Many people believe that Foucault wrote in his books the truth about power, sexuality or other subjects, or at least what he considered to be true. This is not the case.  In his book “L’archéologie du savoir” he states: “I have not once used the term ‘structure’ in Les mots et les choses”; anyone can verify that this statement is not true since he did use the term more than 70 times.

Is Foucault cheating? Undoubtedly yes, but not according to himself and those who praise his “contribution”. For Foucault, there is no such thing as truth, and therefore no such thing as falsehood. For him, it is not true that he used the term “structure” and it is not true that he did not use it. When he claims that he did not use it, he is using his power to impose that claim as truth, he is not saying that it is. That is, since there is no such thing as truth, what is claimed by the one who has the power to impose it as truth is considered truth. According to him, everyone does that and so does he. For that reason, all his writings are what today we call fakes.

Those who regard Foucault as a great theorist face a dilemma when confronted with his blatant propagation of false statements. I attempted to engage with several of these people, urging them to acknowledge the fallacy in affirming that he did not say what he not only said and wrote but what can be verified by reading “Les mots et les choses.” In response to my efforts to prevent them from succumbing to the lies propagated by this author, they resort to the usual refrain: “you don’t understand Foucault.” With such an ignorant retort, it is no longer worthwhile to delve further into topics such as his mediocre and erroneous analyses of Velázquez’s Las Meninas or Don Quixote, which I have already discussed in “The Dialogic Society“.

Most troubling of all is the defense of Foucault’s endorsement of pederasty and rape, which is based on his alleged intellectual prowess. However, many of his assertions, if presented in a high school examination, would undoubtedly receive a failing grade (“F”).

Por Ramón Flecha

DAAD Gastprofessor Universität Wurzburg. Catedrático Emérito de la Universidad de Barcelona. Investigador número 1 del ranking científico internacional Google Scholar en las categorías de "gender violence" y "social impact" (violencia de género e impacto social, respectivamente).