CLASS STRUGGLE FROM CRISIS TO EXODUS
CLASS STRUGGLE FROM CRISIS TO EXODUS
I've had enough of a sober tone,
It's time to play the real devil again.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
The Open Social Relation between Labor and Capital
In the context of biopolitical production we have found that capital should be understood not simply as a social relation but as an open social relation. Capital previously has held together within itself labor-power and the command over labor, or in Marxian language, it has been able to construct an organic composition of variable capital (the wage labor force) and constant capital. But today there is a growing rupture within the organic composition of capital, a progressive decomposition o f capital i n which variable capital (and particularly biopolitical labor-power) is separating from constant capital along with its political forces of command and control. Biopolitical labor tends to generate its own forms of social cooperation and produce value autonomously. In fact the more autonomous the social organization of biopolitical production, the more productive it is. Capital thus has ever more difficulty creating a coherent cycle of production and synthesizing or subsuming labor-power in a process of value creation. Perhaps we should no longer even use the term "variable capital" to refer to this labor-power since its productive relation to constant capital is ever more tenuous.
Should we thus declare capital doomed, finished? Has the revolution already begun? Or in more technical terms, has variable capital definitively liberated itself from the clutches of constant capital? No ; crisis, as we said earlier, does not mean collapse, and the contradictions of capital, however severe, never i n themselves imply its demise or, moreover, create an alternative to capitalist rule. Instead the rupture within capital and the emerging autonomy of biopolitical labor present a political opening. We can bet on the rupture of the relation of capital and build politically on the emerging autonomy of biopolitical labor. The open social relation presented by capital provides an opportunity, but political organization is required to push it across the threshold. When Abbe Sieyes on the eve of the French Revolution asks what is the value of the Third Estate—everything! but politically it is worth nothing!—he launches a political and philosophical polemic based on a similar threshold presented by the economic situation. The Third Estate, which was emerging as the center of social production, was no longer willing to accept its subordination and pay taxes to the ruling powers of the ancien regime. What we have to develop after having sketched the broad outlines of biopolitical production, exploitation, and control are the terms of class struggle today: on what resources is it based, what are the primary social lines of conflict, and what are the political forms available for its organization?
Let us start with some basics. The emerging autonomy of biopolitical labor with respect to capital, which pries open the social relation of capital, rests primarily on two facts. First is the newly central or intensified role of the common in economic production, as both basis and product, which we have already explored in part. Second is the fact that the productivity of labor-power increasingly exceeds the bounds set in its employment by capital. Labor-power has always exceeded its relation to capital in terms o f its potential, in the sense that people have the capacity to do much more and produce much more than what they do at work. In the past, however, the productive process, especially the industrial process, has severely restricted the actualization of the potential that exceeds capital's bounds.The auto worker, for example, has extraordinary mechanical and technological skills and knowledges, but they are primarily site specific: they can be actualized only in the factory and thus in the relation with capital, aside from some tinkering with the car in the garage at home. The affective and intellectual talents, the capacities to generate cooperation and organizational networks, the communication skills, and the other competences that characterize biopolitical labor, i n contrast, are generally not site specific.You can think and form relationships not only on the job but also in the street, at home, with your neighbors and friends. The capacities of biopolitical labor-power exceed work and spill over into life. We hesitate to use the word "excess" for this capacity because from the perspective of labor-power or from the standpoint of society as a whole it is never too much. It is excess only from the perspective of capital because it does not produce economic value that can be captured by the individual capitalist—even though, as we will see shortly, such production does produce economic value that can be captured by capital at a broader social level, generally as externalities.
At this point we can hazard a first hypothesis: class struggle in the biopolitical context takes the form of exodus. By exodus here we mean, at least initially, a process of subtraction from the relationship with capital by means of actualizing the potential autonomy of labor-power. Exodus is thus not a refusal of the productivity o f biopolitical labor-power but rather a refusal of the increasingly restrictive fetters placed on its productive capacities by capital. It is an expression of the productive capacities that exceed the relationship with capital achieved by stepping through the opening in the social relation of capital and across the threshold. As a first approximation, then, think of this form of class struggle as a kind of maroonage. Like the slaves who collectively escape the chains of slavery to construct self-governing communities and quilombos, biopolitical labor-power subtracting from its relation to capital must discover and construct new social relationships, new forms of life that allow it to actualize its productive powers. But unlike that of the maroons, this exodus does not necessarily mean going elsewhere.We can pursue a line o f flight while staying right here, by transforming the relations of production and mode of social organization under which we live.
