyond state fetishism

by Chris Kortright


Part 1:
State Fetishism and Reification: starting to understand the State

Theories of the State take the State, itself, as a point of departure, and hence fail to demystify the State’s existence. Almost all theories of the State proceed as if the State were indeed a universal, a prerequisite to our social existence rather than a product of our social existence. This as if act by State theorists acts to refetishize, rather than reveal, the State qua State. By treating the State as a coherent object with ontological qualities not its own (i.e. fetishizing it), State theorists reify (“thing-ify”) the State, treating it as a thing or a given, rather than, for instance, as a mappable constellation of social practices. Although State theories have placed great emphasis on explaining why the State does what it does, they have not taken the State itself as something to be explained.
I will be using the work of Durkheim, Marx, and Taussig on the fetish to reexamine theories that address the “nature” and “existence” of the State, and I will show how these theories fetishize the State. Theories of the State—even ones from apparently opposing political valances—all commit this act of fetishization. State Fetishism1 masks where power resides in the State, and thus naturalizes the State, giving the State a nearly unchallengable authority. We can see this aura of authority in early State theorists such as Hobbes’, Leviathan or Hegel’s vision of the State as not only the embodiment of reason, of the Idea, but also as an organic unity. Our present theories of the State represents it as animated with a will and mind of its own. State subjects treat the State as a given, and fetishize its qualities As Taussig argues, in order to understand State Fetishism, we need to look at “...the fetish quality of whose holism can be nicely brought to our self-awareness by pointing not only to the habitual way we so casually entify ‘the State’ as being unto itself.”2 State theorists, rather than skewering this notion, tend to follow it; the subject’s lack of interrogation of state power is mimicked in the theorist’s analysis; thus theorists—by replicating subject’s fetish acts—re-reify the State. In my own analysis, I will unveil the fetish, showing the state as a demystified object. Further, I will argue that the State is not a singular object to begin with, but rather a function of social relations. As you can see, I treat social relations as “real”—an act that allies me with marxist ideas. However, I will also critique aspects of marxist thought.

THE STATE
There is no shortage of definitions regarding the State. I will look at three general State theories: the State-as-subject, State-as-object, and State as a purely ideological construct. Each of these definitions of the State always depends on distinguishing it from society. The line between the two is difficult to draw in practice, and it is with this separation that the State Fetish is constructed.
Weberian theories of the State conceptualize the State-as-subject and consider it to be a distinct actor. The State becomes the actor through the bureaucratic rationality that unites individuals and provides an autonomous set of interests. In this conception, the individuals within the bureaucracy are guided by a common interest—the State manager ideology. Since the State is separate from society, bureaucrats have a split subjectivity: on the one hand they are individuals motivated by their subjectivity with interests framed by the social realm. On the other hand, they are State mangers, with a subjectivity constructed by the State and motivated by its interests; while the managers are within the constructs of the State, they are not operating as social actors. The State’s interests are separate from those of the bureaucrat’s; thus, the bureaucrat becomes a mere hand puppet of the State. Unlike in its Marxist counterpart, Weberian theories presume the autonomy of the State from society because the subjectivity that unites the members of its bureaucracy is the State itself and does not originate within society. The State-as-subject is presumed by such theorists, and the State gains the appearance of an entity that exists beyond the society itself because its existence is not grounded upon any particular set of social practices or conditions.
State-as-object definitions reduce the State to a set of institutions that constitute the location of political struggle and antagonism between various social actors (in the Marxist conceptualization the location for class struggle). The State does not act, but it is a material site acted upon or within. Such definitions are common to structuralist theorists of the State; Louis Althusser is a prime example of such a theorist. In Althusser’s formulation, the State exerts its power through Repressive State Apparatuses (RSAs), and covertly through Ideological State Apparatuses (ISAs). Class struggle, therefore, must contend with both of these operative State oppressions. For Althusser in contradiction to the Weberian theorists, the State does not have a subjectivity of its own; rather, the State is a location/machinery/object through which actors can change society. If the right people (i.e. the proletariat) are at the helm, the State-object will produce ISAs and RSAs that are, in effect, non-oppressive and non-coercive.3
In each of these theories, the State exists as the political sphere in the three spheres of social relations (economic, cultural/ideological, political.) Within all of these spheres, the functions are overdetermined by the sphere’s relations to the social whole. As such, these State theories not only fail to question the historical, and thus contingent, material conditions that ground the existence of the State, but present arbitrary and purely analytical distinctions (political, cultural, economic) as corresponding to real—and ontologically privileged—allegedly autonomous spheres of society.
The third conceptualization of the State can be found in the work of Philip Abrams. For Abrams, the true mode of existence of the State is not material but ideological. The State does not exist; for him, what exists is the belief that the State exists. According to Abrams, the obvious reason for this misrecognition is the State’s legitimating function of concealing the true, social basis and functions of political power. Abrams writes:

The state is not the reality which stands behind the masks of political practice. It is itself the mask which prevents our seeing political practice as it is. It starts its life as an implicit construct; it is then reified—as the res publica, the public reification, no less—and acquires an overt symbolic identity progressively divorced from practice as an illusory account of practice.4

Abrams’s striking figure of mask and reality challenges the conceptualization in most State theories. Although Abrams intervention is useful, it is also problematic. When Abrams asserts that the State does not exist and assumes that the State is simply an illusion, he fails to recognize the State as an actual operative constellation of social practices; he refuses to see the State as something with real social existence. I argue that when exploring the State, the important question is not whether it has ontological existence or not; the critical task of deconstructing the State is to explain and demystify the processes and practices that produce the State’s social existence. Such a deconstruction works to negate the State’s claim to universality and naturalness.

FETISHISM
How does the state become understood as an object that contains power it itself, and for itself? To begin to understand this, we need to look at the fetish—benign objects imbued with magical power. Durkheim explains that the character of sacred objects from Australia—how they are touched and rubbed—in complex, and involves the erasure of the object qua object, and the replacement of the object with a group of meanings that accrue to the object but are in no way inherent in it. The object comes to hold an abstract meaning that embodies the whole of the social network that surrounds it. These objects derive their sacred powers precisely from the peculiar way in which they embody and erase their embodiment of society. Fetishism lays in the reciprocation of thought into the object and the object into thought5. In Elementary Forms, Durkheim writes that “in general a collective sentiment can become conscious of itself only by being fixed upon some material object; by virtue of this very fact, it participates in the nature of this object, and reciprocally, the object participates in its nature.”6 Thus the object itself displaces the social character of the socially-constructed signs.
Durkheim’s work illuminates one of the most interesting aspects of the fetish: the content, not the object is granted the most power. The signifier—the sacred object, the totemic species, animal, vegetable—is , in some ways, irrelevant. This process creates a very different construction of the sign, a construction in which the signifier is effaced. Durkheim makes his claim that what is represented by sacred objects is society itself; for example, totem-worship is not worship of the actual animal represented by the totem, but rather the worship of the anonymous and impersonal (disembodied) force found (symbolically) in the animal but not actually confounded with the “animal-in-the-world.”. I would argue the State, like the totem, becomes a signifier with anonymous and impersonal force.
Marx imports the idea of the fetish from religion into economics. For Marx, the commodity fetish reverses the terms of the fetish as explained by Durkheim; the comodity-as-fetish erases the social relations, and imbues the object itself with value. Thus, the signifier (the commodity) comes to erase its own social content., and turns the social content in to a thing (res.) Reification is this accretion of the social into an object. For Marx, such an erasure of the social character of an object was a capitalist perversion. The reification of the commodity object erases the “labor-time” necessary for the production of the object, replacing its social character with a construction of its material “value.”7

