A Feast of Tantalus: Corporeal Crisis and Death By Starvation in Britain 1830-1914 – Capital & Class – article

A Feast of Tantalus: Corporeal Crisis and Death By Starvation in Britain 1830-1914

Sébastien Rioux | Capital & Class

2019-10-22

This article argues that capitalism in general and social reproduction theory in particular must be understood through the body. Based on a study of hunger and starvation in Britain between 1830 and 1914, it maintains that the conflicting dialectics between the ‘freedom to starve’ underpinning competitive labour markets and the ‘right to live’ institutionalised by society’s attempt to offset its worst effects are key for understanding how social reproduction orders are historically established and stabilised.

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