Dartmouth 2K9 Alex Carlman/Anik Chuadhry/Generic Biopower Answers

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Alex Carlman/Anik Chuadhry/Generic

Biopower Answers

Biopower Answers 1

Biopower Frontline (1/3) 2

Biopower Frontline (2/3) 3

Biopower Frontline (3/3) 4

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (1/5) 5

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (2/5) 6

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (3/5) 7

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (4/5) 8

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (5/5) 9

Biopower Deterrence Turn (1/2) 10

Biopower Deterrence Turn (2/2) 11

Biopower Capitalism Turn (1/2) 12

Biopower Capitalism Turn (2/2) 13

Biopower Sicence Turn 14

Biopower Hegemony Turn 15

Zizek Freedom Turn 16

Pragmatism – Alt Fails 17

Turn – Progressive Politics 18

Foucault = Flawed 19

A2: Authors Biased 20

A2: Authors Biased 21

A2: Discourse First 22

A2: Discourse First 23

Permutation 25

Perm Solvency 26

Fuco Bad/Perm Solvency 27

Perm Solvency 28

Agency Turn [1/3] 29

Agency Turn [2/3] 30

Agency Turn [3/3] 31

A2: ToTo 32

Alt Fails – Marxist Turn 33

Identity Politics Turn 34

No Link - Habitus 35

Foucault = Flawed (Ambiguity) 36

Baudrillard Turn – Death Simulation 37

Zizek – Critical Fantasy Turn 38

Foucault = Flawed (Reality) 39

Foucault = Flawed (Truth) 40

Alt Fails (Poverty) 41

Biopower Frontline (1/3)

1.) Double-bind, either

  1. the alternative advocates the holistic rejection of biopolitical control making it utopian fiat since no aff can outweigh a world in which the neg can fiat absoluteness, destroying fairness and making it a voting issue


  1. their discourse is meaningless and has no effect outside this round making case a disad; Prefer the coherent internal logic of our warranted scenarios to their generic impacts

3.) Permute – do the plan then the alternative

a.) Opp Cost – if it’s so good, the alt should solve for residual links

b.) Timeframe – our impacts are too important to be left out, we can still reject the state later
6.) Biopower is inevitable and inescapable – the alt can never solve

Peter Dula [Historic Peace Churches Consultation, Bienenberg, Switzerland, 25 June 2001] http://www.peacetheology.org/papers/dula.html

Global capital operates on all registers of the social order. It is the pinnacle of biopower, where social life is not just regulated but also produced. Understood in these terms, the web of power seems inescapable. There is no outside to this power, as Hardt and Negri repeatedly insist. There is no non-co-optable space from which to mount a critique, no proletariat (or church) to function as a locus of purity. And since this power takes the form of a constantly shifting web or network it is difficult, if not impossible, to pin-point an ‘enemy’ (56-58). Negri goes so far as to say that ‘the proletariat is everywhere, just as the boss is.’ In other words, everyone is now both oppressor and oppressed. In light of all this it becomes easy to read Hardt and Negri as utterly hopeless and also as absurdly abstract. One wants to respond with Emerson’s retort to Tocqueville: ‘I hate the builders of dungeons in the air.’ Or with Stuart Hall’s insistence that the argument that global capitalism is the final triumph of the West, ‘the final moment of a global post-modern where it now gets hold of everybody, of everything, where there is no difference which it cannot contain, no otherness it cannot speak, no marginality which it cannot take pleasure out of…. [is] the form of post-modernism I don’t buy. It is what happens to ex-Marxist French intellectuals when they head for the desert.’ On the ground, say in Prague or Capetown not so many years ago, the line between oppressor and oppressed comes into focus in a way it can’t from the heights of Deleuzian metaphysics. Civil society becomes more elusive than Hardt and Negri’s condemnation (or Falk’s approval) suggests.
7.) Their alternative will be co-opted, resistance can’t break down biopower

H. F. Haber, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at University of Colorado-Denver, BEYOND POSTMODERN POLITICS, 1994, p. 99

Foucault states in the passage quoted above, that the existence of power "depends on a multiplicity of points of resistance," that resistance "can only exist in the strategic field of power relations." But this means that resistance is co-opted for the purposes of disciplinary and normalizing regimes of power, and is evidence of the fact that resistance need not result in transformation. And in fact, Foucault is not wrong. We see this co-opting of resistance all the time. Enough white middle-class women objected to being confined to the role of housewife for it to have become the norm for those women to find jobs outside of the home. But, far from changing the basic power structure, the phenomenon of women in the workplace has served to strengthen it. The male-dominated society hasn't given much up-women are still responsible for the household; government has not taken on the responsibility of making day care available to all, it has not sufficiently altered the workplace to accommodate demands for maternity (much less demands for paternity) leave, women are still not given equal pay for equal work, etc., it would not then be surprising if these women "chose" to go back to being housewives. The dominant power regime assures a no-win situation. If women work, more can be produced, and two-income families are able to spend more in an inflationary age than a single-income family would. On the other hand, if women are forced to go back to being housewives, the patriarchal power regime wins by having its values reinforced. Either way the dominant power regime is able both to benefit from, and deflect, resistance. Or one could take the example of how resistances are used as a target to strengthen the hold of the dominant powers by unifying the people against a common enemy.

