Biopolitics and Philosophy

in Terms of the Political

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242641
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242689 | DOI:
Biopolitics and Philosophy

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Chapter 6 questions the applicability of the classical political lexicon (democracy, freedom, and rights) to contemporary reality, characterized by the end of Soviet communism and the advent of global terrorism in the September 11 attacks. The chapter argues that these great words of political theory do not fully explain our present political moment, but work instead to conceal the deeper dynamics at play that would provide more convincing explanations for such paradoxes as kamikaze terrorism or humanitarian wars. Biopolitics, or the constitutively modern moment when preserving life becomes the primary objective of political action, names this deeper dynamic. The chapter asks: is the thanatopolitics of Nazism the only outcome for biopolitics, or does biopolitics contain the potential for a different, affirmative politics of life?

Keywords: Biopolitics; Philosophy; Clash of civilizations; Stalinist communism; Nazism; Thanatopolitics; September 11; Cold War; Globalization; Terrorism; Immunization; Rights; Private property; Democracy

Chapter.  5234 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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