COMMODITY-FORM AND REIFICATION
Since my idea of reification is imported from Marx’s analysis of the commodity-form, to understand the reification of the State we need to first understand the reification of the commodity-form. But why is the Marxian analysis of the commodity-form such an influential analysis for other social phenomenon other then just the commodity-form? As Zizek explains:
... [the commodity-form] offers a kind of matrix enabling us to generate all other forms of the ‘fetishistic inversion’: it is as if the dialectics of the commodity-form presents us with a pure—distilled, so to speak—version of a mechanism offering us a key to the theoretical understanding of phenomena which, at first sight, have nothing whatsoever to do with the field of political economy (law, religion, and so
on).8
The analysis of the commodity-form offers us a theoretical model with which to examine the state. In the commodity-form there is definitely more at stake than the commodity-form itself, and it is precisely this “more” that exerts such a fascinating power of analysis.
To understand the commodity-form and theories of reification, we will look at three different explorations of Marx’s theory of reification—those of Lukacs, Zizek, and Taussig. Each of these theorists examines the process of reification in a slightly different way, but all three add integral insights for our understanding of the commodity reification process—and thus, the State reification process.
Marx describes the basic phenomenon of reification as follows:
...a commodity is therefore a mysterious thing, simply because in it the social character of men’s labour appears to them as an objective character stamped upon the product of that labour; because the relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour is presented to them as social relation, existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour. This is the reason why the products of labour becomes commodities, social things whose qualities are at the same perceptible and imperceptible by the senses .... It is only a definite social relation between men that assumes, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a relation
between things. 9
Georg Lukacs, who was a Marxist theorist, wrote the definitive analysis of reification. For Lukacs, the commodity can only be understood for what it really is when it is seen as the universal category of society as a whole. In this context, reification produced by commodity relations assumes decisive importance “...both for the objective evolution of society and for the stance adopted by men towards it.”10 Through reification the commodity become crucial for the “subjugation” of people’s consciousness. The complex relationships that embody the commodity-form become “second nature” or “common sense” to people; this representation is “naturalized” so people can not imagine living any other way. Fredric Jameson illustrates this in his statement: “Today it is easier for people to imagine the end of the world then the end of capitalism.” Lukacs goes on to explain that in the minds of people in bourgeois society the relationship between people that hides in the immediate commodity relation, as well as the relation between people and objects that should really satisfy their needs, have faded to the point where they can be neither recognized nor even perceived. According to Lukacs, the revolution will only come when“...[people] attempt to comprehend the process or to rebel against its disastrous effects and liberate themselves from servitude to the ‘second nature’ so created.”11
Without revolution, the reified mind has come to regard the commodity as the true representative of “societal existence.” As Lakacs claims: “Just as the capitalist system continuously produces and reproduces itself economically on higher and higher levels, the structure of reification progressively sinks more deeply, more fatefully and more definitively into the consciousness of man.”12 In other words, the commodity character of the commodity—the abstract, quantitative mode of calculability—shows itself here in its purest form. The reified mind sees it as the form in which its own authentic immediacy becomes manifest and—as reified consciousness—does not even attempt to transcend it.
Other theorists have taken Lukacs’ notion of reification further. Zizek takes the Marxian example of commodity fetishism—money in reality is just an embodiment, a condensation, a materialization of a network of social relations—and shows that money functions as a universal equivalent of all commodities as conditioned by its position in social relations. As Zizek puts it, “... to the individuals themselves, this function of money—to be the embodiment of wealth—appears as an immediate, natural property of a thing called “money,” as if money is already in itself, in its immediate material reality, the embodiment of wealth.”13 When Zizek looks at the Marxist concept of “reification,” he believes that we must try to detect the social relations, the relations between human subjects, that are hidden behind behind the thing and the relations between things.
For Zizek, the focus of an analysis of reification needs to be on the acts of individuals. To understand reification, we need to look at how people live the process: “The problem is that in their social activity itself, in what they are doing, they are acting as if money, in its material reality, is the immediate embodiment of wealth as such.”14 Individuals then are fetishists in practice, not in theory. The illusion—what people misrecognize—is the fact that in their social reality itself, in their social activity, in the act of commodity exchange, they are guided by the fetishistic illusion.
According to Taussig, it is a deception for the fetish object to be seen as self-contained, self-bound, and through this deception the fetish is seen as embodying the whole web of relationships that produce it. The identity, existence, and “natural” properties of the objects originate from their position in an all-encompassing pattern of organization. “The properties and activities of things may then be explained holistically and ‘structurally’ as manifestations of their reticulate intelligibility as parts of an organic whole and not as products of mechanical causation and corpuscular collisions.”15 The attention that is focused on a single thing projects the illusion that the thing contains its relational network and surrounding context within itself—the thing is a system of relationships.
On the other hand, the isolated thing in itself tends to appear as animated because in reality it is part of an active process. “If we ‘thingify’ parts of a living system, ignore the context of which they are part, and then observe that the things move, so to speak, it logically follows that the things may well be regarded or spoken of as though they were alive with their own autonomous powers. If regarded as mere things, they will therefore appear as though they were indeed animate things—fetishes.”16 Capital, for instance, is often compared to a tree that bears fruit; the thing itself is the source of its own increase.17 It is in this sense that theories of reification and fetishism can be utilized to examine the State, which appears to be the source of its own power.

STATE FETISHISM
When looking at theories of the State, we should start by looking at the fetishization of the State. Where this convergence of the sacred is most relevant to the State is at the point where the issue of “legitimacy” of the institution meet what Max Weber regarded as a crucial part of the definition of the State—its monopoly on the legitimate use of violence within a given territory. The other part of that definition is the State’s embodiment of Reason—Hegel’s theory of the State—as in the bureaucratic forms.18
If we examine the issue of human rights in the context of “the War on Terrorism,” we see that it is legal for the US State to bomb the Afghani enemy but a crime for the Afghani prisoners to have a prison uprising and shoot a member of the Special Forces. Such legalities confirm the self-contradictory and absolutely necessary attempts to rationalize violence. Weber’s emphasis on violence as the definition of the State reifies the State by presenting violence as a substance. Taussig writes, “What are missing here...are the intrinsically mysterious, mystifying, convoluting, plain scary, mythical, and arcane cultural properties and power of violence to the point where violence is very much an end to itself—a sign, as Benjamin put it, of the Existence of the gods.”19 Walter Benjamin understood modern society as being animated by new mythic powers located in the commodity image. For Benjamin, the task is neither to resist nor to admonish the fetish quality of modern culture; rather, he thought it needed to be acknowledged—its fetish powers—and channeled into a revolutionary directions.20 This points the way to a critical anthropology of the State.
Like the State, the fetish has a deep investment in the conception of death—the death of consciousness of the signifying function. Death endows both the fetish and the State with life—a ghostly life. The fetish absorbs into itself what it represents; at the same time, it leaves no trace of the represented. In Marx’s formulation of the fetishism of commodities it is clear that the powerful character of the commodity as fetish depends on the fact that the socioeconomic relations of production and distribution are erased from awareness—imploded into a made-object a ghostly life force. In the citizen’s view of the State, the policeman’s badge displaces his subjectivity. In like fashion, the State respectfully worships the death of those police and firemen who died in the Twin Towers as extensions of itself. This mythical power which is evoked by the representation of the firemen raising the flag rationalizes the soldiers who die in the “War on Terrorism.” As Benedict Anderson reminds us, citizens must not only believe they are prepared to go to war and kill their nation’s enemies, but they must be ready to die themselves.21
It is through the eyes and minds of the citizens that the State comes to exist. The characteristics of human actions (like those mentioned above) are seen as representing the State. They are no longer actions of individuals, but they are signs of the State. The assertion that these actions contain within them something beyond their physical characteristics, and that this something is to be found within the realm of ideas, suggests that the State exists primarily as a fetish. This State Fetishism is our entry point to start an examination into the reification of the State. For most people in our society, the State is a united and solid body; for those analyzing the State, it is an object that appears to exist as material force and as ideological construct. It seems both real and illusory. This presents a problem in the attempt to build a critical theory of the State. The network of institutional arrangement and political practice that forms the state is ambiguously defined on its edges of both “the society” and “the economy” with which it interacts. Most of the analysis of the State has a tendency to reproduce the imaginary coherence and misrepresent the incoherence of state practice.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Abrams, Philip. 1988. “Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State.” Journal of Historical Sociology 1: 58-89

