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Explanation on Biopolitics?

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Hi,

 

With the surveillance topic next year, my partner wanted to study a bit more on biopolitics but despite what i've read about focault and the concept of biopower i can't seem to grasp myself around it. Can someone help explain this to me more throughly? 

 

 

Thanks! 

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Specific questions help, what is that you don't understand? Or is it just the general idea of bio(politics)(power) that you don't understand?

 

Biopower is a basic principle theorized by Foucault with a plethora of authors falling behind and expanding the literature base behind him. (Agamben is a popular one) Biopower is good because it's like Cap, It's applicable to a lot of affs (policy, that is) and is relatively easy to explain to judges who haven't heard it before but still know about debate (stock judges that are open to K args)

 

The essential basis of the argument is predicated off the belief of power relations, which is a relationship where one person uses certain advantages or skill sets over another person to gain a desirable outcome. The usual Biopolitics/Biopower Kritik is run off of the belief that the state has a power relation with its citizens, so X policy action is a form of biopower which increases the federal government's control over the state. For example, let's say I ran OTEC with Econ, and Human Rights (shady internal link story there). A team running biopower could say something along the lines of "Biopolitics is rooted into economics because it classifies life as productive" and for a Rights link they could say something like "Legal measures to procure human rights increase citizens reliance on the state for life and increases biopower". The alternatives can vary but Foucault never outlines a specific alternative to biopower, there is a Genealogical Review (probably the most popular), Social Revolution (Eh), Critique (Just pointing out the flaws is not my fav), Rejection (I like running this but only because I cut a card for my K Aff about it). 

 

My first time reading biopower was an interview by Michael Bess called "Power, Moral Values, and the Intellectual"  which I found extremely helpful. A great book to read that explains the general thesis of Biopower is The History of Sexuality: Volume 1, and the Panopticism chapter from Discipline and Punish. They both give an in depth description of what biopower really is, and you can cut tons of evidence from both of them. I have pdfs if you want to read either of them, although my DaP won't upload here, you'd need to email me. 

 

Things to keep in mind:

 a.) Power is not intrinsically repressive. 

 b.) Power is self-reproducing

 c.) You're not going to solve all biopower (It's inevitable, solve for what you can)

 d.) Some of the ev isn't contextually applicable to the US (Dickinson is a good author to read Democracy shields the impact, etc.)

 e.) Don't say Biopower is the root cause of X. (It isn't, Foucault K's the notion of rc in fact)

 f.) There's a difference between Biopower and Sovereign Power. (Biopower can be classified as productive, while Sovereign power is always the states right to control life, also see Necropolitics and authors like Mbembe)

 

If you have any questions feel free to pm me. That was a very bland and undescriptive analysis of Foucault, there's plenty of more qualified people but that's my little post. 

 

Also, here is an example file from a few topics ago. Hope this helped.  :)

Biopower K.doc

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Specific questions help, what is that you don't understand? Or is it just the general idea of bio(politics)(power) that you don't understand?

 

Biopower is a basic principle theorized by Foucault with a plethora of authors falling behind and expanding the literature base behind him. (Agamben is a popular one) Biopower is good because it's like Cap, It's applicable to a lot of affs (policy, that is) and is relatively easy to explain to judges who haven't heard it before but still know about debate (stock judges that are open to K args)

 

The essential basis of the argument is predicated off the belief of power relations, which is a relationship where one person uses certain advantages or skill sets over another person to gain a desirable outcome. The usual Biopolitics/Biopower Kritik is run off of the belief that the state has a power relation with its citizens, so X policy action is a form of biopower which increases the federal government's control over the state. For example, let's say I ran OTEC with Econ, and Human Rights (shady internal link story there). A team running biopower could say something along the lines of "Biopolitics is rooted into economics because it classifies life as productive" and for a Rights link they could say something like "Legal measures to procure human rights increase citizens reliance on the state for life and increases biopower". The alternatives can vary but Foucault never outlines a specific alternative to biopower, there is a Genealogical Review (probably the most popular), Social Revolution (Eh), Critique (Just pointing out the flaws is not my fav), Rejection (I like running this but only because I cut a card for my K Aff about it). 

 

My first time reading biopower was an interview by Michael Bess called "Power, Moral Values, and the Intellectual"  which I found extremely helpful. A great book to read that explains the general thesis of Biopower is The History of Sexuality: Volume 1, and the Panopticism chapter from Discipline and Punish. They both give an in depth description of what biopower really is, and you can cut tons of evidence from both of them. I have pdfs if you want to read either of them, although my DaP won't upload here, you'd need to email me. 

 

Things to keep in mind:

 a.) Power is not intrinsically repressive. 

 b.) Power is self-reproducing

 c.) You're not going to solve all biopower (It's inevitable, solve for what you can)

 d.) Some of the ev isn't contextually applicable to the US (Dickinson is a good author to read Democracy shields the impact, etc.)

 e.) Don't say Biopower is the root cause of X. (It isn't, Foucault K's the notion of rc in fact)

 f.) There's a difference between Biopower and Sovereign Power. (Biopower can be classified as productive, while Sovereign power is always the states right to control life, also see Necropolitics and authors like Mbembe)

 

If you have any questions feel free to pm me. That was a very bland and undescriptive analysis of Foucault, there's plenty of more qualified people but that's my little post. 

 

Also, here is an example file from a few topics ago. Hope this helped.  :)

Agamben does not extend on biopower, but rather draws upon Schmitt and Foucault to extend upon the concept of Sovereign Power in relation to the Camp; of which some would argue has extended to encapsulate the 3 pillars, as an inclusive 4th pillar, of what composes a "State." 

 

Biopower is not productive, and Sovereign power is not the right to control life; Power is productive, Biopower is the power over life, and Sovereign power is the right to death; I think you might have messed up the order. I believe I've written this before, but Power merely is and is agnostic to how you use it; for instance biopower would be a "good" manifestation of power because it ensures a healthy society, whereas Sovereign power is somewhere along the lines of what Mbembe would classify as "necropolitics." 

 

There's a much easier route to biopower if you're gonna go with the Cap variation; I'd look into Giroux as writes a lot about "(neoliberal) governmentality" which is what he calls politics in the age of neoliberalism; of which he describes leads to a "(bio)politics of disposability" because of neoliberal profit motives seeking en masse deregulation which includes a total negation of worker rights, State enforced work-place safety regulations, etc.; essentially things that halt, or rather, depress the productivity of an economy. 

 

I'd explain, but I do believe - "The Great Old One" - ARGogate can do a better explanation of the concept of biopower, given his beautiful analysis of Heidegger. 

Edited by Theparanoiacmachine
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Agamben does not extend on biopower, but rather draws upon Schmitt and Foucault to extend upon the concept of Sovereign Power in relation to the Camp; of which some would argue has extended to encapsulate the 3 pillars, as an inclusive 4th pillar, of what composes a "State." 

 

Biopower is not productive, and Sovereign power is not the right to control life; Power is productive, Biopower is the power over life, and Sovereign power is the right to death; I think you might have messed up the order. I believe I've written this before, but Power merely is and is agnostic to how you use is; for instance biopower would a "good" manifestation of power because it ensures a healthy society, whereas Sovereign power is somewhere along the lines of what Mbembe would classify as "necropolitics." 

 

There's a much easier route to biopower if you're gonna go with the Cap variation, of which I'd look into Giroux as he likes to right a lot about "(neoliberal) governmentality" which is what he calls politics in the age of neoliberalism; of which he describes leads to a, "(bio)politics of disposability...", because of neoliberal profit motives seek en masse deregulation which includes a total negation of worker rights, State enforced work-place safety regulations, etc.; essentially thinks that halt, or rather, depress the productivity of an economy. 

 

I'd explain, but I do believe - "The Great Old One" - ARGogate can do a better explanation of the concept of biopower, given his beautiful analysis of Heidegger. 

Yeah that's my bad, I was exceedingly tired. 

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There's a much easier route to biopower if you're gonna go with the Cap variation, of which I'd look into Giroux as he likes to right a lot about "(neoliberal) governmentality" which is what he calls politics in the age of neoliberalism; of which he describes leads to a, "(bio)politics of disposability...", because of neoliberal profit motives seek en masse deregulation which includes a total negation of worker rights, State enforced work-place safety regulations, etc.; essentially thinks that halt, or rather, depress the productivity of an economy. 

