“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Friday, September 28, 2012

Cary Wolfe: SLSA Keynote 2

 Butler doesn't extend this to nonhumans. Still it's worth asking if the bios/zoe distinction might be of some use regarding our treatment of nonhuman animals.
Derrida. Analogy between treatment of animals and holocaust. Racialization as a half way house. Foucault 1975-6: racism is the precondition that makes killing acceptable.
>> you can't talk about biopolitics without talking about race, and you can't talk about race without talking about species
exposure of how that designation masks and makes possible the more fundamental operations of biopolitics. The anthropological machine.
Thanatology dominates Agamben. The death camps as the political space in which we are still living.
Foucault is more ambivalent. The power to make live.
Making live and letting die.
Medicine, health professions, governmentality, managing and enhancing the lives of populations via hygiene.
Subtle but important difference. Foucault allows us to disarticulate sovereignty and biopower.
What gets lost in the formal symmetry in Agamben is how to think the biopolitical field of affectivity.
Foucault's displacement of sovereignty doesn't get rid of it but could be helpful.
Power's increasing need for the various techs of management and so on.
Esposito: not a withdrawal of the field subjected to law, but the law shifts from transcendental level of codes and sanctions to the level of rules and norms addressed to body.
>> 1. Biopolitics form of government of a new dynamic.
2. Fundamental problem is not of a single source but of a multitude of forces.
3. Biopower targets a power that does not properly belong to it.
Jeff Nealon: Not a negative relation of domination, but a positive relation among virtual forces. (Foucault)
Anatomy of how the machinery of power strives to maintain control
Forces that derive from animal bodies
Enfolded in subjection and resistance through specific dispositifs
>> chance for life to burst through power
power/knowledge complexifies the body, which increases risk
Thus Foucault: the intro to life into history is constructive; you can propose a new ontology that begins with the body
One key insight is that without factoring freedom and resistance, you can't understand power.
so we need to peel the sovereignty offfactory farming can't be called political by Agamben, but in Foucault, yes
common subjection of the factical existence of both humans and animals
assembly line processes to kill jews << Ford << Chicago slaughterhouse disassembly line

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