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Theorizing ‘Others’

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Chapter Summary

Contemporary scholars and animal rights activists contend that non human animals incarcerated in modern factory farms, vivisection laboratories, the sport and entertainment industries and pet producing puppy mills are slaves. This chapter demonstrates that this claim can be solidly substantiated through the application of Marx's social theory. It outlines what Marx had to say about slavery and serfdom in pre-capitalist society, and considers his view that slavery would be replaced by free wage labor in capitalist society. The chapter points to the fact that the scholarly debate about the transition from feudalism has, to date, failed to perceive the significance of non human animals as slaves for the development of capitalism. It uses aspects of Marx's analysis of capitalist society to explain this analytic lacunae with respect to the situation of non human animals as slaves in the creation and development of capitalist society.

Keywords:capitalism; feudalism; Marx's social theory; non-human animal slavery; serfdom



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