Althusser, Louis. 1971. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. New York: Monthly Review Press

Anderson, Benedict. 1983. Imagined Communities. London: Verso

Benjamin,Walter. 1978. Reflections. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich

Durkheim, Emile. 1965. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Freedom Press

Lukacs, Georg. 1997. History and Class Consciousness. Cambridge: MIT Press

Pietz, William. 1993. “Fetishism and Materialism: The Limits of Theory in Marx” Fetishism as Cultural Discourse. ed. Apter and Pietz . Ithaca: Cornell University Press

Taussig, Michael. 1980. Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press

—1993. “Maleficium: State Fetishism” Fetishism as Cultural Discourse. ed. Apter and Pietz . Cornell University Press

Zizek, Slavoj. 1989. The Sublime Object of Ideology. London: Verso

1 Michael Taussig. 1993. “Maleficium: State Fetishism” Fetishism as Cultural Discourse. ed. Apter and Pietz. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, p.218.

2 Michael Taussig. “Maleficium: State Fetishism,” p. 218.

3 Louis Althusser. 1971. Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays. New York: Monthly Review Press.

4 Philip Abrams. 1988. “Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State.” Journal of Historical Sociology 1, p. 58.

5 Michael Taussig. “Maleficium: State Fetishism,” p. 233.

6 Emile Durkheim. 1965. The Elementary Forms of Religious Life. New York: Freedom Press, p. 266.

7 William Pietz. 1993. “Fetishism and Materialism: The Limits of Theory in Marx” Fetishism as Cultural Discourse. ed. Apter and Pietz . Ithaca: Cornell University Press

8 Slavoj Zizek. 1989. The Sublime Object of Ideology. London: Verso, p. 16.

9 Karl Marx, quoted in Georg Lukacs. 1997. History and Class Consciousness. Cambridge: MIT Press p. 85

10 Georg Lukacs. History and Class Consciousness, p. 84.

11 Ibid. p. 84.

12 Ibid. p. 93.

13* Slavoj Zizek. The Sublime Object of Ideology, p. 31.

13 Ibid. p. 31

14 Michael Taussig. 1980. Devil and Commondity Fetishism in South America. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press ,p. 36.

15 Michael Taussig. Devil and Commondity Fetishism in South America p. 36

16 Ibid. p. 36.

17 Michael Taussig. “Maleficium: State Fetishism” p. 221

18 Michael Taussig. “Maleficium: State Fetishism,” p. 223.

19 Walter Benjamin. 1978. Reflections. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

20 Benedict Anderson. 1983. Imagined Communities. London: Verso, p. 16.



The State and Economy as Regimes of Discipline:
beyond state fetishism

by Chris Kortright

Part 2
The State and Economy: two regimes of discipline

I will use Foucault's theories of discipline and governmentality to explore the social practices that create the state as an object—the reification of the state—and the interconnected relationships and practices between the “state,” “economy,” and “society.” In other words, I will look at the state as a system of institutionalized practices, and the process of reification of this system through which it takes on “an overt symbolic identity progressively divorced from practice as an illusory account of practice.”1 To understand the power of the state we need to understand Foucault’s analysis of power. Foucault argues that the system of power extends well beyond the state: “One cannot confine oneself to analyzing the State apparatus alone if one wants to grasp the mechanisms of power in their detail and complexity...,” he suggests. “In reality, power in its exercise goes much further, passes through much finer channels, and is much more ambiguous.”2

STATE IDEA
The state is not an object, or a thing, that produces and maintains power within itself. The state-idea and the state-system are two aspects of the same process. The phenomenon we name “the state” arises from techniques that enable mundane practices to take on the appearance of an abstraction or ideal. In taking for granted this distinction, we fail to understand the state. An approach that does not reify the state must begin with the assumption that the elusive boundary between state and society does not exist. This distiction—between state and society—can not be seen as just a problem of conceptual accuracy but as a clue to the nature of the phenomenon of the state.
Rather than hoping we can find a definition that will fix the state-society boundary (as a preliminary to the demonstrating how the object on one side of it influences or is autonomous from what lies on the other), we need to examine the political process through which the uncertain yet powerful distinction between state and society is produced.3

The distinction between the state and society is not the only binary relationship that maintains the state.
A theory of the state also must examine the distinction constructed between state and economy. Creating this opposition has become perhaps a more significant method of articulating the power of the state. The boundary between state and economy represents a more evasive distinction than that between state and society. This internal distinction—between the state and the society or the economy—apears as though it is the external boundary between separate objects. I would argue this is a distinctive technique of the political order to reproduce power. We need to examine this technique from a historical perspective, as the consequence of certain practices of the technical age. We can trace it to methods of organization, arrangement, and representation that operate within the social practices they govern, and create the effect of an enduring structure apparently external to those practices.

DISCIPLINE AND THE STATE
What kind of articulations can we use to separate mechanically an “organization” from the “individual person” who composed it? Instead of crediting such transformations to policies of an autonomous state, it is more accurate to trace new techniques of organization and articulation. These techniques create an appearance of a freestanding state apparatus set apart from society. We need to ask, what produces the state-effect? An exploration of such a question has to begin by acknowledging the enormous significance of those small-scale “polymorphous methods” of order that Foucault calls disciplines, which he established in Discipline and Punish.
Timothy Mitchell has shown how discipline has created the appearance of a united structure out of individuals. We can utilize his exploration of Foucault’s work on Discipline and Punish and the French army after the Revolution. Mitchell writes:
The new bureaucratic and military strength of the French state was founded on power generated out of the meticulous organization of space, movement, sequence, and position. The new power of the army, for example, was based on such measures as the construction of barracks as sites of permanent confinement set apart from the social world, the introduction of daily inspection and drill, repetitive training in maneuvers broken down into precisely timed sequences and combinations , and the elaboration of complex hierarchies of command, spatial arrangement, and
surveillance.4

