Concepts of biopower is how Foucault analyzes events. So is Foucalt just analyzing events or does he give opinions regarding biopower - for example, whether good establishment of biopower is good or biopower itself has bad consequence or so on?
Foucault avoids programmatic statements and rarely passes judgments. It would be safe to say that yes, indeed, Foucault simply offers a descriptive analysis without value judgments and "solutions". Foucault does not believe that the role of the intellectual is to tell others what to do. However, we may also add that by choosing to focus his research on madness, sexuality or biopolitics Foucault does show a certain bias: that these issues need attention, or, as Foucault usually puts it, that there is something "dangerous" about them.
What is biopower?
Biopower is the power over life itself. It will be helpful to contrast biopower with the sovereign power, as Foucault does himself on several occasions. Before the 18th century in the West, or so the argument goes, power operates primarily by "deduction" (HoS1, 136). The sovereign takes stuff away from his subjects: land, produce, and ultimately life. Sovereign power shows itself and asserts itself in these brief moments when a life is to be taken away (usually as a matter of public spectacle). The right of sovereignty is "the right to take life or let live" (SMD, 241 / HoS1, 136).
Biopower is the reversal of this relationship. It actively promotes life or lets die. Not that "bare life" has never been an issue before, but it was around the 18th century, argues Foucault, that it became an issue for politics:
Biopower operates on the level of populations. It is, in a sense, myopic in respect to particular individuals. The issues of concern for biopower are, for example, hygiene, health, birth and mortality rate. All of the above become objects of active manipulation:
The focus of biopower is on increasing the productive forces of bodies (SMD, 242). If the population is healthy and plentiful, for example, it will work more and produce more. Capitalism and biopower, for Foucault, go hand in hand:
Once again, Foucault's aim is to describe rather than prescribe. However, if we had to extrapolate some of the "dangerous" features of biopower from the discussion above they could be that biopower
One example. As it was mentioned above, biopower is exercised across populations (regularization of birth rates, longevity etc.) and is myopic to particular individuals. It promotes life or lets die. An interesting example of the problematic nature of this approach is the "left-to-die boat" case. In 2011 sixty three Lybian migrants died after drifting for fourteen days in an area heavily monitored by NATO. They were noticed, of course, but all kinds of complex maritime jurisdiction trickery was used to avoid responsibility for rescuing the Lybians. Abstaining from rescue can be as potent a killing as targeted murder. Governing migration, and especially when it comes to refugees, is the prime and telling example of biopolitics in action.
HoS1: Foucault, M. (1978). The History of sexuality: An Introduction. New York: Pantheon Books.
SMD: Foucault, M. (2003). Society Must be Defended. (M. Bertani, A. Fontana, F. Ewald, A. I. Davidson, Eds., & D. Macey, Trans.) New York: Picador.