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Showing posts from March, 2020

Thoughts on the Pandemic and "Biopolitics"

The events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an explosion of analysis and debate within the ranks of those academics who are interested in the notion of biopolitics . Since biopolitics (following Foucault's instantiation of the term) concerns the political and social power over life itself, and is focused on "that domain of life over which power has taken control," a global pandemic and various state responses to the control of bodies––demonstrated by quarantines and medical interventions––is an opportunity to wax eloquent about biopolitics in the hope of using this rubric to explain what is happening. The fact that the biggest living theorist of biopolitics, Giorgio Agamben, who linked the biopolitical to the notion of sovereignty and the Schmittian notion of "state of exception" (so that, for a long time, these three notions were inseperable), revealed himself as a COVID truther who denied the need for a quarantine and instead treated any form of q

The Bigger Plague is Capitalism

Experiencing a pandemic in real time is surreal. The culture industry machine has pre-transcribed such events in multiple movies, books, and comics. We grew up with The Plague , The Stand , innumerable zombie films and books, more "realist" films like  Outbreak… And then later iterations of the same pandemic fantasies––from 28 Days Later and The Walking Dead  to  The Passage  and  The Girl With All The Gifts  to Contagion . We have been utterly saturated in fictional pandemic paranoia, both fantastic and realist, though we always assumed even the "realist" depictions were fantastic despite the fact that humanity has indeed experienced (and survived) multiple pandemics. But here we are, with COVID-19 declared a global pandemic, and we cannot help but understand it according to these fictions which means it appears simultaneously fantastic and nightmarish. To be clear, while the pandemic is real it is not the most significant medical emergency on the planet. The mos

Thoughts on the US Electoral Machine, Its Spectacle, and the Current Bernie Sanders Phenomenon…

Although there are many things that annoy me about social media, recently I have become most annoyed by the prevalence of information regarding the US electoral machine. That is, I often feel I'm being subjected to the vicissitudes of the US electoral circus for four year spans, rather than every four years, due to the lead up to the elections and the sub-circus that is the primaries. Not content with subjecting their own population to their bourgeois dictatorship, they have to broadcast the performance of their shitty failed state democracy to the rest of the world. Not that I care about the performance of democracy in other capitalist nations, including the one in which I live, but at least I'm not subjected to these 24/7. Also, for a country that likes to proclaim itself as the beacon of democracy and freedom to the rest of the world, I find it rather odd that even amongst bourgeois democracies as a whole––all of which should burn along with their class dictatorships––the US