Rhizomatic Bodies: Thinking through the Virtualities of Control Societies

David V. Ruffolo

[1] The global complexities of contemporary neoliberal capitalism are creating new ways to think about the productions and negotiations of bodies. Knowledge, information, and communication are at the heart of these networks that seek to produce globalized bodies through locally controlled mechanisms. This, of course, has not always been the case. As we see through Foucault, the "Western world" has been involved in a significant transition over the past few centuries that fundamentally changes the ways in which bodies are understood, produced, managed, and negotiated. Foucault's claim that Western societies are largely disciplinary has impacted a significant amount of epistemological and ontological examinations of "the body" over the past few decades. Following Foucault's lead, these disciplinary readings have, in large, been concerned with the ways in which humans have become subjects through various subjugating techniques and technologies. The docility of bodies, as Foucault claims in Discipline and Punish (1977), is central to the processes of assujettissement (subjectivation) that transition bodies into subjects. Foucauldian disciplinary societies create the spaces to consider how bodies are produced as subjects through power relations that seek to, for instance, confine bodies in specific spaces and tasks (Foucault 1980a, 1980b, 1998, 2000). When thinking about the production of bodies through neoliberal capitalism and globalization, we begin to see how bodies are increasingly becoming less confined to specific spaces and are instead becoming progressively mobile. It is becoming more difficult to think about bodies as fixed and stable wholes that can be accounted for through disciplinary technologies that are accounted for through representations and significations. In this paper, I argue that these disciplinary accounts are limiting and unproductive considering the contemporary control mechanisms inherent to neoliberal capitalism and globalization. I am therefore interested in exposing and examining the new ways in which bodies are produced and negotiated in relation to the important shift from Foucauldian disciplinary societies that individualize bodies to Deleuzian control societies that dividualize bodies. I will explore these dividualizations by focusing on the rhizomatics of knowledge societies and specifically biotechnologies in order to account for the creative ways in which bodies are produced through the virtualities of control mechanisms. In what follows, I argue that the virtualities of contemporary neoliberal capitalism and globalization foster new bodily productions that are not limited by the past but are instead directed towards the future.

Disciplinary Societies

[1] Foucault's intense interest in the transition from bodies to subjects is largely facilitated through his examinations of power. Power, according to Foucault, is a productive force that circulates through the actions of bodies (Foucault, 2000). In contrast to more traditional readings of power as repressive (a "top-down" approach), Foucault insightfully articulates how power functions through the relationships amongst bodies. This is most prominently displayed in his treatment of sexuality in The History of Sexuality, Volume One (1978), where he exposes the various techniques/technologies of power that produce discourses of sexuality:

The object, in short, is to define the regime of power-knowledge-pleasure that sustains the discourse on human sexuality in our part of the world. The central issue, then, (at least in the first instance), is not to determine whether one says yes or no to sex, whether one formulates prohibitions or permissions, whether one asserts its importance or denies its effects, or whether one refines the words one uses to designate it; but to account for the fact that it is spoken about, to discover who does the speaking, the positions and viewpoints from which they speak, the institutions which prompt people to speak about it and which store and distribute the things that are said. What is at issue, briefly, is the over-all 'discursive fact,' the way in which sex is 'put into discourse' (11).

By focusing on the various ways in which sex is "put into discourse" through productive forms of power, Foucault claims that sexuality is a science (scientia sexualis) rather than a repressive strength (repressive hypothesis). For instance, the confession becomes a central technology of power that reiterates and reinforces the need for validation by expressing oneself to an "expert." Although the confession has its roots in religious practices, it has, as Foucault identifies, expanded throughout society:

It plays a part in justice, medicine, education, family relationship, and love relations, in the most ordinary affairs of everyday life, and in the most solemn rites; one confesses one's crimes, one's sins, one's thoughts and desires, one's illnesses and troubles; one goes about telling, with the greatest precision, whatever is most difficult to tell. One confesses in public and in private, to one's parents, one's educators, one's doctor, to those one loves (59).

