I am going to attempt to quickly summarise Michel Foucault's 'bio-power'.
Sovereign power had the right to decide life and death. The father of the Roman family had the right to 'dispose' of the life of his children and slaves. Wars would break out if the Sovereign's very existence was in jeopardy, if he was to be overthrown etc. So the sovereign's right to life was exercise through his right to kill, which was formulated as the 'power of life and death' and was a means of deduction.
Bio-power, or the form of power that emerged with the rise of capitalism is a means of production - instead of 'take life and let live', a representational element was introduced - 'foster life or disallow it to the point of death'. In order to guarantee and individuals continued existence, the whole population must be exposed to death, the large scale outcomes of capitalism (longer life, improved health etc) has transformed the nature of power of the social body.
Capital punishment declined, or vanished in some countries, but deaths due to wars rose dramatically - wars are a means of production, they 'open' markets. So power is exercised and situated at the level of life, the species, the race.
The limit of power is death. Suicide, once a crime, as it is a way to usurp the power of death which the sovereign alone had the right to exercise, is a common resistance to the political administration of life as its self assigned task.
Foucault sees two poles of from of power over life (Bio-power) - centers on the body as a machine and the other focuses on the species body. The bodies were 'disciplined and docile' and the regulations of the population were the way power over life was deployed. Power over death was supplanted by the administration of bodies and the calculated management of life.
So Foucault presents to us a changing social body with power as a force responding to the multiplication of the population and the institutional bodies of discipline and punishment.
I’ve lived in the sleepy to not so sleepy lane county of Oregon all my life (minus a few haunts to other states). A trend I am seeing is elitism and over taxation. You recall the south park with the Whole Foods market and taking over the town? Well, that happens a lot in the West. Million and billionaires are buying off blocks of cities and ... changing them. The government often defers their taxes, passes many bonds onto the citizens, and spends like it’s an endless well. The homelessness is rising on the “lower class” citizen which just as well be lower middle class and less. Even middle class is squeezed. Fixed income? You’re fucked.
I finally went to downtown Eugene which I hadn’t been to in 10 years or more. HOLY SHIT!!! The wagon trains of homeless are everywhere. The mission campsites are like homeless compounds. And yet I read more and more ELITE projects being built.
They are taxing he populace to destitution. Eventually the “elite mother duckers” will be tired of this rubbish and demand the streets cleaned. Centers and containment camp/prisons fail in heaps of filth. The sheer hopelessness and depression is staggering. I see the solution, in time, eradication of various “worthless” peoples.
Will their be an uprising or purging? I swear you could be a wagon train master and herd the homeless cart wagons from mission to mission to hand out to handout.