Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Biopolitics and eurocentrism

Shaviro has a post about biopolitics over at his blog that I am sure will end up generating a lot of discussion. I won't be around for it, and because I am already on vacation (seriously) this will be a short post. Yes, I think the current theory of biopolitics is particularly eurocentric in most of its major incarnations (the French and Italian ones).
I don't find myself particularly invested in the word, biopolitics, but I certainly still find it a useful trope to think through and with. But for me, the question of biopolitics is the question of the politics of humanism.

However, the eurocentrism is something we clearly need to be weary of. Deleuze and Guattari were found of talking about a becoming-minoritarian without, actually, citing very many minorities. The process and practices of decoloniality are rich, and all of us could do to study it. Would it not be helpful, for example, to bring into dialogue the question of biopolitics with Anibal Quijano's "Coloniality of Power" (which you can download here )? Or perhaps by understanding the biopolitics of racism by thinking through the giddy multitude of colonial Virgina, and the racialized slavery practices that emerged as a way of separating and splintering the giddy multitude.

But with all that said, the questions of biopolitics seem central to me. That it to say, the questions of how we manipulate and control life, the politics of humanism, the distinction between zoe and bios, the distinction between phone and logos, the ways in which we construct a global linear thought that puts disposable populations on one side and others in a global green zone on the other, all of that falls under the rubric of biopolitics for me.