The successful proliferation of confessional practices rests in its ability to conceal itself as a technology of power. As with most technologies of power, confessional practices flourish through social relations. It is technologies such as the confession that facilitate the transition from bodies to subjects—a shift encapsulated by Foucault's notion of subjectivation (assujettissement). Subjectivation embodies the various technologies of power that discipline bodies. At the heart of these subjugating practices is the production of biopolitical disciplinary strategies that seek to produce particular subjectivities through the normalization of bodies. The constitution of "populations" is the direct result of biopower where bodies are monitored, tracked, and recorded through disciplinary measures that are linked to specific apparatuses. For example, the recording of birth and death rates, the tracking of illnesses, and the monitoring of workers are all examples of how subjects are normalized through the measurement of bodies. Biopower is interested in the individualization of bodies through popular representations where the subjugation of bodies as subjects is made possible through their relationships with institutions that are deeply implicated in social, political, and economic productions.

This bio-power was without question an indispensable element in the development of capitalism; the latter would not have been possible without the controlled insertion of bodies into the machinery of production and the adjustment of the phenomena of population to economic processes. But this was not all it required; it also needed the growth of both these factors, their reinforcement as well as their availability and docility; it had to have methods of power capable of optimizing forces, aptitudes, and life in general without at the same time making them more difficulty to govern. If the development of the great instruments of the state, as institutions of power, ensured the maintenance of production relations, the rudiments of anatomo- and bio-politics, created in the eighteenth century as techniques of power present at every level of the social body and utilized by very diverse institutions (the family and the army, schools and the police, individual medicine and the administration of collective bodies), operated in the sphere of economic processes, their development, and the forces working to sustain them (140-1).

The intersection of bodies and institutions is at the center of biopolitical productions that seek to normalize bodies through disciplinary practices. What is particularly relevant here is how these productivities result in the creation of multiple subjectivities within a single body: an individual is simultaneously a patient-subject, student-subject, worker-subject, family-subject, etc. Moreover, these individualized productivities not only require specific institutions (e.g., hospitals, schools, factories, etc.) but also necessitate the docility of bodies. In other words, docility is essential for the individualization of bodies (the shift from bodies to subjects). In Foucault's Discipline & Punish (1977), we see quite systematically how subjugation functions the disciplinary practices of correctional institutions:

The human body was entering a machinery of power that explores it, breaks it down and rearranges it. A 'political anatomy,' which was also a 'mechanics of power,' was being born; it defined how one may have a hold over others' bodies, not only so that they may do what one wishes, but so that they may operate as one wishes, with the techniques, the speed and the efficiency that one determines. Thus discipline produces subjected and practised bodies, 'docile' bodies (138).

We see here how the subjectivation of bodies is a productive, rather than repressive, force that seeks to normalize subjects. Hierarchical observation, normalizing judgements, and examinations are all disciplinary techniques outlined by Foucault that produce docile subjects so as to increase the productivity and efficiency of the prison system. Bentham's Panopticon furthers these individualizations where bodies are disciplined and therefore produced through the architectural organization of power. According to Foucault, "the disciplines are the ensemble of minute technical inventions that made it possible to increase the useful size of multiplicities by decreasing the inconveniences of the power which, in order to make them useful, must control them" (220). The visible and unverifiable characteristics of panopticism mark the highly efficient nature of panopticism that normalizes subjects through the establishment of self-governance. What needs to be highlighted here is how the multiple productions of individualized subjects are in direct correlation to specific institutions. So while disciplinary measures such as the confession and panopticism disseminate across various social institutions, the subjugation of bodies is inevitably particularized through the specified technologies of institutions that place individual bodies in precise spaces. I am, in essence, pointing out how bodies are produced in disciplinary societies through fixed spaces. Subjects are thus individualized through their relationships to specific apparatuses such as hospitals, schools, and workplaces. Confinement summarizes the productivities of disciplinary societies where bodies are individualized as subjects in relation to specific spaces and particular tasks.

