Fabricating the People: Politics and Administration in the Biopolitical State

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go site Foucault offers this explanation; it was a site of justice in the sense that the sale price fixed in the market was seen, both by theorist and in practice, as a just price, or at any rate a price that should be the just price, which meant to the theorists of the day a price that was to have a certain relationship with work performed, with the needs of the merchants, and of course, with the consumers needs and possibilities.

The next general theme Foucault introduces is the German Ordoliberalism , the Freiburg School which produced general problems among themselves, namely the state apparatus and its reconstruction after the Second World War. This general theme led to neo-liberalism heavy reliances on the law obviously, but it too, had to produce a new kind of consensus and a rearrangement consensus between the general populace; the working population, those engaged in production.

This general or collective consensus produced 'economic partners' in this so-called 'economic game', [4] such as; investors, employers, government officials, work force, and trade union officials. Foucault then offers some explanation on what was the reasoning behind this consensus between all these so-called different economic partners. According to Foucault this produced another kind of consensus, which was political power of the electoral community, not the political power of the right to vote, but the right of the political community to exchange seats, a rearrangement of the very relations of the so-called change of 'government' which gives and protects legitimacy.

Which becomes political consensus, inasmuch as the 'economic partners 'accept the economic game of freedom. This is very much on neo-liberalism agenda, which according to Foucault was exactly the agenda that neo-liberalism required. A strong Deutschmark, a satisfactory rate of economic growth, increased wages, an expanding purchasing power, and a favorable balance of payments which became a by product of the effects of good government. Foucault reads into this that in contemporary German which was in reality a founding consensus of the state.

Foucault notices that this formation of a liberal type of governmentality had general shifts within this circle which can be traced back to the 18th century old or classical liberalism programmed by the Physiocrats , Turgot , and the other economists, for whom the problem was the exact opposite. The problem that neo-liberalism had to resolve was the following: given the existence of a legitimate state, which is fully functional under the police state with all its administration form of police state, how can this be limited within the existing state and, above all, allow for the necessary economic freedom within it.

For Foucault, this was the exact opposite because after the Second World War , the war machine that was unleashed was due to the fact that the system of economic rationality had broken down and the organisational network of world trade and its accompanied trade settlement system had completely become untenable, in which trust in the final payment settlement system had completely vanished, therefore initiating the military machine. Another theme Foucault concentrates on is the neo-liberalism conception of social effects, Gesellschaftspolitik , known in English, from the German, as the policy of society , [7] [8] [9] this policy of society addresses the whole consensus of society.

But this Gesellschaftspolitik had a two sided inconsistency, it had to produce the willing actors who take part in the economic process to accept the reality of their economic position and therefore their fate.

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Foucault deals with this problem as necessary intrinsic operations of government which inextribably can produce regimes of truth Foucault means regimes of truth as necessary social practices which become necessary objects of knowledge. The ability to extrapolate a collective of co-ordinate errors becoming co-ordinated practices which become something that did not exist in the first place, but now becomes established systems of knowledge objects.

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Foucault begins to try to trace back through time how this was at all possible, Foucault manages this task by reading into the set of practices interwoven into the policy of society, this was accomplished from the 16th until the 18th century where there was a whole set of practices of tax levies, customs, charges, manufacture regulations, regulations of grain prices, the protection and codification of market practices, etc.

This was well conceived by the exercise of sovereign rights, feudal rights, as the maintenance of customs, as effective procedure of enrichment for the financial administration of the general sovereign or the tax authorities, or as techniques for preventing urban revolt due to the discontent of this or that group of subjects. Governments, Foucault noticed, were compelled to enter this competitive environment, by doing so entering into new regimes of truth with the fundamental effect of reconfiguring all the questions formally beset by the art of government.

Foucault turns his attention to ordoliberalism 's view on social policy and how this can be woven into society's political power which differentates from Adam Smith 's liberalism two centuries earlier.

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This problem was faced head on by ordoliberalism; how can the overall exercise of political power be modeled on the principles of a market economy? To accomplish this the old version of classic liberalism had to be subjected to a whole series of modifications. The first set of transformations was the dissociation of the market economy from the political principle of laissez-faire , this uncoupling of the market and laissez-faire was replaced with, not abandon by a theory of pure competition which produced a formal structure and formal properties which could lay the fundamental principle of the compective structure that assured economic regulation through the price mechanism.

This is a break from traditional liberalism principles. How would neo-liberalism define the new governmental action? Foucault traces three examples which neo-liberalism call a conformable economic action; firstly the question of monopolies which they claimed differed somewhat from classic liberalism.

The classic conception of the economy as the monopoly seen as somehow semi-neutral, semi-necessary consequence of the competition in a capitalist system.

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The neo-liberal dream of competition cannot be left to develop without monopolistic phenomena appearing at the same time. This would eventually have the effect, of suppressing the operation of mechanism that facilitate, bring with them, and hopefully determine its eventual destiny. However, Foucault notices specific problems began to emerge for neo-liberalism, not only specific to neo-liberalism was how to incorporate civil society, political power; and Homo oeconomicus into a non-substitutable, irreducible atom of interest.

Foucault makes the starting point of his investigations into this process from the 18th century where Homo oeconomicus has to be integrated into the system of which he is a part. The concept Homo economicus had specific problems being interwoven into the new-found economic process of the 18th century. Foucault manages to trace this anomaly through the subject of right known as consent of the governed the theory of right of that legal theorists of the 18th century tried to establish during their legal discourse which did receive a great deal of attention because of what was perceived at the time of problems regarding the sovereign's power.

