“Fatherhood, in the sense of conscious begetting, is unknown to man. It is a mystical estate, an apostolic succession, from only begetter to only begotten. On that mystery and not on the madonna which the cunning Italian intellect flung to the mob of Europe the church is founded and founded irremovably because founded, like the world, macro- and microcosm, upon the void. Upon incertitude, upon unlikelihood. Amor matris, subjective and objective genitive, may be the only true thing in life. Paternity may be a legal fiction. Who is the father of any son that any son should love him or he any son?” – James Joyce, Ulysses

“Swans on the river, moving with calm dignity, pretending they are doing something else, while all the time, like the noisy, desperately fluttering seagulls, they too search for food. They eat discreetly with beaks below water, so as not to be seen in the undignified act of feeding, which humans parade in public places without feeling any shame.” – Nanos Valaoritis, “Problems of an Empire”

Ulysses is an amazing tour de force when one considers the success which has been in the main achieved with such a difficult objective as Joyce set for himself. . . . [It] is not an easy book to read. It is brilliant and dull, intelligible and obscure by turns. In many places it seems to me to be disgusting, but although it contains . . . many words usually considered dirty, I have not found anything that I consider to be dirt for dirt’s sake. Each word of the book contributes like a bit of mosaic to the detail of the picture which Joyce is seeking to construct for his readers. If one does not wish to associate with such folk as Joyce describes, that is one’s own choice. In order to avoid indirect contact with them one may not wish to read Ulysses; that is quite understandable. But when such a real artist in words, as Joyce undoubtedly is, seeks to draw a true picture of the lower middle class in a European city, ought it to be impossible for the American public legally to see that picture?” – John M. Woolsey, United States District Judge, December 6, 1933

“There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehended; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, the third is useless.” – Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The Prince (trans. W. K. Marriott)

“Never let any Government imagine that it can choose perfectly safe courses; rather let it expect to have to take very doubtful ones, because it is found in ordinary affairs that one never seeks to avoid one trouble without running into another; but prudence consists in knowing how to distinguish the character of troubles, and for choice to take the lesser evil.” – Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The Prince (trans. W. K. Marriott)

“How one lives is so far distant from how one ought to live, that he who neglects what is done for what ought to be done, sooner effects his ruin than his preservation; for a man who wishes to act entirely up to his professions of virtue soon meets with what destroys him among so much that is evil.” – Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, The Prince (trans. W. K. Marriott)

“In prison, the guards would see me late at night writing poetry. I was the only guy staying awake in the dorms. The other convicts would tell me, ‘Dude, don’t turn around, we’re gonna kill this guy tonight. If you hear some shit going down, Jimmy, just don’t turn around.’ So I’d hear some guy grunting, and then he’d be dead. They beat him for a gambling debt or something but don’t turn around. I’ll always regret that. Because in America today, the government and corporations keep telling us citizens, don’t turn around, and they go on killing the poor, the prisoners, the immigrants, don’t turn around, and they keep killing, and we never turn around and we should, we should.” – Jimmy Santiago Baca (interviewed by Alan C. Fox in Rattle 62)

“It’s a constant battle to stay human, to remind yourself in prison that you’re a human being, not an animal as they would wish you to think and unfortunately how many grow to see themselves—it’s a spiritual and emotional cancer—all prisons are cancer wards, run by infected cancerous Lobotomites—people who have had their conscience pot-holed by survival needs—otherwise why work in such a debasing environment?—I don’t care if you’re a counselor or a priest; if you’re part of the system, you’re part of the problem. That means cons, too. . . . Prison manufactures evil and pain that continues to blossom its most toxic thorns onto families and in every sector of American society.” – Jimmy Santiago Baca (interviewed by Alan C. Fox in Rattle 62)

“Day by day we destroy that we may live, since in this world none save the strongest can endure. Those who are weak must perish; the earth is to the strong, and the fruits thereof. For every tree that grows a score shall wither, that the strong one may take their share. We run to place and power over the dead bodies of those who fail and fall; aye, we win the food we eat from out of the mouths of starving babes. It is the scheme of things.” – H. Rider Haggard, She

“The political, ethical, social, philosophical problem of our days is not to try to liberate the individual from the state, and from the state’s institutions, but to liberate us both from the state and from the type of individualization which is linked to the state. We have to promote new forms of subjectivity through the refusal of this kind of individuality which has been imposed on us for several centuries.” – Michel Foucault, “The Subject and Power”

“Since Kant, the role of philosophy is to prevent reason from going beyond the limits of what is given in experience; but from the same moment—that is, since the development of the modern state and the political management of society—the role of philosophy is also to keep watch over the excessive powers of political rationality. Which is a rather high expectation.” – Michel Foucault, “The Subject and Power”

“Although almost all of the intellectuals in France have felt, since the revolution, that society is in a major crisis which puts it in peril, there is presumably a consensus among administrators, expressed in their memos to each other, that things are basically in hand and that the general welfare and productivity of the population is constantly improving. It should be obvious that, even if there were a general consensus as to the state of the society, this would only prove that an orthodoxy had taken hold, not that the sense of things had assumed the status of objective truth.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“The advance of bio-power is contemporary with the appearance and proliferation of the very categories of anomalies—the delinquent, the pervert, and so on—that technologies of power and knowledge were supposedly designed to eliminate. The spread of normalization operates through the creation of abnormalities which it then must treat and reform. By identifying the anomalies scientifically, the technologies of bio-power are in a perfect position to supervise and administer them. This effectively transforms into a technical problem—and thence into a field foe expanding power—what might otherwise be construed as a failure of the whole system of operation. Political technologies advance by taking what is essentially a political problem, removing it from the realm of political discourse, and recasting it in the neutral language of science. Once this is accomplished the problems have become technical ones for specialists to debate. In fact, the language of reform is, from the outset, an essential component of these political technologies. Bio-power spread under the banner of making people healthy and protecting them. When there was resistance, or failure to achieve its stated aims, this was construed as further proof of the need to reinforce and extend the power of the experts. A technical matrix was established. By definition, there ought to be a way of solving any technical problem. Once this matrix was established, the spread of bio-power was assured, for there was nothing else to appeal to; any other standards could be shown to be abnormal or to present merely technical problems. We are promised normalization and happiness through science and law. When they fail, this only justifies the need for more of the same. Once the hold of bio-power is secure, what we get is not a true conflict of interpretations about the ultimate worth or meaning of efficiency, productivity, or normalization, but rather what might be called a conflict of implementations. The problem bio-power has succeeded in establishing is how to make the welfare institutions work; it does not ask, What do they mean?” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“Suppose that the prison, and no doubt punishment in general, is not intended to eliminate offenses, but rather to distinguish them, to distribute them, to use them: that it is not so much that they render docile those who are liable to transgress the law but that they tend to assimilate the transgression of the laws in a general tactic of subjection – Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish (trans. Alan Sheridan)

“Power is not a commodity, a position, a prize, or a plot; it is the operation of the political technologies throughout the social body. The functioning of these political rituals of power is exactly what sets up the nonegalitarian, asymmetrical relations. . . . Bio-power escapes from the representation of power as law and advances under its protection. Its ‘rationality’ is not captured by the political languages we still speak. To understand power in its materiality, its day to day operation, we must go to the level of the micropractices, the political technologies in which our practices are formed.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics (emphasis in original)

“The tactics employed in the fight against masturbation offer a clear example of the spread of bio-power as production, not restriction of a discourse. This discourse was built on the belief that all children are endowed with a sexuality which is both natural and dangerous. Consequently, both the individual and collective interest converged in efforts to take charge of this ambiguous potential. Enfantile onanism was treated like an epidemic. . . . Elaborate surveillance, techniques of control, innumerable traps, endless moralizing, demands for ceaseless vigilance, continual incitement to guilt, architectural reconstruction, family honor, medical advance were all mobilized in a campaign obviously doomed to failure from the start—if its goal was, in fact, the eradication of masturbation. However, if that campaign is read as the production of power and not as restriction of sexuality, it succeeded admirably.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“In traditional forms of power, like that of the sovereign, power itself is made visible, brought out in the open, put constantly on display. The multitudes are kept in the shadows, appearing only at the edges of power’s brilliant glow. Disciplinary power reverses these relations. Now, it is power itself which seeks invisibility and the objects of power—those on whom it operates—are made the most visible. It is this fact of surveillance, constant visibility, which is the key to disciplinary technology.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“In disciplinary technology, the internal organization of space depends on the principle of elementary partitioning into regular units. This space is based on a principle of presences and absences. In such a simple coding, each slot in the grid is assigned a value. These slots facilitate the application of discipline to the body. . . . Individuals are placed, transformed, and observed with an impressive economy of means. For the most efficient and productive operation, it is necessary to define beforehand the nature of the elements to be used; to find individuals who fit the definition proposed; to place them in the ordered space; to parallel the distribution of functions in the structure of space in which they will operate. Consequently, all of space within a confined area must be ordered; there should be no waste, no gaps, no free margins; nothing should escape.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“Discipline proceeds by the organization of individuals in space, and it therefore requires a specific enclosure of space. In the hospital, the school, or the military field, we find a reliance on an orderly grid. Once established, this grid permits the due distribution of the individuals to be disciplined and supervised; this procedure facilitates the reduction of dangerous multitudes or wandering vagabonds to fixed and docile individuals.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“Discipline is a technique, not an institution. It functions in such a way that it could be massively, almost totally appropriated in certain institutions (houses of detention, armies) or used for precise ends in others (schools, hospitals); it could be employed by preexisting authorities (disease control) or by parts of the judicial state apparatus (police). But it is not reducible or identifiable with any of these particular instances. Discipline does not simply replace other forms of power which existed in society. Rather, it ‘invests’ or colonizes them, linking them together, extending their hold, honing their efficiency.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics

“From the idea that the state has its own nature and its own finality, to the idea that man is the true object of the state’s power, as far as he produces a surplus strength, as far as he is a living, working, speaking being, as far as he constitutes a society, and as far as he belongs to a population in an environment, we can see the increasing intervention of the state in the life of the individual. The importance of life for these problems of political power increases; a kind of animalization of man through the most sophisticated political techniques results. Both the development of the possibilities of the human and social sciences, and the simultaneous possibility of protecting life and of the holocaust make their historical appearance.” – Michel Foucault, Stanford Lectures

“The eighteenth-century humanist discourse of equality fired political movements of an unprecedented scale. But at the same time, in a quieter way, tighter discipline in manufacturing workshops, regimented corvées of vagabonds, and increased police surveillance of every member of the society assured the growth of a set of relations which were not and could not be ones of equality, fraternity, and liberty.” – Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow, Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics