Tag Archives: Foucault

Produce, consume, repeat: what the science fiction of Frederik Pohl tells us about consumption

These days it’s all but impossible to separate the things we produce from the things we consume. Whether it be working on a production line, or staying at home raising children, many of the things that we do are a form of production – whether we get paid for that work, or not. And yet at the same time, we are also consumers, for we all pay bills, we all shop for food, and we all send our children to school.

Things then become problematic when production and consumption start to blur, for we produce in order to consume, but we also consume in order to produce. Whether it be catching a bus or paying for lunch, even the process of working itself is a form of consumption, and more often than not, many of us will also then consume the same product we have a hand in producing.

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Is killing the ultimate form of control?

I recently had an enjoyable day at Lancaster House, chatting to members of the TTAC21 reading group on subjects including drone theory, armed conflict, the Prevent strategy, and the International Court of Human Rights.

As most of the participants were drawn from law departments, it was interesting as a relative ‘outsider’ to get a view on how those in the law discipline view issues such as life, death and sovereign power. One particularly interesting question that cropped up was ‘Is killing the ultimate form of control?’

Unfortunately we didn’t really have time to explore the question during the course of the day, so I thought it useful to gather a few thoughts here to open up some discussion…  Continue reading »

A mantra for academic research

'Resilient Life' coverAs part of my ongoing research, I’ve recently been reading through Brad Evans and Julian Reid’s Resilient Life: The Art of Living Dangerously. I’m not normally one for prefaces and acknowledgements, but this book’s front matter really struck a chord with me. In it, the authors rework Foucault’s own preface in Deleuze’s Anti-Oedipus to create a series of basic principles that they believe every intellectual project ‘of a political kind’ should follow. Personally, I believe these principles should be applied to all research, and I will certainly do my best to be guided by these principles in my own work Continue reading »