For my third blog post, I decided to complete the third prompt, which is as follows: “Foucault describes discipline (in the way he is using the term) as something new (in the 18th century) and calls it a ‘“physics” or “anatomy” of power, a technology” (p. 7 of the pdf). Explain what this idea could mean and illustrate it with a contemporary example.”
To me, calling discipline an anatomy/physics in power dynamics is a great sort of definition or ideology of how it applies. Discipline can give power, it can remove it, it can decide whether or not one has it, and for how long they do – allow me to get a little deeper into it. Generally, to get into a position of power, one needs discipline. They have to be disciplined to start somewhere where they don’t have much control – say a politician. If one wanted to run for president some day, they’d need to start as, perhaps, an intern at their local court. Not much power – they’d follow orders, and do busy work, and likely need a lot of discipline on this first step of their journey to more power. They’ll continue needing discipline, but in turn, having discipline, patience, etc, will propel them to the top much quicker than one without it, as well as keep them there much longer than one without it.
Without discipline, there often isn’t much power, but without power, there can still be plenty of discipline.