Biological Sovereignty – Eugene Thacker

According to Eugene Thacker context is important when defining sovereignty. The article defines sovereignty as an operation of legitimacy, the most powerful being those that are the exception to the rule. The author indicates that no exception is more powerful than war – and epidemics. Epidemics are particularly powerful because the enemy is often undetected and could be everywhere. The state of fear this provokes can be what is most powerful. War on the other hand has historically been humans on human. Enter bio-terrorism and drone armies are already distancing war further still from consciousness, and creating higher state of fear.


This is the territory of bio-politics and so bio-defense. This involves a Biosurveillence Project that protects from “war or epidemic, it doesn’t matter which”. This phrase is extremely curious to me since it suggests that that one defense is appropriate in both situations, ruling out any sort of preventative human interaction, or cooperation. Is it that we have accepted war as human? The nature of this implosion of war in space is the result of mechanisms that transcend borders. If our old conceptions of borders have fallen, I don’t believe borders are ever gone, what are the new ones? How are we guarding ourselves and territorializing in network society?


This entry was published on December 11, 2010 at 6:59 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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