In attempting to grasp the more radical and enduring side of the global economic crisis and to assess its impact it may be helpful to look beyond stock market data, company closures and managerial overhauls to what French philosopher Michel Foucault once labeled "bios" or the way people live. This tone and texture of live gives a philosopher viewpoint on a concrete process such a decaying economy some necessary context. Foucault's writing on biopolitics - in essence the impact of political power on all aspects of human life - help make sense of some aspects of the credit crunch. For Foucalt, the author of "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison", biopolitics reflected the way power could insinuate itself into all microphysical contact, social and physical. Bodies and minds reflected signs of discipline produced by conditioning that political, economic and social power applied to all human behavior. Foucault, who died in 1984, developed his "bios" views in an age dominated by large prisons, insane asylums and giant Ford factories, central pylons of 19th century nationalist architecture.
- Sunday, 30 June 2013