The Savage Sorting: Emergent Predatory Logics
In the last two decades there has been a sharp growth in the numbers of people that have been “expelled,” numbers far larger than the newly “incorporated” middle classes of countries such as India and China. I use the term “expulsion” to describe a diversity of conditions: the growing numbers of the abjectly poor, of the displaced in poor countries who are warehoused in formal and informal refugee camps, of the minoritised and persecuted in rich countries who are warehoused in prisons, of workers whose bodies are destroyed on the job and rendered useless at far too young an age, and able-bodied surplus populations warehoused in ghettoes and slums. A very different type of expulsion is the sharp increase in the amount of land bought by foreign governments and corporations, including financial firms. From 2006 to 2010, they acquired over 200 million hectares of land in Africa, Latin America, and Asia to grow food, to access underground water tables, and to access minerals, metals, and rare earths. Yet another type of expulsion is the massive destruction of the environment – bits of the biosphere herself expelled from their life space. My argument is that these diverse and many other kindred developments amount to a logic of expulsions, signalling a deeper systemic transformation in advanced capitalism. This transformation has been documented in bits and pieces by specialists of one or another element. I argue that we are confronting an overarching dynamic that is taking us into a...
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