Biopower Frontline (2/3)

8.) We’re Different – their generic evidence assumes the Nazi and Hitler-style biopolitical control which resulted in genocides; prefer specific warranted internals – heg is good.
9.) Permute – do the plan and all parts of the alternative that don’t consist of “vote negative”.
a.) Working within the system is critical to progressive changes – history proves that non-statist movements, such as their alternative, are total failures.

Grossberg, Professor of Communications at the University of Illinois, 1992 [Lawrence, We Gotta Get Out of This Place, p. 390-391]

But this would mean that the Left could not remain outside of the systems of governance. It has sometimes to work with, against and with in bureaucratic systems of governance. Consider the case of Amnesty International, an immesely effective organization when its major strategy was (similar to that of the Right) exerting pressure directly on the bureaucracies of specific governments. In recent years (marked by the recent rock tour), it has apparently redirected its energy and resources, seeking new members (who may not be committed to actually doing anything; memebership becomes little more than a statement of ideological support for a position that few are likely to oppose) and public visibility. In stark contrast, the most effective struggle on the Left in recent times has been the dramatic (and, one hopes continuing) dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. It was accomplished by mobilizing popular pressure on the institutions and bureaucracies of economic and governmental institutions and it depended on a highly sophisticated organizational structure. The Left too often thinks that it can end racism and sexism and classism by changing people's attitudes and everyday practices (e.g. the 1990 Black boycott of Korean stores in New York). Unfortunately, while such struggles may be extremely visible, they are often less effective than attempts to move the institutions (e.g.,banks, taxing structures, distributors) which have put the economic realtions of black and immigrant populations in place and which condition people's everyday practices. The Left needs institutions which can operate within the system of governance, understanding that such institutions are the mediating structures by which power is actively realized. It is often by directing opposition against specific institutions that power can be challenged. The Left assumed for some time now that, since it has so little access to the apparatuses of agency, its only alternative is to seek a public voice in the media through tactical protests. The Left does in fact need more visibility, but it also needs greater access to the entire range of apparatuses of decision making power. Otherwise the Left has nothing but its own self-righteousness. It is not individuals who have produced starvation and the other social disgraces of our world, although it is individuals who must take responsibility for eliminating them. But to do so, they must act with organizations, and within the systems of organizations which in fact have the capacity (as well as responsibility) to fight them.

Biopower Frontline (3/3)
b.) the alternative only breeds nihilism and worse oppression

Collins ‘97

(Patricia Hill, Department of Sociology, PhD, Brandeis University, President-Elect of the American Sociological Association, Fighting Words, p 135-136)

In this sense, postmodern views of power that overemphasize hegemony and local politics provide a seductive mix of appearing to challenge oppression while secretly believing that such efforts are doomed. Hegemonic power appears as ever expanding and invading. It may even attempt to “annex” the counterdiscourses that have developed, oppositional discourses such as Afrocentrism, postmodernism, feminism, and Black feminist thought. This is a very important insight. However, there is a difference between being aware of the power of one’s enemy and arguing that such power is so pervasive that resistance will, at best, provide a brief respite and, at worst, prove ultimately futile. This emphasis on power as being hegemonic and seemingly absolute coupled with a belief in local resistance as the best people can do, flies in the face of actual, historical successes. African-Americans, women, poor people, and others have achieved results through social movements, revolts, revolutions, and other collective social action against government, corporate, and academic structures. As James Scott queries, “What remains to be explained…is why theories of hegemony….have…retained an enormous intellectual appeal to social scientists and historians” (1990, 86). Perhaps for colonizers who refuse, individualized, local resistance is the best they can envision. Overemphasizing hegemony and stressing nihilism not only does not resist injustice but participates in its manufacture. Views of power grounded exclusively in notions of hegemony and nihilism are not only pessimistic, they can be dangerous for members of historically marginalized groups. Moreover, the emphasis on local versus structural institutions makes it difficult to examine major structures such as racism, sexism, and other structural forms of oppression. Social theories that reduce hierarchal power relations to the level of representation, performance, or constructed phenomena not only emphasize the likelihood that resistance will fail in the face of a pervasive hegemonic presence, they also reinforce perceptions that local, individualized micropolitics constitutes the most effective terrain of struggle. The emphasis on the local dovetails nicely with increasing emphasis on the “personal” as a source of power and with parallel attention to subjectivity. If politics becomes reduced to the “personal,” decentering relations of ruling in academia and other bureaucratic structures seems increasingly unlikely. As Rey Chow opines, “What these intellectuals are doing is robbing the terms of oppression of their critical and oppositional import, and this depriving the oppressed of even the vocabulary of protest and rightful demand.
Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (1/5)
The state will crush any attempt to perform the alt

