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 debate about climate change and global warming has been around almost forever without any tangible worldwide change in the political behaviour or mindset. Clearly it is the endless conflict of politics versus life and this is how dangerous greedy politics has become. So, is the climate “convention” a democratic challenge?
It is unfortunately obvious that a leader who seeks popularity can’t work for the climate. Fighting for environment is fighting against economy, freedom, industries, consumerism, politics and the list is long. Some questions are to be asked for all climate enthusiasts: shall we give up using cars, trains and planes? The thought of it after 2020 the quarantine year can be a splash of icy water. At this point, happy few are up for this challenge of giving up cars, planes and trains but this is no big help. Consequentially, what should be done?
Two main acts, if done seriously, can make a difference. The first one is to have a new industrial policy for producing long term products just like big industrial companies made names to themselves in the last century for producing items that lasted for decades. The second act is educate people again to be sensitive to nature, to be awed by nature’s aesthetics so they will become its defenders. To learn it again requires reconnection with natural elements.
These two acts, especially the first one, are a democratic challenge for the decade to come.
As Christmas holidays are couple of days away, I can’t help but thinking about the phenomenon of life flipping and inverting spaces and time. Holidays are better spent away from home because home has become an office. Hence the title of this post.
Suddenly, a new wave of meanings and ideas are invading our lives, even to its private intimate core shelter that is home. Suddenly, many of us realize that we don’t have a work place in our houses. Basically, we work, eat and sleep in the same place; eyes glued to the screen and haven’t we all fell sometimes on the keyboard?
The utopian fantasy of creating a disciplined society, something history books witnessed in Nazism and Soviet Union, has never been better executed than these days worldwide. The scenery of lockdowns, social distancing and masks reminds us of science-fiction movies. However, on the inside, things are shaky. Being completely submissive to a monitoring system (or systems) is a wink to George Orwell’s 1984, where pasta can taste like emails. The utopia turned to a dystopia.
The name of the game is : biopolitics. Biopolitics is a concept invented by French philosopher Michel Foucault in which he explained how the State has power over our health, bodies, the social body and now through covid19 patients tracking apps, vaccine, climate change and so on.
On this Christmas eve, I really wish to all of us, less confusion and more clarity and peace to the soul.
Today’s post is a follow up to my last post on political polarisation. If you haven’t read that one yet, click here. Today I’ll be talking more closely about how polarisation and differing political opinions affect our relationships and friendships. We have all become very politically saturated in society. Politics takes up a large part […]
Marx’s Version of History Compared to Hegel and Kant German philosophy is crowded with ideas about History. The three thinkers Hegel, Kant and Marx have many overlapping ideas. In particular these three all develop ideas for the point and purpose of history and which way it should go. In comparison they seem to overlap […]
Seth Godin, brilliant as always, distinguishes buying from shopping. The latter has more to do with desire, fantasy and pleasure; whilst buying is simply the act of getting of what one needs.
This distinction between desire and needs has been the debate in philosophy for ages. From those who condemned desire as a dangerous futility leading to alienation to those who praised desire as a pure human energy, desire has been the drive of consumerism as an ideology.
For mass consumerism requires mass production and the latter gave birth to injustice, human slavery, economical clash, more class divisions, global warming and the list goes on.
As usual, Seth Godin puts it in simple words and deep thinking. Read its post down below for more food to the mind.
Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.
The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom. According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:
“Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens. Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.
How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?
Worldwide, everyone is wearing a mask; even the Venetian carnival couldn’t imagine it. The eyes without a face syndrome had become synonymous to citizenship. By uncovering the failure of the world medical system, facing a pandemic is a confusion between a patronizing totalitarianism and medical emergency.
Until now, the origin of the pandemic is still unknown. However, what is clear now, it the fault of capitalism in its current form, at least for the last 10 years. When absolutely everything is salable, including people’s health and freedom, then Covid19 did us a great favour in spite of its ugliness. The virus demystified what we thought was the ultimate success. The “phantom of the opera” in its 2020 version.
2020 is the Halloween year: the US presidential elections anyone? The uprise of racism and fanaticism? Decapitation of a history teacher down the street? Corruption? Climate change and pollution?
Wearing masks helped unmasking the perverted political systems.
As much as provocation is less needed nowadays due to sensitive issues, the politically correct attitude is nevertheless as harmful. When a cat for example can’t be called a cat but “a furry four-legged domestic feline” then there is a problem.
The problem is that the purpose of discourse or art is deviated from its original objectives: expression, communication, truth. We are then left with sugar coated words and art that is lifeless.
Music can tell readdress the dilemma here. Let’s go back musically to not farfetched decades: the 80s and the 90s. Artists back then promoted all types of passions: love was a lot of love, anger was brutal, and sadness was depressive; joy was more than joyful and darkness was terrifying. Along this musical, poetic and visual process, all those passions (especially dark ones) went through sublimation. In Freudian terms, sublimation is a defense mechanism that reduces anxiety through the transformation of aggressive impulses into artistic, intellectual and spiritual activities.
Look at music now. Apart from happy few artists, music has become politically correct. Is it the result of our anxious world or did it help in provoking anxiety and violence?