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Biopolitics Bad NC

Biopolitics Bad NC

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Published by willmalson

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Published by: willmalson on Jan 14, 2010
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Will Malson Biopolitics Bad NC Page 1 of 3
Biopolitics Bad NC
We’ve come here today to provide an answer to the great question: to compete, or to cooperate? Assuch, my philosophy is that cooperation is superior to competition as a means of achieving excellence.I’ll be explaining this to you in 4 basic contentions: why the affirmative’s rhetoric regarding competitionis detrimental, and how cooperating can prevent said rhetoric’s effects.
CONTENTION 1:
THE AFFIRMATIVE SPEAKER’S DISCOURSE OF COMPETITIONJUSTIFIES BIOPOLITICS. Sanford Schram 06
Schram 2006- (Sanford, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College “Welfare Discipline: Discourses, Governance, and Globalization”, pg. 5) (HEG)
My argument is that welfare reform was legitimated in part by politically questionable concerns about economic globalization. I do not deny that economicglobalization was occurring; instead, I am arguing that what I am calling globalization discourse helped make it seem in the United States that economicglobalization of necessity required scaling back the welfare state in the name of being able to compete internationally.
Welfare stateretrenchment was made possible
in no small part
 because the issue was framed in the United States in termsof a crisis narrative on the necessity of welfare policy retrenchment in the face of growing internationaleconomic competition,
making it seem unavoidable that the United States retrench welfare provision.
U.S. globalization discoursehad created its own specter of a debilitating global economic competition that required welfare stateretrenchment as part of the necessary response.I’ll take a moment and explain a few things.First of all, what is
biopolitics
? In the work of Michel Foucault, biopolitics is the style of governmentthat regulates populations through biopower.
Biopower
is the application and impact of political power on all aspects of human life.Second, what exactly was Sanford Schram talking about? Schram mentioned the U.S. and a state of welfare retrenchment. Simply put, he’s talking about how the U.S. used economic rhetoric regardingcompetition to justify a permanent welfare system. This permanent welfare system was one of the many possible manifestations of biopolitics. This application of biopolitics was used to justify securitizingdiscourse of globalization. This ties in well withCONTENTION 2:
THE SECURITIZING DISCOURSE OF GLOBALIZATION ENABLES ANYACTION IN THE NAME OF SURVIVAL. Sanford Schram 06
Schram 2006- (Sanford, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr College “Welfare Discipline: Discourses, Governance, and Globalization”, pg. 6-7) (HEG)
In this way,
globalization discourse could very well become its own self-fulfilling prophecy.
Like a ghost of a not-yet-fully-born world system, globalization discourse haunted the political imagination of the west until preoccupation with its very idea furthered the possibility of it materializing in practice. For someone like Jacques Derrida, globalization discourse is therefore like Jacques Derrida, globalization discourseis therefore a form of melancholy more than mourning: by anticipation, we were regretting what had not yet happened, rather than waiting to grieve after aloss occurred.
The crisis narrative of welfare retrenchment as a necessary consequence of economicglobalization implied to its audience a subject position as a concerned party who must share thenarrative’s sense of urgency and must accept that drastic actions need to be taken to avoid the impendingcatastrophe before it arrives. Therefore
, irrespective of how much increased global economic activity was occurring,
the crisisnarrative of welfare states had actually already entered into what has been called a race to the bottomstemming from global economic competition,
the idea has created anticipation to the point that the retrenchment in social welfare
 
Will Malson Biopolitics Bad NC Page 2 of 3
 protections that did take place has increased the currency of the very same idea to the point that scaling back has become what has to be done in order tocompete successfully in a new global economy.
In a vicious cycle, globalization discourse makes itself real.
 Now
what is he talking about? Again, he refers to a retrenchment of a welfare state. What he’s getting atis that the crisis narrative, or competition rhetoric, similar to the rhetoric used by the affirmative speaker,is used to justify drastic governmental actions. It is further justified by a sense of false urgency that must be accepted. This vicious cycle of globalization and competition rhetoric makes globalization a reality – we can see the very evidently in the world today – already there are treaties out there that wouldestablish a global government in response to crisis situations such as global warming. This is a fittingtime to move on to
CONTENTION 3:
 
