On capitalism and coercion

It is thus exactly here that the idea of slavery, trafficking and forced labour does its discursive-ideological work. Recall that these three crimes are understood universally as “bad” and are presented, definitionally, as lying outside of the capitalist system, because they violate the principle of consensual exchange in the sale of labour-power. Well, presenting those cases which embody the breakdown of capitalism’s binaries as actually outside of the capitalist system, draws attention away from the fact that it is the system itself which is broken.

And depicting labour relationships which we find unpleasant as non-consensual, criminally coercive, and in a certain sense other, protects the system from the moral scrutiny that it deserves for creating those relationships, by pushing its legitimacy beyond the threatening reach of question.