Arquivo para August 10th, 2019

From biopolitics to psychopolitics

10 Aug

The form of power, while still centered on the state and its modern concept of state that comes from Hegel and not just the French Revolution, underwent changes in the 19th and 20th centuries, which philosopher Michel Foucault called biopower.
Literally the philosopher elaborates it this way: “The instruments that the government will give to achieve these ends [that are, in some way, immanent to the field of the population, will essentially be the population over which it acts. ” (Foucault, 1978, p. 277-293) that is in his work Microphysics of power, when it addresses the issue of governability.
Many who do not accept Foucault’s philosophy, for lack of reading or understanding, do not realize that what today is called public policy has this idea at its source. However biopower can be thought of more fully, including technologies that act on a local population or particular social demand, but always with the idea of establishing power and control over particular localities or social groups.
Byung Chul Han in three recent works (The Swarm, Psychopolitics, and What is Power) (explains that this form has been superseded by current psychopolitics, where local powers and policies are replaced by elaborate new techniques of power, Foucault also calls them that. With the problems of health, birth, mortality and life estimation (see this theme in welfare reform) the biopolitics aimed to control the “body” as well as the biopower.
Entering the digital age this evolves into psychopolitics, which leads us to a crisis of both freedom and identity, where psychically even one’s own will is struck. Byung Chul Han’s long analysis of What Is Power, returning to Nietzsche and even Kierkegaard (1813 – 1855), the philosopher reveals the subjective aspects that power has been working from the conception of the modern state.
He considers it essential to understand the digital age, even though he has criticism of technological appropriation, and places the latest Big Data technology as a key element in this process, and is therefore very current because it is the technology that reaches the psyche of the social subject, and of the individual ultimately: his interests, desires and worldviews.
I consider it important to return to Kierkegaard, although Chul Han does so on time, the ideas of this existentialist philosopher are deeply related to the concepts of the works of the Korean-German, in particular: the anguish in The Society of Bournout and the pursuit of happiness and pleasure in The agony of Eros.
The social scientist slovenian Renata Salecl’s obsession with choice addresses the issue of Kierkeegard’s updated anguish: