Contents

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p. ix

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Acknowledgments

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p. xi

I want to thank Pedro Can

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Introduction

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pp. xiii-xvii

Toward the end of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s great novel Sozaboy, Mene, the main character and narrator (a young lorry driver dragged into a devastating war), says: “I begin to think that the world is not a good place even” (1994: 164). Indeed, it did not seem to be after his town, Dukana, and his private life were destroyed, and sickness and death prevailed, as the war had “uselessed1 many people, killed many others” (p. 181). Yet, at the outset...

Part I: Critique of Sovereignty

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1. Singularity or the Dignity of Individuation

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pp. 3-37

The free development of each individual, the free development of all, their dialogical and dialectical relationship, can only be understood outside of the logic of domination, the logic of sovereignty, underlying all history (with some possible exceptions), and certainly (and specifically) the history of capitalist societies. Here the sovereignty of capital over labor becomes the omnipresent...

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2. Exception and Critique

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pp. 38-70

In Leibniz sovereignty becomes a relative concept when applied to the political sphere, and full sovereignty only obtains in the sphere of theology. But there, too, it does not have (to use Schmitt’s expression) a decisionist character; rather, it has a rational one. In other words, it is not based on the will, but on reason. Or God would also operate in accordance with the logic...

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3. Bataille's Special Use of the Concept of Sovereignty

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pp. 71-91

In his Nietzsche-inspired philosophy against servility, in the space of turbulence it opens up, Georges Bataille also deals with the concept of sovereignty in important ways. Indeed, volume 3 of The Accursed Share, Sovereignty, offers an interesting, although unusual, analysis and employment of the concept. In the first part of the volume, which bears the title of “What I Understand by Sovereignty” and the subtitle...

Part II: Sovereignty and Labor

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4. Ax and Fire: Knowledge Production and the Superexploitation of Contingent Academic Labor

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pp. 95-131

With the restructuring of the university, its corporatization, its full acceptance of the logic of capital, the fact of contingent academic labor should not be seen as an aberration, a scandalous (but perhaps temporary) anomaly that could be solved within and by the very system that produces it. Rather, the ever-increasing number of contingent academic workers, and the consequent reduction in the number and...

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5. Sovereign, Productive, and Efficient: The Place of Disability in the Ableist Society

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pp. 132-155

The critique of productivity and sovereignty yields a radically different concept of labor. This is the concept of labor as care, which has been recently worked out in gender and feminist philosophy. Eva Feder Kittay (1999), in particular, speaks of it as the work of dependency—a concept which, not confined to the economic sphere, has the power to redraw the map of political philosophy as a whole, as well as of the study of...

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Conclusion: Labor without Sovereignty

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pp. 157-158

At the end of the last chapter of this book, Pothier and Devlin’s critique of the ideology of productivity and efficiency points to the possibility of unshackling labor from the yoke of sovereignty. This labor, or rather the many labors expressing human creativity and praxis, human activities, can enter a completely new dimension, take on a new form, and be, not sovereign in turn, but free of...

Notes

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pp. 159-167

References

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pp. 169-176

Index

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pp. 177-181