Pharmacological Biopolitics

Part 1 – Chemistry of the Soul

In this paper, we aim to analyze the biopolitical function of psychopharmacology with the theoretical frameworks provided by the works of Michel Foucault and Nikolas Rose. Since its creation, the current psychopharmacological regime has been an essential agent of social control which practice can be seen since then not just in the system and practice of psychiatry, but also in the directions of drug development. The usage of neuropharmacological products has been drastically increasing in middle- and high-income countries for many years, so this type of control is being extended to a larger and larger part of the population. In addition, the replication crisis that pervades psy-sciences, neuroscience, and medicine as a whole casts a long shadow on this phenomenon, which only emphasizes the need for political and social scientific analysis. However, it is an important development that psychedelic therapies which were banned for many decades for political reasons, seem to be breaking their way through mainstream science and can outline fundamentally different practices that, in addition to the legal and cultural consequences, can also reshape the scientific approach to human consciousness, and may reframe the concept of being human as such. We also tried to contextualize this turn in our paper, in the hope of introducing this discourse and its stakes into the Hungarian social sciences.

Released: Replika 129, 11–41.