 

 

Deregulation (generally) is not neoliberalism.  Foucault gets this right, and gives the best (and possibly only legitimate) definition of neoliberalism I've ever seen.  Neoliberalism is about government intervention in the market, not deregulation.  It's important not to confuse the two, because they're very different, and such confusion makes a hash of a lot of disputes in economic theory.  (Keynes was a neoliberal.  MIlton Friedman was not, nor was FA Hayek).

 

Neoliberalism is about continuous State intervention, not Laissez-Faire markets.

Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics Lectures at the College de France, 1978–1979. London: Palgrave, 2008. pp 149-152. //sq

Adam Smith, Marx, Solzhenitsyn, laissez-faire; society of the market and spectacle, the world of the concentration camp and the Gulag: broadly speaking these are the three analytical and critical frameworks with which this problem of neo-liberalism is usually approached, and which therefore enable it to be turned into practically nothing at all, repeating the same type of critique for two hundred, one hundred, or ten years. Now what I would like to show you is precisely that neo-liberalism is really something else. Whether it is of great significance or not, I don’t know, but assuredly it is something, and I would like to try to grasp it in its singularity. If it is true that important and even invaluable political effects can be produced by historical analyses which present themselves precisely as historical and which seek to detect types of practice, institutional forms, etcetera, which exist and function for a time in certain places, if it is important to show what a [mechanism like]* the prison was at a given moment and to see what effect this purely historical type of analysis produces in a present situation, this absolutely never consists in saying, either implicitly or with more reason explicitly, that what existed then is the same as what exists now. The problem is to let knowledge of the past work on the experience of the present. It is not at all a matter of coating the present in a form that is recognized in the past but still reckoned to be valid in the present. It is this transfer of the political effects of an historical analysis in the form of a simple repetition that is undoubtedly what is to be avoided at any cost, and that is why I stress this problem of neo-liberalism in order to try to detach it from these critiques made on the basis of the pure and simple transposition of historical moulds. Neo-liberalism is not Adam Smith; neo-liberalism is not market society; neo-liberalism is not the Gulag on the insidious scale of capitalism. So, what is this neo-liberalism? Last week I tried to indicate at least its theoretical and political principle. I tried to show you how the problem of neo-liberalism was not how to cut out or contrive a free space of the market within an already given political society, as in the liberalism of Adam Smith and the eighteenth century. The problem of neo-liberalism is rather how the overall exercise of political power can be modeled on the principles of a market economy. So it is not a question of freeing an empty space, but of taking the formal principles of a market economy and referring and relating them to, of projecting them on to a general art of government. This, I think, is what is at stake, and I tried to show you that in order to carry out this operation, that is to say, to discover how far and to what extent the formal principles of a market economy can index a general art of government, the neo-liberals had to subject classical liberalism to a number of transformations. The first of these, which I tried to show you last week, was basically that of dissociating the market economy from the political principle of laissez-faire. I think this uncoupling of the market economy and laissez-faire policies was achieved, or was defined, at any rate, its principle was laid down, when the neo-liberals put forward a theory of pure competition in which competition was not presented as in any way a primitive and natural given, the very source and foundation of society that only had to be allowed to rise to the surface and be rediscovered as it were. Far from it being this, competition was a structure with formal properties, [and] it was these formal properties of the competitive structure that assured, and could assure, economic regulation through the price mechanism. Consequently, if competition really was this formal structure, both rigorous in its internal structure but fragile in its real, historical existence, then the problem of liberal policy was precisely to develop in fact the concrete and real space in which the formal structure of competition could function. So, it is a matter of a market economy without laissez-faire, that is to say, an active policy without state control. Neo-liberalism should not therefore be identified with laissez-faire, but rather with permanent vigilance, activity, and intervention. This is very clear in most of the neo-liberal texts,* and there is one to which I refer you (if you can find it, for it is not easy to find; it was strangely lost by the Bibliothèque nationale, but you will certainly find it at the Musée social2). This text is the summary of the contributions made in 1939, on the eve of the war, in a colloquium called the “Walter Lippmann Colloquium.”3 It was held in France4 following the publication of Lippmann’s book which was translated into French with the title La Cité [libre†].5 It is a curious book because, on the one hand, it takes up the themes of classical liberalism in the form of a pure and simple reactivation, but, on the other hand, in a number of respects it also presents elements that form part of neo-liberalism. His book had just appeared in the United States, was translated into French, and a colloquium was held in Paris in which Walter Lippmann himself took part along with old liberals of the classical tradition, some French people like Baudin, 6 for example,7 and then some of the German or Austrian neo-liberals, those precisely who formed part of the Freiburg School, some of whom who were exiled from Germany and others silenced in Germany, and for whom the colloquium was an opportunity for them to express their point of view. Röpke,8 Rüstow, Hayek, and von Mises took part in the colloquium.9 And then there were the intermediaries: Jacques Rueff,10 Marjolin,11 who is nonetheless important in the post-war French economy, and the general secretary of the congress, Raymond Aron,12 who did not speak, or, at least, does not appear in the proceedings. Following the colloquium—I just signal this, because there are people who are particularly interested in the structures of the signifier—it is decided, in July 1939,13 to form a permanent committee that will be called “Comité international d’étude pour le renouveau du libéralisme,” CIERL.14 In the course of this colloquium the specific propositions peculiar to neo-liberalism are defined. (You will find this in the summary, sprinkled with other theses and themes of classical liberalism.) And one of the participants, I no longer know which one,15 proposes the extremely significant expression “positive liberalism” as the name for the neo-liberalism being formulated. Positive liberalism, then, is an intervening liberalism. It is a liberalism about which Röpke, in the Gesellschaftskrisis, which he published shortly after the Lippmann colloquium, says: “The free market requires an active and extremely vigilant policy.”16 In all the texts of the neo-liberals you find the theme that government is active, vigilant, and intervening in a liberal regime, and formulae that neither the classical liberalism of the nineteenth century nor the contemporary American anarcho-capitalism could accept. Eucken, for example, says: “The state is responsible for the result of economic activity.”17 Franz Böhm says: “The state must master economic development.”18 Miksch says: “In this liberal policy”—and here the phrase is important—“there may be as many economic interventions as in a policy of planning, but their nature is different.”19 Well, I think this problem of the nature of the interventions gives us a starting point for approaching what is specific in neo-liberal policy. As you know, broadly speaking the problem of the liberalism of the eighteenth century and the start of the nineteenth century was to distinguish between actions that must be taken and actions that must not be taken, between domains in which one can intervene and domains in which one cannot intervene. This was the distinction between the agenda and the non-agenda.20 This is a naive position in the eyes of the neo-liberals, for whom the problem is not whether there are things that you cannot touch and others that you are entitled to touch. The problem is how you touch them. The problem is the way of doing things, the problem, if you like, of governmental style.

Edited by Squirrelloid
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Deregulation (generally) is not neoliberalism.  Foucault gets this right, and gives the best (and possibly only legitimate) definition of neoliberalism I've ever seen.  Neoliberalism is about government intervention in the market, not deregulation.  It's important not to confuse the two, because they're very different, and such confusion makes a hash of a lot of disputes in economic theory.  (Keynes was a neoliberal.  MIlton Friedman was not, nor was FA Hayek).

 

Neoliberalism is about continuous State intervention, not Laissez-Faire markets.

Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics Lectures at the College de France, 1978–1979. London: Palgrave, 2008. pp 149-152. //sq

Adam Smith, Marx, Solzhenitsyn, laissez-faire; society of the market and spectacle, the world of the concentration camp and the Gulag: broadly speaking these are the three analytical and critical frameworks with which this problem of neo-liberalism is usually approached, and which therefore enable it to be turned into practically nothing at all, repeating the same type of critique for two hundred, one hundred, or ten years. Now what I would like to show you is precisely that neo-liberalism is really something else. Whether it is of great significance or not, I don’t know, but assuredly it is something, and I would like to try to grasp it in its singularity. If it is true that important and even invaluable political effects can be produced by historical analyses which present themselves precisely as historical and which seek to detect types of practice, institutional forms, etcetera, which exist and function for a time in certain places, if it is important to show what a [mechanism like]* the prison was at a given moment and to see what effect this purely historical type of analysis produces in a present situation, this absolutely never consists in saying, either implicitly or with more reason explicitly, that what existed then is the same as what exists now. The problem is to let knowledge of the past work on the experience of the present. It is not at all a matter of coating the present in a form that is recognized in the past but still reckoned to be valid in the present. It is this transfer of the political effects of an historical analysis in the form of a simple repetition that is undoubtedly what is to be avoided at any cost, and that is why I stress this problem of neo-liberalism in order to try to detach it from these critiques made on the basis of the pure and simple transposition of historical moulds. Neo-liberalism is not Adam Smith; neo-liberalism is not market society; neo-liberalism is not the Gulag on the insidious scale of capitalism. So, what is this neo-liberalism? Last week I tried to indicate at least its theoretical and political principle. I tried to show you how the problem of neo-liberalism was not how to cut out or contrive a free space of the market within an already given political society, as in the liberalism of Adam Smith and the eighteenth century. The problem of neo-liberalism is rather how the overall exercise of political power can be modeled on the principles of a market economy. So it is not a question of freeing an empty space, but of taking the formal principles of a market economy and referring and relating them to, of projecting them on to a general art of government. This, I think, is what is at stake, and I tried to show you that in order to carry out this operation, that is to say, to discover how far and to what extent the formal principles of a market economy can index a general art of government, the neo-liberals had to subject classical liberalism to a number of transformations. The first of these, which I tried to show you last week, was basically that of dissociating the market economy from the political principle of laissez-faire. I think this uncoupling of the market economy and laissez-faire policies was achieved, or was defined, at any rate, its principle was laid down, when the neo-liberals put forward a theory of pure competition in which competition was not presented as in any way a primitive and natural given, the very source and foundation of society that only had to be allowed to rise to the surface and be rediscovered as it were. Far from it being this, competition was a structure with formal properties, [and] it was these formal properties of the competitive structure that assured, and could assure, economic regulation through the price