• A Planet of Surplus Life: Building Worlds Beyond Capitalism

      Shaw, Ian G. R.; Waterstone, Marv; School of Geography, Development & Environment, University of Arizona (Wiley, 2021-05-19)
      Capitalism is an immense machine for churning out surplus life. Its long war of enclosure has captured, controlled, and pauperised human life, and laid waste to nonhuman life. This paper argues that surplus populations—people rendered as economically redundant—are central to the future politics of our planet. Yet the ruling classes still fight to preserve capitalism in all its horror: “you must work, even if there are no jobs!” How we diagnose this dilemma is a vital task of our age. We respond with a beyond-capitalist politics that challenges centuries of capitalist world-alienation, pauperism, and indignity. We present a radical alternative, centred on the interlocking ideas of alter-worlds, alter-work, and alter-politics. Each is based on building, sustaining, and connecting new spaces of geographic justice and autonomy for all. We must make the end of capitalism easier to imagine than the end of the world.