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LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies

What are our lives worth to a neoliberal government? Capitalism, War And Biopolitics In The Pandemic Era – 18 & 19 NOVEMBER 2020

What are our lives worth to a neoliberal government? As Michel Foucault taught us, neoliberalism is an "art of governing". Based on the "regime of truth " of the market, this governmentality normalizes and moralizes subjectivities under the horizon of capital accumulation (economic, social, cultural, symbolic). Neoliberalism has shaped a biopolitical "way of the world" which, through the logic of a radical utilitarianism based on competition, individual responsibility, economic inequalities and the universal empire of value, downgrade the value of human lives in favor of profit opportunities. In the neoliberal order, the value of human life has always been a critical issue; with the COVID-19 pandemics, this issue is even more relevant and needs to be addressed urgently. More recently, neoliberal governments have deployed authoritarian neoconservative political agendas that promote a policy of destruction of the Commons, that is also combined with a policy of death (necropolitics) towards the populations or social groups considered as useless (or surplus) under the neoliberal processes of normalization and moralization. This is the reason why we are witnessing today, in the political field, clashes that radically oppose identities, nationalities, religions, and ways of life. These clashes embody a somehow "global civil war", where violence is felt everywhere and by everyone, and where hegemonic groups intend to neutralize the lives of those who represent obstacles for the implementation of their political agenda. The aim of this scientific colloquium is therefore to put into perspective critical interdisciplinary reflections on the issue of the value of the human being under a neoliberal and bio-necro-political capitalist order.

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What are our lives worth to a neoliberal government?

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