The use of these techniques forms individuals into an army with the appearance of a machine. Disciplinary power has two consequences for understanding the modern state. By looking at the state through the understanding of disciple, we move beyond the image of power as essentially a system of sovereign commands or policies backed by force. Discipline works not from outside but from within. It does not look at power at the level of an entire society but at the level of its details. It does not constrain individuals and their actions by force; instead, it produces them.
According to Foucault, a negative exterior power gives way to an internal production of power. Disciplines work through daily activity, entering social processes, breaking these processes down into separate functions, rearranging the parts to increase their efficiency, and reassembling them into more productive and powerful combinations. These methods produce the organized power of armies, schools, bureaucracies, factories, and other distinctive institutions in our lives. Discipline also produces, within these institutions, the modern individual. The modern individual is constructed as an isolated, disciplined, receptive, and industrious political subject. Power relations do not simply confront this individual as a set of external orders or prohibitions. A person’s very individuality, formed within institutions, is already the product of those relations.5 The processes of discipline was also coupled by a larger process Foucault called governmentality or biopolitics.
As with the term discipline, “government” refers to power in terms of its methods rather than its institutional forms. “Government” draws on the micropowers of discipline. The development of disciplinary methods became more sharp as they came to be applied to problems of population. For Foucault, “government” is a process that is “... at once internal and external to the state, since it is the tactics of government which makes possible the continual definition and redfinition of what is within the competence of the state and what is not, the public versus the privte, and so on.”6 For this reason, the state probably does not have the unity and functionality attributed to it. I agree with Foucault’s analysis, but I still find it problematic. If modern governmental power exceeds the limits of the state, if the state lacks the unity and identity it always appears to have, how does this appearance arise? I think a response to this question is located in the nation-state project. The practical tactics, disciplines and powers the state articulates as a nation-state projects its unity onto society.

THE NATION-STATE
The nation-state is produced by organizing the segmentation of space, the distribution of bodies, the coordination of movement, the combining of elements, and endless repetition—which are particular practices. There was nothing in the new power of the army (discussed above) except this distribution, arranging and moving. The order and precision of such processes created the effect of an apparatus as separate from the people who the “structure” orders, contains and controls.
The relations, forces and movements that have shaped the lives of a given people have never been limited to the confines of nation-state or territorial borders. The strictly “national” identity of a population, an economy, or a culture are processes that have to be continually reinvented against the forces of transnational relations and impacts. A modern nation-state, its appearance as a discrete object, is the result of recent methods of organizing social practices and representations; it is constructed by frontiers on roads and at airports, its attempt to control movement of people across its borders, the representations on maps and in books, the deployment of armies, the representation of the nation-state in newspapers, international sporting events and tourism and the establishment of a national currency and language.7 These practical arrangements of science, language, medicine, images, space, disease and movement are mostly a recent production. We tend to think of them as processes that merely mark out and represent the nation-state, as though the nation-state itself has some prior reality. In fact, the state is an effect of these everyday forms of regulation and representation, conjured up by these representation is the appearance of an object.
Population, territory and the body are key elements to the production of both the state and the nation. The construction of a population needs inside—national—subjects and outside—foreign—subjects. One way to understand the construction of these two populations in Foucault’s theory of biopolitic. Foucault’s biopolitic focuses on the construction of a population in eighteenth-century Europe; he does not look at the differential construction of population in colonial situation, or situations with racialized hierarchies. I will be applying Foucault’s theory to explore these differentials and the construction of both inside and foreign populations through the practice of public health. To understand the power of the state we need to understand Foucault’s analysis of power. Foucault argues that the system of power extends well beyond the state: “One cannot confine oneself to analyzing the State apparatus alone if one wants to grasp the mechanisms of power in their detail and complexity...,” he suggests. “In reality, power in its exercise goes much further, passes through much finer channels, and is much more ambiguous.”8 One of the social practices, or “finer channels,” is public health. By looking at the public health and how it crosses the traditional boundaries between the state and society, we can understand public health as a form of a particular technology of governmentality.
In the analysis of public health, I will argue that “things” such as disease, as much as the technology used to combat disease are not “things-in-themselves;” diseases and technology are not only biological and physical, but are also signs of social relations disguised as natural things—public health policy.9 “The power of biomedical language—with its stunning artifacts, images, architectures, social forms, and technologies—for shaping the unequal experience of sickness and death for Millions is a social fact deriving from ongoing heterogeneous social processes.”10 Donna Haraway explains to us that the power of biomedicine is negotiated—it is constantly being produced and re-produced. Without this continual production, biomedicine would cease to exist. As such, biomedical power can not be seen as a fixed “thing.” Haraway goes on to say, “The cultural and material authority of biomedicine’s production of bodies and selves is more vulnerable, more dynamic, more elusive, and more powerful....”11 The point of this exploration is to understand the connections between population, disease, medicine, the state, society, economy, public health, discourse and power, so we can come to a better understanding of how these constructions are produced and produce us as subjects. These are not separate “objects” that interact, but they are the result of intra-action—they construct each other through their relationships and networks. By understanding these networks and relationships of power, we can start to create new social relations. Public health and the material-semiotic construction of disease has been used to mark bodies as inside/outside in order to construct populations and mark the boundaries of the nation-state.
The nation-state includes the particular institutions already discussed, such as armies, schools, and bureaucracies. The state takes the form of a framework that appears to stand apart from the social world—society—and provide it an external structure. An example of modern governmentality can be seen at the borders of a nation. The state establishes a territorial boundary that encloses the population; it then exercising absolute control over movement across that border. This governmental power defines and constitutes the national entity. “Setting up and policing a frontier involves a variety of fairly modern social practices—continous barbed-wire fencing, passports, immigration laws, inspections, currency control, and so on. These mundane arrangements... help manufacture an almost transcendent entity, the nation-state.”12 The state appears as a structure containing and giving order and meaning to people’s lives; it is seen as much more than the sum of the everyday powers of government that constitute it. These techniques have given rise to the apparently binary world we inhabit—individual versus apparatus, practices versus institution, social life and its structure, or society versus the state.

