Then what do you call "power is subtle and all pervasive and there is nothing we can do to effect it"?
Foucault doesn't say we can't affect it
He says we can't decapitate it
Foucault, by the way, doesn't think power is evil or that it shouldn't be concentrated. It's just a tool. If you're the one its being used against, it's good to understand what exactly we're talking about. Because the way things are right now, the guillotine can't really solve anything. The antisocial behaviors of governments and corporations are generated by a mutually sustained system of rewards and punishments, not by one evil guy collecting taxes for personal profit.
That time has passed. The current mode of power cannot be altered via beheadings like a sovereign power could. There will never be another guillotine style revolution in the west, and the reasons for that are buried in the French and American revolutions.
This is where this viewpoint becomes pure evil. When I said "dont worry about power" I was wording my point bad. My point is that the system does have a pervasive and subtle effect on us, but everyone lives in a system with similar effects on them. Humans self organize into big systems like this, on pretty much every continent on the planet fuckhuge systems like ours have arised. Zulus, Romans, Aztecs, Imperial Japan, Mongolia, its pretty safe to say that this is human nature. Humans are designed to organize into groups, what Foucalt is doing is drawing a false semantic connection between this natural self organizing tendency and concrete power by giving them the same name. He then proceeds to assume that because you cant get rid of one(which again, is like complaining you cant get rid of the weather. Even if we could destroy the current system completely people would just make another one.) you cant alter the other.
Saying that the current power balance is just a result of human nature sounds like a cop-out.
The school to prison pipeline
The pay-to-win criminal justice system
The bichromatic spectrum of american politics,
these aren't just ubiquitous structures which naturally arise from "human nature", or the fact that we live in groups, there are specific historical reasons for their existence.
Thats where I call shenanigans. You can alter power, you just have to take a different route than before the French and American Revolutions. Naturally different systems manifest power in different ways. If you cant just kill the assholes in charge to change things then why the fuck did they kill Kennedy and MLK? The difference between this system and the old system is that power just isnt well labeled. It doesnt wear and a crown, and most importantly, there is no one person in charge you can behead. Our system is a monument to Humanities ability to build things so complicated probably no one can understand it. But you can still effect it in meaningful ways, which is what the people in concrete positions of power are doing right now. They dont have absolute control, no one does, even the old kings didnt or they wouldnt have been beheaded, but they can effect things.
I don't think any of that is in disagreement with Foucault
Concrete power is real and it can be changed. Focusing on the "subtle and pervasive" aspects of power is a losing life script. Its worrying about things that you probably dont have much power over while lumping in things you can meaningfully change in with them. This is a deadly feedback loop, because youll keep focusing on how "power" manifests in the little interactions you have with people and your trips to the grocery store ect ect and youll see how you cant really meaningfully effect it. Then because youve lumped concrete power under the same general label of "power" youll say "See, theres nothing I can do to change power." And youll have a constant source of feedback reinforcing this worldview where you are powerless. Foucalts whole argument is a sleight of hand and its just plain evil on top of that.
Seriously, dont trust the French.
I think we've seen examples in recent years of power shifts, and how that can happen rather organically through a deliberate attention to those subtle and pervasive interactions.
For example - homosexuals experience less oppression now than they did 20 years ago. The shift happened in part due to legislation (concrete power), but to pave the way for that, we had to participate in the consensus. Prejudice had to become uncool, socially, before legislators started to follow suit.
That's why I don't see the current distribution of power as necessarily a bad thing (though clearly it's concentrated in some bad places)- it's probably better than sovereign power. The fact that it changes more slowly and is insulated against revolution is a double edged sword. All those people posting politics on social networks are actually playing a role in broad change.. In olden times, having a low opinion of the Crown was something you'd have to keep quiet for fear of retribution. Sovereign power reacted to challenges as if they were a duel of wills between two entities, and that resulted in hundreds of years of public executions and failed coups - Now public dissent is a recognized and necessary part of the political process, and those little social interactions between groups are part of it too.