Directly stated, biopower is about the discipline and control of entire populations by a nation-state. It is inherent, therefore, that a nation-state abides by a certain set of values they intend to mold into their populace. The propagation of these ideals is so subtle and common to members of a populace, that it seems natural, and occurs with seemingly little rebellion. Akin to Latour’s notion of a black box, this system is observed in terms of its input and output, with little to no knowledge or recognition of its internal components. A citizenry is given direction on how to be, and then executes and embodies these directions. How is it possible for this system to keep continuing without somebody raising their hand and objecting? Well, it is rather difficult to protest when labeled insane, and/or thrown into societal isolation. By creating asylums, the nation-state defined a proper manner of human existence, and created a hurdle nearly impossible for objectors to tackle. Any existences that deviate from a nation-state’s definition of being human are subsequently dehumanized, and stripped of value.
Thus, if the subjugation of bodies, and subsequent control over entire populations wasn’t an insidious enough ideal already, biopower’s origin story seals the deal. Foucault observes that by creating spaces to hide and condemn citizens, nation-states affirm that they have an idea of what they want their populace to look and act like; i.e. biopower.