Control Societies

[2] Although Foucault's identifications focus on the emergences of disciplinary practices in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it is evident from the vast applications of Foucault's work that disciplinary practices continue to proliferate well into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries onward. In disciplinary societies, power is localized in the production of fixed and stable bodies. For example, bodies are disciplined through their immediate relationships to specific institutions where they are organized, monitored, tracked, and recorded in relation to specific tasks. The result of such differentiations is the ab/normalization of bodies. If disciplinary societies operate through fixed institutions and stable bodies, how can these associations be accounted for in a world that is becoming increasingly mobile and fluid? How has contemporary neoliberal capitalism and globalization transformed the ways in which bodies are produced? Have these transitions refigured the techniques and technologies of power that produce individualized subjects? In essence, how do we understand discipline in relation to these social shifts and how have these transformations altered our conceptualizations of society? In what follows, I will reflect on these questions by examining how we are in many ways moving away from disciplinary societies and how these movements are predominantly facilitated through the vision of neoliberal capitalism and globalization.

[3] Foucault is arguably the first to identify that disciplinary societies are diminishing and as a consequence disciplinary bodies as individualized subjects are vanishing. The processes of subjectivation and the subjugating power relations that produce docile subjects are becoming increasingly deterritorialized as a result of the vast movements of neoliberal capitalism and globalization. There is, of course, not a single event that sparks the deterritorialization of disciplinary societies. In fact, disciplinary practices have been regressing since the emergence of surplus capital and the global interactions that absorb these excess productions. I consider knowledge, information, and communication to be at the heart of these deterritorializations where bodies are becoming exponentially connected through the rhizomatics of knowledge societies. Deleuze's introduction of control societies in "Control and Becoming" (1995a) and "Postscript on Control Societies" (1995b) creates the important spaces to think about these new bodily productions in the age of neoliberal capitalism and globalization. As Deleuze argues, "we're moving toward control societies that no longer operate by confining people but through continuous control and instant communication" (1995a, 174). It is here that Deleuze is speaking of the shift from disciplinary societies to control societies. As discussed above, in disciplinary societies bodies are individualized through specific spaces and particular tasks. These subjectivations make the transition from bodies to docile subjects that are continuously subjected to techniques/technologies of power that produce fixed and stable bodies.

[4] On the other hand, control societies dividualize bodies through continuous mechanisms that produce mobile and fluid bodies. To put it another way, in disciplinary societies bodies are confined to specific spaces (i.e., institutions) whereas in control societies these spaces are deterritorialized where, for example, bodies are controlled through the flows of communication and information. The fixed individuals of disciplinary societies and the mobile dividuals of control societies are differentiated by the distinct techniques/technologies of power. This is not to suggest that bodies are stable or stationary in control societies because there are, as can be imagined, still ways in which bodies are disciplined in the Foucauldian sense. This is precisely why we are involved in an ongoing shift from discipline to control: control mechanisms emerge out of, rather than being distinctively separate from, disciplinary practices.

[5] The deterritorialization of institutions, which are in many respects a reflection of expansive global relations, results in the production of dividual bodies that are not required to function in fixed spaces and are no longer particularized through specific tasks. I am arguing that the individualizing techniques and technologies of power are becoming unproductive as the speed of contemporary politics exponentially grows. The multiple subjectivities of disciplinary bodies (worker-subject, school-subject, patient-subject, etc.) are collapsing into each other in order to reflect the demands of neoliberalism (efficiency, productivity, competition, privatization, etc.). Consequently, in control societies, distinctions are difficult to make between, for instance, the worker-subject and the school-subject because of the dividualization of bodies through the deterritorialization of institutions. The dividual body of this example is a worker-school-subject that is required to participate in, for example, educational training at work. Deleuze offers the following examples to further situate the dividualities of control societies:

The key thing is that we're at the beginning of something new. In the prison system: the attempt to find 'alternatives' to custody, at least for minor offenses, and the use of electronic tagging to force offenders to stay at home between certain hours. In the school system: forms of continuous assessment, the impact of continuing education on schools, and the related move away from any research in universities, 'business' being brought into education at every level. In the hospital system: the new medicine 'without doctors or patients' that identifies potential cases and subjects at risk and is nothing to do with any progress toward individualizing treatment, which is how it's presented, but is the substitution for individual or numbered bodies of coded 'dividual' matter to be controlled. In the business system: new ways of manipulating money, products, and men, no longer channeled through the old factory system. (1995b, 182)

