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MGW10-GT-A2-Biopolitics

MGW10-GT-A2-Biopolitics - MGW 2010 Gothbreht/Thomas A2...

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MGW 2010 A2 Biopolitics Gothbreht/Thomas A2 Biopolitics A2 Biopolitics ........................................................................................................................................................... 1 A2 Biopolitics – saves lives ....................................................................................................................................... 2 A2 Biopolitics – limits state power ............................................................................................................................ 3 A2 Biopolitics – rights ............................................................................................................................................. 4 A2 Biopolitics – checks totalitarianism ..................................................................................................................... 5 A2 Biopolitics – generic defense ............................................................................................................................... 6 A2 Biopolitics – resistance ....................................................................................................................................... 7 A2 Biopolitics – inevitable ....................................................................................................................................... 8 A2 Biopolitics – state is biopolitical .......................................................................................................................... 9 1
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MGW 2010 A2 Biopolitics Gothbreht/Thomas A2 Biopolitics – saves lives ( _ ) Even if biopower can be destructive, it is on balance necessary to save lives—NOTE: we reject the gendered language in this evidence Ojakangus in 05 (Mika, Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies , “Impossible Dialogue on Bio-power” http://www.foucault-studies.com/no2/ojakangas1.pdf) In fact, the history of modern Western societies would be quite incomprehensible without taking into account that there exists a form o power which refrains from killing but which nevertheless is capable of directing people’s lives . The effectiveness of biopower can be seen lying precisely in that it refrains and withdraws before every demand of killing, even though these demands would derive from the demand of justice. In bio-political societies, according to Foucault, capital punishment could not be maintained except by invoking less the enormity of the crime itself than the monstrosity of the criminal: “One had the right to kill those who represented a kind of biological danger to others.” 112 However, given that the “right to kill” is precisely a sovereign right, it can be argued that the biopolitical societies analyzed by Foucault were not entirely bio-political. Perhaps, there neither has been nor can be a society that is entirely bio-political. Nevertheless , the fact is that present - day European societies have abolished capital punishment. In them, there are no longer exceptions. It is the very “right to kill” that has been called into question. However, it is not called into question because of enlightened moral sentiments, but rather because of the deployment of bio-political thinking and practice. For all these reasons , Agamben’s thesis , a ccording to which the concentration camp is the fundamental bio - political paradigm of the West, has to be corrected . 113 The bio - political paradigm of the West is not the concentration camp, but, rather, the present - day welfare society and, instead of homo sacer, the paradigmatic figure of the bio - political society can be seen, for example, in the middle - class Swedish social democrat. Although this figure is an object – and a product – of the huge bio-political machinery, it does not mean that he is permitted to kill without committing homicide . Actually, the fact that he eventually dies, seems to be his greatest “crime” against the machinery . (In bio-political societies, death is not only “something to be hidden away,” but, also, as Foucault stresses, the most “shameful thing of all”.114) Therefore, he is not exposed to an unconditional threat of death, but rather to an unconditional retreat of all dying.
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