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The place of the ‘unfree’ in contemporary capitalism: Contemplating the surrogacy market in India

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventThey’ are Never Marginal to Power: Unfree Labour and Social Transformation - School of Business and Management, Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 May 2015 → …


OtherThey’ are Never Marginal to Power
CountryUnited Kingdom
Period13/05/15 → …
Internet address


The appearance of the poor as not-yet- or even failed humans – as therefore bearing an ontological lack – is precisely the condition of possibility for the production of economic value. Indeed, in the postcolonial context, marked by developmentalist and later neoliberal logic, where all labor is putatively free, capital requires the appearance of ontological degradation – objectified in the figure of the poor – in order to intervene as a recuperative force. In other words, ethical degradation is the condition of possibility for the production of economic value. But of course, as we the know, capital reproduces itself only through the intensification of the subjugation of labor to capital. In so doing, capital not only effects the ethical devaluation of the subaltern worker, but also preserves an idealised form of existence – that which is superadequated to itself – as human.


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