The decline of individualities and the rise of dividualities is an outcome of the speed of neoliberal capitalism and globalization: institutions that confine bodies to specific spaces and particular tasks (e.g., the Ford assembly line) are being replaced by the rapid movements of information and access that compress the distances amongst production, exchange, and purchasing (e.g., online companies and resources). The dividual productivities of control societies emerge out of the insufficient individualizing (subjugating) practices that are inadequately designed to fit the fast pace of contemporary socio-political productions. The dividualizing mechanisms of control are continuous while stimulating the ongoing need for further expansion:

In disciplinary societies you were always starting all over again (as you went from school to barracks, from barracks to factory), while in control societies you never finish anything—business, training, and military service being coexisting metastable states of a single modulation, a sort of universal transmutation (179).

The argument here is that the dividual bodies of control societies are engaged in continuous productions where it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate the various subjectivities within a single body (as we see in the case of disciplinary individualities). The various mechanisms of control delocalize power through the deterritorialization of bodies and spaces where boundaries are inevitably blurred in order to keep up with the vast speed of politics. I consider knowledge, information and communication to be at the heart of these politics that seek to dividual bodies through the deterritorialization of power. For example, bodies are no longer subjected through confinement but are instead controlled through access: who can access what information; where is information made available; when is access granted; and why is access not granted. I am therefore interested in exploring these complexities by considering the contemporary control mechanisms of neoliberal capitalism and globalization that produce bodies through the rhizomatic networks of knowledge societies and more specifically biotechnologies.

Rhizomatic Knowledge Societies

[6] Up to this point I have been concerned with exposing how control societies emerge out of disciplinary societies and how, more specifically, controlled bodies are differentiated from disciplined bodies. Moreover, I have suggested that these emergences are deeply involved in the speed of neoliberal capitalism and globalization where power is deterritorialized. I consider knowledge, information, and communication to be at the heart of these dividualizing movements. Knowledge societies, in essence, speak to the ways in which information and communication are networked in order to produce, disseminate, and circulate innovative knowledges through various mechanisms of control. As Hardt and Negri (2000) identify, communication is a deterritorialized mechanism of control: "The contemporary systems of communication are not subordinated to sovereignty; on the contrary, sovereignty seems to be subordinated to communication—or actually, sovereignty is articulated through communications systems" (346). Communication, as a deterritorialized functioning of power that is not limited to or by space, is central to the operation of knowledge societies and subsequently the mobility of dividual bodies. Empire (Hardt and Negri) is very much attuned to the dividualizing initiatives of neoliberal ideologies where communication systems function as deterritorialized mechanisms of control:

Communication not only expresses but also organizes the movement of globalization. It organizes the movement by multiplying and structuring interconnections through networks. It expresses the movement and controls the sense and direction of the imaginary that runs throughout these communicative connections; in other words, the imaginary is guided and channeled within the communicative machine (32-3).

The communicative networks that Hardt and Negri speak of here echo my consideration of knowledge societies as being rhizomatically designed. We recall from Deleuze and Guattari that the rhizome is not hierarchically structured or a sum of multiple parts (what characteristically defines arborescence) but is instead a de/anti-stratified and open system that is continuously changing:

Unlike trees or their roots, the rhizome connects any points to any other point, and its traits are not necessarily linked to traits of the same nature; it brings into play very different regimes of signs, and even nonsign states. The rhizome is reducible neither to the One nor the multiple. It is not the One that becomes Two or even directly three, four, five, etc. It is not a multiple derived from the One, or to which One is added (n + 1). It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion. It has neither beginning nor end, but always a middle (milieu) from which it grows and which it overspills. It constitutes linear multiplicities with n dimensions having neither subject nor object, which can be laid out on a plane of consistency, and from which the One is always subtracted (n – 1). When a multiplicity of this kind changes dimension, it necessarily changes in nature as well, undergoes a metamorphosis (1987, 21).

The continuous movement and open mobility of rhizomes are reflected in the functioning of knowledge societies: information and communication do not refer (back) to specific origins or hierarchical sites but instead function as intersecting lines that are directed towards the future as they continuously make and break connections. In other words, the underlying logic of "innovation" that permeates all aspects of knowledge societies speaks to its rhizomatic nature: knowledge is not reducible to any fixed space nor does it have to refer back to a stable site for its intelligibility because it is indefinitely metamorphosizing vis-à-vis deterritorialized mechanisms of control such as information and communication. We see this, for instance, in knowledge economics where the rhizomatic nature of knowledge societies rests in the economics of knowledge production and exchange that are unique in comparison to more traditional economic models of supply and demand.

