Blogs

The Oankali, Biopower, and The Cooperative New School

Octavia Butler gives a face to biopower, makes it real in the hideous form of the Oankali. Biopower is a concept created by French philosopher Michel Foucault. It means the power to "make live" as opposed to the power to kill, which existed among the powerful in previous epochs. The Oankali have this power to make live - to use biological technologies intertwined with knowledge to make humans better, to improve our capacities and abilities. But, this exists within a society of control.