Reviews

Intellectual Operator

It is a distinct possibility that we leave to posterity writers and works from which the future curious will conclude that this century was the stupidest, most verbose and obscene, altogether the worst in the historical record. What else can you say of a century that elected Michel Foucault as one of its mâitres à penser, together with an assortment of Sartrian and Marcusian monsters, structuralists, deconstructionists, decoders, and other homosexuals? Homosexuality occupies about half of this volume (with incest too getting some attention as, of course, a morally neutral practice). The rest is taken up with questions and answers (almost all 330 pages are interviews and debates), most of it exasperating trivialities wrapped in jargon.

With a kind of coquettishness Foucault denies he is a structuralist, though his analyses belie him. On the other hand, he does not deny that he is a homosexual, and delves into that matter with a stomach-turning psychosocio-philosophical seriousness. But even when he wears the mask of a professor at the College de France, his style, approach, and analyses are those of a purely (structurally?) subversive mind for which "structuralism" is a mere pretext. Were he an idealist with Plato, a logician with Aristotle, an orator with Demosthenes, his manner of arguing would still create the impression of an intellectual operator.

Structuralism for such a man is merely...

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