I suppose Foucault has to be credited with talking about disposable life. And it’s interesting to me that at the very moment when he was giving the lectures on this topic, Henry Kissinger in the United States was admitting, or publishing, the results of the commission on sterilization. The idea was that sterilization should be encouraged in Third World countries in order to regulate the population.
When I think about disposability, I think about namelessness. I think about whose pictures are taken in refugee camps. Or whose stones without names you look at at a mass grave, or just a ditch for that matter. To be disposable is to be nameless in somebody’s eyes.
In usages of dispose, disposition, disposing, there is always a question of putting in order, and putting things in their place. Which also means of course having the power to do so.