BIOPOLITICS
When Foucault turned his attention to the large-scale methods of power and control characteristic of the modern state, he analyzed the emergence of a new object on which power relations could operate as well as new techniques of power. He identified the new object as population and referred to the new techniques as the power of “government.” For Foucault, the emergence of the problem of population occurred in the eighteenth century when a new regime of the state based on discipline was emerging. He associated it in the increases of agricultural production, demographic changes, and an increasing supply of money. Population, he argued, was an object now seen to have “... its own regularities, its own rates of deaths and diseases, its cycles of scarcity, etc.,” all susceptible to statistical measurement and political analysis.13 Such analysis produced a whole series of aggregate effects that were not reducible to those of the individual. Politics came to be concerned with proper management of a population in relations to resources, territory, agriculture, and trade. Foucault calls this management of populations biopolitics. He was “...aware of the expanding place these problems have occupied since the nineteenth century, and of the political and economic issues they have constituted up to present day.”14
The genesis of this political technology was to place at the center of its concern the notion of population and the mechanisms capable of ensuring the regulation of that population. This was not the transition from a “territorial state” to a “population state.” What occurred was not a replacement but, instead, a shift of accent and the appearance of new objectives; in other words, the appearance of new problems and new techniques. Biopolitics is one of governmental technologies dominated by the principle of reason, it attends to the problem of population for the strength of the state. Health, birthrate, sanitation find an important place in biopolitics.15 That is, the theory and analysis of everything that tends to affirm and increase the power of the state, to obtain the welfare of its subjects and the maintenance of order and discipline. These are the regulations that tend to make lives of the population comfortable and to provide them with the things they need for their livelihood.16
In Foucault’s analysis population was not used in a “common-sense” way. For Foucault, the population is not simply the sum of subjects who inhabit a territory; nor, just the result of each person’s desire to have children or of laws that would promote or discourage births—it is dependent on a number of of factors.17 These factors—the tax system, the activity of circulation, and the distribution of profit are essential determinants of the population rate—can not be seen as “natural,” but it can be rationally analyzed so that the population appears as “naturally” dependent on multiple factors that may be discursively alterable. The political problem of population appeared with the branching off from the technology of “policy” and in correlation with the birth of economic thought. Cartography, demographics, economics, biology have all played a role in the construction of population. I will look at the role of economics and biology in biopolitics; afterwards, I will turn to the role of cartography and maps in the construction of national boundaries and bodily territories.
Foucault relates the formation of the economy to the birth of “government”—not to the institution of the modern state but to the methods of enumerating, regulating, and managing population. The practice of government, in this view, formed the economy as a field of political regulation constituted by “policy;” that is, the set of means necessary to make forces of the state increase from within.
At the junction point of these two great technologies [governmentality and economics], and as a shared instrument, one must place commerce and monetary circulation between the states: enrichment through commerce offers the possibility of increase the population, the manpower, production, and export, and of endowing oneself with large, powerful armies. During the period of mercantilism and cameralistics, the population-wealth pair was the privileged object of new
governmental reason.18

The working-out of this population/wealth problem—taxation, scarcity, depopulation, idleness-beggary-vagabondage—constitutes one of the conditions of the formation of political economy. Biopolitics develops when it is realized that the population/resources relationship can no longer be fully managed through a coercive regulatory system that would tend to raise the population in order to augment the resources.
Many sciences have been a part of the construction of a population; one such science is biology. The rising hegemony of biology in Europe can be read as the control of threatening populations at home and in the colonized world—the regulation of “civil” and the “unruly.” “But the expanding empire also fed the new science with essential ‘raw material’ and with a natural rationale for its emerging vision of physical man. As an object of European speculation, ‘the African’ personified suffering and degeneracy, his environment a hothouse of fever and affliction.”19
If the modern state is characterized by what appears as a structure of rules or institutions whose regularity and abstractness separates it from social order it governs, it is also distinguished by its territorial character; Turnbull calls these spacial constructions through scientific practice a knowledge space. “Such knowledge spaces acquire their taken for granted air and seemingly unchallenged naturalness through the suppression and denial of work involved in their construction.”20 Mapping/territories produce the boundaries of the modern nation state, using a similar use of calculation and textual production as biopolitics/population. “Modern cartography is the product of joint processes of cognitive and social ordering resulting in the establishment of the knowledge space within which scientific knowledge is assembled and the state is organized , as is now taken for granted in Western culture.”21 In resent years the production of maps has often been taken to epitomize the character power of the modern state. “The map signifies the massive production of knowledge, the accuracy of calculation, and the entire politics based upon a knowledge of population and territory that Foucault characterizes as governmentality, the characteristic power of the modern state.”22 The map can also be said to foreshadow the work of twentieth-century economics by defining a contained geographical space to be organized later as a national economy, as well as addressing issues of statistical information that were to play a central role in the construction of the economy as a separate and self regulating sphere.

DISEASE
We must understand that the world around us is not only human; in fact, the “human world” is a product of relationships, constructions, conflicts, and intra-actions between human and non-human entities. Public health policies and their relationship to disease is a prime example of one such network. States, economies, societies, populations, and peoples are a result of these intra-actions. If we are to understand public health and biopolitics as one of the social practices that constructs the modern state, we need to understand the role of disease in the construction of subjects and populations; in addition, there needs to be an understanding of the material-semiotic construction of disease. Haraway explains, “Organisms are made; they are constructs of a world-changing kind. The constructions of an organism's boundaries, the job of the discourse of immunology, are particularly potent mediators of the experiences of sickness and death for industrial and post-industrial people.”23 She goes on to say, “Disease is a subspecies of information malfunction or communication pathology; disease is a process of misrecognition or transgression of the boundaries of a assemblage called self.”24 Through out public health discourse, there is a continual need to construct boundaries and prevent transgressions; it is precisely these boundaries and transgressions that help produce the insider/outsider distinction that maintains the nation and the state.
Jean and John Comaroff argue that early evangelists in South Africa understood the social and political obstacles to their “humane imperialism” as natural contagious diseases—combatable by medical control. Their “philanthropic” dreams turned into colonial realities; with this turn, “...the black body became ever more specifically associated with degradation, pollution, and disease.”25
Disease emerges from dirt, and for the evangelists dirt comes from the confusion of bodies and bodily secretions—a transgression of the bodies purity—“...which open the pores and encourage a process of organic and moral degradation.”26
An analysis of the construction of disease and the biomedical body must start from the multiple molecular intra-action of “genetic, nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.” According to Haraway, the body is conceived of as a strategic system that is constructed as “highly militarized” key arenas of “imagery and practice.” The body is read as a state, economy, and society in itself; sex, sexuality, and reproduction is thought of as local investment strategies. The body is a semiotic system, “...a complex meaning-producing field, for which the discourse of immunology, that is, the central biomedical discourse on recognition/misrecognition, has become a high-stakes practice in many senses.”27
The body/disease/economic relationship is more then just a trope. There are explicit relationships of malaria/political/economic policy. Dr. Paul Russell of the Rockerfeller Foundation, proclaimed that malaria eradication is a benefit for US policy and finance. Similar arguments were expressed at the World Summit on Malaria in Amsterdam in 1992, “Malaria is not just a troublesome tropical disease, it is an impediment to world development. The disease affects tourism and trade, while badly planned development can unleash epidemics.”28 The connections between capitalism and disease has been in conversation since the birth of capital and the birth of European expansion and colonization. “Expansionist Western medical discourse in colonizing context has been obsessed with the notion of contagion and hostile penetration of the healthy body, as well as of terrorism and mutiny from within.”29 This approach to disease involved a stunning reversal: the colonized was perceived as the invader. “In the face of the disease genocides accompanying European ‘penetration’ of the globe, ‘colored’ body of the colonized was constructed as the dark source of infection, pollution, disorder, and so on, that threatened to overwhelm white manhood with its decadent emanations.”30 In the case studies below, we will see the relationship of capital, colonialism, religion, disease, state policies, control, diet, power, and movement produce populations. These population—insider/outsider—produce the bodily territory of the nation and the state.