Class struggle does still, of course, involve resisting capitalist command and attacking the bases o f capitalist power, which we will address i n more detail later, but it also requires an exodus from the relationship with capital and from capitalist relations of production. And although the requirements for resistance are immediately given to workers in the labor relation itself-—workers always have the power to say no, to stop providing their labor to capital, and their ability to subvert the production process is constantly present in their very capacity to produce—the requirements for exodus are not so evident. Exodus is possible only on the basis of the common— both access to the common and the ability to make use of it—and capitalist society seems driven to eliminate or mask the common by privatizing the means o f production and indeed all aspects o f social life. Before turning to questions of political organization, then, we need to investigate more fully the existing forms of the common available in society today.
Specters of the Common
Specters of the common appear throughout capitalist society, even if in veiled and mystified forms. Despite its ideological aversion, capital cannot do without the common, and today i n increasingly explicit ways. To track down these specters of the common, we will need to follow the path of productive social cooperation and the various modes of abstraction that represent it i n capitalist society. Revealing some of these really existing forms of the common is a first step toward establishing the bases for an exodus of the multitude from its relation with capital.
One vast reservoir of common wealth is the metropolis itself. The formation of modern cities, as urban and architectural historians explain, was closely linked to the development of industrial capital. The geographical concentration of workers, the proximity of resources and other industries, communication and transportation systems, and the other characteristics of urban life are necessary elemerits for industrial production. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the growth of cities and the qualities of urban space were determined by the industrial factory, its needs, rhythms, and forms of social organization. Today we are witnessing a shift, however, from the industrial to the biopolitical metropolis. And in the biopolitical economy there is an increasingly intense and direct relation between the production process and the common that constitutes the city. The city, of course, is not just a built environment consisting o f buildings and streets and subways and parks and waste systems and communications cables but also a living dynamic of cultural practices, intellectual circuits, affective networks, and social i n stitutions. These elements of the common contained in the city are not only the prerequisite for biopolitical production but also its result; the city is the source of the common and the receptacle into which it flows. (We will explore more fully the dynamics of the biopolitical metropolis in De Corpore 2, following Part 4.) One lens for recognizing the common wealth of the metropolis and the efforts to privatize it is provided by urban real estate economics, a field in desperate need of demystification. It is useful to remember that ground rent and the value of land presented great difficulties for classical political economists. If labor is the source of all wealth, according to Adam Smith's axiom, then what accounts for the value of land or real estate more generally? Labor is incorporated into the land, o f course, by working the soil and constructing on it, but that clearly does not account adequately for the value of real estate, especially in an urban environment. To say that land rent is a monopoly price does not address the central problem either. Real estate value cannot be explained internally but can be understood only with reference to external factors.26
Contemporary real estate economists are fully aware, of course, that the value of an apartment or a building or land in a city is not represented exclusively by the intrinsic characteristics of the property, such as the quality and size of its construction, but is also and even primarily determined by externalities—both negative externalities, such as air pollution, traffic congestion, noisy neighbors, high levels o f criminality, and the discotheque downstairs that makes it impossible to sleep on Saturday nights; and positive externalities, such as proximity to playgrounds, dynamic local cultural relations, intellectual circuits of exchange, and peaceful, stimulating social i n teractions. In these externalities we encounter a specter of the common. The main preoccupation of these economists is that externalities fall outside the realm o f property relations and are thus resistant to market logic and exchange. In efficient free markets, they claim, people make rational decisions, but when there are "market distortions," when externalities come into play and social costs do not equal private costs, market rationality is lost and "market failure" results. The crazy thing is that especially in urban environments the value of real estate is determined primarily by externalities. Market failure is the norm. The most orthodox neoliberal economists thus spend their time inventing schemes to "rationalize" the situation and privatize the common so it can be traded and will obey market rules, seeking ways to monetize pollution or traffic, for instance, in order to make the social costs equal to the private costs and thus restore logic to market exchanges.27
Parenthetically we should note that the important and growing role of externalities allows us to rethink some of the standard assumptions of political economy. Just as there is today an inversion of the progression traditionally assumed by political economists from rent to profit, as we said earlier, so too is there an inversion of the presumed tendency from "absolute rent" (based on mere appropriation) to "relative rent" (based on the value of labor added to the property).To the extent that work done to the property has increasingly less significant effect i n relation to the "common work" external to it—in the general social circuits of biopolitical production and reproduction of the city—the tendency is today moving back from relative toward absolute rent.28
Real estate agents, the everyday practitioners of trading urban value, with their feet solidly on the ground and their hands greedily clutching their pocketbooks, do not need any complicated theories to understand the dominant role of the common. Their mantra— "location, location, location"—is their way o f expressing the strategy to minimize the negative externalities and maximize the positive. Location is merely a name for proximity and access to common wealth—not only with respect to the park but also the quality of neighborhood relations, the pathways of communication, the intellectual and cultural dynamics, and so forth. Real estate agents do not need to privatize externalities and "rationalize" the markets. With an eye to the common, they are very capable of making money from the metropolis and its "irrationality."