mechanism. Consequently, if competition really was this formal structure, both rigorous in its internal structure but fragile in its real, historical existence, then the problem of liberal policy was precisely to develop in fact the concrete and real space in which the formal structure of competition could function. So, it is a matter of a market economy without laissez-faire, that is to say, an active policy without state control. Neo-liberalism should not therefore be identified with laissez-faire, but rather with permanent vigilance, activity, and intervention. This is very clear in most of the neo-liberal texts,* and there is one to which I refer you (if you can find it, for it is not easy to find; it was strangely lost by the Bibliothèque nationale, but you will certainly find it at the Musée social2). This text is the summary of the contributions made in 1939, on the eve of the war, in a colloquium called the “Walter Lippmann Colloquium.”3 It was held in France4 following the publication of Lippmann’s book which was translated into French with the title La Cité [libre†].5 It is a curious book because, on the one hand, it takes up the themes of classical liberalism in the form of a pure and simple reactivation, but, on the other hand, in a number of respects it also presents elements that form part of neo-liberalism. His book had just appeared in the United States, was translated into French, and a colloquium was held in Paris in which Walter Lippmann himself took part along with old liberals of the classical tradition, some French people like Baudin, 6 for example,7 and then some of the German or Austrian neo-liberals, those precisely who formed part of the Freiburg School, some of whom who were exiled from Germany and others silenced in Germany, and for whom the colloquium was an opportunity for them to express their point of view. Röpke,8 Rüstow, Hayek, and von Mises took part in the colloquium.9 And then there were the intermediaries: Jacques Rueff,10 Marjolin,11 who is nonetheless important in the post-war French economy, and the general secretary of the congress, Raymond Aron,12 who did not speak, or, at least, does not appear in the proceedings. Following the colloquium—I just signal this, because there are people who are particularly interested in the structures of the signifier—it is decided, in July 1939,13 to form a permanent committee that will be called “Comité international d’étude pour le renouveau du libéralisme,” CIERL.14 In the course of this colloquium the specific propositions peculiar to neo-liberalism are defined. (You will find this in the summary, sprinkled with other theses and themes of classical liberalism.) And one of the participants, I no longer know which one,15 proposes the extremely significant expression “positive liberalism” as the name for the neo-liberalism being formulated. Positive liberalism, then, is an intervening liberalism. It is a liberalism about which Röpke, in the Gesellschaftskrisis, which he published shortly after the Lippmann colloquium, says: “The free market requires an active and extremely vigilant policy.”16 In all the texts of the neo-liberals you find the theme that government is active, vigilant, and intervening in a liberal regime, and formulae that neither the classical liberalism of the nineteenth century nor the contemporary American anarcho-capitalism could accept. Eucken, for example, says: “The state is responsible for the result of economic activity.”17 Franz Böhm says: “The state must master economic development.”18 Miksch says: “In this liberal policy”—and here the phrase is important—“there may be as many economic interventions as in a policy of planning, but their nature is different.”19 Well, I think this problem of the nature of the interventions gives us a starting point for approaching what is specific in neo-liberal policy. As you know, broadly speaking the problem of the liberalism of the eighteenth century and the start of the nineteenth century was to distinguish between actions that must be taken and actions that must not be taken, between domains in which one can intervene and domains in which one cannot intervene. This was the distinction between the agenda and the non-agenda.20 This is a naive position in the eyes of the neo-liberals, for whom the problem is not whether there are things that you cannot touch and others that you are entitled to touch. The problem is how you touch them. The problem is the way of doing things, the problem, if you like, of governmental style.

I don't think this is entirely true; yes the state engages in deregulation, and yes the state interferes a lot ; but neoliberalism is not a form of State Capitalism. Neoliberalism is about state interference with regards to problems in the economy; for instance, say certain worker rights are halting productivity, the state goes in and gets rid of worker rights. This is a form of government intervention, while simultaneously being a form of deregulation. Also, lets not forget that neoliberalism isn't just one thing; rather is described in various different ways through the works of Giroux, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Hardt and Negri, Baudrillard, etc.; neoliberalism is constantly changing, which supports Deleuze and Guattari interpretation of it, meaning it can mean many different things; but I believe the oscillation between State intervention and Deregulation is a principle of neoliberal governmentality.

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Also, here's a two sentence explanation

 

Biopower is an internalization of rules and laws that then governs your actions. This is demonstrated through the famous Panopticon example where, because the prisoners don't know if or when they're being watched, they act in accordance with the prison's rules at all times.

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Hi thank y'all so much for the explanations! :)

I think it get some of it now but out of curiosity could an example of biopower be in which the government implements the risk of a consequence such as capital punishment or being locked in jail if one were to do something against the law?

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Or could another example be if one were not to go to school they would be threatened with the possibility of not getting a job and thus not being able to live a good life because they are not productive?

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When thinking if something is biopolitical just ask yourself if it's something that happened in 1984.. just kidding, but seriously... a lot of the state actions are biopolitical or legalistic. 

 

Or could another example be if one were not to go to school they would be threatened with the possibility of not getting a job and thus not being able to live a good life because they are not productive?

Sounds like cap or neolib to me

 

Hi thank y'all so much for the explanations! :)

I think it get some of it now but out of curiosity could an example of biopower be in which the government implements the risk of a consequence such as capital punishment or being locked in jail if one were to do something against the law?

Sounds like it. I wrote a policing aff that talks about biopower and how a militarized police force is biopolitical. 

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When thinking if something is biopolitical just ask yourself if it's something that happened in 1984.. just kidding, but seriously... a lot of the state actions are biopolitical or legalistic. 

 

So are drunk driving laws. Biopower isn't always bad unless you're like Agamben and lack any conception of nuance.

 

Sounds like cap or neolib to me

Who's to say that cap and neolib can't excercise biopower? Foucault's conception of power relations aren't limited to a state/subject model.

 

Sounds like it. I wrote a policing aff that talks about biopower and how a militarized police force is biopolitical. 

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When thinking if something is biopolitical just ask yourself if it's something that happened in 1984.. just kidding, but seriously... a lot of the state actions are biopolitical or legalistic. 

 

So are drunk driving laws. Biopower isn't always bad unless you're like Agamben and lack any conception of nuance.

 

Sounds like cap or neolib to me

Who's to say that cap and neolib can't excercise biopower? Foucault's conception of power relations aren't limited to a state/subject model.

