I'm proud to consider myself a "liberal democrat" since it irritates so many of the postmodernist thinkers. Zizek has repeatedly referred to me as the ultimate Deleuzian of the right, which I suppose is also as an acknowledgment of my intellectual achievements (he has also called me half-jokingly a Stalinist due to my determinist approach to technological history).
To me, the development of different identities within a consumer-capitalist culture is not problematic in itself. Rather I see this as a truism. Capitalism is even a productive force, it stimulates creativity and differentiation, so what is then the problem (Zizek and Badiou would agree with me all the way to the idea of the problem involved, so they see a problem where I rather just see a phantom of theirs)? The problem is rather one of social justice, but the Scandinavian countries (which basically ignored classic Marxism with its revolution romanticism and went for Kautskyian social democracy) have shown that it is perfectly feasible to create the most democratic, just, affluent and egalitarian socities mankind has ever known using Kautskyian ideology.
Even now to the point that liberalism is a superior alternative to socialism to take society forward in a progressive manner.
I also believe this is a more ZOROASTRIAN approach to politics and social justice. Zarathushtra was opposed to dramatic political upheaval and is therefore a healthy antidote to Marxists and other western hotheads of political philosophy. Zarathushtra's approach to politics would rather be one of constraint, dialogue, democracy and giving voice to all. That's pragmatic liberalism by another term.
Alright, let me sum up the results from my studies:
According to Judith Butler, identity can never be free. Even if we consciously choose an identity, it is still interwoven in power relationships. There's always a moment of violence in every act of identification. There's no escape, we're always trapped. No exit!
In his later works, Foucault grew out of his own fatalism and (mis-)understood the Iranian Revolution as an event taking place beyond the system of complex power relationships - a genuine act of liberation.
Thus, identities are not free from power relationships, but we could be free to choose any identity we desire. And this very act of identification now affects the existing order of things, slightly changing the preconditions for further acts of identification.
The main problem with postmodernist reasoning on such matters it that, for example, Butler's ideal of multiple identities is perfectly in tune with late-capitalism's demands. It is not "against the systeam", so to speak. Late-capitalist consumer culture asks us to change our identity according to different circumstances. A postmodern identity is affirming existing power relationships. Just see Slavoj Zizek for that!
Now I'm going to read an essay by Paul Simpson, and it will hopefully inspire me, since I can't answer the problem formulated by Foucault and his allies.
Would it be better to reject any 'identity offerings'? Can there be any kind of identity beyond existing power relationships? I can't say.
Kind regards, Dino