I decided to summarize my notes on governmentality, biopolitics, and disciplinary societies in the form of a poem. There are usually disjoints in my poetry, just as there is a certain fluidity.
The truth is written on this body. Veritas inscribed, marked.
The question is no longer “what have you done?” but “who are you?”
Acts defined as criminal are reconfigured to transform one into a criminal.
The truth is found in the screams of the marked one. And in their silences.
After all, silences are a discursive element. They are not a lack or a void.
Rather, they are elements in an apparatus that comprises the social body.
The truth is found, or rather, confirmed in the marking of this body.
Their pain is a sieve through which the nectar of truth is filtered.
Anguish proffers proof of the torturing instruments’ efficacy.
Minimal effort, maximal extraction. Instrumental rationality at work.
The prisoner’s body writhes as their soul seeks escape from its shell.
The truth, composed like musical notes on skin, strikes its note.
What truths are written on this body? Who is the subject? Whose body?
This body was sexed before birth, on socially-constructed bio-determinist bases.
This body was racialized in the realm of biologized nomos- biopolitics.
Who lives? Who dies? Who has the right to kill? Who supercedes them?
This body was disciplined through the disciplines of le regard- the Gaze.
The Panopticon is me, you, us. We are the watcher and the watched.
These bodies are counted, measured, averaged, and regressed, thus known.
Biopolitics ascertains the truth of a population, rather than an individuated subject.
Birth rates, death rates, maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS prevalence, and so on.
Bios is no longer a domain separate from Nature, rather, we seek the Nature of Bios.
Paradoxically, the exercise of biopower is the perfecting of techniques of destruction.
You see, the sovereign Right of Death lives on in the form of Necropolitics.