PUBLIC HEALTH
As stated above, the main objects that the technology of govermentality was concerned with population. Public health, along with the material-semiotic production of disease, has been used to mark bodies as inside/outside in order to construct populations and mark the boundaries of the nation-state. The management of populations required a competent health policy which diminished infant mortality, prevented epidemics, and brought down rates of endemic disease; it needed to intervene in the living conditions of the population in order to alter and impose standards on them— nutrition, housing, or urban planning—and of ensuring adequate medical facilities and services. Foucault writes:
The development, starting in the second half of the eighteenth century, of what was called public heath, or social medicine, must be written back into the general framework of a “biopolitics”; the latter tends to treat the “population” as a mass of living and coexisting beings who present particular biological and pathological traits
and who thus come under specific knowledge and technologies.31

This “biopolitics” itself must be understood in terms of a theme developed as early as the seventeenth century—the management of state forces.
As shown below, disease in general has always been associated with politics, but the relationship is especially strong in the case of tropical medicine, public health, the colonized world, and immigrants. “Joseph Chamberlain, speaking in support of the establishment of the London and Liverpool Schools of Tropical Medicine in 1889 said, ‘the study of tropical disease is a means of promoting Imperial policies.’”32 Turnbull goes on to write, “Similarly, the Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health claimed in 1950 that ‘through health we can prove to ourselves and to the world the wholesomeness and rightness of democracy. Through health we can defeat the evil threat of communism.’”33
Colonial South Africa
The first case I will look at is the work Jean and John Comaroff have done on Colonial South Africa. According to the Comaroffs by the turn of twentieth century, missionary evangelists talk of “civilizing Africa” was diverted to a practical concern with the hygiene of black populations; as well as, a project of “taming” the “native” work force. “Here as elsewhere in the colonized world, persons were disciplined and communities redistributed in the name of sanitation and the control of disease.”34 This change in the evangelist’s goals crystallized the political threat disease posed to the world by linking racial intercourse with the origin of sickness. Soon after the colonial state took over the control of disease because they viewed missionary medicine as “...little more than a persuasive art, the health regime of the colonial state rested on much greater authority, one whose global certainties were the product of mutually sustained regimes of science and empire.”35 Even though the colonial state spearheaded the new public health programs, there would continue to be a tight relationship between the state, evangelicals, and public health policy.
If healing was prominent on the colonial frontier, it was as a technique of civilization. This technique carried with it a pervasive theory regarding the relationship between “bodies and contexts” and “matter and morality.” While missionaries continued to foster the image of African affliction, nineteenth-century evangelists recognized that Tswana populations were “remarkably” free of disease. “In the eyes of the churchmen, it was their spiritual ‘suffering’ —their ‘sentence of death’—that was at issue, and this was a function of their lack of self-determination, their filthy habits, and their brazen nakedness.”36 To produce and discipline the black population, the missionary’s reform of the native person focused on the outside—the mundane terrain of everyday practice. In an attempt to instill decency, cleanliness, and health onto the native population, the missionaries tried to mold, by the cultural forms of empire, the Tswana into Protestant persons.
“Creating a need for ‘healthful’ attire was also a self-conscious effort to hitch Africans to the European commodity market, itself perceived as a moral order with cultivating effects.”37
Dr. Livingstone’s, a medical doctor working with the missionaries, optimism about curing venereal disease among “his” local population was not realized. The disease had already left the village by way of migrant laborers, who left the region for the colonial towns to the south. “By the turn of the century, communities of black workers were seen as cesspools of syphilis in the white man’s cities, calling forth the intervention of public health authorities.”38 By 1900, because of the outbreaks of disease—both in rural and urban setting, government officials actively discouraging unqualified evangelists from giving treatment if the services of a district surgeon were available. The colonial government started to create a public heath policy to deal with the out breaks of disease.
The control of the black population was a central component in the public health project from the start. Official rhetoric of the health policies expressed the hierarchical relationship which was built into the constitution of South African society. “Natives” were seen as central to the colony’s economy, yet they were marginal to its political and moral community. “The defiling tropes used to distance and subjugate the black ‘other’ came back to haunt the whites, whose material world was deeply dependent on the proximity of native labor.”39 The reports of medical officers called for public health to discipline the black populations—whose physical presents was a source of wealth and danger. “But this was merely a refraction of a more embracing disposition of government: public authorities in South Africa at the time displayed a noticeable ‘sanitation syndrome’; that is, an obsession with infectious disease that shaped national policies and practices of racial segregation, especially in the growing cities.”40 This disposition was shared with other colonizing regimes. The influence, of course, was nineteenth-century European’s sanitary reforms—imposed primarily upon urban underclass—back in the colonizer’s mother country.
Health officials investigated African “life and habits” and made recommendations for the control of labor relations, taxation, and education. Besides the problem of building a stable work force, the report showed a continued preoccupation with black “hygiene”—focused on migrant populations. “Where, before local health officials had been concerned to limit the threat posed by female servants in white households, the national administration now focused on the promotion of the health and regulation of black males in the urban workplace.”41 The discourse of “disease flooding white cities” grew with the influx of “unregulated” African labor. Because of this discourse, the 1903 commission continued to return to the topic of sanitation. They urged the colonial state to give priority to the education of blacks as well as those responsible for transporting and housing migrants. They demanded that owners of tenant buildings pay special attention to the control of the migrant laborers toilet arrangements.
In fact, the social architecture of South Africa's multiracial cities was already being constructed in response to contagious diseases and the medical “state of emergency.”42 In 1900, an outbreak of bubonic plague focused these notions of danger. Even though fewer blacks contracted the disease, they were immediately targeted as the source of infection and expelled from the “body public.”
The Medical Officer of Health in Cape Town, for one, declared that “uncontrolled Kafir hordes were at the root of the aggravation of Capetown slumdom brought to light when the plague broke out.” As an immediate measure, sanitary inspectors were sent to rout out such “scattered nests of filth” throughout the city, but the longer-term solution was to be nothing less than the mass removal of the black
population.
43
In the name of the medical “state of emergency,” an extreme plan of racial segregation was imposed under the Public Health Act. This act established an enduring system of urban “native locations” that spread from the cities of the Cape Provence across the South African landscape. indistinguishable from the fear of an “unregulated black presence” in the white cities, this policy repeatedly conquered all efforts to resist the separatist social engineering of the regime.44
“Rules of dress, comportment, and table manners all reinforce rituals and routines that even more relentlessly than the formal curriculum, worked to create persons of individual, uniform, and contained identity.”45 The health official stated goal was to instill on the black population a “moral backbone” and the “clean and healthy” lives of a Christian. The desire of the evangelists to produce self-controlled and wholesome subjects resonated with the political and economic interests of the state. The public health official continued the “mission” to mold the kind of disciplined worker which policy makers dreamed. The white/insider population and the black/outsider population were produced with their specific roles and power partially through the politics of public health. The Apartheid state and bodily/spacial territorialization was crystallized and partially maintained through public health and disease.
US Immigration and Americanization Policy in the Early 1920’s
We will now move to the United States and look at George Sanchez’s work on Mexican immigrants which illustrates the use of public health, diet, cleanliness, and contagion to produce the Mexican as “alien;” this production reinforces the national boundary between the US/Mexico and racializes the white/latino body constructing both the spacial and bodily boundary of the US. In 1917, the United States Congress passed an immigration act which placed significant restrictions on European and Mexico immigration. This new immigration act imposed a literacy test, medical examination, a head tax, “...and the institution of an investigation procedure into the likelihood that the individual would become a public charge.”46 In 1921, the Immigration Service formalized its new policy in El Paso—borrowing many techniques used for European immigrants at Ellis Island. The government expanded its personnel on the international bridge to meet with the new requirements of the act; they also constructed additional facilities for the inspection of “aliens.” In Sanchez’s look at a report by the inspector in charge of the main crossing at El Paso, we find a description these new procedures:
On arriving at the American side of Santa Fe Street Bridge, aliens are first inspected and, if necessary, vaccinated by the Public Health Service. ...The majority of the second class arrivals are also bathed and deloused and their clothing and baggage fumigated by that Service. This occurs in the Public Health building between the boundary and this office. After the delousing and fumigating process is completed the aliens are discharged into the courtyard or “patio” which is entirely surrounded by the buildings of this and the Public Health Service. Fumigating, delousing and vaccination is commenced at about 7 or 8 a.m.,
dependent upon number of arrivals and other circumstances
.47
Meticulous attention was given to the medical condition of the “aliens” because the earliest distinctions between “desirable” and “undesirable” arrivals revolved around their health. From first years of the United States as a nation-state, immigrants were blamed for spreading contagious diseases. Besides the sick, the old and disabled immigrants were barred. They could not contribute to the labor needs of the United States and, as such, were not welcome to enter the country. All the arriving immigrants were separated into special rooms; in these rooms, they were carefully and systematically examined by medical practitioners hired by Immigration Services.48
The biopolitics of health, disease, hygiene, labor and lifestyle did not end at the US/Mexico border. In 1921, The US started its Americanization programs, these programs “...sought to maintain the structure of family life while transforming familial habits, especially those concerning diet and health.”49 The reformers promoted new diets; they wanted Mexican women to give up their fried foods, consumption of rice and beans and serving all members of the family—from infants to grandparents—the same meal. “According to proponents of Americanization, the modern Mexican women should replace tortillas with bread, serve lettuce instead of beans, and broil instead of fry.”50 The malnourishment in Mexican families, according to reformers, was not to blame on poverty, but instead on “not having the right varieties of foods containing constituents favorable to growth and development.”
Women in the American reform movement, especially the Americanization programs, were strongly influenced by the turn-of-the-century “domestic science movement.” This movement associated “scientific” homemaking with moral regeneration. Within the Americanization programs, “...food and diet management became yet another tool in a system of social control intended to construct a well-behaved, productive citizenry.” In the eyes of reformers like Pearl Idelia Ellis, the typical lunch of the Mexican child, believed to consist of a “folded tortilla with no filling,” was the first step to a lifetime of crime. With “no milk or fruit to whet the appetite” the child would become lazy and his hungry could lead to “take[ing] food from the lunch boxes of more fortunate children. Thus, the initial step in a life of thieving is taken.”51 For these reformers teaching immigrant women “correct” food values “...became a route to keeping the head of the family out of jail and the rest of the family off charity.”52
Catchwords for Americanization programs were “health and cleanliness.” One of the central goals of home teachers was to drive into the minds of Mexican mothers and “mothers-to-be” “that a clean body and clean mind are the attributes of a good citizen.” Reformers working with Mexicans women were warned that the task of producing a “good citizen” out of a Mexican was difficult. “Sanitary, hygienic, and dietary measures are not easily learned by the Mexican. His [sic] philosophy of life flows along the line of least resistance and it requires far less exertion to remain dirty then to clean up.”53 Reformers blamed Mexicans’ “slovenliness” for their poor state of health. “Such labels reinforced the stereotype of the ‘dirty Mexican’ and expanded its usage among Anglo urban dwellers. One eminent sociologist working with Americanization programs noted that Anglo Americans objected to the presence of Mexican children in the public schools for fear that their own children would catch a contagious disease.”54