 

Sounds like it. I wrote a policing aff that talks about biopower and how a militarized police force is biopolitical. 

 

 

ahhh ok I see now, so just a recap to make sure I didn't accidentally confuse something or got the wrong idea, biopower is basically the government implementing some kind of certain rule/standard/etc in order to control the people to act accordingly to what they want them to do, am I correct on that part or am I missing something else?

 

 

And also speaking of Agamben, what was his perspective?

Edited by MagicalBeanie

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Biopolitics is about the management of a population for the betterment of the whole-- that is that the individual member of the population loses it worth except in regard to the way it relates to the whole population. As long as the whole population is preserved as "bare life" anything really is justified-- ie. torturing someone just for a small risk that they identify a threat to the overall population. It's all about management and keeping alive-- "make live, let die" as foucault says.

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Biopolitics is about the management of a population for the betterment of the whole-- that is that the individual member of the population loses it worth except in regard to the way it relates to the whole population. As long as the whole population is preserved as "bare life" anything really is justified-- ie. torturing someone just for a small risk that they identify a threat to the overall population. It's all about management and keeping alive-- "make live, let die" as foucault says.

 

is this basically a form of util?

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Biopolitics is about the management of a population for the betterment of the whole-- that is that the individual member of the population loses it worth except in regard to the way it relates to the whole population. As long as the whole population is preserved as "bare life" anything really is justified-- ie. torturing someone just for a small risk that they identify a threat to the overall population. It's all about management and keeping alive-- "make live, let die" as foucault says.

Accurate but I'd have to add on that I don't believe that biopolitics is necessarily always evil since it's overall existence is to protect the population. However, it's only when the zero-point is reached that it necessarily becomes a bad thing. This is especially true when ya look at it through a util framework.

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is this basically a form of util?

I'd recommend that you don't think about it like that. Go ask ARGgate or some of the more experienced people but although it's similar, don't try to use util good to answer biopolitics bad or anything like that.

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Agamben does not extend on biopower, but rather draws upon Schmitt and Foucault to extend upon the concept of Sovereign Power in relation to the Camp; of which some would argue has extended to encapsulate the 3 pillars, as an inclusive 4th pillar, of what composes a "State." 

 

Biopower is not productive, and Sovereign power is not the right to control life; Power is productive, Biopower is the power over life, and Sovereign power is the right to death; I think you might have messed up the order. I believe I've written this before, but Power merely is and is agnostic to how you use is; for instance biopower would a "good" manifestation of power because it ensures a healthy society, whereas Sovereign power is somewhere along the lines of what Mbembe would classify as "necropolitics." 

 

There's a much easier route to biopower if you're gonna go with the Cap variation, of which I'd look into Giroux as he likes to right a lot about "(neoliberal) governmentality" which is what he calls politics in the age of neoliberalism; of which he describes leads to a, "(bio)politics of disposability...", because of neoliberal profit motives seek en masse deregulation which includes a total negation of worker rights, State enforced work-place safety regulations, etc.; essentially thinks that halt, or rather, depress the productivity of an economy. 

 

I'd explain, but I do believe - "The Great Old One" - ARGogate can do a better explanation of the concept of biopower, given his beautiful analysis of Heidegger. 

Where could I find this analysis?

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Accurate but I'd have to add on that I don't believe that biopolitics is necessarily always evil since it's overall existence is to protect the population. However, it's only when the zero-point is reached that it necessarily becomes a bad thing. This is especially true when ya look at it through a util framework.

Yeah I wasn't saying that it's necessarily evil, there are plenty of justifications for it in certain cases. Also mind you, OP, this is an analysis of Foucaltian biopower, not Agamben, although I did steal Agamben's term "bare life."

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Yeah I wasn't saying that it's necessarily evil, there are plenty of justifications for it in certain cases. Also mind you, OP, this is an analysis of Foucaltian biopower, not Agamben, although I did steal Agamben's term "bare life."

True enough, but few people if any can beat him in terms of impacts for Foucauldian based ks or affs.

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True enough, but few people if any can beat him in terms of impacts for Foucauldian based ks or affs.

 

 

Where could I find this analysis?

