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Introduction: A post-colonial critique of capital accumulation today
, R. Samaddar, S. Sen
Published in Springer Singapore
Pages: 1 - 24
The introduction makes three main points, which characterize this volume. (a) It looks at how accumulation under post-colonial capitalism tends to blur various geopolitical boundaries of space, institutions, forms, financial regimes, labour processes, and economic segments on the one hand and creates zones and corridors on the other. In this context, it draws our attention to the peculiar but structurally necessary coexistence of both primitive and virtual modes of accumulation in the postcolony. With increasing inflow of virtual capital in the form of offshore funds, venture business, hedge funds, Internet-based investment and banking, and forward trading, more people are forced to accept precarious work conditions in the unorganized sectors resulting in massive de-peasantization and creation of footloose labour, otherwise known as migrant or transit labour. (b) At the same time, family household becomes the new site of capitalist production and market system, which is different from what is assumed to be a site of non-capitalist production, something that is outside of capital. (c) The introduction also draws attention to what is now called affective labour that is to say labour actualized in the forms of care work and reproductive work. Affective labour leads to the conceptualization of affective value by focusing on the labouring body and subjectivity. Affective value is often mistaken to be essentially a cultural category, and not an economic category, in spite of its vulnerability to exploitation, thus becoming an element in the dynamics of capitalist accumulation. These three aspects taken together reflect on one of the principal features postcolonial capitalism, namely the overwhelming existence of informal conditions of production. These new forms of accumulation result in new discursive and political terrains of struggle. The chapters of the volume reflect from different discursive, analytical, and conceptual perspectives on these new forms of accumulation and unique modes of struggle. © Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group (MCRG) 2017.
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Published in Springer Singapore
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