[7] In traditional economics, production is limited to supply and demand where supply is determined by demand and demand is determined by supply. I consider this economic model of production to function through arborescence because production always refers (back) to prior knowledges that can be determined by how and what is available (supply) and how and what needs to be available (demand). The economics of production, as outlined here, always refers to the fixed location of subjects whether it is in the form of producers, consumers, or products. Knowledge societies, in contrast, function differently through the rhizomatic nature of knowledge economics: knowledge is not restricted to or by the fixed subjectivities of producers, consumers, or products because of its unique ability to be continuously produced, reused, and recirculated. The knowledges implicated in contemporary neoliberal capitalism and globalization are distinct in that they can be endlessly expanded through the rhizomatic networks of information and communication that do not require a specific reference to any fixed origin or site. This fundamental distinction from the arboreal model of economics creates the potential for ongoing growth through the exponential dissemination of knowledge. Production is therefore no longer reserved for fixed spaces and bodies (e.g., factories and their workers). We see this, for instance, in how knowledge production is no longer strictly preserved in higher educational institutions as disciplinary measures are deterritorialized through globalizing mechanisms of continuous expansion that are linked to neoliberal privatization and corporatization (Magnusson 2000, 2005). The Internet is perhaps the most identifiable deterritorialization of knowledge where information is literally disseminated and expanded through communication technologies that no longer require the fixed locations of, for instance, postsecondary institutions and their libraries for knowledge production and dissemination. Michael Peters and Tina Besley's "knowledge cultures" (2006) speak to these movements where the economy is no longer driven by objects but through ideas: "in the global knowledge economy—under conditions of 'knowledge capitalism'—development is less like a continuous, unbroken, linear story separated by chapters or stages and more like a nonchronological, networked, communication system based upon a layered complexity" (151-2). Following Peters and Besley's inferences, knowledge has become a unique commodity that no longer requires fixed notions of space-time but instead thrives on the potentialities of nondeterministic networks. This leads Peters and Besley to making important comparisons between immaterialities and materialities:

Knowledge in its immaterial or conceptual forms—ideas, information, concepts, functions, and abstract objects of thought—is purely nonrivalrous in that there are essentially no marginal costs to adding more users. Yet once materially embodied or encoded, such as in learning or in applications or processes, knowledge becomes costly in time and resources (153).

This brings us back to my earlier comments on the role that access plays in control societies where some are able (usually at the expense of others) to access certain information. The ability for continuous innovation and expansion is therefore at the heart of knowledge societies. This, of course, does not necessitate a removal of "fixed" space. In agreement with Peters and Besley, academic research and postsecondary institutions are very much implicated in the innovative paradigms of knowledge societies. Take, for instance, Peters and Besley's comments that reference Joseph Stiglitz, an ex-chief economist of the World Bank: "universities as traditional knowledge institutions have become the leading future service industries and need to be more fully integrated into the prevailing mode of production" (161). This is particularly where we see the link between neoliberal capitalism, globalization, and control societies: the production, acquisition and absorption of knowledge are conditioned through global networks that are rhizomatically connected through the desired speed of innovation. Nitzan and Bichler's differential accumulation (2002) communicates these desires:

Differential accumulation is a process of change, a dynamic power struggle to restructure society against opposition. This change has two dimensions. In form, it is a quantitative redistribution of ownership. In content, it is a qualitative transformation of social relations. Now, since qualitative change means novelty, and novelty is forever surprising, it follows that differential accumulation, despite its 'objective' appearance, is inherently unpredictable. There is no point looking for 'equilibrium' here, since there couldn't be any; differential accumulation, by its essence, defies both stability and harmony. Similarly, there is little prospect for discovering any 'laws of motion', particularly since differential accumulation may fail to happen in the first place. In short, like everything else in society, it is an open-ended journey, a story continuously rewritten by its own characters (47).