BIOPOLITICS ALLOWS THOSE IN POWER TO CHOOSE WHOSE LIFEIS WORTHY AND WHOSE ISN’T. THIS DEVALUES LIFE AND LEADS TOEXTERMINATION. Giorgio Agamben 98
 Agamben 1998 (Giorgio is a professor of philosophy at the University of Verona, Homo Sacer, 1998, pg. 142-143) (HEG)
Here it becomes clear how
Binding’s attempt to transform euthanasia into a juridico-political concept
(“life unworthyof being lived”)
touched on a crucial matter. If it is the sovereign who,
insofar as he decides on the state of exception,
has the power to decide which life may be killed without the commission of homicide, in the age of biopoliticsthis power becomes emancipated from the state of exception and transformed into the power to decidethe point at which life ceases to be politically relevant.
When life becomes the supreme political value, not only is the problem of life’s nonvalue thereby posed, as Schmitt suggests but further, it is as if the ultimate ground of sovereign power were tt stake in this decision.
In modern biopolitics, sovereign is he who decides on the value or the nonvalue of life
as such. Life—which, with thedeclarations of rights, had as such been invested with the principle of sovereignty—now itself becomes the place of a sovereign decision. The Fuhrer represents precisely life itself insofar as it is he who decides on life’s very biopolitical consistency
This is why the Fuhrer’s word,according to a theory dear to Nazi jurists
to which we will return,
is immediately law. This is why the problemof euthanasia is an absolutely modern problem, which Nazism, as the first radically biopolirical state,could not fail to pose.
And this is also why certain apparent confusions and contradictions of the euthanasia program can be explained only in the biopolitical context in which they were situated. The physicians Karl Brand and Viktor Brack, who were sentenced to death at Nuremberg for beingresponsible for the program, declared after their condemnation that they did not feel guilty, since the problem of euthanasia would appear again. Theaccuracy of their prediction was undeniable. What is more interesting, however, is how it was possible that there were no protests on the part of medicalorganizations when the bishops brought the program to the attention of the public. Not only did the euthanasia program contradict the passage in theHippocratic oath that states, “I will not give any man a fatal poison, even if he asks me for it,” but further, since there was no legal measure assuring theimpunity of euthanasia, the physicians who participated in the program could have found themselves in a delicate legal situation (this last circumstance didgive rise to protests on the part of jurists and lawyers). The fact is that the National Socialist Reich marks the point at which the integration of medicine and politics, which is one of the essential characteristics of modern biopolitics, began to assume its final form. This implies that the sovereign decision on barelife comes to be displaced from strictly political motivations and areas to a more ambiguous terrain in which the physician and the sovereign seem toexchange roles.
What Agamben is talking about here is biopolitics in its ultimate application: biopolitics directly allowsthose in power to choose whose life is worthy and whose isn’t, thus devaluing live and justifying theextermination of most of the species. Now, how do we stop it? What is the alternative to biopoliticis? Inactuality, it’s very simple, and it leads us to
CONTENTION 4:
 
THE ALTERNATIVE: PASSIVITY. COOPERATION WITH THE WAYTHINGS ARE IS CRITICAL TO REJECTING THE AFFIRMATIVE SPEAKERSBIOPOLITICAL ONTOLOGY. OUR ALTERNATIVE IS THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEWSUBJECTS THROUGH CRITICISM AND REJECTION OF THE AFFIRMATIVE- THISFUNCTIONS AS A REEXAMINATION OF OUR CURRENT BIO-POLITICAL LANDSCAPE,WHICH IS KEY TO PREVENTING DOMINATION BY THE STATE. Carol Johnson 04
 Johnson PhD in 2004 (Carol, PhD in philosophy, FOUCAULT, ROGERIAN ARGUMENT, AND FEMINIST STANDPOINT THEORY: INTERSECTING DISCOURSES CONCERNING WELFARE REFORM DURING THE 1990s, A DISSERTATION, SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE 

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