How A California Acid Trip Made Michel Foucault A Neoliberal

Jonathan Russell Clark at the LA Times:

It all goes back, strangely, to a trip the French thinker took to left-wing California — and a trip he took once he got there. Mitchell Dean and Daniel Zamora’s new book, “The Last Man Takes LSD,” focuses on Foucault’s final decade, from 1975, when he took the hallucinogen in California for the first time, until his death in 1984 of complications from AIDS. During this period, Foucault shifted from the leftist politics of the ’60s toward a more centrist position, a drift hardly rare for his generation under the Cold War. As Dean and Zamora put it, “Foucault and many other post-’68 intellectuals took part in the process of thinking about a Left that was not socialist, a Left that would wipe out the legacy of post-war socialism.”

In this view, a government given too much power by its citizens would invariably lead to totalitarianism. Socialism was viewed as “crypto-totalitarian.” For Foucault, such regimes didn’t merely control their populace, they defined them.

more here.