The subject of right had to perform slight modifications because of the implication of him the subject of right limiting the sovereign's power. Which certainly differed from classical liberalism's conception of the sovereign power, which from the 16th century was conceived of as impenetrable to any rational discourse.

Next in the scale will come some form of sentient life; but this too seems to be shared by horses, oxen and animals generally.

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There remains therefore what may be called the practical life of that which has reason. In practice, therefore, achieving a threshold means making a social transition. In the case of women, with whom Nussbaum was concerned in a un -sponsored project in the late s and early s, this might involve working outside the family house, a major issue in societies where women are traditionally prohibited from doing so, even when survival is at stake. This applies not just to the animal life of humanity but to non-human animals as well. To achieve a threshold of animal capacity or dignity may imply a different type of transition.

For many of the cases discussed in Frontiers of Justice , in which Nussbaum extends the scope of the capabilities approach to those of differing abilities, nationality or species, the transition does not involve entering the public realm. Although, for other species, political functionings fall outside the species norm, that does not mean that the capabilities of other species can be sustained within nature. The capabilities approach cannot be realized in the wild or without human intervention. For both Nussbaum and Agamben, the essential dichotomy is between the good life, or the political life, and the life that is, for whatever reason, lacking in those qualities.

Like Aristotle, both emphasize that this amounts to the difference between what is distinctively human and what is less than fully human. But if, for Agamben, bare life is the hopeless destination toward which the logic of modernity points, for Nussbaum it is the base from which capabilities are expanded and joyfully transformed into functionings.

The polarities appear to be the same, but the directions different. If so, is there some point at which human flourishing and bestialization meet, some limbo in which the half-dead pass those whose capabilities have been brought to life? One way to establish this is to take coordinates from Aristotle. The passage that is central to both Nussbaum and Agamben reads as follows:. And why man is a political animal in a greater measure than any bee or any gregarious animal is clear.

For nature, as we declare, doth nothing without purpose; and man alone of all the animals possesses speech [ logos ]. The mere voice, it is true, can indicate pain or pleasure, and therefore is possessed by the other animals as well for their nature has been developed so far as to have sensations of what is painful and pleasant and signify these sensations to one another , but speech is designed to indicate the advantageous and the harmful, and therefore also the right and the wrong; for it is the special property of man in distinction from the other animals that he alone has perception of good and bad and right and wrong and the other moral qualities, and it is partnership in these things that makes a household and a city state.

On the one hand there is natural gregariousness, which is opposed to natural solitude, and on the other, there is logos , which is opposed to voice. Gregariousness, as Aristotle explains elsewhere, is just a matter of flocking together, and as such is common to land, air and sea creatures of many species. Solitary animals may include man himself, people like the outlaw described by Homer. In contrast, the distinction between voice and logos is a measure of what distinguishes the human from the animal. So, not all gregarious animals have rational speech, and not everyone that has speech is gregarious.

When Aristotle says that humans are more political than bees, he does not mean that they are more gregarious, but rather that they have some other quality as well. Political animals are distinguished from the merely gregarious by having a common activity. Using these axes, it becomes possible to plot with more precision the vectors described by Agamben and Nussbaum, both in relation to Aristotle and to each other.

Foucault was primarily concerned with the axis that leads from the private to the public, and with a double imbrication brought about through the regulation of bodies and populations—simultaneously an encroachment of the private upon the public and the public upon the private. The reorientation is completed when Agamben shifts the emphasis to sovereign power.

Biopolitics and Beyond: Vibrant Matter and the Political Economy of Life

All are subject to the miseries of life. However, because animal dignity is of a kind shared by non-human animals as well, the optimization of non-human capabilities also inscribes a trajectory that leads not so much from private to public as from nature to culture. And in Frontiers of Justice she switches her attention to the other axis.

Rather as the homo sacer does not go home but ends up becoming part of nature instead, the animal whose capabilities are developed participates in culture rather than politics. There is, it seems, no one route to the biopolitical, only converging vectors of privatization, naturalization, acculturation and socialization. But what is the unknown region into which political exiles, werewolves, Alsatians in wheelchairs and working women all now wearily make their way? In Aristotle, both the solitary—gregarious and the voice— logos axes are continuous and have a discernible, if poorly defined middle ground.

Between solitude and the gregariousness of the city, there are first couples, then households, then villages. Those who inhabit the middle of the range are to a greater or lesser degree scattered, a condition shared by Cyclopes and ground larks, amongst other creatures. These two axes meet in the household, which is about half-way between solitude and gregariousness, and potentially incorporates all the states between logos and voice—the master, the wife, the slave, the ox.

The middle ground is there, but sparsely populated. So what happens when man becomes, biopolitically, a domestic animal? But the void has a name. The axis which leads from solitude to gregariousness, the private to the public, is defined by the polarities of labour and action. Human life, in so far as it is world-building, is engaged in reification, but scientific doubt and secularization undermine the perceived permanence and value of culture, and so humans become separated from the world that they have created.

On both axes there is a double movement. Modernity has been both world-alienating and earth-alienating, as the abstractions of science and technology have distanced man from the earth. For Arendt, the vectors of the biopolitical form the vortex of the social. But as she recoiled from the maelstrom, she watched others behold it with equanimity. In particular, Marx, who, she claimed, transformed the vortex of modernity into a political programme. It will be seen how in place of the wealth and poverty of political economy come the rich human being and the rich human need.

The rich human being is simultaneously the human being in need of a totality of human-life activities—the man in whom his own realization exists as an inner necessity, as need. It is precisely this transformation that is involved in the transition from basic capabilities to full functioning. Similar alignments between Marxist thought and the vectors of the biopolitical are to be found on the nature—culture axis.