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(2008) The birth of biopolitics, Dordrecht, Springer.

[YOU KNOW] FREUD'S QUOTATION: "Acheronta movebo."1 Well, I would like to take the theme for this year's lectures from another, less well-known quotation from someone who, generally speaking at least, is also less well-known, the English Statesman Walpole,2 who, with reference to his way of governing, said: "Quieta non movere,"3 "Let sleeping dogs lie." ∼ In a sense, this is the opposite of Freud. In fact, this year I would like to continue with what I began to talk about last year, that is to say, to retrace the history of what could be called the art of government. You recall the strict sense in which I understood "art of government," since in using the word "to govern" I left out the thousand and one different modalities and possible ways that exist for guiding men, directing their conduct, constraining their actions and reactions, and so on. Thus I left to one side all that is usually understood, and that for a long time was understood, as the government of children, of families, of a household, of souls, of communities, and so forth. I only considered, and again this year will only consider the government of men insofar as it appears as the exercise of political sovereignty.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9780230594180_1

Full citation:

Senellart, M. , Ewald, F. , Fontana, A. (2008)., 10 january 1979, in M. Senellart, F. Ewald & A. Fontana (eds.), The birth of biopolitics, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 1-25.

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