The reading provided for this week presented various complicated but important ideas regarding the dynamic nature of power and existence in our modern setting. These ideas were introduced in the context of the reading that was assigned. Both Michel Foucault’s discourse on homo economicus and Thomas Lemke’s thoughts on biopolitics, as articulated in “The Birth of Biopolitics,” were very helpful in establishing the parameters for these discussions. The ideas of the “Posthuman,” the biopolitical, and the emergence of faith-based capitalism, amongst other subjects, played a significant role in the book’s central themes.

The discussion of biopolitics offered by Lemke is essential to gaining a grasp of the character and breadth of the biopolitical framework. According to this point of view, the control of life in its many guises is where political power is most clearly shown, placing life at the center of the political sphere. It is becoming more common to rethink and disregard the conventional idea of species-being as the foundation of human identity. This is helping to pave the way for an age of the inhuman or the posthuman. This development has important repercussions for future politics, which will take place in a world in which humanity is no longer seen as a single, homogenous biological entity but rather as including various modes of life and forms of personality.

The evolution of politics within contemporary society is an important aspect of Lemke’s thesis and plays a central role. Lemke recommends a change from contractual matters to the realm of contagion. This shift entails a departure from limited, agreement-based politics and a move towards a more intricate, interconnected, and dispersed political power structure. This concept of contagion proposes that power may spread across networks, with politics becoming more widespread as a reflection of the current reality’s linked world.

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Because of this change in power relations, a concept known as faith-based capitalism has emerged. Capitalism has moved beyond its traditional confines and developed into a system based on a limitless amount of debt and an unending credit supply. This reflects an economy profoundly anchored in belief, one that promises unending development and the potential of transcending constraints via continuous spending and credit.

In his discussion of the “homo economicus,” Foucault portrays humans as entrepreneurial actors who are always calculating and appraising the risks and advantages of their acts. This perspective makes it easier to understand the larger socioeconomic setting within which these processes are at work. Individuals, in Foucault’s view, should see themselves as entrepreneurs who should participate in a continuous process of weighing the costs and benefits of the acts and choices they do. This viewpoint reshapes the self-concept by exchanging conventional conceptions of subjectivity for an economic persona. This brings the concept of the self into conformity with the ideals of a hyper-industrial capitalist society, which in turn ushers in the period of late liberalism.

This investigation yields a significant new understanding of developing ideas regarding politics, economics, and society. A new age of existence that goes beyond biological limitations is about, to begin with, the shift away from thinking regarding species beings and toward posthuman and inhuman viewpoints. The transition of politics from one based on contracts to one based on contagion highlights an essential change in how power is negotiated and spread within a community. Within a society that is becoming more and more driven by the market, the advent of faith-based capitalism and the idea of homo economicus reorient our conception of selfhood.

These realizations point to the need for a new social compact that recognizes and responds to the reality of a hyper-industrial society, a biopolitical life, and a world defined by faith-based capitalism. This new social compact must handle the complexities of posthuman existence, networked power structures, and the perpetual cycle of debt and credit as the foundation for economic life. It is of the utmost importance that such a contract be capable of addressing the difficulties and realities of the current moment and exhibiting the agility necessary to react to the ever-shifting socio-political environment of late liberalism.

Works Cited

Lemke, Thomas, et al. “Prospect: An Analytics of Biopolitics.” Biopolitics: An Advanced Introduction, NYU Press, 2011, pp. 117–24. JSTOR, Accessed 19 May 2023.

Lemke, Thomas, et al. “The Disappearance and Transformation of Politics.” Biopolitics: An Advanced Introduction, NYU Press, 2011, pp. 77–92. JSTOR, Accessed 19 May 2023.

Senellart, M., Ewald, F., Fontana, A. (2008). 28 March 1979. In: Senellart, M., Ewald, F., Fontana, A. (eds) The Birth of Biopolitics. Michel Foucault. Palgrave Macmillan, London.