The Rhizomatics of Domination: From Darwin to Biotechnology

In the rhizomatics of domination characteristic of corporate funded genetic engineering and biopiracy, the benefits of rhizomatic kinship are subsumed by the hierarchical accumulation of capital, while the dangers of biological contamination, the development of super-viruses and weeds, and the devaluing of traditional forms of knowledge are felt horizontally by the entire biocultural network of organisms. We can take a lesson from the ways in which Darwinism became a justification for forms of biopower he no doubt would have found egregious. There is much in rhizomatic theory that makes it invaluable for theorizing new forms of kinship necessary for addressing the unhealthy relationships humans have with the planet in the age of ecological crisis. However, in the same way that Darwinism became used to justify fascistic and nationalistic forms of power,  rhizomatic theory is very amenable to reconfigurations of bios within biotechnological discourses of life. By using Darwin as a kind of test case, we can resist the rhizomatics of domination from choking the roots of a very different kind of plant, one which, if we are careful, has the potential to knit a network of kinship capable of addressing the messy and complicated environmental crisis we now face.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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