Vaalia elämää ja antaa kuolla: rasismin synty

The Power to Make Live and Take Life: The Birth of Racism

In the last part of his 1975–1976 lectures at the Collège de France Michel Fou­cault tra­ces the conditions of the birth of modern racism distinguishing between sove­reign power, disciplinary po­wer and biopower. According to Foucault the old sovereign power to take life and let live is complemented by a new regulatory biopower that consists on making live and letting die. As opposed to disciplinary power which is addressed to human bodies biopower is applied to man as living being and as a part of the human species. Foucault sets out to show how the historical and political thought of the war between races eventually becomes a part of modern biological Sta­teracism. Annihilating the biological ene­my not only removes the enemy but also improves and purifies the life of the population itself. When power fun­ctions in the mode of normalizing bio­power only racism makes killing acceptable. Fou­cault concludes by showing how racism functio­n­ed as an essential part of the mechanisms of po­wer in both the Nazi regime and socialist regimes.

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