Our aim, though, is not to give advice o n how to get rich with real estate, but to track down the specters o f the common. The theories of real estate economics, along with the practices of real estate agents, demonstrate how the metropolis itself is an enormous reservoir of the common, o f not only material but also and moreover immaterial factors, both good and bad. What the economists do not understand, though, is where common wealth comes from. The common may be external from the perspective of the market and the mechanisms of capitalist organization, but it is completely internal to the processes o f biopolitical production. The wealth produced in common is abstracted, captured, and privatized, in part, by real estate speculators and financiers, which, as we saw earlier, is a fetter to further production of the common.This dilemma is illustrated by the classic dialectic of urban artist neighborhoods and gentrification: poor artists move into a neighborhood with low property values because they cannot afford anything else, and in addition to producing their art they also produce a new cityscape. Property values rise as their activity makes the neighborhood more intellectually stimulating, culturally dynamic, and fashionable, with the result that, eventually, artists can no longer afford to live there and have to move out. Rich people move in, and slowly the neighborhood loses its intellectual and cultural character, becoming boring and sterile. Despite the fact that the common wealth of the city is constantly being expropriated and privatized in real estate markets and speculation, the common still lives on there as a specter.29
Finance is another vast realm in which we can track down specters o f the common. Georg Simmel remarks that the qualities of the metropolis are the very same qualities that money demands: a detailed division of labor, impersonal encounters, time synchronicity, and so forth.3 0 What really underlies these various characteristics to a large extent is the power of abstraction. Finance capital is an enormous engine of abstraction that simultaneously represents and mystifies the common as i f reflecting it i n a distorted mirror.31
Finance capital has long been criticized for amplifying economic risks and for not producing anything—and after the global crisis of 2008 vilification of finance has become extremely widespread. Finance is casino capitalism, its critics charge, little more than a legal form of gambling with no social utility. The dignity o f industrial capital, they claim, is that it directly engages productive forces and produces value i n material products, whereas the products of finance are fictional, making money from money, remaining abstract from and thus parasitical on the production of real value. Such criticisms are partly true—even though financial instruments are used for risk management as well as speculation and the biopolitical economy is increasingly oriented toward immaterial products. But they do not grasp the essential nature of finance. If financial speculation is to be conceived as gambling, it is an intelligent, informed type of gambling i n which the investor, like someone who bets on horse races who gauges the animal's physical condition and that of the racetrack, has to judge the future performance of a sector of production through a variety of indicators, some of them very abstract. Finance capital is in essence an elaborate machine for representing the common, that is, the common relationships and networks that are necessary for the production of a specific commodity, a field of commodities, or some other type of asset or phenomenon. This representation involves an extraordinary process of abstraction from the common itself, and indeed financial products take on ever more abstract, esoteric forms such that they may refer not to production directly but to representations of future production or representations of representations. Finance's powers of abstraction are dizzying, and that is why mathematical models become so central. Abstraction itself, though, is possible only because of the social nature of the wealth being represented. With each level of abstraction financial instruments grasp a wider social level of networks that directly or indirectly cooperate in the production process. This power of abstraction, in other words, rests on and simultaneously mystifies the common.32
The role of finance with respect to other forms of capital has expanded exponentially in recent decades. Giovanni Arrighi interprets this as a cyclical phenomenon parallel to the rise of finance centered in Britain in the late nineteenth century and earlier moments. 33 It is more important in our view, however, to link finance's rise with the concurrent emerging centrality of biopolitical production. Insofar as biopolitical labor is autonomous, finance is the adequate capitalist instrument to expropriate the common wealth produced, external to it and abstract from the production process. And finance cannot expropriate without i n some way representing the product and productivity of common social life. In this respect finance is nothing but the power of money itself. "Money represents pure interaction i n its purest form," Georg Simmel writes. "It makes comprehensible the most abstract concept; it is an individual thing whose essential significance is to reach beyond individualities. Thus, money is the adequate expression of the relationship of man to the world, which can only be grasped in single and concrete i n stances, yet only really conceived when the singular becomes the embodiment of the living mental process which interweaves all singularities and, in this fashion, creates reality."34 Finance grasps the common in its broadest social form and, through abstraction, expresses it as value that can be exchanged, mystifying and privatizing the common in order to generate profits. We have no intention of celebrating or condemning finance capital. We propose instead to treat it as a field of investigation for tracking down the specters of the common lurking there.
