Biopolitics is made of bio meaning life in a vital sense and politics. The word politics comes from Greek polis, city or State. Combining these two words, biopolitics is the power of the State over people’s health as shown in public heath policies, sanitary strategies, awareness, ministries and so on. Biopolitics is an intersectional field between human biology and politics. It is a political wisdom taking into consideration the administration of life and a locality’s populations as its subject. To quote Michel Foucault, it is “to ensure, sustain, and multiply life, to put this life in order.”
2020 was by far the year of biopolitics since the outbreak of covid19 and the vaccines strategies and race between countries as a new type of international politics: whoever produced the most efficient vaccine wins internationally. In other words, a strong country is defined by a strong vaccine. Politicians have become the marketers. However, many people around the world are reluctant towards the vaccine; did anyone analyze this new phenomenon of global mistrust?
Furthermore, does anyone have answers about the origins of covid19? Once, the bat was blamed. Then, it is said it was man made. Then, it was about global warming and massive deforestation. Then… Then….
Should we expect from now on that wars and politics to be defined by pandemics?
Needless to say that freedom of speech is in danger. Needless to say that freedom of speech is misunderstood. Shaming, bullying, harassing, insulting, humiliating are no freedom of speech but a boiling violence. For anyone who is familiar with this issue, it is known that violence is the opposite of freedom. Violence is enslaving and therefore a sign of weakness. Obviously, the main issue is to understand what causes violence everywhere. However, for this post, the topic is about the new phenomenon of “cancel culture”, a direct consequence of violence. So what is cancel culture?
According to the dictionary, “Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. It is generally discussed as being performed on social media”. But as we witness on daily news, cancel culture can become “cancel physically” by kidnapping or killing a disturbing opponent. Here, there are two different levels of analyzing the problem.
The first one is theoretical. When cancel culture is applied with common sense, it can become a way to shut down violent people, harassers, offensive statements and all the ugly things that we can watch and see or perhaps be victim of. The theory itself is good.
However, the second way is less positive. For example, who decides what is offensive and what’s not? People in charge, usually people of power, do this, but on their own terms. So there is a high risk that decision makers are subjective in their decisions. Hence, journalists being threatened, opponents kept silent, Julian Assange under surveillance for revealing the truth, George Floyd murdered and so on.
Cancel culture is a bitter reminiscence of Nazi, Soviet and Fascist regimes.
I am afraid that these regimes have been globalized.
The White Man is a political concept better known as the Supremacist. The 20th century French philosopher Gilles Deleuze has referred to this concept as “The Face”. It is mainly the Westerner White Man politics that rules the international politics and its culprit is found in the Extreme-Right wing.
However there is a wide confusion between the political concept of the White Man supremacy and the white men who happen to be white genetically. Such confusion doesn’t help solve the problem of racism and fanaticism. Furthermore, considering every white fellow out there as a potential supremacist would turn them into scapegoats.
The question remains: what do we do then with nice white people?
Modern capitalism has ignored the lessons of history in the ignorant and short-sighted pursuit of individual wealth. See for example the article Economics for the People by economic historian Dirk Philipsen in Aeon magazine, from which I quote at length, due to its eloquence: In preindustrial societies, cooperation represented naked necessity for survival. Yet the […]
The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty In last week’s post […]
“Est invulnérable non pas l’être qui n’est pas frappé, mais celui qui ne subit pas de dommage; c’est ce caractère que je te montrerai dans le sage. Est-il douteux qu’une force qui n’est pas vaincue soit plus assurée que celle qui n’est pas attaquée? N’étant pas mise à l’épreuve, sa vigueur reste douteuse; au contraire, n’a-t-on point toute raison d’être sûr de la solidité d’un être qui repousse tous les chocs? Sache donc bien qu’un sage à qui l’injustice subie ne nuit pas est supérieur en nature à celui qui n’en subit pas. L’homme courageux, dirai-je aussi, c’est celui que les guerres n’abattent pas, celui qui ne s’effraye pas à l’approche des forces de l’ennemi, et non celui que le repos fait engraisser au milieu des gens inertes. C’est en ce sens que le sage n’est pas exposé à l’injustice : aussi peu importe tous les traits qu’on lance sur lui, puisque aucun d’eux ne peut pénétrer. De même que certaines pierres sont d’une dureté inattaquable au fer, le diamant par exemple qui ne peut être ni coupé, ni entamé, ni même usé, mais qui fait rejaillir tout ce qui le frappe, de même que certains corps ne peuvent être consumés mais conservent au milieu des flammes leur consistance et leurs propriétés, de même que les rochers avancés dans la mer brisent les vagues et, fouettés depuis tant de siècles, ne montrent pas trace de ces attaques, de même l’âme du sage a de la solidité et a rassemblé en elle tant d’énergie qu’elle est à l’abri de l’injustice tout autant que sont à l’abri des coups les corps que je viens de citer”.