Nathan Snaza, Bad Subjects, April 03

What is required of us then is a thinking of what it means to inhabit human being without identity, or in Agamben's terms, as whatever being. Whatever singularity, which wants to appropriate belonging itself, its own being-in-language, and thus rejects all identity and every condition of belonging, is the principal enemy of the State. Wherever these singularities peacefully demonstrate their being in common there will be a Tiananmen, and, sooner or later, the tanks will appear. (Means Without End) The whatever, which is neither generic nor specific, neither universal nor particular, is for Agamben the "loveable." What Agamben recognizes in Tiananmen as the insistence of the whatever in the face of State violence, we may recognize in the New York peace protest in February of 2003. David Roediger, in a recent talk, suggested that something happened at this protest in New York that was qualitatively different from what he'd seen at other protests. The marchers all carried hand-made signs proclaiming this or that reason for opposition to the Administration's "preemptive strikes." The un-organized presence, the common presence with no common denominator, was thus asserted. It was met with police violence and tear gas.


  1. Rejecting the notion of objective truth embraces rape, racism, and Holocaust denial

Catharine A. MacKinnon 2000 (Chicago Kent Law Review, 75 Chi. Kent L. Rev. 687)

It is my view that it is the relation of theory to reality that feminism changed, and it is in part a reversion to a prefeminist relation of theory to reality that postmodernism is reimposing. This is not about truth. Truth is a generality, an abstraction of a certain shape and quality. Social realities are something else again. Postmodernism has decided that because truth died with God, there are no social facts. The fact that reality is a social construction does not mean that it is not there; it means that it is there, in society, where we live. According to postmodernism, there are no facts; everything is a reading, so there can be no lies. Apparently it cannot be known whether the Holocaust is a hoax, whether women love to be raped, whether Black people are genetically intellectually inferior to white people, whether homosexuals are child molesters. To postmodernists, these factish things are indeterminate, contingent, in play, all a matter of interpretation. Similarly, whether or not acts of incest happened or are traumatic to children become fogged over in "epistemological quandaries" as beyond thinking, beyond narrative, beyond intelligibility, as "this event that is no event"--as if survivors have not often reported, in intelligible narratives, that such events did happen and did harm them. 41 That violation often damages speech and memory does not mean that, if one has speech and memory, one was not violated. Recall when Bill Clinton, asked about his sexual relationship with a young woman intern, said that it all depended on what "is" means. The country jeered his epistemic dodge as a transparent and slimy subterfuge to evade accountability: get real. The postmodernists were strangely silent. But you can't commit perjury if there are no facts. Where are these people when you need them?

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (2/5)

  1. Rejecting the foundations of knowledge robs their criticism of all coherence and meaning; their argument makes no sense if there is no objective truth

Jarvis 00 (Darryl, lecturer in IR at the University of Sydney, International relations and the challenge of postmodernism, 2000, p. 189-