Both our examples, the real estate market and finance, reveal a tense and ambivalent relation between abstraction and the common. Before bringing this discussion to a close, though, we might illuminate this ambivalence by looking briefly at Marx's approach to capital's powers of abstraction. Abstraction is essential to both the functioning of capital and the critique of it. Marx's point of departure in Capital, in fact, is his analysis of abstract labor as the determining foundation of the exchange-value of commodities. Labor i n capitalist society, Marx explains, must be abstracted from the concrete labors of the tailor, the plumber, the machinist to be considered as labor in general, without respect to its specific application. This abstract labor once congealed in commodities is the common substance they all share, which allows for their values to be universally commensurable, and which ultimately allows money to function as a general equivalent. Too many readers of Marx, eager to discern political coordinates from the opening pages of the text, correlate these distinctions to political positions: for concrete labor and against abstract labor, for use-value and against exchange-value. Marx views abstraction, however, with ambivalence. Yes, abstract labor and the system of exchange are mechanisms for extracting surplus value and maintaining capitalist control, but the concept of abstract labor—representing what is common to labor in different occupations—is what makes it possible to think the working class. Without abstract labor there is no working class! This is yet another example of the ways in which capital, by pursuing its own interests and guaranteeing its essential functions, creates the tools to resist and eventually overcome the capitalist mode of production. Capitalist abstraction always rests on the common and cannot survive without it, but can only instead constantly try to mystify it. Hence the ambivalence of abstraction.
Corruption and Exodus
Every social institution rests on the common and is defined, in fact, by the common it draws on, marshals, and creates. Social institutions are thus essential resources for the project of exodus. But we should remember that not all forms of the common are beneficial. Just as, in the language of economists, some externalities are positive and others negative, some forms of the common increase our powers to think and act together, as Spinoza might say, and others decrease them. Beneficial forms are motors of generation, whereas detrimental forms spread corruption, blocking the networks of social interactions and reducing the powers of social production. Exodus thus requires a process of selection, maximizing the beneficial forms of the common and minimizing the detrimental, struggling, in other words, against corruption. Certainly capital constitutes one form of the corruption o f the common, as we have seen, through its mechanisms of control and expropriation, segmenting and privatizing the common, but relatively independent forms of the corruption of the common are found too in the ruling social institutions.
The three most significant social institutions of capitalist society in which the common appears i n corrupt form are the family, the corporation, and the nation. A l l three mobilize and provide access to the common, but at the same time restrict, distort, and deform it. These are social terrains on which the multitude has to employ a process of selection, separating the beneficial, generative forms of common from the detrimental and corrupt.
The family is perhaps the primary institution in contemporary society for mobilizing the common. For many people, in fact, the family is the principal if not exclusive site of collective social experience, cooperative labor arrangements, caring, and intimacy. It stands on the foundation of the common but at the same time corrupts it by imposing a series of hierarchies, restrictions, exclusions, and distortions. First, the family is a machine of gender normativity that constantly grinds down and crushes the common. The patriarchal structure of family authority varies in different cultures but maintains its general form; the gender division of labor within the family, though often critiqued, is extraordinarily persistent; and the heteronormative model dictated by the family varies remarkably little throughout the world. The family corrupts the common by imposing gender hierarchies and enforcing gender norms, such that any attempt at alternative gender practices or expressions of alternative sexual desires are unfailingly closed down and punished.
Second, the family functions in the social imaginary as the sole paradigm for relationships of intimacy and solidarity, eclipsing and usurping all other possible forms. Intergenerational relationships are inevitably cast in the parent-child model (such that teachers who care, for example, should be like parents to their students), and samegeneration friendships are posed as sibling relationships (with a band of brothers and sorority sisters). All alternative kinship structures, whether based on sexual relationships or not, are either prohibited or corralled back under the rule of the family. The exclusive nature of the family model, which carries with it inevitably all o f its internal hierarchies, gender norms, and heteronormativity, is evidence of not only a pathetic lack o f social imagination to grasp other forms of intimacy and solidarity but also a lack of freedom to create and experiment with alternative social relationships and nonfamily k in ship structures.35
Third, although the family pretends to extend desires and i n terests beyond the individual toward the community, it unleashes some of the most extreme forms of narcissism and individualism. It is remarkable, i n fact, how strongly people believe that acting in the interests of their family is a kind of altruism when it is really the blindest egotism.When school decisions pose the good of their child against that of others or the community as a whole, for example, many parents launch the most ferociously antisocial arguments under a halo of virtue, doing all that is necessary in the name of their child, often with the strange narcissism o f seeing the child as an extension or reproduction of themselves. Political discourse that justifies interest in the future through a logic of family continuity—how many times have you heard that some public policy is necessary for the good of your children?—reduces the common to a kind of projected individualism via one's progeny and betrays an extraordinary incapacity to conceive the future in broader social terms.36
Finally, the family corrupts the common by serving as a core institution for the accumulation and transfer of private property.The accumulation of private property would be interrupted each generation if not for the legal form of inheritance based on the family. Down with the family!—not, of course, in order for us to become isolated individuals but instead to realize the equal and free participation in the common that the family promises and constantly denies and corrupts.
The corporation is another form i n which the common is both generated and corrupted. Capitalist production in general is an enormous apparatus for developing the common networks of social cooperation and capturing their results as private accumulation. For many workers, o f course, the workplace is the only site outside the family where they experience cooperation with others and collective projects, the only place where they escape the individualism and isolation of contemporary society. Producing together i n a planned way stimulates the "animal spirits," as Marx says, and thus generates i n the workplace the rewards and pleasures of sociality and productive exchange. Predictably, corporations encourage workers to attribute the stimulation and satisfaction they experience at work to the corporation itself, with consequent feelings of dedication and loyalty. What is good for the corporation, the ideological refrains goes, is good for all o f us. It is true, and one should not deny the fact, that work i n capitalist society does engage the common and provide a site for social and productive cooperation—in varying degrees, of course, and often much less at the lower levels o f the workforce. As we have already explained at length, however, the common engaged and generated in production is not only expropriated but also fettered and corrupted through capital's imposition o f hierarchy and control. What we should add here instead is that the corporation is remarkably similar to the family i n some of the ways it generates and corrupts the common. The two institutions can easily appear as oases of the common i n the desert o f contemporary society. At work as i n the family, though, cooperative relationships are subject to strict internal hierarchies and external limitations. As a result, many who try to flee the horrors of the family run into the welcoming embrace of the corporation, and vice versa, others flee the corporation, seeking refuge i n the family. The much-discussed "balance" between work and family is really an alternative between lesser evils, between two corrupt forms of the common, but for too many in our societies these are the only social spaces that provide access, however distorted, to the common.37
Finally, the nation too is a social institution i n which the common is both deployed and corrupted. Many certainly do experience belonging to the nation as a terrain of the common, which engages the collective cultural, social, and political expressions of the population. The nation's claim as the central terrain o f social life is heightened i n times of crisis and war, when the population is called to set aside differences i n the interest of national unity. More than a shared history or a set of linguistic and cultural traditions, the nation is, according to Benedict Anderson's influential formulation, an imagined community, which is another way of saying a deployment of the common. What a sad indication o f the wretched state o f our political alternatives, though, that the nation becomes the only community imaginable, the only form for expressing social solidarity and escaping from individualism! H o w pathetic it is when politics can be conducted only in the name of the nation! In the nation too, of course, just as i n the family and the corporation, the common is submitted to severely restrictive operations: the nation is defined i n ternally and externally by hierarchies and exclusion. The nation in evitably functions through the construction and enforcement of "a people," a national identity, which excludes or subordinates all those who are different. It is true that the nation and its people, along with their centripetal mechanisms that unify the social field, have in some cases, particularly i n anticolonial and anti-imperialist struggles, functioned as part of liberation projects; but even then the nation and national consciousness present "pitfalls," as Frantz Fanon says, that may be recognized fully only after the furors of battle die down. Calls to sacrifice for the glory and unity o f the nation and the people always have a fascist ring i n our ears, since we have so often heard them, i n dominant and subordinate countries alike, as the repeated refrain of authoritarian, totalitarian, and militaristic adventures. These are just some of the corruptions the common suffers at the hands o f the nation.38
In spite of the revulsion they inspire in us, we should remember that the family, the corporation, and the nation do engage and mobilize the common, even if in corrupted form, and thereby provide important resources for the exodus of the multitude. All these institutions present networks of productive cooperation, resources of wealth that are openly accessible, and circuits of communication that simultaneously whet the desire for the common and frustrate it.
