Foucault News

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

Étienne Balibar, Human species as biopolitical concept, Radical Philosophy, 2.11 (December 2021)
Open access

I submit that the current situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic and its biopolitical consequences reveals something new in the ontological status of the human species which also involves an anthropological ‘revolution’. 1 This is something more than the fact that the combined tendencies called ‘globalisation’ (which, regardless of whether we assign them a recent or ancient origin, have clearly crossed a line at the end of the twentieth century) have resulted in relativising frontiers or distances, and subjected all human societies to a single system of economic interdependencies, thus realising something of the Marxian prediction (in the German Ideology) that every singular being would relate to every other, when the development of their ‘productive forces’ has reached ‘the stage of totality’. 2 It is also not the same as the fact that environmental consequences of global warming, of industrial waste and consumerist pollutions, plus the destruction of biodiversity are now affecting the whole planet and its populations. Of course the links of the Anthropocene with this type of pandemic do clearly exist. But what I want to discuss is something more directly linked to our self-definition as a ‘species’, working at a more elementary level.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: