Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Marios Emmanouilidis, The Parasitic Folding. Humans-as-Animals, States and Machines that Come from the Outside: Homologies between a Virus and Finance, Translated from the Greek by Barbara Santos, Transversal (European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies, Vienna) , December 2020
Open access

The text approaches the Covid-19 epidemic from two points of view: (a) as a war machine that threatens State apparatuses. In the last ten years we have been assailed by two war machines, that of finance, and that of the Covid-19 virus. This text attempts a juxtaposition of a virus and finance (both considered as dispositifs), and accordingly, a diagonalization of the event that tyrannizes us, pushing us towards a quest for as much the homologous movements of a virus and finance, as for the homologous responses of State and society, in both crises. I consider the virus as exemplary of financial practices and ascribe to it the quality of a methodological protocol, of an enquiry into our times; and (b) as an event exemplary of the living process by which the human within is formed as a processing of the outside (a virus). This processing introduces turmoil to an intact repression, coerces the biological confession of our animal composition and triggers a crisis de novo in the historical formation of the “Human being”, that “human compound” as was structured in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The article also investigates the present parasitic and financial nomadology in the context of the lines of thought of Michel Serres, Deleuze-Guattari of Anti-Oedipus, Foucault’s dispositif, metis and the concept of apeiron-infinity of Vernant-Detienne, and of the neglected third volume of Marx’s Capital; and then, subsequently, to the folding of money and the parasite in subjects. The perspective of the text on financial capitalism might be considered somewhat ‘dissident’ to the prevailing forms of critiques that promote finance as parasitic.

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