Las Torres de Lucca. International Journal of Political Philosophy, Vol 5, No 8 (2016)

Totalitarianism or biopolitic

Roberto Esposito, Julián Raúl Videla (Trad.)


Despite his frequent confusion, the paradigms of totalitarianism and biopolitics are very heterogenous. While the book of Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, still seems inscribed inside the framework of the philosophy of history, although inverted and turned toward the lost origin (the Greek polis), the category of biopolitics, themed in the middle of seventy`s by Michel Foucault, but already anticipated in the work of Nietzsche, prevents all linear reconstruction of the relationship between past and future. Is the direct connection between politics and biological life, which is established from a certain point of view, radically alters the modern political philosophy and apprehends it from a new horizon of sense. On the other hand, while Arendt, despite the deconstruction of the idea of human rights, doesn’t make a real critique of right, Foucault explicitly discussed the link between individual rights and State sovereignty.