Sénèque, De la constance du sage, suivi de De la tranquillité de l’âme, traduit du latin par Émile Bréhier et édité sous la direction de Pierre-Maxime Schuhl, Paris, Folio, « Sagesses », 2016, p. 17-18.
Ibn Khaldun was a fourteenth century historiographer, sociologist, economist, and philosopher. Born in a turbulent time when the remnants of the Umayyad Caliphate in Iberia and North Africa were either collapsing or under extensive pressure internally and externally (corruption and European invasion and crusades), Ibn Khaldun set out to chronicle a sociology of the rise […]
Happy labour day! It is a controversial title especially for jobless people out there and for grateful workers who still have a job in spite of the lockdown. In fact, digging deeper to the concept of labour, one can tell that the alteration of labour in our understanding had led to an alteration in the concept of freedom. How did we become modern slaves?
The word freedom comes from libertas. In Ancient Rome, a liber meant a free man who is not a slave. So, back then, slavery and freedom were legal statuses. Fast forward many centuries later, with the outcome of the Industrial Revolution (19th century), labour became a social, legal, political and philosophical theme. Therefore, labour is a recent concept, born with the evolution of society. Since then, with the progressive abolition of slavery and monarchies in Europe, everybody was working. Freedom as a concept was understood as financial independence.
Alongside the new concepts of both labour and freedom, capitalism (especially in its industrial form) encouraged ambition conceived as wealth which was not a bad thing. The bad thing happened later, when capitalism turned to become consumerism and a financial capitalism. Simply put, loans and massive production turned the world population into forever indebted to banks and states. Freedom as a concept both in its old and new understanding, became an illusion. Adding to this, the new virtual surveillance of online work.
Charles Bukowski said it better:
How in the hell, could a man enjoy being awakened at 6:30 am by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where you essentially made lots of money for somebody else and asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so?
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a German-American philosopher and political theorist. Her many books and articles on topics ranging from totalitarianism to epistemology have had a lasting influence on political theory. Arendt is widely considered one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century.
Reading Arendt today is very helpful to have an explanation about the crisis of authorities, from parental one to politics, from educational authority to societal figures. So how can Arendt tell us more about today’s world?
In her anthology Crises of the Republic, consisting of four essays, “Lying in Politics”, “Civil Disobedience”, “On Violence” and “Thoughts on Politics and Revolution”, she studies the contemporary American politics and the crises it faced in the 1960s and 1970s. “Lying in Politics” (which is one of the main criteria of politics as said by Nicolas Machiavelli) looks for an explanation behind the administration’s deception regarding the Vietnam War, as revealed in the Pentagon Papers. “Civil Disobedience” examines the opposition movements, while the final “Thoughts on Politics and Revolution” is a commentary, in the form of an interview on the third essay, “On Violence”. In the latter, Arendt declares that violence presupposes power which she understands as a property of groups.
This anthology is easier to read than her other books. It sums up the reasons why politics have failed to trust it in general. Adding to lying and violence, social media and mass communication brought systems down. Being States in States, social media sites and platforms are transnational, dismantling frontiers and old values. Demystification and opinions rage, followed by civil disobedience, lead to crises in democracies and Republics.
Le nomade vit dans un espace formé de points (point d’eau etc.) qui sont des relais dans un trajet. Les hommes et les bêtes sont distribués dans un espace ouvert. La loi est le nomos (contrairement à la polis qui a un arrière-plan stable) dans cet espace lisse qui s’oppose à l’espace sédentaire, strié et clôturé de l’Etat.
Mais le nomade n’est pas le migrant qui est constamment en mouvement. Le nomade s’installe et le mouvement de ces deux types de personnages diffère. Le nomade est déterritorialisé, le migrant se reterritorialise après et le sédentaire se reterritorialise sur la terre de l’Etat : « Bref, on dira par convention que seul le nomade à un mouvement absolu, c’est-à-dire une vitesse ; le mouvement tourbillonnaire ou tournant appartient essentiellement à sa machine de guerre » (Mille Plateaux p.473).
Avec le nomade, la terre devient sol, ce qui fait de lui le vecteur de la déterritorialisation. Paradoxalement, le nomade est dans un absolu local qui se manifeste dans des opérations à orientations diverses : le désert, la steppe, la glace, la mer, comme l’affirment Deleuze et Guattari.
Le résumé de Mille Plateaux se trouvent sur le lien suivant: