Melbourne Along the River

Cradle to the Grave

Here I was, thinking that I have ultimate control over my body and health. Well, that doesn’t seem to precisely right and when at the most vulnerable stages of life as a child or elderly, our power diminishes. Not surprising then that these two stages of life are a capitalist gold mine.

As Foucault’s Right of Death and Power over Life states, bio-power is questionably part of capitalism. Our bodies become commodities transferring value under the guise of ‘service’ in our best interested. But undoubting that these services are required. They take the burden away from family so they can be part of the working machine of the economy. It also employs those same people. The more wealthy of us can afford it get access to a higher standard of care. In the case of aged care, it can determine who lives longer, making those with lower economic positions to face an earlier death. Childcare allows parents to be good tax-paying community members, having value to society. Great for those who can afford the horrendous fees and restricting those to low incomes to relying on being under or underemployed. It seems like another vicious level of control.

So both ends of our lives, our power is near non-existent or diminished. It feeds a lucrative health care industry and a vast array of fast-moving-consumable-goods. In many cases, we hand over power to others without question.


Foucault, M. 1926-1984. and Rabinow, P. (1991) The Foucault reader. Penguin Books (Penguin social sciences). Available at: (Accessed: 25 August 2019).