Subjected to the Free Market: The Subject of Existential Freedom

  • Peter Bloom


This chapter investigates how capitalism turns individuals into “subject-objects”, combining our economic objectification to market demands with the possibility to choose from a range of market-friendly identities. It begins by highlighting Sartre’s belief presented in Part II of “Being and Nothingness” that individuals are denied their existential freedom by turning themselves into socialized objects whose only purpose is to fulfil their given cultural role. The French theorist Foucault, for his part, notes how this subjection to being a mere object of capitalism (or any social system) is offset and ultimately reinforced through processes of subjectification in which we are made into conscious and intentional subjects. A new philosophy of existential freedom would, hence, emphasize the overriding importance of reducing this alienation, providing us the material resources and subjective tools to freely produce our own selves and society.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Bloom
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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