We, along with many other scholars, are reading Lecture Eleven in Michel Foucault’s Society Must Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975–1976 (2003). We picked this reading because it has a real breadth of ideas that can be used to analyze inequality and violence in the modern nation-state. While it is certainly not the only or even the best reading that could be used to do this, the lecture presents ideas that still seem original, and even provocative, more than forty years later. If we had to pick one quote that challenges us to think about how we conceptualize the relationship of the modern state to people and populations, it might be where Foucault is working out the paradoxical nature of the regime of biopower, which kills or lets die in order to improve life. Foucault concludes that it is through the dividing practice of racism that the state attempts to square the circle: “I am certainly not saying that racism was invented at this time. It had already been in existence for a very long time. But I think it functioned elsewhere. It is indeed the emergence of this biopower that inscribes it in the mechanisms of the state. It is at this moment that racism is inscribed as the basic mechanism of power, as it is exercised in modern states.”