By expanding Foucault's theory of biopolitics to understand the construction of two differential populations based of unequal power and case studies of actual public health policies, I showed that practices—the intra-action of capital, disease, racialization, labor, diet, health policies, migration, and science—create an “inside” and “outside” population which demarcates a territory —both specially and bodily. This territorialzation is one of the practices that creates the state. By exploring how public health policies cross the traditional boundaries between the state, society, and economy, I illustrated how public health was a particular form of the technology of governmentality. “Things,” such as disease, create the states and bodies they intra-act with at the same time as these intra-actions construct the diseases through public health policy. All of these relationships produce the subjects, power, and practice that continually reproduce the state. The point is public health and the material-semiotic construction of disease has been used to mark bodies as inside/outside in order to construct populations and mark the boundaries of the nation-state. In other words, the connections between population, disease, medicine, science, the state, society, economy, discourse and power are inseparable from one another because they are constructed through their relationships.

LAW AND SOCIETY
I do not agree with that point of view,” said K., shaking his head, “for if one accepts it, one must accept as true everything the door-keeper says. But you yourself have sufficiently proven how impossible it is to be that.” “No,” said the priest, “it is not necessary to accept everything as true, one must only accept it as necessary.” “A melancholy conclusion,” said K. “It turns lying into a universal
principle.
55

What we call “social reality” is a construction; it is supported by, what Zizek calls, a certain “as if.” “[W]e act as if we believe in the almightiness of bureaucracy, as if the President incarnates the Will of the People, as if the [Communist] Party expresses the objective interests of the working class.”56 As soon as the belief is lost, the very texture of the social reality as concrete disintegrates. Conceived in this way, the state no longer can be taken as an actor, with coherence, agency and autonomy, with concrete consequences. “...we all know very well that bureaucracy is not all-powerful, but our ‘effective’ conduct in the presence of bureaucratic machinery is already regulated by the belief in its almightness.”57 This belief is contingent on the production of difference—those practices that create the apparent boundary between state and society. The state comes to be seen as an autonomous starting point, as an actor that intervenes in society.
An example is that of law. The legal system—a central component of the modern state when conceived as a structure—consists of a complex system of rights, statutes, penalties, enforcement agencies, litigants, legal personal, prisons, rehabilitation systems, psychiatrists, legal scholars, libraries and law schools. The exact dividing line between the legal structure and the “society” it structures is impossible to locate. In practice we tend to simplify the distinction by thinking of law as an abstract code and society as the realm of its practical application. Yet, I believe, this fails to articulate the complexities of what actually occurs where code and practice tend to be inseparable aspects of one another. The approach to the state I advocate here is not an image of the state and private organizations as a single totalized structure of power. Instead, I believe there are always conflicts, as there are between different government agencies, between corporate organizations, as well as fracturing within any and all of these collectives. It means that we should not be misled into taking for granted the idea of the state as a coherent object clearly separate from “society.”

