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The Postcolonial ContemporaryPolitical Imaginaries for the Global Present$
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Jini Kim Watson and Gary Wilder

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280063

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280063.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 27 July 2021

For a Marxist Theory of Waste: Seven Remarks

For a Marxist Theory of Waste: Seven Remarks

(p.187) Eight: For a Marxist Theory of Waste: Seven Remarks
The Postcolonial Contemporary

Vinay Gidwani

Fordham University Press

The concept of “waste”, operating in multiple registers, forms the basis for a series of forays into Marx and political economy. The chapter traverses a wide terrain: from over-accumulation of capital that portends economic crisis, to planned obsolescence as a response to under-consumption, to the proliferation of commodity detritus that threatens the ability of contemporary cities to function, to the artful and arduous toils of waste workers who salvage value from discards, to the wanton expenditure of human potential in precarious forms of employment that involve removal or repurposing of waste matter, to the global multiplication of superfluous populations who can be enrolled in populist mobilizations. Ultimately, the chapter wagers that “waste” can be the heterogeneous site for a generative quarrel between Marxist political economy and postcolonial critique.

Keywords:   Capitalism, Caste, Cities, Labor, Marx, Populism, Surplus, Waste

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