Rose on Knowledge and Government

From Inventing Ourselves, p70-79:

Government depends upon knowledge. Not simply the knowledge of statecraft, which had been the subject if innumerable books of advice to princes in classical antiquity and in the Middle Ages. But a positive knowledge of the domain to be governed, a way of rendering it into thought, so that it can be analyzed, evaluated, it’s ills diagnosed and remedies prescribed. Such ‘representation’ has two significant aspects: the articulation of languages to describe the object of government and the invention of devices to inscribe it . . .

. . . Modern citizens are thus not incessantly dominated, repressed, or colonized by power . . . but subjectified, educated, and solicited into a loose and flexible alliance between personal interpretations and ambitions and institutionally or socially valued ways of living. The languages and techniques of psychology provide vital relays between contemporary government and the ethical technologies by which modern individuals come to govern their own lives.

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