"Polis genetics". Knowledge and power in the time of the modern crisis

Journal title SALUTE E SOCIETÀ
Author/s Roberto Scalon
Publishing Year 2010 Issue 2010/3
Language Italian Pages 18 P. 221-238 File size 306 KB
DOI 10.3280/SES2010-003014
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The paper suggests a critical analysis of the notion of "polis genetica". The project of a political community, in the time of full knowledge on biological basis of human being (map of the human genome), depends on the attitude of contemporary man in the modern crisis. To one side, in fact, this crisis shows itself - substantially - just in the involution of the pairing of knowledge and power; to the other side, the expression "polis genetica" concerns really this relationship. In the first part of last century the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga described the most important aspects of modern crisis, pointing out diffusion of legal abortion in western democratic counties as emblematic of the seriousness of the problem. Today all these aspects are become quite evident, not only in themselves, but above all in their dramatic consequences. In one word, in the modern societies, as an affect of a problematic conception (à la Rousseau) of the fundamental notions of "democracy" and "education", we are present at the paradox of an increasing abuse of power of the strong human being against the weak one, justified with a rhetoric based on an exploded and hyperbolic conception of notions of human rights and self-determination. In this sense, some important contemporary scholars have written about the authentic risk of a new totalitarianism.

Keywords: Knowledge-power, crisis, education, self-determination, biopolitics, totalitarianism

Roberto Scalon, "Polis genetica". Sapere e potere nel tempo della crisi moderna in "SALUTE E SOCIETÀ" 3/2010, pp 221-238, DOI: 10.3280/SES2010-003014