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Historically, the process by which the bourgeoisie became in the course of the eighteenth century the politically dominant class was masked by the establishment of an explicit, coded and formally egalitarian framework made possible by the organisation of a parliamentary, representative regime. But the development and generalisation of disciplinary mechanisms constituted the other dark side of these processes. The general juridical form that guaranteed a system of rights that were egalitarian in principle, was supported by these tiny, everyday physical mechanisms, by all those systems of micro-power that are essentially non-egalitarian and asymmetrical that we call the disciplines.


Michel Foucault  1975 - from Discipline and Punish

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