Home > biopoliitika, Michel Foucault, turvalisus > Julian Vigo “Biopower and Security”

Julian Vigo “Biopower and Security”

Vigo, Julian 2015. Biopower and Security. CounterPunch, May 5. online: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/05/biopower-and-security/

No longer is it the institution seeking out individuals to normalize, for there is neoliberal social nexus where individuals voluntarily seek out their legitimacy within the structures of various institutions. The body, part of this panorama of securitization, is now procured by the subject who seeks to consolidate her identity through institutional narratives of legitimation.

Biopower is the bastard child of neoliberal societies which have created elaborate systems of surveillance to control the body in pursuit of securitizing culture.

It is axiomatic that this War on Terror, almost in its fifteenth year, has nothing to do with investigating or stopping “terror.” Instead the Global War on Terror thrives upon constructing and disseminating innumerable fictions of perceived terrorist acts and terrorist bodies whilst abstracting a panorama of violence that will unceasingly be impossible to defeat both domestically and abroad. Ultimately, the War on Terror can never end. The nature of biopower in the context of state security today is two-fold: first, to de-personify the object of western violence while humanizing the western pathos of the Global War on Terror; second, to re-create the enemy, re-embodied and pre-packaged as the Muslim “terrorist.” In this way, biopower functions to place focus on the body of the individual over the act, such as Foucault’s discussion of capital punishment which invokes 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” (1976, 138).

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