Marxism, devoting the remainder of his life to the invention ofnan intoxicating brew of existentialism and political radicalismnand to the celebration of anti-Western revolutions in the socallednThird World. During the last pathetic years of his life, thenmost femous French intellectual since Voltaire could often benfound distributing Maoist leaflets on the streets of the feshionncapital of the world.ndartre’s metamorphosis into a champion of the ideologicalnleft was genuine—^perhaps I should say authentic—enough,nbut because of his existentialist past and the fashionmongers’nshort attention span, others with more impressive radicalncredentials and less familiar faces began to overtake him asnphilosophic trend-setters. As the 1960’s advanced, one philosophernin particular became fashion’s darling—Herbert Marcuse.nA rather unlikely candidate for celebrity, Marcuse wasnbom and educated in Germjpy, where he studied with thenformidable Martin Heidegger. He emigrated when Hitierncame to power, ending up in the United States, where henjoined the Institute for Social Research, then just transplantednfrom Frankftirt to New York Under Institute auspices, he begannto concoct a peculiar mix of Hegel, Marx, and Freud. After anwartime tour of duty with the State Department’s Ofiice of IntelligencenResearch, Marcuse accepted a teaching position atnBrandeis and established a solid, if quiet, reputation in leftistninteUectual circles with books such as Reason and Revolution,nSoviet Marxism, and Eros and Civilization Then, quitensuddenly, he was discovered and hailed as a prophet by “students”n40 years his junior. Like long hair and careless dress, henwas all the rage.nAlthough Marcuse wrote an almost impenetrable Teutonicnprose, his theories of “liberation” appealed to young radicals,nsome of whom bore an unmistakable resemblance to thenWeimar youths he had once known. According to Marcuse,nphilosophy was criticism of existing reality; its task was to promotenpolitical and sexual “freedom” by unmasking a “system”nthat was, he argued in One-Dimensional Man, so sinister thatnit cunningly disguised its repressive nature and co-opted allnpotential critics. What appeared to be freedom was, in reality,nservitude.nTaking his cue from a careless reading of Heidegger,nMarcuse attacked technology and castigated the military asnthe preserve of madmen, who, were they sane, would be makingnlove, not war in Vietnam. Because he encouraged andnapplauded the revolutionary worth of irresponsibility, youngnpeople attended his every word. He was photographed withnintense-looking disciples, who, for once, were listening, notntalking; his books were reprinted; books about him proliferated.nFrank Kermode decided that he merited enshrinement in then”Modem Masters” series, though the distinguished critic hadnthe good sense to assign the volume to Alasdair Maclntyre,nwho proceeded to deflate the silver-haired gum’s propheticnpretensions.n• PHILOSOPHY AND FASHION •nnnJL ortunately, the radical decade ran its course and the tiresomen”revolution” was, at least for the time being, removednfrom the Western world’s agenda. As a result, fashionablenpeople began to cast about for a new guide to right thinking;nthey discovered him in the person of Michel Foucault, whonbecame an intellectual sensation in the aftermath of thenFrench “events of May 1968,” as that breakdown of civilizednbehavior is often euphemistically described. Unlike the feverednadvocates of total and immediate revolution, Foucaultnprophesied an arduous, piecemeal, and unending stm^e fornliberation. His was, and is, the perfect phflosophy for chastenednbut unrepentant radicals.nAt the center of Foucault’s thought is his analysis of power,nan analysis that eschews Marxist categories in favor of a panpotencyninspired by Nietzsche’s “will to power.” According tonFoucault, power is so aU pervasive that it reaches into the veryncapillaries not only of the metaphorical social body, but of thenactual body of every one of society’s members. Since the 18thncentury, this penetration has been accomplished by evernmore subtie, yet largely unpremeditated means. By substitutingngenealogical for his earlier archaeological investigations ofnthe human sciences, Foucault intends to disclose how knowledgenitself, in the guise of the various scientific “discourses,”nexercises a disciplinary power. In particular, he has been concernednwith psychiatric, penal, and sexual discourses.nAlthough Foucault insists that he does not consider all networksnof power to be repressive, his books, taken together, addnup to a thoroughgoiag indictment of Western society, in which,nhe maintains, the art of control by surveillance and categorizationnhas been mastered. To be sure, he often speaks of power’snpositive, productive capacities, but this is by way of inspiringnthe victims of repression to institute a “non-disciplinary formnof power.” The ultimate political/social burden of his work isnevident in the lengthy “discussion with Maoists” that serves asnan introduction to Power/Knowledge and in his recent observationnthat the entire analytic of power could only begin “aftern1968, that is to say on the basis of daily strokes at grass rootsnlevel, among those whose fight was located in the fine meshesnof the web of power.”nFoucault has repeatedly emphasized his fundamental differencesnwith Sartre and Marcuse, but what the three men sharenis their conmion hatred of the West. They are convinced thatnwhat many believe is liberty is nothing but sham and deceit, anmask for a more refined and hence more eflScient strategy ofnsubjection. It is largely for this reason that they have aU beenncult figures. Among Western intellectuals, anti-Westemism isnby now so deeply rooted that it is less a fashion than annorthodoxy.n—Lee CongdonnDr. Congdon isprofessor of history at James MadisonnUniversity in Virginia.nOnSeptember 1983n