by Yvy Truong

Alright, because I am supposed to actually do my post on Paine for this week instead of Hacking…. Here it is!

After today’s lecture on Paine, I really wished I understood Hobbes better! And not to say that I’m fully clueless on Hobbes, I know the general gist of what he’s saying (the natural state of man is war, the role of the sovereign, etc.,)  and I can understand how it fits in what Paine is talking about… But, one thing that my mind strayed off to was thinking about Foucault and the idea of the bio-power. It seems like the role of the sovereign and the bio-power are both very similar but at the same time very different from one another.

The idea of the sovereign was to make order against the state of nature, that of which from Hobbes we know is a state of war. But the role of the sovereign as well (and we know this from Foucault), “[t]he sovereign exercised his right of life only by exercising his right to kill” (taken from The History of Sexuality). The sovereign is also there to protect the natural rights of man: Life, Liberty, and Property.The bio-power on the other hand is similar in the sense that it works (from my understanding) as a form of power. Even though it concerns itself with the upkeep (maintenance) and the study of their people, increasing health and well being etc., it also may conflict with other bio-powers, therefore the role of the bio-power also becomes similar to the sovereign where it concerns and protects its people when put up against other bio-powers….. Okay, so maybe the connection isn’t very strong but I think I’ll keep it in my mind because I might be on to something! Or I might not be! But I’m using my brain so that’s one good thing!

There were other things that I wanted to talk about but… I can’t seem to think of it right now. I have the most terrible memory sometimes… But, fear not for I will just make another post!