The multitude must flee the family, the corporation, and the nation but at the same time build on the promises of the common they mobilize. Keep in mind that opening and expanding access to the common in the context of biopolitical production means seizing control of the means of production and reproduction; that it is the basis for a process of subtraction from capital and the construction of autonomy o f the multitude; and that this project of exodus is the primary form class struggle takes today.
Our readers with a taste for combat may be reluctant to accept a notion of class struggle as exodus because it does not have enough fight in it. Not to worry. Moses learned long ago that those i n power do not just let you go without a fight. And, more important, exodus does not mean getting out as naked life, barefoot and penniless. N o ; we need to take what is ours, which means reappropriating the common—the results of our past labors and means of autonomous production and reproduction for our future. That is the field of battle.
26. Fredric Jameson provides an excellent analysis of the problem of ground
rent in the context of architecture and finance capital in "The Brick and
the Balloon: Architecture, Idealism, and Land Speculation," in The Cultural
Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-1998 (LondomVerso, 1998),
27. See, as just one example of a vast literature, Edward Glaeser, "Market and
Policy Failure in Urban Economics," in Chile: Political Economy of Urban
Development, ed. Glaeser and John R . Meyer (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard
School o f Government, 2002), pp. 13—26.
28. See Antonio Negri and Carlo Vercellone, "Le rapport capital / travail dans
le capitalisme cognitif," Multitudes, no. 32 (March 2008), 39-50.
29. O n the common in urban spaces, see Henri Lefebvre, Critique of Everyday
Life, 3 vols., trans.John Moore (LondomVerso, 1991).
30. See Georg Simmel, "The Metropolis and Mental Life," in The Sociology
of Georg Simmel, ed. Kurt Wolff (Glencoe, 111.: Free Press, 1950), pp. 409-
31. For excellent analyses of money as equivalent, money as means o f circulation,
and money as capital, see Michel Aglietta, Macroeconomie financiere
(Paris: La decouverte, 2002); and Aglietta and Andre Orlean, La monnaie:
Entre violence et confiance (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2002).
32. See Christian Marazzi, E il denaro va.Esodo e rivoluzione dei mercatifinanziari
(Turin: Bollati Boringhieri, 1998); and Capital and Language: From the New
Economy to the War Economy, trans. Gregory Conti (NewYork: Semiotext(e),
33. See Giovanni Arrighi, The LongTwentieth Century (London:Verso, 1994).
34. Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money, 3rd ed., ed. David Frisby, trans.
Tom Bottomore and David Frisby (NewYork: Routledge, 2004), p. 129.
35. Judith Butler creatively reads Antigone's claim against Creon as a way to
think the freedom to construct alternative kinship structures outside the
rule of heteronormative family in Antigone's Claim: Kinship between Life
and Death (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000). See also Valerie
Lehr, Queer Family Values (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1999).
36. See Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (Durham:
Duke University Press, 2004).
37. O n the struggles of working couples in the United States to balance work
and family, see Arlie Russell Hochschild, The Time Bind: When Work Becomes
Home and Home Becomes Work, 2nd ed. (New York: Holt, 2001); and
Kathi Weeks, "Hours for What We W i l l : Work, Family, and the Movement
for Shorter Hours," Feminist Studies 35, no. 1 (Spring 2009).
38. Pheng Cheah offers one of the most sustained arguments in favor of the
nation as a center of thought and politics and as the locus of freedom, especially
in the subordinated parts of the world. See Spectral Nationality:
Passages of Freedom from Kant to Postcolonial Literatures of Liberation (New
York: Columbia University Press, 2003); and Inhuman Conditions: On Cosmopolitanism
and Human Rights (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University