 

 

I'd recommend that you don't think about it like that. Go ask ARGgate or some of the more experienced people but although it's similar, don't try to use util good to answer biopolitics bad or anything like that.

 

 

Accurate but I'd have to add on that I don't believe that biopolitics is necessarily always evil since it's overall existence is to protect the population. However, it's only when the zero-point is reached that it necessarily becomes a bad thing. This is especially true when ya look at it through a util framework.

Hello My Dear Debate Partner, where have you been all this time? :wavey:  

Now may you care to please explain to me about Agamben or are you just going to face-palm me when I try to ask you at school? :/

 

jk

 

but pretty please?

Edited by MagicalBeanie

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I don't think this is entirely true; yes the state engages in deregulation, and yes the state interferes a lot ; but neoliberalism is not a form of State Capitalism. Neoliberalism is about state interference with regards to problems in the economy; for instance, say certain worker rights are halting productivity, the state goes in and gets rid of worker rights. This is a form of government intervention, while simultaneously being a form of deregulation. Also, lets not forget that neoliberalism isn't just one thing; rather is described in various different ways through the works of Giroux, Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari, Hardt and Negri, Baudrillard, etc.; neoliberalism is constantly changing, which supports Deleuze and Guattari interpretation of it, meaning it can mean many different things; but I believe the oscillation between State intervention and Deregulation is a principle of neoliberal governmentality.

 

Deregulation is generally part a program of laissez-faire / classic liberalism.  It means reducing state involvement to zero or the bare minimum in that area in the future.  Deregulation should not be confused with strategic elimination of some regulations to achieve the state's ends - deregulation is about eliminating regulations to get the state out of that part of the economy (or whatever other area is being deregulated). 

 

Neoliberalism is very much a form of state capitalism.  Foucault isn't constructing 'neoliberalism' out of whole cloth or giving a name to something, he is using the name to refer to an actual political and economic movement from the interwar period and onwards that called itself neoliberalism.  Foucault is  here insisting on identifying the word with the actual movement which called itself that.  In short, Foucault is absolutely right here, and anyone who uses the word otherwise is patently wrong.  Which is fortunate, because what you want it to mean is vacuous because it is without meaning.  There must be definable characteristics that are constant which we can point to and define it based on, or it isn't one thing and you're just confusing the issue by trying to use one term to cover a variety of distinct things.

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Deregulation is generally part a program of laissez-faire / classic liberalism.  It means reducing state involvement to zero or the bare minimum in that area in the future.  Deregulation should not be confused with strategic elimination of some regulations to achieve the state's ends - deregulation is about eliminating regulations to get the state out of that part of the economy (or whatever other area is being deregulated). 

 

Neoliberalism is very much a form of state capitalism.  Foucault isn't constructing 'neoliberalism' out of whole cloth or giving a name to something, he is using the name to refer to an actual political and economic movement from the interwar period and onwards that called itself neoliberalism.  Foucault is  here insisting on identifying the word with the actual movement which called itself that.  In short, Foucault is absolutely right here, and anyone who uses the word otherwise is patently wrong.  Which is fortunate, because what you want it to mean is vacuous because it is without meaning.  There must be definable characteristics that are constant which we can point to and define it based on, or it isn't one thing and you're just confusing the issue by trying to use one term to cover a variety of distinct things.

Ok y'all, may we dumb this down a little? Unfortunately I'm the less intelligent one out of my debate team so currently I have no idea how this got to Neoliberalism

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Ok y'all, may we dumb this down a little? Unfortunately I'm the less intelligent one out of my debate team so currently I have no idea how this got to Neoliberalism

 

Via tangent.  Track back the quoted threads xP  Or just ignore it if you don't care.

 

Neoliberalism can show up in biopolitics argumentation, generally in the link story, but sometimes as part of the impact story.  (The government intervention under neoliberalism is the exercise of biopower).

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Hello My Dear Debate Partner, where have you been all this time? :wavey:  

Now may you care to please explain to me about Agamben or are you just going to face-palm me when I try to ask you at school? :/

 

jk

 

but pretty please?

Ya should know how bad I am at explaining stuff and go listen to what the people on here say, most of them either a, have more experience, b, are better at explaining or c, both.

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