Contemporary Political Theory

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 263–282 | Cite as

Rebelling against suffering in capitalism

  • Claudia LeebEmail author


In this article, I bring Marx and Adorno into conversation with affect theory to establish three points: First, an affective reading of the concepts of alienation and exploitation via Marx’s metaphor of the “vampire capital” explains the ways in which capitalism depletes raced, gendered, and sexed working class of their bodily and mental powers. Second, discussing these thinkers’ ideas in the context of the larger mind and body opposition revives attention to the body in contemporary political theory and exposes the ways in which the mind and body opposition serves to cover over the suffering caused by capitalism. Third, it shows that we must theorize the mind and body, feeling and thinking, as a mediated relation to grasp the ways in which particularly negative feelings can generate critical thinking, necessary to rebel against the vampire capital.


mind body feeling thinking exploitation alienation suffering rebellion 


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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics, Philosophy, and Public AffairsWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

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