Biopower In Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey

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SECTION II Explain Foucault`s biopower and how it functions in Kubrick`s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey starts with an image of a totally free, pre-human ape community and continues in an ultra modern world with its extremely disciplined and conditioned subjects. Biopower in the Foucauldian sense is perfectly illustrated by the sharp difference in the usage of violence in the two scenarios. The ape was violently beaten to death by a wood stick in ancient times whereas the hibernated astronauts and HAL had a painless passing in the modern age. This essay will explain Foucault`s biopower and how it functions in the movie by examining the roles of discipline, scientific expertise and the nourishment of biological life.…show more content…
That is to say, power used to operate outside the body as ancient rulers could exercise authority over the lives of their subjects. However, in the context of modernity, it is hard to identify where the power of maintaining life comes from and such responsibility has been shifted to the individuals from the rulers. As a result, power centers on the administration of life, which is reduced to either letting it live or die. The outcome is dependent upon whether one is willing to conform to certain social norms. Therefore, modern power insists individuals to live in a certain way, encouraging productivity. Unlike power in medieval times, biopower is not threatening, it is just inciting modern individuals to become a particular person. However, biopower has no focus on human individuality, its main center of attention is national survival and security. Biopower divides into two distinct forces, disciplining politics and the regulation of…show more content…
The Lager was manner of living assigned to Primo Levi and his prisoners by a system that was underpinned by totalitarian policies. This essay will outline Hannah Arendt`s core argument about ideology and terror and link it to Primo Levi`s experience in Auschwitz. Totalitarianism successfully created the horrors of the Holocaust through the dehumanization and loneliness of categories of people that were deemed undesirable. According to Arendt, the driving force of totalitarianism is ideology. Any ideology is based on a premise from which everything is logically deduced through the tyranny of logicality. As a result, reality is greatly reduced. Reality is not understood as it is, but it is automatically tasked to mean something else. This leads to the avoiding contradiction between thinking and the direction of the movement of history. As a result, history is linked to the concept of totalitarianism with terror being a foundation of it. Guilt and innocence lose their meanings while the totalitarian regime prepares its subjects to be either victims or executioners. Both of these categories are innocent since the victims do not do anything rather than opposing the flow of history while the executioners just blindly follow order. Totalitarianism destroys the space between people thereby depriving them of the capacity to think and act. Totalitarian systems

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