First, the project of subversive-deconstructive postmodernism can be seen as contrary to the discipline of International Relations as a social sci-ence designed not so much to generate knowledge as to disparage knowl-edge spawned through Enlightenment thinking and the precepts of rationality and science. At its most elemental, it is a project of disruption and an attack upon the "complacency" of knowledge generated in modernist quarters. Not that this is all bad. There is much good to come from a shakeup of the academy, from a reexamination of our ontological, episte-mological, and axiological foundations and from the types of practices that ensue from certain modes of conceptualization and analysis. Pointing out silences and omissions from the dominant discourse is always fruitful and necessary, but, arguably, also accomplished under theories and paradigms and from critical quarters that are not necessarily postrnodern and which do not seek to "undo" all knowledge simply on the basis of imperfection. Mod- ernist discourse is not unreflective, can make autonomous corrections, engage in revisionist history, identify injustices, crimes of exclusion, and extend representation to groups that were otherwise not previously repre-sented (think of liberalism or socialism for example!). This, after all, is why we understand modernity to be progressive and history a forward-moving narrative that is self-effusive. More importantly, given the self-defeating con-tradictions endemic to subversive-deconstructive postmodernism, especially its specious relativism, it requires no great mind to postulate that the use of modernist/rationalist/Enlightenment discourse will better make the case for a progressive politics of ever greater inclusion, representation, and jus-tice for all than will sloganistic calls for us to "think otherwise." The sim-ple and myopic assumption that social change can be engineered through linguistic policing of politically incorrect words, concepts and opinions, is surely one of the more politically lame (idealist) suggestions to come from armchair theorists in the last fifty years. By the same token, the suggestion that we engage in revisionism of the sort that would "undo" modernist knowledge so that we might start again free of silences, oppressions, and inequalities also smacks of an intelligentsia so idealist as to be unconnected to the world in which they live. The critical skills of subversive postmod-ernists, constrained perhaps by the success of the West, of Western capi-talism, if not liberal democracy, as the legitimate form of representation, and having tried unsuccessfully through revolution and political uprising to dethrone it previously, have turned to the citadel of our communal identities and attacked not parliaments, nor forms of social-political-economic organization, but language, communication, and the basis of Enlightenment knowledge that otherwise enables us to live, work, and communicate as social beings. Clever though this is, it is not in the end compatible with the project of theory knowledge and takes us further away from an understanding of our world. Its greatest contribution is to cele-brate the loss of certainty, where, argues John O'Neill, "men (sic) are no longer sure of their ruling knowledge and are unable to mobilize sufficient legitimation for the master-narratives of truth and justice." To suppose, however, that we should rejoice collectively at the prospects of a specious relativism and a multifarious perspectivism, and that absent any further constructive endeavor, the great questions and problems of our time will be answered or solved by this speaks of an intellectual poverty now famed perversely as the search for "thinking space."26
Permute – reject biopower in all instances not necessary to do the plan – it’s justified by lack of a stable alternative and is key to test the specificity of the link

Biopower Alt Specific Frontline (3/5)
The biopolitical use of sovereignty allows for freedom from oppression

Humphrey 2004 (Caroline; Professor of Asian Anthropology – University of Cambridge) “Sovereignty” in Companion to the Anthropology of Politics ed. by Nugent p. 435

Yet we are dealing here with a new era. The images that enhance the authority of the roof are not just after-images of Soviet athletes. They also embody the figure of the ruthless capitalist, with all that implies for people who have been taught from childhood about such people but never experienced them. The subjects in this arena of sovereignty bring to it new, yet historically specific, political ideas – such as that they constitute “a movement,” that they are all “privatized,” and that a certain freedom is possible within an oppressive system. Agamben may be right in general terms that across the world we are coming to see the increased presence of paralegal measures beyond the state that embrace “biopolitics” and create enclaves alien to democracy (see also Žižek 2002). But it would be a mistake to think that new sovereignties emerging within and beyond nation-states are all alike, simply because they do indeed have the characteristics of sovereignty. Sovereignties are saturated with “ways of life.”

Vagueness – Their authors provide no description of what the world post alternative would look like

  1. Takes out the alternative solvency –  Absent a concrete system to replace the SQ of democracy, there is ZERO risk that their call to action will culminate in any sort of change.

Rorty 98 (Richard, Stanford Philosophy Professor, Achieving Our Country, pp. 103-5)
The cultural Left still skips over such questions. Doing so is a consequence of its preference for talking about "the sys- tem" rather than about specific social practices and specific changes in those practices. The rhetoric of this Left remains revolutionary rather than reformist and pragmatic. Its insou- ciant use of terms like "late capitalism" suggests that we can just wait for capitalism to collapse, rather than figuring out what, in the absence of markets, will set prices and regulate distribution. The voting public, the public which must be won over if the Left is to emerge from the academy into the public square, sensibly wants to be told the details. It wants to know how things are going to work after markets are put behind us. It wants to know how participatory democracy is supposed to function. The cultural Left offers no answers to such demands for further information, but until it confronts them it will not be able to be a political Left. The public, sensibly, has no interest in getting rid of capitalism until it is offered details about the alternatives. Nor should it be interested in participatory democracy—the liberation of the people from the power of the technocrats—until it is told how deliberative assemblies will acquire the same know-how which only the technocrats presently possess. Even someone like myself, whose admira-tion for John Dewey is almost unlimited, cannot take seri- ously his defense of participatory democracy against Walter Lippmann's insistence on the need for expertise.15 The cultural Left has a vision of an America in which the white patriarchs have stopped voting and have left all the vot- ing to be done by members of previously victimized groups, people who have somehow come into possession of more foresight and imagination than the selfish suburbanites. These formerly oppressed and newly powerful people are expected to be as angelic as the straight white males were di- abolical. If I shared this expectation, I too would want to live under this new dispensation. Since I see no reason to share it, I think that the Left should get back into the business of piecemeal reform within the framework of a market econ- omy. This was the business the American Left was in during the first two-thirds of the century.

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