Sample Admission Essay on Michael Foucault’s Power and subjection study in Relation to History


Michael Foucault stands out as a Great French Philosopher.  Michael Foucault believes Power is everywhere, and power is a result of everyday actions exercised from birth to death on other individuals’ actions. He is remembered to have more inclination towards Nietzsche rather than Marx, and he substantially borrowed from ‘genealogy of Morals.’ Foucault would go ahead to define power using Nietzsche saying he was a philosopher of power who didn’t have a political confinement of power. Foucault is arguably an admirer of Machiavelli.From this study, Foucault is more concerned on ‘how’ power makes humans subjects

Foucault insists that in everyday life which categorizes an individual, secludes them with their individuality, it gives them their identity thus imposing a law of truth which they must accept that other persons have seen in them. This form of power is the one that makes individuals become subjects. Any rebellion is always assumed to be an anti-authority struggle. That sort of resistance is evident in the documentary state of fear, where the government was selective on who they worked for thus resulting to a rebellion that claimed the lives of over seventy thousand individuals. An aftermath of the Chinese Revolution, the radical movement was established dubbed ‘shining path’ recruited fellow civilians and destabilized the sitting government. This can be traced back to Foucault who says that when a conscious human being becomes rebellious, it is assumed to be an anti-authority struggle at the end of it all

Michael Foucault is a humanist. He is the idea that indeed one can resist as long as they are conscious individuals, there is human weight towards avoiding objectification in today’s system, people struggle against exploitation, domination, and subjection. He insists that from such, is the emergence of a whole source of power and today the effect is a totalizing power or an individualizing power across. In the film, VocesInocentes the American government has used power centralized to it to fight communist-led guerrillas, such is an effect due to the difference in ideologies and the American government’s employment of force to result to the subjection of states. The power highlighted here by Foucault that is otherwise divisive is used by this states just because we perceive them to have greater or superior ideas as compared to native countries such that when it came to choose on capitalism and communism, they had to weaken and cause instability before they came in (Foucault21)

In Michael Foucault’s works, he is not concerned so much with political power and thus refrains from it so much. He insists it is not right to locate authority to the state since it is giving an entity the legitimate power of coercion.Foucault contradicts himself on his definition of power, that at the end of the day is bias, but still equips the political class with simple knowledge; thus, making it a powerful entity in society. The crisis in Peru after the government of the day failed to provide equally for all its citizens resulting in the formulation of ‘shining Path’ is a good point of view of Foucault’s work. Citizens should always be more powerful, but the Indians living in Peru instead had to wait until they suffer, to realize the power they had on their hands during that time (Foucault 233).

Michael Foucault defines ideology in abstractness borrowed from the eighteenth-century school of thought where it was defined as a science of ideas. Besides, his treatment of beliefs is the power given to the body in charge board. The Cuban revolution was majorly based on the difference in ideology that resulted in conflict due to the authority in authority at that particular time that wanted a socialist community while another faction wanted to have communism. In this context, it is wise to note that there is a tally between Michael Foucault’s thoughts on ideology as an abstract figure. Ideologies only lie in one’s mind, and its implementation is widely reliable to the individual’s power so that the ideology materializes. In this case, the ideology being communism and socialism is only reinforced due to the two forces that were behind it at the time all seeking superiority and gathering of support from nations in the world to show power (Hubert 56).


Foucault’s teachings converge with the day to day occurrences as well as the past. Foucault’s philosophy of authority is that indeed, power is conceived in individuals and their view of the people around them in their day to day lives. If individuals around you subscribe to one’s thoughts and opinions, they all believe that the said person has a superior way of exerting his actions and ideas against other people’s thus, making him powerful. The act of how power is acquired and how power is achieved all lies in one’s state of consciousness and level to express them better and make an esteemed view by the people around him so that they may consider them authoritative. In this case, how one decides to express his or her power determines how that person is viewed by the society. One can be deemed more powerful or less powerful depending on how he or she uses the power that he or she possesses. Furthermore, it is important to note that one has more influence on people if he or she inspires them through his or her thoughts and opinions. The most powerful people in the world have the best opinions which contributes in changing the world and making it a better place.

Work Cited

Foucault, Michel. Power/Knowledge ed. by Colin Gordon. New-York: Pantheon Books. Foucault, Michel. (1980)

Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish 2nd ed. New-York: Vintage Books. 1995

Hubert Dreyfus and Paul Rainow Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and HermeneuticsSubject and Power. University of Chicago Press. 1983