Unformatted text preview: ch empirically based rejoinders would lead us in
the wrong direction; we would find ourselves on “solid” ground, which would only mystify, rather than
clarify, the question. We would be forced to appeal to “facts,” the “historical record,” and empirical
markers of stasis and change, all of which could be turned on their head with more of the same.
Underlying such a downward spiral into sociology, political science, history, and/or public policy debates
would be the very rubric that I am calling into question: the grammar of suffering known as exploitation and
alienation, the assumptive logic whereby subjective dispossession is arrived at in the calculations between
those who sell labor power and those who acquire it. The Black qua the worker. Orlando Patterson has
already dispelled this faulty ontological grammar in Slavery and Social Death, where he demonstrates how and
why work, or forced labor, is not a constituent element of slavery. Once the “solid” plank of “work” is
removed from slavery, then the conceptually coherent notion of “cl...
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This document was uploaded on 03/26/2014.
- Spring '14