Talk:Biopower

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[Untitled][edit]

I was under the impression that to Foucault, biopowers were intrinsic to human existence.. that a dominating force from the outside could either /force/ biopower into submission physically, or it could organize it through discipline, discourse, etc. this would be "biopolitical domination" /of/ biopower. biopower being a human force or technology which is organized by domination, not the force of domination wielded against, nor the process of the domination of, living beings.

Hardt and Negri reappropriate 'biopower' and use it in the same way that Foucault would have used 'biopolitical domination' or a host of other more specific terms.

I wouldn't say that Foucault would consider biopower to be intrinsic to human existence. In fact, in "Society Must Be Defended," the lecture where he most clearly defines biopower, he explicitly notes that the shift from sovereign power to biopower begins at the end of the eighteenth century (at least that's where he sees it). He distinguishes traditional "sovereign" power, or the power of kings, from biopower by noting that the authority of kings ultimately came from their right to kill. Since kings can't really grant life the same way as they inflict death, he calls it the power to "make die" or "let live." Biopower, on the other hand, is the power of the State to "make live" or "let die," in the sense that the modern State controls sanitation, hygiene, health care and so forth, while death has become less and less of a public event. There are many other distinctions between the two, but while Foucault might argue that biopower is ubiquitous today, it certainly isn't a natural fact of human existence. -Theturnipmaster (talk) 19:18, 6 June 2013 (UTC)

Opening passage[edit]

The opening passage needs to contain some information about the meaning of the term, rather than just mentioning it's coinage.

I'm not sure I understand the concept well enough to do this, unfortunately. Even if it's too complex an idea to explain in a single sentance, some description of how the term is used would be good. ^_^

I found this in an essay about biopower: "Biopower is the modern form of regulation of individuals and groups." If this is accurate, it would make a good basis for an introduction. --Starwed 02:45, 7 December 2005 (UTC)

Biopower and the disciplines[edit]

In the article, it is suggested that biopower works by regulating populations both through the disciplines and through regulatory controls. My understanding of biopower was that it focuses on man-as-population/group/species rather than man-as-body; that is, that biopower is NOT concerned with the disciplines (which are another subset of biopolitics); biopower is about things like forecasts, statistical estimates, overall measures, security and regulation to stabilize and make predictable large populations. Discplines are part of the overall bipolar axis of biopolitics, but they are on the other pole...jackbrown (talk) 14:25, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

discipline concerns 'bodies' and biopower concerns populations. Thus, biopower is exactly not "[...] having power over bodies" as suggested by the article. For reference see: Foucault, Michel. "Society Must Be Defended" Lectures at the Collège De France, 1975-76, p. 242-3. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.106.97.2 (talk) 09:22, 5 November 2014 (UTC)

The tone in the last paragraph ("Furthermore, the exercise of power in the service of maximizing life carries a dark underside...") is not impartial and objective. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.198.189.57 (talk) 04:39, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Biopower as fundamentally productive[edit]

For Foucault, bio-power is a fundamentally productive force that enables the human to produce truth, produce societies, invent, etc. etc.. This is not to say Foucault doesn't see power as oppressive at times, but that the most prevalent of power in contemporary society is of the productive type, bio-power. This article would do well to incorporate this understanding. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 136.152.167.35 (talk) 22:44, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

Large sections of uncited and rambling material[edit]

There appear to be significant chunks of original research or content which is not being attributed to anyone. So much so that I wouldn't even know where to begin in editing it. Most seems to have been contributed by Richardlord50 who appears to have had similar concerns attributed to their edits in the past. 76.10.138.13 (talk) 04:07, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Pre Foucault Usage Of Biopolitics[edit]

The section "Pre Foucault Usage Of Biopolitics" is irrelevant for this article. "Pre Foucault Usage of Biopower" would be relevant, if only there had been any. I propose that this section be deleted. Gardar2001 (talk) 16:00, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Foucault's Lectures At The College de France On Biopower[edit]

The section "Foucault's Lectures At The College de France On Biopower" is very problematic: It presents OR, it fails NPoV, and the style is highly inappropriate on many levels. The sections contains two subsections, the second of which is only a heading. I propose deleting this section completely.Gardar2001 (talk) 07:43, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Original research[edit]

As has been noted previously, this article is filled with unattributed material and original research. Since Richardlord50 appears to be actively updating this article, I want to give fair warning before I start removing passages that violate Wikipedia community standards. Richardlord50: can you confirm whether or not you are able to add external sources that reference the specific claims that are made in this article? Coreyander (talk) 02:11, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Too long and rambling[edit]

Hey, this article really could use some tidying up. Many sections are just one long jumbled paragraph, and while that might do justice to most French theory, I think it could use some critical revision from someone with authority on the topic who can write a bit more comprehensively than whoever created this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.54.79.55 (talk) 06:15, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

Disputed material[edit]

Richardlord50 has been edit warring against multiple users, as seen here, here, and here in an attempt to restore material that seems to violate WP:NOR and WP:NPOV. This seems like quite outrageous and unacceptable behavior. The user left some aggressive and juvenile comments on my talk page, which unfortunately suggest that he has little interest in discussion (see here). Does anyone have any idea about how to move forward? Should Richardlord50 be reported for edit warring? Should the matter be reported to the neutral point of view noticeboard? FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 22:52, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

Well, we could go to the NPOV noticeboard, or some other content noticeboard. However, the content so obviously fails multiple policies that it would be an open-and-shut case. bobrayner (talk) 09:50, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Discussion on lengths and deleting[edit]

It is easy to destroy, less easy to create.

In the "edit war" asserted by FreeKnowledgeCreator, BobRaynor deleted over 3000 words, with a five-word explanation: "removing synthesis and original research." As any high school English student will attest, three thousand words don't write themselves. Someone (presumably RichardLord50) worked hard to create those three thousand words and posted them on Wikipedia for the public benefit.

Whatever your opinion of the writer's work, it's rude to just delete it. If Wikipedia were limited solely to the least common denominator defined by statements on which everyone could agree, we would not have any articles on religion, the middle east, evolution, history, literature, ... pretty much we'd only have math.

The purpose of Wikipedia is that each editor can make each successive article better. Shorter is almost never better, since by definition there is less information. Incorrect information can be corrected rather than deleted. Biased sentences can be reworded instead of stricken. Unsourced information ideally can be sourced, or at a minimum flagged for someone else to source. While any article can be improved with more accurate information and neutral writing, these acts should add to the usefulness of an article; there should never be a reason to reduce the flow of information. If you don't like it, make it better. Don't delete it.

Please note that none of this commentary has anything to do with the substance of the deleted material. From my review of the deleted material, two things are clear: Some of it could be revised, and some if it is just fine as it is. This note is about courtesy and making Wikipedia better. There should never be an excuse for deleting 3000 words of someone else's work. Correct it, improve it, add additional points of view, but don't delete. That's the polite thing to do, and it's also the best way to make Wikipedia more useful to everyone.--Tpkaplan (talk) 16:43, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Less is sometimes more. Mootros (talk) 01:21, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
From what I can tell, Richardlord50 is a valuable content creator making good faith contributions. A brief look at some of the controversial edits, however, reveals some problems with WP:TONE (as well as the less important issue of style/formatting) which in turn draws attention to, exacerbates, or at minimum creates the appearance of other issues like NPOV/NOR. And while you're right, Tpkaplan, about Wikipedia's collaborative construction processes, the rules are in place first and foremost to create a better encyclopedia rather than to protect editors' efforts. Feelings don't really factor into it in that sense. That said, there's another dimension of Wikipedia as a community of editors that does itself a disservice by chasing out good faith contributors. Large deletions are thus unfortunate, but sometimes necessary. I'm not entirely certain all of the deletions were absolutely essential to preserve standards, but it's clear multiple other editors are of that opinion. My advice in such a situation would be to take a slower approach, adding less content and requesting feedback on it. If you have the patience for it, it can be very productive (if slow) to post proposed changes to the talk page for feedback first. That way we can catch the issues like tone and original research before it makes the article while retaining the good parts. Requesting the help of those critical of your work tends to go an awful long way here. If you feel the editors removing the content are not acting in accordance with Wikipedia policies, there are noticeboards and dispute resolution processes you can go through -- but that's only if the issues can't be resolved on the talk page (and it barely appears to have been discussed here at all). --— Rhododendrites talk \\ 04:49, 9 December 2014 (UTC)