Why do people work for other people? This seemingly naive question is at the heart of Lordon's argument. To complement Marx's partial answers, especially in the face of the disconcerting spectacle of the engaged, enthusiastic employee, Lordon brings to bear a "Spinozist anthropology" that reveals the fundamental role of affects and passions in the employment relationship, reconceptualizing capitalist exploitation as the capture and remolding of desire. A thoroughly materialist reading of Spinoza's Ethics allows Lordon to debunk all notions of individual autonomy and self-determination while simultaneously saving the ideas of political freedom and liberation from capitalist exploitation. Willing Slaves of Capital is a bold proposal to rethink capitalism and its transcendence on the basis of the contemporary experience of work.
FREDERIC LORDON is an economist and Director of Research at the CNRS, Paris. His other works include Les Quadratures de la politique economique; La Politique du capital; L'interet souverain - Essai d'anthropologie economique spinoziste; and La crise de trop - Reconstruction d'un monde failli.