We see here that differential accumulation is embodied in the politics of knowledge societies because it highlights how competition and sabotage are central to the expansion of innovative knowledges. Differential accumulation deterritorializes the spaces it encounters: as knowledge circulates, it increases its potential to expand and as it expands it increases in value. These potentialities inevitably change (or rewrite) the spaces they encounter.

[8] What I have presented here not only demonstrates the differences between the closed apparatuses of disciplinary societies and the open spaces of control societies but it more importantly articulates the emergence of new mechanisms of control that are created through deterritorialized notions of power. Knowledge societies are fundamentally inherent to the mechanisms of control that seek to dividualize bodies through rhizomatic networks that are continuously expanding and forever changing. It is the "open-ended journey" of control societies and the differential accumulation of knowledge that are of interest here. In what follows, I critically examine these relations by exploring how rhizomatic bodies are produced through the rhizomatic knowledges of control societies.

Biotechnological Virtualities

[9] My consideration of knowledge societies through rhizomatics is deeply implicated in Deleuzian control societies that seek to produce dividualities rather than individualities. It is the economics of knowledge societies that make information and communication unique commodities that can be continuously deterritorialized: knowledge can be indefinitely expanded and explored through the contemporary calls of neoliberal capitalism and globalization that operate through differential accumulation. We recall from above that the shift from disciplinary to control largely functions through the productive forces of power that are incessantly connected to bodies. To speak of knowledge societies and knowledge economics as virtual in the traditional sense that is fundamentally divorced from the materialities of life—a reading, that is, quite obviously, non-Deleuzian—does not give justice to the complexities of control societies. A meeting of Deleuzian virtualities and knowledge societies shows how there is, in fact, a profound materiality inherent to knowledge societies: the production, circulation, and expansion of information and communication—what I refer to as the rhizomatic functioning of knowledge societies—are highly material. In other words, I am arguing that in contemporary control and knowledge societies, information and communication are not "abstract" concepts or ideologies that are intrinsically immaterial. In contrast, knowledge societies emerge from and result in particular materialities of life through the economics of bodily productions in control societies. We can turn to the intersection of biotechnologies and knowledge societies to think through these virtual bodily productivities.

[10] In what follows, I will examine the various ways in which bodies are virtually produced through the controlling mechanisms of biotechnological innovations that are characteristically defined through the rhizomatics of knowledge societies. I suggest that the innovative knowledges that are produced, circulated, and endlessly expanded through biotechnological research are virtually directed where dividual bodies are, in essence, produced in the future. Nikolas Rose (2007) engages the "politics of life itself" through a consideration of biopolitics, genetics, and biotechnologies. Rose identifies how new ways to think about bodies are fashioned through biomedical research that is, quite literally, altering life processes at, for instance, the micro-level of genetics. Rose is basically interested in the processes that inform the intelligibilities of subjects: "My analysis concerns not what human beings are, but what they think they are" (25). His analysis that takes an "ethopolitical" route that "concerns itself with the self-techniques by which human beings should judge and act upon themselves to make themselves better than they are" is clearly Foucauldian by nature (27). So while I agree that technological advancements produce new life forms that make "human[s]...all the more biological" (20), I find Rose's arguments to be limiting because of his interest in the disciplinary aspects of bodily production. In other words, although Rose examines the "politics of life itself," his analysis becomes restricted by a largely Foucauldian lens that is unable to get to the complexities of contemporary control mechanisms. I argue, then, for the need to not only consider the "politics of life itself" (Foucault) but more importantly "life itself" through the works of Deleuzian control societies and virtualities. It is through a Deleuzian look at the intersection of biotechnologies and knowledge societies that we can account for the rhizomatic productivities of bodies that are less interested in what subjects think they are (Rose vis-à-vis Foucault) and more concerned with what subjects can do (Deleuze).

[11] Kaushik Sunder Rajan's work on biocapital (2006) begins to account for this shift through a critical consideration of "life itself." Like Rose, Sunder Rajan relies heavily on Foucault yet he is able to get to the more complex workings of biotechnologies by way of an economic analysis of genomic research, biotechnological innovations, and drug developments in India and the United States:

Genomics allows the metaphor of life-as-information to become material reality that can be commodified. In other words, one does not just have to conceive of life as information: one can now represent life in informational terms that can be packaged, turned into a commodity, and sold as a database (16).