STATE AND ECONOMY
The relative separation between the state and the economy enables the state to pursue the long-term interests of capital as a whole even if it works against the short-term interests of particular capitalists. This can be seen with the relationship between the US government and the Arabian-American Oil company (Aramco), a major US oil corporation that possessed the exclusive rights to Saudi Arabian oil.58 The case illustrates both the permeability of the state-society boundary and the political significance of maintaining it. After World War II, the Saudis demanded that their royalty payment from Aramco be increased from 12 percent to 50 percent of the profits. Aramco refused to cut its profits or to raise the price of oil. Instead, it arranged for the increase in royalty to be paid in effect by US taxpayers. The Department of State, subsidize the pro-American Saudi monarchy by helping arrange for Aramco to evade US tax law by treating the royalty as though it were a direct foreign tax, paid not from the company’s profits but from the taxes it owed to the US Treasury.59 This collusion between government and oil companies, contribute to the treasury of a repressive Middle Eastern monarchy and to the bank balance of some of the world’s largest and most profitable multinational corporations.60 This example does not offer much support for the image of a neat distinction between the state-society-economy.
There are two ways to approach this question of the relationship between capitalism and the state. One way is to explain the state as a consequence of capitalist production. The structural forms of the modern state can be explained by references to certain distinctive features of the way in which the social relations of production are organized under capitalism.61 Poulantza (another example of this theory) argues that what Foucault describes as discipline—processes of individualization, the modern production of knowledge and the reorganization of space and time—are aspects of the way capitalism organized the relations of production. He argues that these processes account for the form taken by the state. For example, the disciple of factory production introduces the separation of mental labor from manual labor. The state embodies this same separation, representing a distinct mental order of expertise, scientific management, and administrative knowledge. In Poulantza’s view, the serial organization of time and space in modern production processes is reproduced in the new geospatial power of the nation-state as the historical-spatial definition of national identity.62
The other approach to the question of the state and capital is the one taken here—I am drawing off the work of Timothy Mitchell63 in the creation of this argument. Rather than explaining the form of the state as a consequence of the disciplinary regime of capitalist production, I believe that, we can see both the factory regime and the power of the state as aspects of the modern reordering of space, time and the personhood. It was at the same time that the state—as we know it today—and industrial capitalism were reorginized by regimes of discipline. In other words, both capitalism and the state are the production of the new effects of abstraction and subjectivity. It is customary to see the state as an apparatus of power and the factory as one of production. Yet, both are systems of disciplinary power and both are techniques of production. The state and capitalism produce the effect of an abstraction that stands apart from material reality. Both need to be seen as interconnected regimes of discipline which need to be understood as rising at the same time period abd dependent on subjects formed through discpline.
Rather than deriving the forms of the state from the logic of capital accumulation and the organization of production relations, both capital and the state can been seen as aspects of a common process of abstraction. In the case of political practice, as we have seen, this abstraction is the state-effect—a nonmaterial totality that seems to exist apart from the material world of society. In the case of the organization of labor, the abstraction produced is that of capital. What distinguishes capitalist production, after all, is not just the disciplined organization of labor process but the manufacture of an apparent abstraction—exchange value—that seems to exist apart from the mundane objects and processes from which it is created. The effect of capital is produced out of techniques of discipline, organization and enframing analogous to those that produce the effect of the state. This approach to the question of the relation between the state and capital enables one to extend the critique of the concept of the state to include the parallel concept of the economy.

1 Abrams. “Notes on the Difficulty of Studying the State.” p. 82

2 Michel Foucault. 1980a. “Questions on Geography.” In Power/Knowledge. New York: Pantheon p. 72

3 Timothy Mitchell. 1999. “Society, Economy, and the State Effect.” In State/Culture: State-Formation after the Cultural Turn ed. Steinmets, George. Ithaca: Cornell University Press p. 77

4 Timothy Mitchell. 1991a. “The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and Their Critics.” American Political Science Review 85, no. (1: 77-96) p. 92

5 Michel Foucault.1977. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. New York: Pantheon

6 Michel Foucault. 1991. “Governmentality.” In The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, ed. Buurchell, Graham; Colin Gordon, and Peter Miller. Hemel Hempstead, Herts: Harvester Wheatsheaf p. 103

7 Timothy Mitchell. 1991b “America’s Egypt: Discourse of the Development Industry.” Middle East Report. March-April. New York. p. 28

8 Michel Foucault. 1980a. “Questions on Geography.” In Power/Knowledge. New York: Pantheon p. 72

9 Michael Taussig.1992. The Nervous System. New York: Routledge p. 83

10 Donna Haraway.1991. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge p. 204

11 Ibid p. 204

12 Mitchell. “Society, Economy, and the State Effect.” p. 90

13 Foucault. “Governmentality.” p. 99

14 Michel Foucault. 1994b. “The Birth of Biopolitics” In Michel Foucault: Ethics Subjectivity and Truth. Ed. Paul Robinow. New York: The New Press (73-79) p. 73

15 Foucault. “The Birth of Biopolitics” p. 74

16 Michel Foucault.1994a. “Security, Territory, and Population” In Michel Foucault: Ethics Subjectivity and Truth. Ed. Paul Robinow. New York: The New Press (67-71) p. 70

17 Ibid p. 70

18 Foucault. 1994a. “Security, Territory, and Population” p. 69

19 Jean and John Comaroff. 1992. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination p. 215

20 David Turnbull. 2000. Masons, Tricksters, and Cartographers: Comparative Studies in the Sociology of Scientific and Indigenous Knowledge. Australia: Harwood Academic Publishers p. 19

21 Ibid. p. 92

22 Timothy Mitchell. 2002. Rule of Experst: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press p. 9

23 Haraway. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women p.208

24 Ibid p. 212

25 Comaroff Ethnography and the Historical Imagination p. 215

26 Comaroff. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination p. 226

27 Ibid p. 211

28 Turnbull. Masons, Tricksters, and Cartographers p. 166

29 Haraway. Simians, Cyborgs, and Women p. 223

30 Ibid p. 223

31 Foucault. “Security, Territory, and Population” p. 71

32 Turnbull. Masons, Tricksters, and Cartographer p. 166

33 Ibid p.166

34 Comaroff. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination p. 216

35 Ibid p. 216

36 Ibid p. 224

37 Ibid p.225

38 Ibid p. 226

39 Comaroff. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination p. 229

40 Ibid p. 229-30

41 Ibid p. 230

42 I use the term “state of emergency” from the critical theory of Walter Benjamin. 1969. “Theses on the Philosophy of History” in Illuminations. New York: Schocken

43 Comaroff. Ethnography and the Historical Imagination p. 230

44 Ibid p. 230-31

45 Ibid p. 231

46 George J Sanchez.1993. Becoming Mexican American: Ethnicity, Culture and Identity in Chicano Los Angeles, 1900-1945. New York: Oxford University Press p. 55

47 Ibid p. 55

48 Ibid p. 56

49 Ibid p. 102

50 Ibid p. 102

51 Pearl Idelia Ellis.1929. Americanization through Homemaking. Los Angeles: Wetzel p. 26

52 Sanchez. Becoming Mexican American p. 102

53 Ellis. Americanization through Homemaking p47

54 Sanchez. Becoming Mexican American p. 102

55 Franz Kafka.1985. The Trial New York: Harmondsworth p. 243

56 Zizek. The Sublime Object of Ideology p.36

57 Ibid. p. 36

58 Stephen Krasner.1978. Defending the National Interest: Raw Materials Investments and U.S. Foreign Policy. Princeton: Princeton University Press pp. 205-12

59 Irvine H. Anderson.1981. Aramco, the United States, and Saudi Arabia: A Study of the Dynamics of Foreign Oil. Princeton:Princeton University Press pp. 179-497

60 Timothy Mitchell. 1991. “The Limits of the State: Beyond Statist Approaches and Their Critics.”; 1999. “Society, Economy, and the State Effect.”; 2003. “McJihad: Islam in the U.S. Global Order” in Social Text 73 (1-18)

61 Bertell Ollman. 1992. “Going Beyond the State? A Comment.” In American Political Science Review 86, no. 4 (1014-17)

62 Nicos Poulantza.1978. State, Power, Socialism. London: Verso

63 Mitchell 1988;1991;1992;1999; 2002; 2003

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