Living After Auschwitz: Memory, Culture and Biopolitics in the Work of Bernard Stiegler and Giorgio Agamben

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The problem with remembrance of Auschwitz is that mechanisms of industrial utility, public happiness and programmed consumption tend to erase the event of the Nazi genocide from public consciousness. Rationalized capitalism functions as a regime that prevents us from working through the event of Auschwitz. Agamben's work on the biopolitical paradigm gives a crucial insight into the fate of humanity in the time of global-technological capitalism. I argue that the idea of testimony he presents recapitulates a Heideggerian structure of ethics that remains external to the technological economy of cpaital. I use Stiegler's concept of epiphylogenetic memory to present a more nuanced understanding of the ethical demand that is put into play by the event of Auschwitz. I develop this in relation to the concept of politics that runs throughout Stielger's thought: it noetic relationship to transhumanist mythologies of technological capitalism and the fundamentalisms to which this has given rise.

Bibliographic note

The article will be published in October 2018


Original languageEnglish
JournalTheory Culture & Society
Early online date6 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Aug 2018


  • Auschwitz, biopolitics, social memory, social ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas