Economy, Bio-power and History in Times of Globalization
This remarkable book by Hardt and Negri has been mostly ignored by professional historians, and has only received some journalistic attention. Based on one of the most fundamental attacks on our discipline, Hardt and Negri try to think beyond Fukuyama.s End of history. It is not their »rhizomatic« reasoning that makes Empire so interesting to historians. Rather, it is the way the authors put into question what history is all about. Having reconstructed their main theses, this article argues that the authors fail to employ Foucault’s concept of bio-power. They fall back into a (post-Marxist) meta-narrative of capitalism. A closer look at Foucault’s discourse-analysis reveals the strong points of his theory. Bio-power could be a concept to tie up the history of economy and the conviction of historicity of all social and ontological categories. This article ends with a pleading for an integration of economy into the conceptual triad of truth, power and subject that Foucault examines in his work.