"Biocapital" recognizes how biotechnological advancements in the latter part of the twentieth century and early parts of the twenty-first century significantly contribute to the ventures of neoliberal capitalism and globalization. Sunder Rajan's most provocative insights rest in his regard for the relationships amongst biological information and biological materiality:

Therefore there is biological information, and the biological material (cell or tissue) from which the information is derived, material that subsequently becomes the substrate of experiments that validate the leads suggested by the information. In the process, information is detached from its biological material originator to the extent that it does have a separate social life, but the 'knowledge' provided by the information is constantly relating back to the material biological sample. The database plays a key intermediary role in the transition of 'information' to 'knowledge'[...] It is knowledge that is always relating back to the biological material that is the source of the information; but it is also knowledge that can only be obtained, in the first place, through extracting information from the biological material (42).

The relationships amongst biological information and biological materiality produce innovative knowledges. What is important to note here is how these innovative knowledges produce new biological information that subsequently informs new research into biological materiality. There is, in essence, a Bakhtinian dialogism at play here where something new is always created out of something given (1981). These material/izing processes not only present new ways to control bodies but in fact produce new bodily forms through the production of innovative knowledges. Biotechnological advancements, when read through Sunder Rajan, are about the materialities of "life itself." Take, for instance, how biological information and biological materiality dialogically produce innovative knowledges: studying biological materiality extracts biological information and the innovative knowledges that come out of this dialogism inform future research on biological materiality that inevitably fosters new innovations in biological information. Experimentations are very much at the heart of biotechnological research where the end result is often indeterminable prior to the dialogic relations of biological materiality and biological information. In other words, the dialogism between materiality and information produces info-material knowledges that are marked by innovation. Differential accumulation is very much a part of these innovative designs where, as Sunder Rajan explains, it is not the ability to distribute the most products that results in economic gains but it is the management of innovations that influences production and ensures political and social control over global markets.

[12] We recall from above that my critique of Rose rests in his principal use of Foucault and his interest in the "politics of life itself." While Sunder Rajan makes the necessary move towards "life itself," his advancements are unable to account for the virtualities and potentialities of biotechnological innovations because, like Rose, his analysis fundamentally relies on disciplinary techniques/technologies. In other words, both Rose and Sunder Rajan are concerned with the individualities rather than the dividualities of body politics. I consider the biotechnological productions of biological information, biological materiality, and innovative knowledges to be new dividualizing mechanisms of control societies that function through the rhizomatics of knowledge societies. In contrast to the individualizing subjectivities offered by Rose and Sunder Rajan, I consider these dividualizing mechanisms to operate within the realm of Deleuzian virtualities (Deleuze 1994, 1999; Massumi 2002). The dialogism of biological materiality and biological information virtually produces "life itself" through the mechanisms of knowledge societies (such as the exponential economic expansion of knowledge) that are rhizomatically directed towards the future. With that said, Sunder Rajan is correct in stating that this is a game that is "played in the future in order to generate the present that enables that future" (34). The potentialities of innovative knowledges that are created through biotechnological research are virtually directed towards the future of "life itself" where bodies are rhizomatically actualized through the dialogism of biological information and biological materiality. The rhizomatic bodies I am speaking of here are creatively connected to the potentialities (rather than possibilities) of Deleuzian virtualities and actualities:

The actualisation of the virtual [...] always takes place by difference, divergence or differenciation. Actualisation breaks with resemblance as a process no less than it does with identity as a principle. Actual terms never resemble the singularities they incarnate. It does not result from any limitation of a pre-existing possibility. [...] For a potential or virtual object, to be actualised is to create divergent lines which correspond to—without resembling—a virtual multiplicity. The virtual possesses the reality of a task to be performed or a problem to be solved: it is the problem which orientates, conditions and engenders solutions, but these do not resemble the conditions of the problem (1994, 212).

