Today, we have held the first seminary of the biopolitics cycle we announced last week.
In this first meeting, we have revised the main work by Negri and Hardt, Empire, at the basis of this index:
- What is Empire?
- About multitude concept
- Biopolitics on Negri & Hardt vs Biopolitics on Foucault
In this vein, We bring today some questions, ideas and thinkings about the three points:
1) What is Empire?
It is an operation where inclusion, differentiation and administration from the state of emergency. This state of emergency manages differences, allows and power the existence of differences between us. This differeces are cultural differences and they are the only ones allowed to exist.
The Empire is inclusive, seeking include us within.
There is no territorial border, nor temporal border: Empire suspends history. There is nothing out of it: even the story is inside it.
2) About multitude concept:
Multitude is a sum, a transformation, where co-operation is given from a desire to live.
Multitude is a concept of political science and constitutional law which represents the social multiplicity of subjects who are able to act together as an agent of biopolitical production within the political system.
Multitude is also an operation, but an operation of co-operation, where many entities cooperate without refuse each one to its own idiosyncrasies (if they resign to this own particular features, then they have a shared identity and it would not a multitude).
His only thing in common is their ability to create. But creation that comes from many different places, with reviews and plural and diverse cultures.
The crowd may not be permanent, stable and universal characteristics. It changes ... noody does not know what to expect from her.
3) Biopolitics on Negri & Hardt vs Foucault:
Foucault links the biopolitical exercise to the state, and the state is for him the old nation-state. In Negri, the biopolitical exercise is linked to the Empire. The Empire is a deterritorialized and a large operation because it is everywhere but it is also in the small things of the daily life.
The biopolitics of Negri is global, with a full and global mobilization of life sciences, it is a knowledge about risk. The technologies used are the information. Biopolitics is a difference mangement (multitude).
In contrast, Foucault, biopolitics is machine body / body-species management and uses human and social sciences. Knowledge is a nomic knowledge that uses energy technologies, and where there is biopolitics-biopower transformation.
In Negri: Managing the difference.
In Foucault: Creating something.
The first Foucault: First power, then resistance.
Negri: Power relations grow on the multitude (this one is first than Empire), which is the creative capacity of people. Empire is one step behind the multitude and always tries to reach it. It may be that at the end the multitude overthrow to the Empire.
The black swan is possible for a host of creative acts, which are concatenated and they have a very visible (the fall of the Berlin Wall) effect, but others are not so visible.
Biopolitics in Negri is global.
Productive work has become increasingly less material (cognitive capitalism), and we have also to keep in mind the communicative dimension (big difference with Foucault).
The empire is corruption. It is the biopolitical exercise. The imperial operation is itself the biopolitical exercise. Empire and biopolitics have become the same dimension: is not that one use to the other, but they are the same thing. The Empire is the dispositif of the biopoltics.
Photo Credit: Flickr, user Jef safi