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Biopolitics: Differences between Arendt, Foucault, Agamben, and Negri

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#1 alter-narrative


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Posted 06 April 2009 - 10:54 PM

Here is my take on this subject. ...

Both Arendt and Agamben analyze bio as the foundation of polis, which is based on the exclusion-inclusion of zoe (although Arendt does not use the distinction to make her point).

Foucault focuses on the abstraction of biological process since the 18th – 19th century as the basis of raison d’etat or the reason of state.

Negri’s definition is at odds with the rest in that he sees bio positively, as a source of living labor. The Italian autonomists like Negri, Tronti, or Maria-Rosa Dalla Costa began to wrestle with the idea of biopolitics since the early 1970s, prior to Foucault’s intervention, when they started to see the reproductive process of labor as an integral part not only of the real subsumption of capital but also of the socialization of living labor.
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