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Terms of the PoliticalCommunity, Immunity, Biopolitics$
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Roberto Esposito

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823242641

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823242641.001.0001

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Biopolitics and Philosophy

Biopolitics and Philosophy

(p.67) Biopolitics and Philosophy
Terms of the Political
Roberto Esposito
Fordham University Press

Chapter 6 questions the applicability of the classical political lexicon (democracy, freedom, and rights) to contemporary reality, characterized by the end of Soviet communism and the advent of global terrorism in the September 11 attacks. The chapter argues that these great words of political theory do not fully explain our present political moment, but work instead to conceal the deeper dynamics at play that would provide more convincing explanations for such paradoxes as kamikaze terrorism or humanitarian wars. Biopolitics, or the constitutively modern moment when preserving life becomes the primary objective of political action, names this deeper dynamic. The chapter asks: is the thanatopolitics of Nazism the only outcome for biopolitics, or does biopolitics contain the potential for a different, affirmative politics of life?

Keywords:   Biopolitics, Philosophy, Clash of civilizations, Stalinist communism, Nazism, Thanatopolitics, September 11, Cold War, Globalization, Terrorism, Immunization, Rights, Private property, Democracy

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