I am therefore calling for the need to consider the virtual productions of bodies that are rhizomatically connected to the continuous expansion of knowledge. This requires not only a consideration of current biotechnological actualizations but a critical thinking through of the virtual potentialities that can control bodies through biotechnological innovations. For example, paying attention to how biotechnological research vis-à-vis biological information and biological materiality produces rhizomatic bodies through the production, dissemination, and continuous expansion of innovative knowledges where social control is established through differential accumulation on a global scale.

[13] Deleuzian virtualities help to identify the potentialities (rather than possibilities) of biotechnological innovations that produce rhizomatic bodies through the networks of knowledge societies. In addition to the dialogism inherent to biological information and biological materiality, it is also apparent that there is a dialogic relation between bodies and knowledge societies when reading through biotechnological innovations using rhizomatics as a critical lens. In contrast to the individualized bodies of disciplinary societies that become intelligible through preceding processes (think of Foucault's notion of inscription), the rhizomatic functioning of biotechnological knowledges creates new ways to think about the productions and negotiations of dividual bodies in times and spaces that are virtually directed. In essence, "the body" becomes less of a materiality that is restricted and confined to specific spaces (disciplinary societies) and instead becomes more of an open materiality that can be continuously controlled through information and communication. The intersection of knowledge societies, knowledge economics, and biotechnologies exemplifies how bodies are rhizomatically connected through control networks that desire continuous bodily expansion (control societies) rather than confinement (disciplinary societies).

The "Underbelly" of It All

[14] This paper has largely been concerned with demonstrating the important shift from the individualities of disciplinary societies to the dividualities of control societies. It has, more specifically, exemplified these transitions and new forms of bodily control by examining the virtual mechanisms that produce rhizomatic bodies in control societies. The rhizomatic functioning of knowledge societies and subsequently knowledge economics are central to this discussion where the neoliberal underpinnings of these networks establish new ways to think about the production, circulation, and negotiation of bodies. In order to move forward and critically engage these virtualities it is necessary that we not only expose these creative productions but also seriously engage the politics that surround "life itself." I am not referring to a "politics of life itself" but an interrogation of the affairs surrounding the potentialities of new life forms. I am particularly referring to the important work of postcolonial theorizations and that of Gargi Bhattacharyya (2005). Bhattacharyya creates the necessary spaces to critique the neoliberal practices of knowledge societies and biotechnological innovations. In Traffick: The Illicit Movement of People and Things, Bhattacharyya explores the "underbelly" of globalization by rendering how the "illicit movement of people and things"—organized crime, drugs, arms, sex trade—in fact support and enable the workings of neoliberal capitalism and globalization. Bhattacharyya is concerned with:

The alternative routes to economic participation that emerge in the nooks and crannies of globalisation. Whatever the hype, it is pretty clear that many regions of the world enter the realm of international trade through various unorthodox and half-acknowledged practices. In some ways, this rush to reach the market whatever the consequences would seem to support some of the most celebratory contentions of globalisation-speak. 'Look, this really is irresistible and there is only one path to development and global trade is it.' Yet the route that is taken by significant portions of the poor and less rich world is nothing like the models of development put forward by the IMF or the World Bank in any of their incarnations across the years (26-7).

Bhattacharyya's treatment of globalization as "the only game in town" certainly resonates the rhizomatics of knowledge societies where in order to attain social control, it is necessary to compete on a global scale through differential accumulation. Bhattacharyya's unique approach to globalization suggests that global interaction is not an option but a necessity. In agreement with Bhattacharyya, it is important to note that to be "globalised does not mean the same to all. On the contrary, where and who you are will shape your experience of being globalised to such an extent that it can be hard to chart the continuity between different moments" (21). Traffick further concretizes the arguments made above surrounding the materialities of life that are linked to the virtual productions of bodies and the dividualities of control societies. Consequently, it is imperative to consider the neocolonial operations of knowledge societies that produce rhizomatic bodies through the circulation and expansion of information and communication on a global scale. It is therefore not enough to simply critique the roles that multinational corporations and NGOs play in the virtual production of biotechnologies; it is also essential to consider the "underbelly" that stimulates these productivities. It is on this note that I wish to conclude this paper with the hope of creating an open space to think through these complexities from equity and social justice perspectives. A starting point could be for us to rethink how our own work and lives contribute to the rhizomatic networks of knowledge societies.

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