19 agosto, 2008


"The distinction between a natural, uneliminable poverty and pauperism was a moral distinction. Pauperism, an unnatural excess of poverty, consisted not in material but in moral destitution: a set of asocial habits and behaviors, of differences making a 'culture of poverty' that liberalism would replace by a culture of work. It was in everyone's interest that pauperism be eliminated. A large program of socialization, a disciplinary pedadogy, was to socialize the behaviors of poverty through such techniques as association, education, savings, mutualism, and hygiene. Without denying individual interest as the basis of the economic system, philanthropic techniques made pragmatic reference to some kind of collective interest or moral community that was neither economic (related to market) nor juridical (related to contractualism). The result was an intermediate position between the rigidity of a classical liberal model incapable of any reform, and the need for social reform that industrial pauperism demonstrably required. The principle of relief and not of labor was adopted as an assistance policy”.

Procacci, Giovanna. “Governing Poverty: sources of the social question in nineteenth-century France”. Em: Jan Goldtein (ed.). (1994) Foucault and the writing of history: Oxford, Basil Blackwell

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