Commentary: Biopolitical injustice and contemporary capitalism

by Peter Benson

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By Peter BensonFull Article:

How is big industry linked to rising obesity in the United States? This issue is tangentially explored in the article that I consider. My commentary expands on this point to apprehend the role of corporations and industries in producing and profiting from population health problems. Taking the cases of obesity and cigarette smoking together, I examine how corporations claim social-responsibility values as a strategic means of forestalling criticism and protecting their markets while shifting accountability for the risks and harms that are related to consumption onto consumers themselves. These dynamics reveal the centrality of biopolitical injustice to the workings of contemporary capitalism.